(NC/VA) – The Blue Ridge Parkway is announcing additional modifications to its operations in support of federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. As of March 22, 2020, and in order to best provide for social distancing as called for in state and CDC guidance, the Parkway will impose a 10-person maximum use permit at all backcountry camping locations.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is limiting the allowable camping permits at established backcountry campsites located at CCC Camp (Rock Castle Gorge, Milepost 167.1), Basin Cove (Bluffs North and South, Milepost 244.7), and John’s River Road (Milepost 296.9) to total occupancy of 10 people or less respectively.
New backcountry camping restrictions are as follows:
Groups of campers larger than ten (10) people are prohibited.
No More than six (6) people are allowed to occupy any one campsite.
Camping at Johns River Road will be limited to 2 sites (10-person total area capacity)
Camping at Basin Cove will be limited to 8 sites (10-person total area capacity)
Camping at CCC Camp will be limited to 8 sites (10-person total area capacity) Camping more than three (3) consecutive nights in any camping area is prohibited.
Permits may be acquired by phone only from district offices closest to backcountry site location. More information related to backcountry camping on the Blue Ridge Parkway is available on the park website.
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at the Blue Ridge Parkway is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor COVID-19. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels.
Outdoor spaces at the Blue Ridge Parkway remain accessible to the public in accordance with the latest federal, state, and local health guidance.
The NPS encourages people who choose to visit the Blue Ridge Parkway during this pandemic to adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors and employees. As services are limited, the NPS urges visitors to continue to practice Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy.
Photo: Dawn breaks over the Blue Ridge Mountains – Getty Images