Weather impacting holiday plans at local state parks

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TOWAMENSING TOWNSHIP, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — People across the country are observing Memorial Day this weekend.

But in northeastern and central Pennsylvania, the rainy weather is putting a damper on some typical holiday weekend activities. The parking lot, picnic benches, and beach at Beltzville State Park are normally packed on Memorial Day weekend. But not this year.

“We were expecting capacity crowds. We were banking on capacity crowds. But it’s looking like it’s kind of going to be a washout,” Beltzville State Park park ranger Ben Monk said.

Only a few people decided to spend their Saturday outdoors in the rain. But Monk expects the crowds to return as the weather gets warmer in the coming weeks. He says the state park has dealt with trash issues over the years from the normal crowding. That’s why the park added additional resources this year.

“We have extra staff in here from other parts and other forestry districts and stuff like that. They all came in to help us,” Monk said.

While the rain drove people out of Beltzville State Park, park managers at Frances Slocum State Park say they’re seeing the opposite.

“Our campground has been booked for a few weeks. We have had some cancelations, primarily tent campers because of the rain. We’re still about 90 percent capacity at the campground right now,” Frances Slocum State Park park manager Kevin Koflanovich said.

“Today we have almost 70, maybe, campsites that are, or maybe even more, that are being used. It’s not as big as last year, but it’s still, there’s a lot of people out,” campground host Rose Miner said.

Koflanovich says they have been busy this whole season, regardless of the holiday weekend. He says it’s because of the pandemic.

“We haven’t seen a lot of people cancel. People just wanna get out and they wanna enjoy themselves. Even now you’ll see people in day use, even though it’s raining, there’s folks just wearing raincoats and fishing because they wanna be outside,” Koflanovich said.

“We of course had this planned for a while and we’re gonna make the best of it,” Kenneth Stauffer of Lancaster said.

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