Vandals set fire to bridge in Boone Forest campground

LAUREL/PULASKI COUNTIES, Ky. (WTVQ) – Flooding took its toll on the Bee Rock Campground in Laurel County in the Daniel Boone National Forest.

But even worse, vandals have done even more damage.

The Bee Rock Campground remains closed, rangers said Thursday.

“Unfortunately, some incredibly disrespectful and uncaring individuals have once again set fire to the historic CCC Sublimity Bridge that connects Pulaski and Laurel counties at Bee Rock Campground, this past weekend,” rangers said in a social media post.

A contractor was working to finalize repairs to the bridge from the 2019 flood when a 14-foot span was burned. This time, a much larger 40+ foot portion of the bridge was destroyed, including the waterline that runs underneath the bridge.

Both sides of the campground have sustained damage to the gates by vandals trying to illegally access the campground, rangers said.

Work has been ongoing on both sides of the campground.

Most recently, recreation staff had been busy working to reconstruct the Pulaski County side of the campground when it once again flooded. Work was in progress on the Sublimity Bridge resulting in scaffolding being damaged or washed away as the river rose to the bottom of the bridge.

An eight-person American Conservation Experience (ACE) Trail Crew is scheduled to begin work April 5 to again begin reconstructing campsites, stairs, and pathways.

In 2020, an ACE Trail Crew and an AmeriCorps Crew worked hard to rebuild each site. When this work is completed, the campground will have been completely rebuilt.

It is the Forest Service’s desire to try and re-open the Laurel County side of Bee Rock Campground this summer for camping, barring any major weather-related or vandalism setbacks.

At this time, Bee Rock is closed to all access, including foot travel, to limit personal exposure and protect equipment and materials from future vandalism.

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