Closed National Parks troublesome for local vacationers

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Every National Park in America is closed because of the government shutdown and a group of guys right here in the Tri-State are adjusting their plans.

Chris Pickens and Ian Stover purchased new camping gear and have been planning for weeks now in preparation to check out beautiful Olympic Park.

"For us to get that planning out of the way is sort of a big deal, we're people that make snap decisions," said Pickens.

But when midnight struck early Tuesday morning, Pickens says, it was time to modify their itinerary.

"It was one of those things where you sit down and you're like this really changes the landscape of the entire reason I wanted to do this," explained Pickens.

The guys still wanted to make the trip happen, so they went online to read about any park rules affected by the government shutdown. But when they went on the parks website, it too was out of operation.

"It doesn't really tell you anything about what the limitations are other than you're not allowed in. So, yeah, it's been really difficult to figure out what we're going to do now," said Stover.

Only essential law enforcement, maintenance and fire personnel remain working at the park during the shutdown. Stover says there are more than 900,000 acres of land at Olympic Park, so he and the guys initially thought they could find a way to check it out.

"Maybe we could just hang out in the park, see what happens but then you have to remember that you're trespassing on federal lands so it's a felony and I don't want to go to jail for a camping trip," said Stover.

Pickens and Stover are still packing their bags and heading out west, only now they're brain-storming more creative plans including state parks, and even a stop a bit farther north.

"Canada? It's three hours away, bring your passport, they've got plenty of natural places we can go to," said Pickens.

The shutdown isn't affecting flights out of CVG. It's just some of the plans once you get to your final destination.

As we approach day three of the government shutdown, all 401 national parks will remain closed.

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