Coronavirus/COVID-19News

Blue Ridge Parkway Increases Recreational Access to Additional Areas in NC and VA

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(Asheville, NC) – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Blue Ridge Parkway is increasing recreational access at many park picnic areas and restrooms. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Beginning June 13, 2020, the Blue Ridge Parkway will reopen access to Picnic Areas, including restroom facilities, at the following locations:   

Virginia: 

  • Humpback Rocks Picnic Area, Milepost 8.5 
  • James River Picnic Area, Milepost 63.6 
  • Peaks of Otter Picnic Area, Milepost 85.9 

North Carolina: 

  • Cumberland Knob Picnic Area, Milepost 217.5 
  • Doughton Park Picnic Area, Milepost 241.1 
  • Jeffress Park Picnic Area, Milepost 271.9 
  • Price Park Picnic Area, Milepost 296.4 
  • Linville Falls Picnic Area, 316.4 
  • Craggy Gardens Picnic Area, 367.6 (port-o-johns) 
  • Mt. Pisgah Picnic Area, 407.8 

Restrooms or portable toilets are also available at these additional locations:  

Virginia: 

  • Humpback Rocks Visitor Center, Milepost 5.7 
  • James River Visitor Center, Milepost 63 
  • Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, Milepost 85.9 
  • Mabry Mill, Milepost 176.2 

North Carolina: 

  • Moses Cone Carriage Barn, Milepost 294 
  • Bass Lake Comfort Station, Milepost 294.6 
  • Price Lake Boat Launch (port-o-johns), Milepost 297.2 
  • Linville Falls Visitor Center (port-o-johns), Milepost 316.4 
  • Craggy Gardens Visitor Center (port-o-johns), Milepost 364.5 
  • Folk Art Center, Milepost 382 
  • Graveyard Fields Trailhead, Milepost 418.8 
  • Waterrock Knob Visitor Center, Milepost 451.2 

 
The following areas continue to be available:     

  • Additional portable toilets may be available at intermittent North Carolina park locations 
  • Select concession operations (additional details available on park website
  • All Parkway trails, and 
  • All other sections of the motor route in North Carolina and Virginia, except for a road closure from Milepost 112.4 to Milepost 135.9, from U.S. Route 24 to Adney Gap, due to multiple road hazards 

With public health in mind or due to maintenance concerns, the following seasonal visitor facilities remain closed: 

  • Campgrounds park-wide 
  • Visitor Center park-wide 
  • Select Picnic Areas in Virginia and North Carolina  

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Blue Ridge Parkway, the operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance, and will be regularly monitored. The parks continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.    
 
While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full  operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders in North Carolina and Virginia, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.  

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.    

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on our website at www.nps.gov/blri and social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.  

www.nps.gov 

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