New plans for Sam Houston Jones State Park - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

New plans for Sam Houston Jones State Park

(Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC) (Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC)
MOSS BLUFF, LA (KPLC) -

Nestled just northwest of Lake Charles' downtown, the 1,087-acre Sam Houston Jones State Park is filled with wildlife, a forest, and tree-filled lagoons.

For campers, like Texas native Richard Griffin and his family, it's an escape from the daily hustle and bustle.  

"It's just that time of year before everyone goes back to school for us to get that family vacation in," he said. 

Lately, however, several visitors of the park have noticed something different. One of the two campgrounds has been closed – Campground 1. 

The Louisiana State Parks Office's public information officer, Sharon Broussard said in a statement, "the campground has had ongoing issues with electrical wiring and needed repairs to the comfort station. Budget cuts of the last few years have prevented us from performing much of the needed upkeep and maintenance."

Future plans for the campground now include, "conversion into day-use, with accompanying picnic tables and expansion of the site's nature trails," according to Broussard.

But Griffin believes it's not a smart move financially, "I don't see how putting 25 people in there at three dollars a person (is better) than campsites full."

Admission to the park is $3, while those who would like to set up their RVs or tent need to rent out a campsite that can cost anywhere from $25 $35 dollars.  

But Broussard said they, "don't anticipate any financial impact, as the number of reservations for both of the campgrounds can easily be accommodated in the remaining campground."

And for Natalia Slay's family of five, the campground's transformation into a day-use area is something she's looking forward to.

"We will use it," said the Moss Bluff resident who has a yearly subscription to the park.

"For us it's good," she said. "We like this park."

But Griffin said the more campsites, the better.

"I think that there are certain drawbacks to day-use parks only because there are a lot of people that are looking for that intimate wildlife exposure/experience where all they do is wake up and see the stars," he said. "They sleep on the ground and see what the world has to give them."

The Louisiana State Parks Office is currently in the design phase for the day-use transformation and awaiting funding. 

The closure of Campground 1 will reduce the number of available campsites by 22, bringing the park total to 38 spots and tent camping is available at all RV campsites.

For more information about the park, click HERE

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.  

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