The spread of the coronavirus continues to change the way local, state and national parks are operating.

Fredericksburg’s recreation department noted that while its parks and trails are still open, the city has now closed outdoor recreation facilities. That includes pickleball, tennis and basketball courts, the new outdoor hockey rink and city playgrounds.

In parks and on the trails that remain open, the city is posting signs reminding everyone to please observe the CDC recommendations for limiting congregating to fewer than 10 people and to continue to maintain a 6-foot distance from other people.

Virginia state parks are still open for day-use activities, but overnight facilities and restrooms will be closed through April 30. The closure includes all cabins, campgrounds, camping cabins and yurts, as well as restrooms and bathhouses.

All visitor centers and other indoor facilities are closed to the public, and gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. These restrictions will be enforced by park staff.

State parks officials ask users to stay close to their homes and to keep visits short. Visitors are advised to bring their own soap and sanitizer to use. All in-person programs are canceled.

At Shenandoah National Park, all restrooms are now closed, and the backcountry is closed to overnight camping through April 30. There is no overnight camping in the park at this time.

Appalachian Trail huts, shelters, and cabins are closed. The Old Rag and Whiteoak–Cedar Run circuit hikes are closed.

All other park-operated facilities are closed, including visitor centers.

Lewis Mountain Cabins and camp store are open with new restrictions: No more than 10 people may be inside the camp store at a time.

Big Meadows Wayside will open Friday with new restrictions: no prepared food, dining room is closed, no more than 10 people may be inside at a time.

Outdoor spaces at Shenandoah National Park remain accessible to the public in accordance with the latest federal, state, and local health guidance. Entry fees have been waived.

Rob Hedelt: 540/374-5415

rhedelt@freelancestar.com

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