State parks, na­tional park tighten re­stric­tions on ac­cess

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - NEWS - BY FRANK GREEN Richmond Times-Dis­patch fgreen@timesdis­ (804) 649-6340

Of­fi­cials with Vir­ginia State Parks and Shenan­doah Na­tional Park have an­nounced fur­ther curbs on ser­vices and ac­cess in light of the COVID-19 epi­demic.

State parks re­main open but ef­fec­tive Fri­day, overnight fa­cil­i­ties and re­strooms will be closed through April 30 — in­clud­ing all cabins, camp­grounds, camp­ing cabins and yurts, as well as re­strooms and bath­houses.

Vis­i­tor cen­ters and other in­door fa­cil­i­ties are closed to the pub­lic and groups or gath­er­ings of more than 10 peo­ple are pro­hib­ited.

Peo­ple who are sick, or have been around some­one who is sick or ex­pe­ri­enc­ing symp­toms of COVID-19 in­fec­tion, are asked not to visit. Visi­tors should fol­low so­cial dis­tanc­ing guide­lines, keep­ing 6 feet or more be­tween them­selves and other guests to help pre­vent the spread of the coro­n­avirus.

Of­fi­cials at Shenan­doah Na­tional Park an­nounced Thurs­day that the park will be open but will of­fer lim­ited ser­vices out­side those that sup­port vis­i­tor or re­source pro­tec­tion.

All re­strooms are closed and “back­coun­try” ar­eas are closed to overnight camp­ing through April

30. There is no overnight camp­ing at the park’s de­vel­oped camp­grounds.

The park ser­vice an­nounced ear­lier that Ap­palachian Trail huts, shel­ters and cabins are closed; the Old Rag and Whi­teoak-Cedar Run cir­cuit hikes are closed; and all other park-op­er­ated fa­cil­i­ties are closed, in­clud­ing vis­i­tor cen­ters.

The park ser­vice said that Albe­marle County, the city of Char­lottesvill­e, and the Ri­vanna Wa­ter and Sewer Au­thor­ity have closed the recre­ational area around Sugar Hol­low Reser­voir.

Con­ces­sions-op­er­ated fa­cil­i­ties at Shenan­doah Na­tional Park will open with re­stric­tions: Lewis Moun­tain Cabins and Camp­store will open Thurs­day, but no more than 10 peo­ple may be in­side the camp­store at a time; and Big Mead­ows Way­side will open Fri­day, but there will be no pre­pared food, the din­ing room is closed, and no more than 10 peo­ple may be in­side at a time.


David Bal­lam pre­pared to lock the gate into a camp­ground in Prince William For­est Park on Tues­day, fol­low­ing U.S. Park Ser­vice pol­icy to help pre­vent the spread of COVID-19.


This bath­room in Prince William For­est Park has been put off lim­its through at least April 30.

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