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Old 12-21-2014, 11:54 AM   #1
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Smile State park camping

I purchased my first AS this year (2008 22 Safari Sport). Put over 11000 miles on it and loved every minute. I am from LA (lLower Alabama) and traveled mostly westward. I am a 76 year old senior. I dis a lot of camping in state parks and found most of them wonderful places to stay. I found however a large disparity in what these parks charged. Alabama gives its citizens a measly 15% discount while states like Florida, Louisiana and Arkansas give their residence a 50% discount. Further, and most importantly a handful of states like Arkansas and Louisiana have reciprocal agreements that gives seniors from the other state a similar discount. I have written my state representatives about this issue requesting they increase the senior discount for their seniors and establish reciprocal agreements with other sates. I would like to encourage others to bring a groundswell of requests about this issue to their state reps. You may not be a senior yet, but one day you will get there so help with this issue any how.
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Old 12-21-2014, 12:17 PM   #2
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I am a senior and have camped in State Parks in almost every state. Yes there is huge disparity in the quality and cost from state to state. The interesting thing is the economic environment of a given state is not always reflected in their parks. West Va. has some of the nicest parks in the country while New Jersey has some of the worst. Not only do us Jerseyites not get a discount as seniors or natives we have to put up with gestapo regulations.

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Old 12-21-2014, 12:18 PM   #3
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Yes, Arkansas is one of those great places in this country!

I hope you enjoyed your stay while you were here. Do you mind me asking where you stayed?
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Old 12-21-2014, 12:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habakkuk View Post
Alabama gives its citizens a measly 15% discount while states like Florida, Louisiana and Arkansas give their residence a 50% discount. Further, and most importantly a handful of states like Arkansas and Louisiana have reciprocal agreements that gives seniors from the other state a similar discount.
I believe your information is in error.

Louisiana State Parks offer a 50% discount to Louisiana residents, but ONLY if they hold the America the Beautiful Senior Pass (Formerly Golden Age Passport) or America the Beautiful Access Pass for the handicapped. Louisiana residents in general get no discount at all at Louisiana State Parks. Only residents of Arkansas, Delaware, and Maryland can use the America the Beautiful passes to get a discount at Louisiana State Parks.

Arkansas State Parks offer no discount to Louisiana residents. Last time I was at an Arkansas State Park, I was told that while Arkansas residents can use their America the Beautiful Pass at Louisiana State Parks, Louisiana residents cannot do the same at Arkansas State Parks. I had to pay full price despite having the Access Pass. Of course that was two years ago, and the reciprocal agreement might have gone into effect since then.
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Old 12-21-2014, 01:07 PM   #5
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A few years back we were camping at a Colorado SP. They had sites available but wanted to charge me the daily $8 entrance fee just to drive through and see if there was a site appropriate for our 30' trailer to fit. After some discussion they agreed to let me scout the CG, no charge. We did stay there and their daily camping fee was reasonable BUT they then tacked on the daily fee which I felt was not. Especially since they were a no HO campground. Water available in the CG but not on site. So, things do vary a great deal from state to state.
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Old 12-21-2014, 01:16 PM   #6
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State Park Camping

Protagonist is right. I failed to mention that the senior must hold the America The Beautiful Access Pass or as I have the Golden Age Passport for then state resident discount. I quess I figured that most seniors held one of these because of the great value they have in visiting Nation Parks and in visiting some state parks. I recently visited virtually all National parksAT in Utah with zero cost to me. Putting that aside I believe what I said about state park fees does apply to all holders of the ATB and GAP access passes
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Old 12-21-2014, 01:26 PM   #7
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Kentucky is only 10%

