The Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area will offer free backcountry camping permits and a free night of camping at Alum Ford to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

BANDY CREEK — Since 1986, the third Monday in January has been designated as a federal holiday to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and civil rights leader dedicated to nonviolence.  On this day, the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will be observing Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, birthday by authorizing one night of free camping at the Alum Ford Campground as well as for all backcountry permits.

Alum Ford Campground, located on the Big South Fork, offers a serene camping experience near the edge of the Big South Fork River on the Kentucky side of the park.  There are six campsites with grills, picnic tables, and lantern hooks as well as accessible vault toilets.  The Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail also passes through this campground.

There are a total of 10 fee free days in 2017 to kick off the next century of the National Park Service!  Other fee free days during 2017 include February 20 to celebrate President’s Day; April 15-16 and April 22-23 to celebrate National Park Week; August 25-28 to celebrate the National Park Service’s 101st birthday; September 30 to observe National Public Lands Day; and November 11-12 in honor of Veterans Day.

Visit to learn more about fee free days in 2017.  For further information, call the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at (423) 286-7275.