Camping is now permitted in WA, but businesses near the Stirling Range National Park say they have a long road to recovery after the double blow of bushfires and COVID-19. The Stirling Range Retreat and Mt Trio Bush Camp and Caravan Park have reopened for campers, but the park’s key attractions are closed for repairs after the Boxing Day bushfires. Premier Mark McGowan gave camping the green light last week, with national park campsites re-opening to the public last Friday. The only camp site inside the Stirling Range National Park, Moingup Springs Campground, remains closed because of fire damage. The Bluff Knoll walk trail and Stirling Range Ridge Walk — which includes the Mt Trio walk trail, Mt Toolbrunup walk trail, the Toll Peak picnic area, and Ellen Peak — are all closed. With construction of a new Bluff Knoll trail due to finish in the coming weeks, business owners are trying to stay positive about the future. Stirling Range Retreat owner Virginia Hammer said she was worried they would not have a clear picture of what lay ahead until regional borders opened. “We are still getting cancellations from international travellers, who particularly come after spring,” she said. “I am hoping that when Bluff Knoll does reopen, along with regional borders opening again, we will see a bit of a flow-through even in the winter months. “We are trying to be positive on it, but it is going to be a tim-ing thing.” Ms Hammer said while the retreat had no new bookings as yet, she had noticed a few people visiting the area after the recent relaxation of restric-tions. She said the Bluff Knoll, White Gum Flat, and Red Gum Springs picnic areas were all open. Visitors could also walk the Mt Hassell, Mt Talyuberlup and Mt Magog walk trails and visit several of the park’s lookouts. Mt Trio Bush Camp and Caravan Park owner Margot Byrne said it had been a tough start to the year. “We are still hampered by no travel from outside the region, so if Albany people can start coming out and camping and supporting local tourism, that would be fantastic,” she said. “This is the perfect opportunity to discover your local region. “There is so much to offer in this area, and I think every other region would be jealous because there is so much that you can explore in your own backyard. “The trails are due to open in the next couple of weeks. “We have had a look at them and they are fantastic.” Ms Byrne said her camp had had a few drop-in bookings last weekend. The Bluff Knoll Cafe has also taken a double hit. It has been open for the past few weeks, but received very little business. Owner Chris Thomas said with the combination of trail closures and COVID-19 restrictions, the cafe had sold a total of three coffees over a two-week period.“It was really bad anyway after the fires, but at least we still had some local traffic coming through,” he said. “Then when COVID-19 stay at home came into play, for the first two weeks we stayed open and sold three coffees in two weeks.” He remains hopeful, however, that the new and improved trails will bring new people to the region when the borders open.