Forest service announces fee-waiving weekends
January 14, 2014 at 01:35 AM
The Associated Press
HARRISBURG, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois' Shawnee National Forest and other federal park lands will be allowing free camping during five designated weekends this year.
The U.S. Forest Service says fees for non-reserved campsites at Shawnee and other sites in the service's portfolio will be waived for the evenings of the two days before Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 20. Shawnee is Illinois' only national forest.
The other fee-free weekends are scheduled for next month's President's Day weekend, then in June, September and November.
The forest service's chief, Tom Tidwell, says the goal is to encourage visitors to the 193 million acres of federal park land.
Shawnee campgrounds featuring the fee waiver include Garden of the Gods, Pounds Hollow, Camp Cadiz, Pine Hills and Johnson Creek.
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