State parks, national park tighten restrictions on access
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.