GLEN JEAN, WV (WOAY) – Park Superintendent Lizzie Watts announced that the National Park Service (NPS) will be temporarily closing campgrounds and restrooms in all areas of New River Gorge National River, Gauley River National Recreation Area, and Bluestone National Scenic River in response to COVID-19. Closures will begin at 12:00 pm, Tuesday, March 31. Hiking trails and river accesses will remain open.
“We will continue to monitor state and local situations as we assess and modify our operations in response to the latest federal, state, and local health guidance,” stated Watts. The park previously closed the Canyon Rim Visitor Center in response to guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local and state authority guidelines to promote social distancing.
The NPS encourages people who choose to visit the three parks during this pandemic to follow guidelines from the CDC, and state and local public health authorities to protect themselves and park employees.
“While the park remains open for use,” said Watts, “Services are limited, and we would ask your help in practicing Leave No Trace principles,” Watts suggested that visitors plan on packing out trash and using restroom facilities prior to visiting the park.
“We are working closely with federal, state, and local authorities to monitor COVID-19 and will notify the public when we resume full operations,” she added.
Park updates and closures can be found on the park website at nps.gov/neri and on Facebook and Twitter.