Author Topic: No refusal laws or practices nation wide.  (Read 3962 times)

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Offline freightbike

No refusal laws or practices nation wide.
« on: June 14, 2023, 12:59:36 pm »
Dear friends, Its been awhile since I last posted. I was on a self supported, self contained bicycle trip recently. The route took me around the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. When I was in the Indiana Dune State Park, a member of the park staff told me that there is a law, He called the "squatters law", that allows me the privilege of, self propelled, no turn away camping at any government, city, county, state or federal, camping area in the country. There are of course limits on this such as how many nights allowed and where camping would be allowed. I was just wondering if anyone else heard of this or is it an old park staff tale.
May the wind at your back always smell like home.
                  MORG

Offline Westinghouse

Re: No refusal laws or practices nation wide.
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2023, 11:07:31 pm »
This is the first I heard of it.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: No refusal laws or practices nation wide.
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2023, 08:08:35 am »
I discussed this with ACA many years ago after being shut out at a state park in NJ.  The park in question in on the Atlantic Cost route is extremely popular, especially on weekends, but has ample space to accommodate the occasional cyclist for a night or two.  It's also close to the Appalachian Trail.  One big issue is that heading north on the Atlantic Coast route, there are no easily reachable campgrounds beyond the state park, and stealth camping is not a good idea because of the number of bears in the area.

Someone from ACA provided me with a very helpful collection of materials on which states have no-turn-away policies at state park (IIRC, Indiana is one off them.) and guidance on how to broach the issue with state officials.  (I cannot imagine a state law applying to local or federal establishments.) You might ask for a copy of those materials.

As for the state park mentioned above, I used the provided materials to suggest a no-turn-way policy, at least at that particular park.  I received a nice response from the park's superintendent informing me that because the park is near the AT, a popular bike route and along the Delaware River, that it will put up people arriving by bike, boat or foot even if all the regular sites are occupied.  It seemed the person working the booth when I arrived was an intern who was unaware off the policy.  Since I was heading south, I had a reasonable alternative I could reach.

Offline freightbike

Re: No refusal laws or practices nation wide.
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2023, 02:39:16 pm »
Yeah, I thought it was kind of a stretch. I had made a reservation at the Indiana Dunes at Warren Beach state park in Michigan because my original plan was to wing it and hope for a site being available because it was on a Sunday. I had burned off two extra days at Holland Beach MI state park so that I could be at Van Buren state park MI on a Friday, Warren state park MI on a Saturday and the Dunes park IN on a Sunday. Memorial day weekend, was another, kind of stressful weekend where I had to plan out state park stays to make it through. At Orchard Beach st. park MI there was a nice auxiliary site but at Mears st park MI they put me behind the maintenance garage. It had no picnic table so I had to improvise with an old windsurfer board and a couple of empty plastic barrels. It was also kind of quiet in a crowded campground right on the beach. The bonus was that there was an electric outlet behind the garage that I could plug my C-Pap into. Anyway when I heard about this universal no refusal policy, it kind of lifted my spirits for the possibilities of extended travel. I really wish it was true for national parks.
May the wind at your back always smell like home.
                  MORG

Offline misterflask

Re: No refusal laws or practices nation wide.
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2023, 05:57:55 pm »
Thinking the solution to homelessness is to outlaw it, Georgia is trying to pass a law banning camping on any public lands.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: No refusal laws or practices nation wide.
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2023, 04:12:16 am »
You can Google state and federal statutes and laws regarding that.

Offline driftlessregion

Re: No refusal laws or practices nation wide.
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2023, 12:10:03 pm »
In Wisconsin and Michigan the no turn away for cyclists is one night only I believe.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: No refusal laws or practices nation wide.
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2023, 10:24:15 am »
In Wisconsin and Michigan the no turn away for cyclists is one night only I believe.
That's probably correct.  The example policies that ACA sent varied, but I think all of them limited the stay two one or two nights. Also, if regular sites were available you had to take one of them.

I may still have the materials somewhere on my work computer, but they might be dated by now.

This is an area where cyclists should easily be able to communicate their wishes to state officials to try to affeect change.