Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
FORT OGLETHORPE, Ga. – Beginning Jan. 1, Monday, the National Park Service will increase the entrance fee to the Point Park area of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park to $7 per person (from the current $5), to fund ongoing maintenance and improvement projects within the park. However, the price of an annual pass will remain unchanged at $30.
The annual pass entitles the pass holder and three other people to enter Point Park on an unlimited basis for an entire year from purchase.
Entrance fees are not charged to persons aged 15 years and younger or to pass holders of the America the Beautiful: The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass series, which includes the Annual Pass, the Senior Pass, the Access Pass, and the Military Pass. These passes may be obtained at the Point Park entrance fee booth in Lookout Mountain. All other destinations within the 9,000 acre expanse of the park – such as Cravens House, Ochs Gateway, Signal Point, Sherman Reservation, Orchard Knob, Moccasin Bend and Chickamauga Battlefield – remain free of any entrance fees.
A summary of the old and new Point Park entrance fee price structure is indicated below:
The additional fee revenue collected in the new year will enable the park to continue progress in reducing its deferred maintenance backlog and to make additional visitor experience improvements.
For example, over the past three years, $930,461 of park entrance fees have been used to fund multiple infrastructure repairs and preservation projects on park facilities, trails, and monuments – including restoration of the Kentucky State Monument in Chickamauga Battlefield and the New York Peace Monument in Point Park. Other past projects funded through Point Park entrance fees include the creation of a new park orientation film for the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center, restoration of historic tablets and cannon carriages throughout the park, and rehabilitation of exhibits in the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center across the street from the Point Park entrance gate. Additional revenue from the $2 per-person fee increase will enable the park to fund new vista-clearing, monument preservation, and deferred maintenance projects planned for 2018, including repairs to the flagstone walkways in Point Park.
The entrance fee program began at Point Park in 1998 under the congressionally authorized federal Recreational Fee Demonstration Program and was extended in 2004 under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. From 1998 to 2001, a $2 per person fee applied to Point Park. In 2002, the entrance fee at Point Park increased from $2 per person to $3 per person. In 2014, the National Park Service updated the entrance fee schedule for all 118 fee-collecting units of the National Park System, including Chickamauga and Chattanooga NMP. In 2015, after a period of civic engagement and public input, the park decided not to immediately increase the entrance fee from $3 to $7 , but instead to phase the directed increase over time, beginning with an interim period of $5 per person over the past three years. At that time, the $5 per-person fee was extended from a one-day to a seven-day pass. The 2018 entrance fee of $7 brings the park into full compliance with the 2014 pricing model.
The purpose of Chickamauga and Chattanooga NMP is to preserve, protect, and interpret the nationally significant resources associated with the Civil War Campaign for Chattanooga and the 12,000 years of American Indian presence on Moccasin Bend. With its historic significance, scenic views, and 100-mile trail system, the park continues to serve as a major driver of the local tourism economy, remaining the top tourist destination in the greater Chattanooga area with more than 1 million visitors in 2016. These visitors spent more than $66 million in surrounding communities, supporting more than 1,000 private sector jobs for a cumulative economic benefit of over $81 million to the local economy. To plan your visit or to learn more, explore the park’s website at www.nps.gov/chch, like it on Facebook at www.facebook.com/chickamauganps, or follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/chickamauganps.
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