It has been a long way back for Holly River State Park.
Last October, Hurricane Sandy delivered a setback so severe to the park in Webster County it was as primitive as the day it was declared park land.
“It’s been tremendously hard,” Superintendent Ken McClintic told MetroNews on Tuesday. “All of our staff are just worn out from cutting brush and removing it from the area.”
Thousands of trees were toppled and thousands more lost limbs under the weight of the sudden and unexpected snowstorm delivered by Sandy. The falling trees destroyed all the parks phone and utility service. The entire system was rebuilt — this time with buried cable to avoid a repeat in the next blizzard.
The services still aren’t back to full service, but work has at least restored the park to the point it is ready for guests to return this summer.
“Cabins opened Friday, April 12. Right now we have 38 campsites out of the total of 88 open, and we hope to get the last 50 open by Memorial Day weekend,” said McClintic.
He said things started off slow, but as the word spreads he expects guests to return this summer.
There’s still plenty of work to do. The park’s restaurant is only open on weekends until Memorial Day, the swimming pool will open late this year, and there are still 40 miles of walking trails that are impassable. McClintic said there will be lots to keep park staff busy this summer.