Because of the shutdown of the federal government caused by the lapse in appropriations, the National Park Service (NPS) has closed all 401 national parks, including Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. All visitor facilities including the Chickamagua Battlefield and Lookout Mountain Battlefield visitor centers, Point Park, park grounds, park secondary roads, park picnic areas and restrooms are closed – except LaFayette Road, Reed’s Bridge Road, and McFarland Gap Road through ways.
The park will remain closed until the government reopens.
All park programs and special events have been canceled, and the park grounds cannot be used for walking, running, hiking, climbing, bicycling, or for educational purposes.
Officials said, "The park will lose an estimated $800 of entrance fees each day of the shutdown and an estimated $44,000 in sales through the park bookstores operated by Eastern National in the month of October. Nationwide the NPS stands to lose approximately $450,000 per day in revenue from fees collected at entry stations and fees paid for in-park activities such as cave tours, boat rides and camping. Gateway communities across the country see about $76 million per day in total sales from visitor spending that is lost during a government shutdown. Visitors spend about $54,000,000 a year in communities surrounding the park."
In Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park 26 employees are on furlough because of the shutdown. Four employees remain on duty, providing security and emergency services.
Nationwide the shutdown has also furloughed more than 20,000 National Park Service employees; approximately 3,000 employees remain on duty to ensure essential health, safety, and security functions at parks and facilities. About 12,000 park concessions employees are also affected.
Because it will not be maintained, the National Park Service website will be down for the duration of the shutdown. NPS.gov has more than 750,000 pages and 91 million unique visitors each year.
For updates on the shutdown, visit www.doi.gov/shutdown.