Pea Ridge National Military Park Closed, Turns Away Visitors

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The Pea Ridge National Military Park shut its gates Tuesday (Oct. 1) and posted a sign saying they're closed because of the government shutdown.

About 15 park employees were sent home and visitors were turned away.

“Employees showed up at their normal hours this morning at that time they received a furlough notice, they shut down their offices and did any last minute things that they needed to do and went back home,” said U.S. Park Ranger, Matt Fry.

Two security guards will remain at the park during the duration of the shutdown, according to Fry.

Phil Carter set for an adventure with his friend from Kansas, had to turn around and come up with a different plan.

“My friend and I like to explore, hike and backpack and we came down here to Pea Ridge from Pittsburg and we are disappointed, we should have checked ahead of time,” said Carter.

LeeAnn Warren tried twice to visit the park in last couple of days, but now is heading home to Texas.

“Sunday, when we came by it was pouring down rain so we thought on our way home we will stop this time because we have no schedule and it's closed, kind of a disappointed,” said Warren.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Rogers remains open, at least for the next two days.

“The district office in Little Rock was able to find some funds that I think they kind of anticipated this and we are fortunate to be open today and tomorrow,” said Beaver Lake Park Ranger, Alan Bland.

Park rangers spent the day telling people they need to leave public campgrounds on Beaver Lake by Wednesday at 8 p.m.

“A lot of them are going to stay the night and wait until the morning to see what happens, but even if tomorrow morning and we are still on shutdown then they need to pack up and leave,” said Bland.

People are not allowed on the campgrounds or to use the boat ramps.

Bland mentioned that there are several private campgrounds around Beaver Lake where campers can move to.