|The East Fork Reservoir area located 17 miles southwest of Philipsburg has seen an increase in use of the area. There are two campgrounds adjacent to the reservoir, East Fork and Spillway; but there are no available developed picnic sites with amenities. The East Fork Campground is a small campground that has seven individual camping sites in addition to a small group camping area with space for three trailers. The group camping site has generated issues associated with groups that are getting too big for the area. This has affected other campers and adjacent landowners and the site is not large enough to accommodate multiple large trailers.
“Campgrounds were designed decades ago for single use camping and have not been reconstructed to accommodate group camping preferences by the public. We frequently get requests for locations that can accommodate five or more trailers and this site is not large enough. For the past several years we tried to accommodate and provide for group camping; however we’ve found it to be disruptive to continue to allow overnight groups in this small campground.” said District Ranger Cameron Rasor.
As a result, the campground managed by the Pintler Ranger District is making changes to management of the camping area. The site will be managed for day use picnicking that will provide for families to gather and enjoy the area. Vehicles will be restricted to a parking area that will accommodate up to five vehicles. Use will be first come, first served.
Dispersed group camping opportunities are available outside of the campground near the East Fork Reservoir. Other group camping opportunities are available at Racetrack, Copper Creek dispersed, and Orofino campgrounds. Group camping may be better suited in dispersed areas where the public has the ability to arrange their camps to fit their needs. Camping is allowed within 300 feet of Forest Service roads. Food storage requirements are required across the forest in all areas.
Visitors to the area are reminded to be courteous to camping and picnicking neighbors as well as adjacent private property owners. This includes: keeping noise to a minimum, quiet hours from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., keeping pets on a leash or restrained, extinguish campfires before leaving, and packing out your trash.
For more information contact the Pintler Ranger Station at (406) 859-3211.