Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced that all facilities at state park and forests in Pennsylvania will be closed for 14 days effective Tuesday, March 17, to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The public will still be able to access trails, lakes, forests, roads, and parking areas for passive and dispersed recreation, such as hiking.
“People will have access to state-owned open spaces to continue to enjoy the healthful benefits of recreation and being outdoors,” Dunn said.
“However, as part of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts, all of the buildings at state parks and forests including the park and forest offices, and all restrooms will be closed, and all events and public educational programs are canceled.”
“We encourage practicing social distancing while enjoying open spaces including avoiding groups and crowds, and visitors should use the bathroom before they leave home,” Dunn said.
Closed facilities include:
- Park and forest offices and visitor centers
- Campgrounds, cabins, and all forms of overnight accommodations
- Public programs, events, and training’s are canceled
While travel isn’t restricted, the best advice to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home.
To help avoid exposure to COVID-19 and still enjoy the outdoors:
- Adhere to the social spacing guide (minimum 6 feet) between people and don’t recreate in groups
- Take hand sanitizer with you and use it regularly
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, and nose
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow
- If you are sick, stay home
Pennsylvania has 121 state parks, and 20 forest districts, including French Creek State Park and Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center in Berks County.