These national and state parks are closed amid coronavirus outbreak

These national and state parks are closed amid coronavirus outbreak

As the nation makes drastic changes to everyday life to slow the spread of the coronavirus, many national and state parks are closing to the public.

The closures come as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintain social distancing guidelines and a growing number of states impose shutdowns of nonessential businesses.

The National Park Service has closed at least 15 park sites and modified operations at many others. Modifications include closing restrooms and visitor centers or allowing only hiking areas and trails to remain open.

Medical experts say outdoor activities such as hiking, jogging and bike riding at parks are safe as long as you're not doing it in groups. The CDC advises people to stay 6 feet away from others to avoid possible infection.

National and state parks that have closed because of the pandemic include the following, though visitors should check individual park websites before trying to visit:

National park sites

Glacier National Park in Montana closed on March 27 to all visitors until further notice. Only U.S. Highway 2 inside the park boundary remains open.Arches National Park in Utah closed to all public access on March 28. All vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians are prohibited from entering any park areas, including the campground, trails, backcountry areas and roads. Canyonlands National Park in Utah closed to all visitors on March 28 until further notice.The Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced it would close March 24 through April 6.Fort Pulaski National Monument in Savannah, Georgia, is closed until further notice.Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is closed to visitors until further notice. Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is closed until further notice. The Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island in New York are temporarily closed.Yosemite National Park campgrounds in California are closed through March 31.Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Hawaii is temporarily closed. Joshua Tree National Park in California has closed its visitor center, campgrounds, as well as its roads to all vehicle traffic. Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument in New Mexico is closed until further notice.Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego is closed through April 10. Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia is closed until further notice.Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas closed its buildings and visitor center until further notice.The southernmost section of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina is closed to the public.Yellowstone National Park, which stretches through Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, is closed to all visitors until further notice. Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming is closed until further notice.

Florida

All 175 state parks in Florida will be closed indefinitely beginning March 23.

Oregon

All state parks in Oregon are closed effective March 23.

North Carolina

Several state parks in North Carolina including Crowders Mountain, Lake Waccamaw, Hanging Rock, Raven Rock, Fort Macon and Fort Fisher State Recreation Area are closed until further notice.

California

California State Parks have temporarily closed all campgrounds.

Illinois

All Illinois state parks and wildlife areas are temporarily closed. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources said it will work with governor's office and the state Department of Public Health to determine when parks should reopen.

Pennsylvania

Facilities at all state parks, including visitor centers, restrooms and campgrounds, will be closed until March 31. Trails, lakes and roads will be remain open to the public.

New Mexico

All New Mexico state parks will be closed through April 9.

Washington

All state park campgrounds are closed through April 30.

South Carolina

State parks will close for day use March 25 and March 26 to allow staff time to make decisions on how to maintain the park and keep employees safe. The state is still allowing visitors with camping reservations to check in.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/experience/america/national-parks/2020/03/23/coronavirus-national-parks-state-parks-close-amid-outbreak/2898763001/

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