National and state parks close facilities due to coronavirus concerns
In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, state and national parks are closing visitor centers and other facilities. In Asheville, the Blue Ridge Parkway shuttered its year-round visitor center on Tuesday, though other year-round facilities on the parkway will remain open, the Citizen-Times reports. The parkway is still open to cars and hiking trails are still open to those that want to explore on foot. Decisions about spring openings for campgrounds and other seasonally closed facilities will be made at a later date.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park also shut their visitor centers on Tuesday, effective until further notice. Campgrounds, picnic areas, roads, trails and bathroom facilities remain open.
Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive are open, including entrance stations, trails and restrooms. All other facilities are closed.
North Carolina State Parks have shut down all state park visitor centers and campgrounds. At this time, trails and restrooms remain open.
As of March 18, Virginia State Parks remain open. Visitor centers are closed, but overnight facilities, including camping and cabins, and outdoor spaces remain open.
West Virginia State Parks and forests are open at this time.
Georgia State Parks are open, though some Ranger programs have been modified in accordance with public health recommendations.
All facilities in Pennsylvania State Parks are closed for two weeks as of March 17, though hiking trails, lakes, roads and forests remain open.
Tennessee State Parks are open, though some facilities may be closed. All park-hosted events are cancelled through the end of March.
Kentucky State Parks and facilities are currently open to the public. Food service in the parks is limited to carry-out and group events are cancelled through the end of April.
Maryland State Parks are open, though all state park buildings are closed to the public, except for restrooms and full-service cabins.
South Carolina State Parks are open. Cabins and campground are open, though visitor centers, nature centers and retail locations are closed.
Alabama State Parks, including all facilities, are open at this time.
As always, social distancing is highly recommend on hiking trails. Stay six feet away from all other hikers, even while outdoors.