(WFXR) – The seasonal facility openings for visitor centers, picnic areas, and campgrounds in the Blue Ridge Parkway have been delayed and park operations have been modified in response to public health measures in both Virginia and North Carolina.
In addition to previously announced closures — which can be found on the park website — Blue Ridge Parkway managers announced on Wednesday, April 1 the following services and operations that were originally scheduled to open by May 1 have been postponed until further notice:
- Milepost 63.6 – James River Picnic Area
- Milepost 294 – Moses Cone Manor House and Craft Center
- Milepost 296.9 – Price Park Campground and Picnic Area
- Milepost 316.4 – Linville Falls Campground and Picnic Area
- Milepost 364.5 – Craggy Gardens Visitor Center
- Milepost 451.2 – Waterrock Knob Visitor Center
Furthermore, all back-country campsites are now closed, which includes sites at CCC Camp (Rock Castle Gorge, Milepost 167.1), Basin Cove (Bluffs North and South, Milepost 244.7), and John’s River Road (Milepost 296.9).
Decisions regarding future planned seasonal facility openings are still pending, park officials say. However, park trails and the Blue Ridge Parkway motor road not otherwise closed will remain accessible to the public in accordance with the latest federal, state, and local health guidance.
The National Park Service (NPS) encourages those visiting Blue Ridge Parkway during the coronavirus pandemic to follow the guidelines from the CDC and state and local public health authorities. Visitors are asked to practice social distancing, plan visits during the less busy times of the day, and find alternate paths away from crowded trails or overlooks. In addition, with services limited, the NPS urges visitors to continue practicing Leave No Trace principles — such as pack-in and pack-out — to keep the park’s outdoor spaces safe and healthy.
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