Government Reopens Beaver Lake Campgrounds But Few Show Up
During the first weekend (Oct. 6-7) after the government reopened, campers were welcomed at Beaver Lake. However, the campgrounds weren’t full.
“Its hurt the camping business I think this year,” said Ona Williams. “There’s usually a lot of campers down here when we are down here and there’s very little.”
Ona Williams stayed at the Prairie Creek Campgrounds with his wife Millie. They’ve traveled to Beaver Lake for the past 12 years during the fall crafts festivals.
A park attendant estimated about 20 campers over the weekend, compared to about 80 that stay during the same weekend in past years. The government was shutdown for 16 days starting Oct. 1.
“There’s not as many as I thought but I guess other people made other arrangements,” Milie Williams said.
Ona and Millie Williams were supposed to have arrived Tuesday from Nixa, Missouri. The shutdown almost canceled their visit.
“We couldn’t get on the website so we had to continually check the website everyday,” Millie Williams said.
However, when the news broke that the government reopened the National parks, they didn’t waste a minute.
“When we found it open we just threw some clothes in the trailer and we were gone,” Ona Williams said.
The couple said they enjoyed the Bella Vista, Spanker and War Eagle Fall Arts and Crafts Fairs, as well as the sights and sounds of the Ozarks.
“This is the last camping time of the year and so we always enjoy it because of the lake and the trees,” Millie Williams said.
Ona Williams said, “We come down here every year basically. We enjoy it.”
The couple even stayed one more day and hope to be back next year.
Campers must reserve a spot at Beaver Lake in advance but for those who lost their reservation during the shutdown, can get reimbursed.
At Beaver Lake, the only campgrounds open for the season include: Dam Site and River, Prairie Creek and Horseshoe Bend. Officials said they’ll stay open until the end of October and some parts will stay open throughout the winter.
Other National Parks that are now open in Northwest Arkansas are Lake Wedington and the Pea Ridge National Park.