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Popular campgrounds to reopen this weekend

by JOSH MCDONALD
Staff Reporter | May 26, 2022 2:47 PM

Two popular campgrounds in the upper North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River region of Shoshone County will be reopening this week for campers.

Kit Price and Big Hank will be open Friday, May 27, just in time for the long weekend.

It was announced via press release earlier this month that Kit Price would be reopening after being closed since 2018.

“The campground was first closed in 2018 to address widespread hazard trees resulting from naturally occurring fungi and root diseases, and many trees that died during an intense drought in 2015,” the release from U.S. Forest Service read. “Workers assessed trees for their potential to fall within the campground. Contract workers removed those dead and failing trees that were identified as presenting a hazard to visitors.”

Funded Great American Outdoors Act dollars, in 2021 the campground underwent a complete redesign, including all new fire rings, picnic tables, restrooms, shade structures and upgraded water holding tanks, which were previously operating at reduced capacity.

Kit Price will be closed for one week in July to complete the chip seal work on all road surfaces that could not be completed last year due to weather constraints.

The Forest Service has already replanted more than 1,000 trees within the campground, with plans to plant several thousand more.

Sites and roads have been expanded to accommodate recreational vehicles, extra parking, and to meet accessibility requirements.

Big Hank, located roughly 40 miles north of Interstate 90, was closed to address several distressed trees resulting from the intense summer season in 2015 and 2017.

These distressed and diseased trees were removed to prevent further spread, as well as dangerous conditions for campers.

With space along the North Fork at a premium in recent years, the reopening of two major camping areas should allow outdoor a little more room.

Unfortunately, Bumblebee Campground — the lowest and most easily accessible campground along the North Fork — will once again be closed for the 2022 camping season.

For information and campground reservations at Kit Price, visit www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/232333.

Information about other camping opportunities on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/ipnf/recreation.

The Great American Outdoors Act was signed into law in August 2020 and has enabled national parks and other federal lands to repair and upgrade vital infrastructure and facilities that will enrich the visitor experience, protect resources and enable increased access for all visitors.

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