All public facilities at Pennsylvania's state parks and forests will be closed through the end of April to help slow the spread of COVID-19, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said Monday.
Access trails, lakes, forests, roads, and parking areas for hiking are open the public.
The shutdown covers campgrounds, cabins and all overnight accommodations. Anyone with reservations in this time period will be contacted, and full refunds will be made, according to a release from DCNR.
“During the past week we’ve seen many people hiking trails and heading to the outdoors as a way to get exercise and relieve stress,” Dunn said. “We remind everyone that it’s OK to go outside, but we should still be practicing social distancing to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“This means we should spread out for outdoor activities – if you visit a public place and the parking lot or trailhead is crowded, try another spot, or head back to your neighborhood to take a walk if that’s possible,” Dunn said.
Closed DCNR facilities include:
- Park and forest offices and visitor centers
- Campgrounds, cabins and all forms of overnight accommodations
- All reservable facilities
- Public programs, events, and trainings are canceled through April 30
Visitors can help keep state parks and forest lands safe and clean by following these practices:
- Avoid crowded parking lots and trailheads
- Use the bathroom before you visit
- Bring a bag and carry out your trash
- Clean up after pets
- Avoid activities that put you at greater risk of injury, as there is limited staff to assist
Information about state parks and forests is available on the DCNR website.