Kentucky offers seniors 62+ a 10% discount with ID. It doesn't say anything about having to be a resident.
Deals - Kentucky State Parks
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Old 12-21-2014, 02:58 PM   #8
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A few years back we were camping at a Colorado SP. They had sites available but wanted to charge me the daily $8 entrance fee just to drive through and see if there was a site appropriate for our 30' trailer to fit. After some discussion they agreed to let me scout the CG, no charge. We did stay there and their daily camping fee was reasonable BUT they then tacked on the daily fee which I felt was not. Especially since they were a no HO campground. Water available in the CG but not on site. So, things do vary a great deal from state to state.
If your stay is sufficiently long, you can get a yearly State of Colorado Parks pass which is about $40.
Rates for water and electric sites are about $25, which is a bargain compared to commercial campgrounds.
Many of the Colorado state parks such as Steamboat Lake are real jewels while others such as nearby Pearl Lake are older and offer fewer amenities for a much reduced rate.
Book online, the website will give you a map and dimensions of the camping sites.
We have stayed in state parks all across the country and have yet to stay in a bad one. Even those with few amenities are usually in nice natural settings.
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Old 12-21-2014, 03:21 PM   #9
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John and Gina you have wonderful state parks in Arkansas. I have stayed at White Oak Lake, DeGray Lake Resort, and Lake Catherine. Never disappointed.
Louisiana also has great parks. I have visited Lake Claiborne, Lake D'Arbonne, Jimmy Davis and Poverty Point Res. state parks, the last being close to the
Mississippi state line and only about three miles off IS 20 is one of my favorites especially when I'm just passing through
.
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Old 12-21-2014, 03:34 PM   #10
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I'm not sure that I've got my point across in this post. I was trying to encourage seniors in all states to contact their representatives and ask for a minimum 50% discount for seniors camping in state AND negotiating reciprocal agreement with other states that provide similar discounts. I have contacted my representatives about this and have received favorable replies. This could be tied to the National Park access passes if desired.
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Old 12-21-2014, 08:32 PM   #11
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In AZ we have no discounts at all for either residents or for out of state campers. And no annual passes are available for camping. AZ state parks do not honor the National Senior Pass like federal campgrounds do (BLM, National Forests, National Monuments & Parks). I have contacted the AZ State Park Department suggesting a senior discount program would be a hot item, commenting that a senior discount pass is available in NM state parks to NM residents. I received a non-answer of typical gov't mumbo-jumbo. One can buy an annual camping discount pass for NM but it is a lot of bucks for non-residents ... but reasonable for NM residents. I think, in AZ, anyway, this is partly because our state park system nearly got shut down several years back because of funding issues. They ended up not closing most of the parks that were on the chopping block but camping prices increased significantly. Now it's typically $15/night for dry camping and $25/night for water/electric sites and in a few parks $30;night for water/electric/sewer. I suppose it's better than no parks at all ... and it's still better than commercial places, but it costs more to go camping these days, for sure. CA camping fees are even worse.
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Old 12-21-2014, 08:51 PM   #12
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In AZ we have no discounts at all for either residents or for out of state campers. I suppose it's better than no parks at all ... and it's still better than commercial places, but it costs more to go camping these days, for sure. CA camping fees are even worse.
I agree that receiving senior discounts when camping is a nice plus, especially the 50% discount in National Parks. And although the discounts vary from state to state for state parks, I am more concerned with the camping/entrance fees paid being used to fund the upkeep of the parks. In the past few years, many states were forced to close state parks because they didn't have the budget to operate and maintain them. This was especially true in AZ & CA. Some states milk the income from these fees for other budgets and expenses. In CA they found $54 million hidden by the state parks department while they were in the process of closing almost half of the parks!

I don't mind paying an extra $10-15 across state lines if it helps to keep the parks operating.
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Old 12-21-2014, 09:49 PM   #13
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We have the Federal Senior pass and have enjoyed half price camping at various National Parks and National Forest Campgrounds.

We have also camped in many state parks across the country. Most don't give a senior discount to non-residents. Florida State Parks give a 50% discount on campsites to Florida residents only. We have taken advantage of this discount on a number of occasions since turning 65.

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Old 12-21-2014, 10:20 PM   #14
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North Carolina discounts campsites for travelers age 62 and above. The discount is $6.00 per night for a site with electricity and $5.00 per night for a site without electricity. There is no senior discount for primitive sites. I believe out of state seniors qualify for the discounts but I'm not 100% sure. The state park website doesn't say the discount is limited to residents.


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