Virginia State Parks brace for influx of campers as restrictions loosen


CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — While Virginia State Parks have been open for daily use for some time, they will officially reopen to campers on Thursday.

There are more than 1,800 campsites at Virginia State Parks and they’ll begin to fill up for Memorial Day weekend. Those who want to go camping will notice some changes made to ensure the safety of campers.

Dave Neudeck of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation said the public has been asked to be mindful of others as precautions remain amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re asking our park visitors to, obviously if they are sick if they’re not feeling well, to stay at home,” he said, “in addition still to visit to parks closer to home so they’re not traveling great distances.”

With “Phase One” of the state’s reopening plan underway, campgrounds will reopen May 21. There are already 30 reservations for Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield County. Neudeck went over the safety measures that are in place for the influx of visitors.

“The restrooms, we’re taking additional efforts to keep them clean and sanitary by limiting the number of people in our bathhouses,” Neudeck said. “By cleaning them more often and our staff is also using additional safety measures to protect themselves.”

Neudeck said the campgrounds provide enough room to remain socially distant while enjoying the outdoors.

“The way they’re set up they’re actually naturally socially distant so that park visitors can have that space and be able to enjoy the time and feel safe,” he explained.

Those looking to make a reservation for a campground can do so on the Virginia State Parks’ website.

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