As part of “Phase One” of his gradual plan to safely restart parts of the state’s businesses and public facilities affected by the pandemic, Gov. Roy Cooper directed that North Carolina’s state parks begin the process of reopening on May 9.
Most state park trails and restrooms reopened that day, but many other park facilities will remain closed for additional time. Details on a park-by-park basis can be found at the NC Parks website.
Outdoor exercise (while maintaining social distancing) was still allowed under Gov. Cooper’s original stay-at-home order, and many local parks around the state remained open. However, some state parks initially saw a surge in visitor numbers that created dangerous crowding, so those parks were temporarily closed as a pandemic control measure.
State park advocates welcome the careful return of public access to these essential natural resources.