NEWS RELEASE: (Asheville, NC) – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Blue Ridge Parkway is increasing recreational access at campgrounds in both Virginia and North Carolina. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
Beginning July 31, 2020, the Blue Ridge Parkway will reopen access to four campgrounds at the
- Peaks of Otter Campground, Milepost 85.9
- Rocky Knob Campground, Milepost 169
- Julian Price Park Campground, Milepost 297
- Linville Falls Campground, Milepost 316.4
Reservations for each location are now available through www.recreation.gov with dates beginning July 31.
The following areas continue to be available:
- Select concession operations (additional details available on park website)
- Picnic Areas
- Select Additional Restrooms
- All Parkway trails, and
- All other sections of the motor route in North Carolina and Virginia, except for a road closure from Milepost 115.5 to Milepost 135.9, from the Explore Park Access Rd. to Adney Gap, due to multiple road hazards
With public health in mind or due to ongoing projects or repairs, the following seasonal visitor facilities remain closed:
- Visitor Centers park-wide
- Otter Creek Campground
- Doughton Park Campground
- Crabtree Falls Campground and Picnic Area
- Mt. Pisgah Campground
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Blue Ridge Parkway, the operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored. The parks continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.
While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders in North Carolina and Virginia, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.
The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.