COVID-19 Update: Which National & Local Parks Are Still Open?

April 1, 2020

You might start to be getting stir crazy if you are in quarantine or social distancing yourself from others. This new normal is not only impacting our day to day lives, but it’s also impacting our national and local parks. In this article, you’ll learn which parks are still open and any updates about other national parks.

The closures of many of our local and national parks are due to protecting the staff and visitors from Coronavirus (COVID-19). State and local agencies are working together to follow the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines by flattening the curve of the virus. Above all, please do not visit the parks if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

Florida Park Status from COVID-19:

The following parks are CLOSED until further notice:

  • Biscayne, open water access still allowed
  • Canaveral National Seashore
  • Castilla de San Marcos
  • Everglades, open water access still allowed
  • Fort Matanzas
  • Timucuan Preserve
  • Gulf Islands National Seashore, only the north side of Naval Live Oaks remains open
  • Lake Okeechobee
  • All visitor centers
  • Cross Florida Greenway
  • Apalachicola National Forest which includes Camel Lake, Hickory Boat Ramp, Leon Sinks, Prospect Bluff, Silver Lake, Springhill OHV, Trout Pond and Wright Lake
  • Osceola National Forest which includes Hog Pen Landing, Ocean Pond, Olustee Beach, Olustee Battlefield Trail and The Landing
  • Ocala National Forest which includes Alexander Run, Juniper Run as well as all boat ramps, campgrounds and recreation areas
  • Mostly all campsites, beaches and places with large public gatherings are closed
  • All state parks are closed, trails in general, remain open

The following parks are OPEN (for now):

  • Big Cypress
  • DeSoto National Memorial
  • Dry Tortugas (Fort Jefferson), open water access still allowed
  • Florida National Scenic Trail, portions of the trail have been closed
  • Reynoldsville Landing
  • Cypress Pond Park
  • Dresser Landing
  • Crystal River boat ramp only
  • All county parks in Jackson (Marianna), Santa Rosa, Wakulla, and Bay (Panama City) remain open
  • Trails appear to remain open unless accessed through a closed recreation area

Florida Updates:

The FTA, Florida Trail Association, is strongly recommending that the public cease backpacking on the Florida Trail, including section hiking and thru-hiking. The ATC, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, also is encouraging people to refrain from using the Appalachian Trail.

The FTA also had made the tough decision to cancel and/or postpone all in-person events, including activity hikes, trail maintenance, and chapter meetings until May. To our fellow hikers, we understand this is discouraging but remember this is only a temporary pause. Turn your hike into playtime with your children or pets in your backyard.

National Updates: 

In New York City, Prospect Park in Brooklyn remained as crowded as it was over the summer weekend. Unfortunately, this prompted police officers to circle the park and announce over loudspeakers that runners and cyclists should stay away. In fact, the health department of the village was asked to close all parks for everyone.

The National Parks Service closed three of the park’s most popular trails to protect people and their families from the virus. The move to protect visitors is the latest in a series of decisions to keep national parks open that have drawn sharp criticism.

The National Park Service also closed parts of Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion and the Grand Canyon, while many other parks in the United States remain opened or partially opened.

In the remaining open national parks, parking fees are waived until further notice, so that you can visit the parks free of charge. Check out our notification list below for each national park to see what is still open and check back for updates here.

State Parks Open for Hiking:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina – limited
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Arizona
  • California – limited
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Wyoming
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • South Dakota
  • Wisconsin
  • Kansas
  • Iowa
  • Indiana
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Maine – limited
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire – limited
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Alaska

State Parks Open for Camping:

  • Delaware
  • Vermont – seasonal opening is expected
  • Indiana – reservation only
  • Iowa – limited
  • Kansas
  • Nebraska
  • South Dakota
  • Arizona
  • Idaho
  • Alabama
  • Texas – limited
  • Oklahoma – limited
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi – RVs only
  • Alaska

For more national wide national park updates, click here.

While some parks remain sparse from humans, others are as wild as ever. Most important, please do your part to flatten the curve and to avoid areas that hold a high number of people. Until COVID-19 is behind us, we suggest taking advantage of the open parks and trails to stay healthy.

Remember, Bill Jacksons will remain open for curbside pickup only, however, we limited access to the store. Plus, the gun range has been closed until further notice during this difficult time.