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Cost of federal park passes for seniors to rise significantly
$10 lifetime passes for federal parks going to $80
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The Little Hall Park, pictured on Thursday, is one of the Army Corps of Engineers’ parks and campgrounds along Lake Lanier. Beginning in late August, senior citizens will see the cost of their lifetime passes to use these and other parks jump to $80 from $10.

Lifetime senior passes for federal parks, including those run by the Army Corps of Engineers, will be eight times more expensive beginning Aug. 28.

The price of the pass will jump to $80 from $10, the corps reminded seniors in a Wednesday announcement. The pass, officially called the “America the Beautiful — National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Lifetime Senior Pass,” is available to people 62 and older.

It’s accepted at all pay-to-use parks owned by the Army Corps. The pass can be purchased online with a $10 processing fee, which still comes out to a $60 savings if purchased before Aug. 28.

Seniors may buy annual passes for $20, and four annual passes can be turned in to the corps for a lifetime pass at no charge.

The price increase is the result of federal legislation passed in December 2016, according to the corps.

The Army Corps in Buford maintains a list of campsites, parks and a map on its website.

Georgia has several national parks, which are also covered by the senior pass for federal lands. The site nearest to Hall County managed by the National Park Service is the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in Atlanta.

At the state level, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources maintains Don Carter State Park on northern Lake Lanier. It charges $5 for parking and various fees depending on what services are being used, from primitive campsites to cabin rentals to kayaks.

Annual passes are available for $50, and residents 62 and older receive a 50 percent discount. Active duty military and veterans receive a 25 percent discount.

State parks spokeswoman Kim Hatcher said there are no plans to change the state fees for the time being.

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