Tennessee state parks to reopen Friday

Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) –Tennessee will reopen most of its 56 state parks on Friday for day-use only.

Specific details on which parks will reopen will be available on tnstateparks.com later this week.

“We are eager to serve once again but we urge Tennesseans to continue to practice physical distancing when visiting parks,” said Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. “We have implemented policies designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we will monitor all aspects of the issue to ensure safety among visitors and our staff.”

When considering a visit, the state “encourages” the following:

  • Stay at home if you are sick or do not feel well.
  • Maintain at least six feet of distance between you and other visitors.
  • Visit parks that are only a short distance from your home.
  • Consider visiting earlier in the day so you can adjust plans if a park is full. Tennessee State Parks may limit access to certain parks or areas if capacity is reached.
  • Plan ahead. Many Tennessee State Parks buildings will be closed. Plan to bring your own snacks, water and hand sanitizer.
  • Prepare for limited or no bathroom access. Some restrooms remain open, but many will not.
  • Consider bringing a mask and wearing it when around other people.
  • Carry your trash with you or dispose of it in the appropriate containers to help keep our cleaning staff safe and our parks litter-free.

Overcrowding may cause entire parks or portions of parks to close again.

Facilities and gathering areas, including pavilions and playgrounds, will remain closed. Cabins, lodges, restaurants, campgrounds, and group camps remain closed. For up-to-date information on park closure please visit www.tnstateparks.com.

Emory Gap Falls is framed by trees among the headwaters of Flat Fork Creek in Frozen Head State Park outside Wartburg, Tenn. on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Plunging 25 feet, Emory Gap Falls drops more than twice the distance of DeBord Falls, and is a short detour off the Panther Branch Trail. (AP Photo/Knoxville News Sentinel, Adam Lau)

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