It is Not Safe to Congregate at Parks and Compromise Physical Distancing
SACRAMENTO, Calif.— In preparation for one of the busiest weekends in spring, California State Parks is advising the public to stay home and save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of visiting parks and beaches, the department encourages all Californians who celebrate Passover and Easter to do so safely at home or join loved ones virtually. More than ever this weekend, staying home is critical to the safety of individuals, families, communities and all who take care of parks during this pandemic.
For more than 150 years, state parks have served as safe places for people to celebrate traditions. Unfortunately, during these trying times of COVID-19, many state parks and beaches have experienced visitation surges that make it impossible for the public to implement physical distancing of 6 feet from others. As a result, a number of parks and beaches have been temporarily closed to the public until further notice and others are temporarily closing for the spring traditions.
Here are the latest temporary full closures:
Monterey County (Effective sunset April 10 until further notice)
- Andrew Molera State Park (SP)
- Garrapata SP
- Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP
- Pfeiffer Big Sur SP
- Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Santa Cruz County (Effective April 8 – April 15; Longer if deemed necessary)
- Big Basin Redwoods SP
- Castle Rock SP
- Forest of Nisene Marks SP
- Henry Cowell Redwoods SP
- Lighthouse Field State Beach (SB)
- Manresa SB
- Natural Bridges SB
- New Brighton SB
- Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park
- Seacliff SB
- Sunset SB
- Twin Lakes SB
- Wilder Ranch SP
Safety measures implemented (to date)
To date, State Parks has temporarily closed some parks fully, meaning all vehicular access, trails and restrooms within these parks are closed. It also has closed vehicular access at all parks, including for off-highway vehicles and recreational boats; closed all campgrounds, museums and visitor centers; and cancelled all events. Some parks with vehicular closures remain open for locals provided they practice safe, physical distancing of 6 feet or more and are visiting parks near their primary residences. Road trips to destination parks and beaches are strongly discouraged at this time.
As California continues to issue guidance on preparing and protecting Californians from COVID-19, State Parks is monitoring the situation closely and is following guidance provided by the Governor’s Office via the California Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
The department is also working closely with local county and public health officials, and assessing park operations on a daily basis to provide access to healthy outdoor options while emphasizing the need for safe, physical distancing. State Parks understands that local agencies each have unique operational considerations and strategies. As such, the department is partnering with locals to align park operations and help the public understand and comply with directives from local public health authorities.
State Parks has developed a one-stop resource center – www.parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve — to find park safety and closure information, and messaging and graphics from the “Flatten the COVID-19 Curve at Parks” social media awareness campaign. Please check this webpage regularly, as it will be updated with new information as it becomes available.
California State Parks is urging everyone to stay home, save lives.
California State Parks and the recreational programs supported by its divisions of Boating and Waterways, Historic Preservation and Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation provide the opportunity for families, friends, and communities to connect. Off-highway motor vehicle recreation, boating activities, horseback riding, cycling, hiking, camping, rock climbing, tours, hikes, school group enrichment, and special events are just some of the activities enjoyed in 280 park units organized into 21 field districts throughout the state. Learn more at www.parks.ca.gov.