- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 31, 2016

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - Camping fees at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park may increase by 25 percent.

Media outlets report that it’s been 10 years since the park has proposed a fee increase, with the exception of the Cataloochee Campground, which raised camping fees in 2011. Park rangers say the extra money would help with maintenance.

The price would also increase at the park’s seven campgrounds, five horse grounds and six picnic pavilions.

It currently costs anywhere from $14 to $23 to camp at “front country” grounds, meaning the fees would jump a maximum of about $5 with the proposed increase. The park hopes to make $400,000 more with the new fees.

The park is looking to receive feedback through June 27. It will also host open houses to decide details of a potential fee increase.

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