National park reservation app Recreation.gov leaves users feeling lost in the woods

The public finds the system “very confusing,” said Linda Devlin, executive director of the Allegheny National Forest Visitor Bureau , one...


The public finds the system “very confusing,” said Linda Devlin, executive director of the Allegheny National Forest Visitor Bureau, one of the co-signers of the US Travel letter. “If they want to rent a cabin at Red Bridge in the Allegheny National Forest, they have to go through several pages to find the Allegheny National Forest first, then the right campground, then the cabins. It is not a user-friendly system.

Versions of a reservation system have existed online for decades as parks have tried to prevent traffic and overcrowding. In 2018, the consulting company Booz Allen Hamilton took over the management of online booking, stimulate hope for improvements, including real-time updates and a more usable interface. The new version of Recreation.gov was a step up from the previous model, but was ill-prepared over the past two years to handle the surge in pandemic-related users. That hasn’t helped ease the confusion caused by changing park requirements as they try to cope with pandemic restrictions and record crowds.

As a frequent traveler to national parks, Kelsey Falkowski thinks a reservation system is important to help prevent overcrowding. Mr. Falkowski, a high school social studies teacher from Vernon, NJ, has been traveling to national parks with his brother and sister for six years, typically visiting two or three parks per trip. He hasn’t encountered any major issues using Recreation.gov.

“It really comes down to research,” he said. “We start planning about a year in advance, and my brother will put together a 50-page itinerary for a trip. miss nothing.

In addition to a high-speed Internet connection, accessing and booking on Recreation.gov requires a level of computer literacy that all travelers may not have (speaking of technology, security issues, camping robber robots and third-party websites plagued Recreation.gov for years).

Last December, after months of searching for campsites, Ms Prado was able to book a campsite for three nights at Glacier, a much shorter period than she had hoped to spend in the park. For the rest, she decided she should play it by ear.

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Newsrust - US Top News: National park reservation app Recreation.gov leaves users feeling lost in the woods
National park reservation app Recreation.gov leaves users feeling lost in the woods
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