Harrisburg — Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced Tuesday a phased reopening of more state park and forest facilities.
The move aligns with Gov. Wolf's direction to ensure Pennsylvanians have opportunities to safely enjoy outdoor recreation and help maintain positive physical and mental health.
Dunn also announced that on Tuesday all ATV trails in state forests would be open across Pennsylvania.
Dunn noted this is occurring several days before the start of the normal season - typically the Friday before the Memorial Day holiday - to reduce opening weekend crowding and provide more opportunities for social distancing.
ATV riding is only permitted on designated trails in Pennsylvania state forests. State forest roads, state parks, and state game lands are not open to ATV riding.
The DCNR website has the locations of the 11 ATV trail systems on state forest lands.
In the latest counties announced as yellow May 15, as well as earlier additional counties announced as yellow, park and forest offices will open May 22. Tent and RV camping also will open Friday.
Facilities such as cabins, cottages, lodges, and yurts in most recent rounds of announced yellow counties will open June 12.
In counties first announced as yellow, park and forest district offices and tent and RV camping reopened May 15. Facilities such as cabins, cottages, lodges, and yurts will open June 12.
DCNR is following Wolf's plan and process for reopening Pennsylvania using red, yellow and green colors to outline restrictions in place for that county. The red phase has the most restrictions, which are eased as counties move to yellow and green. DCNR is following this approach to begin opening facilities in counties that are designated as yellow.
Additional cleaning protocols are in place to help protect park and forest visitors.
In addition, the public can still access DCNR trails, lakes, rivers, streams, forests, roads, and parking areas statewide for recreation.
State parks should be called directly for more information about marinas and boat concessions.
Picnic tables in state parks will be dispersed to allow room to spread out and avoid crowds. Campsites and cabins should only be used by members living in the same household as part of COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
Pennsylvania has 6,000 local parks and more than 12,000 miles of trails available (check first to make sure they are open, as some local parks are closed).
Visitors can help keep state parks and forest lands safe by following these practices:
- Avoid crowded parking lots and trailheads.
- Bring a bag and either carry out your trash or dispose of it properly.
- Clean up after pets.
- Avoid activities that put you at greater risk of injury, so you don't require a trip to the emergency room.