Cummins Falls Park officials raised the daily gorge access permit limit to 150 visitors.
Park Manager Ray Cutcher said the increased access is a result from a successful launch to the program in the reopening weekend.
“It went pretty smooth overall,” Cutcher said. “Obviously there were people who showed up who didn’t know about the permit system so they weren’t happy. Many of them were fine after they were able to hike to the overlook and view it from there. Those who did have the permits were very happy.”
Park officials worked with state leaders to institute the system to limit visitors into the narrow gorge area in hopes of improving safety in the area. Cutcher said over the weekend 100 permits were available to hike to the base of the falls. Parking is limited to reduce overcrowding for the overlook trail.
Cutcher said while the permit system is working, busy weekends like Memorial Day will provide the real test.
“They may show up and not be able to get in at the time they arrive, depending on what time of day it is,” Cutcher said. “But hopefully they’ll be willing to go somewhere else and then come back in a little bit and there’ll be parking available.”
The permit system began last week when Cummins Falls reopened to the public.