West Virginia state park and forest campgrounds, as well as the scenic overlooks at Coopers Rock and Blackwater Falls, have been closed, according to Governor Jim Justice.
The closure of scenic overlooks at Coopers Rock and Blackwater Falls is due to these areas being heavily trafficked and among the first stops across the state parks system to draw crowds.
West Virginia's state parks and forests otherwise remain open for recreational use, such as hiking, but visitors are reminded to avoid crowded areas and leave no trace following their outdoor adventures.
"State park and forest facilities may be closed, but trails remain open and we want to remind folks that they need to properly dispose of waste by packing it in and pack it out," said West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Director Stephen McDaniel. "West Virginia's state parks and forests provide a much-needed escape at this time, and picking up after yourself helps ensure they stay clean for everyone to enjoy."
Due to an influx of visitors over the weekend, West Virginia state parks officials also want to remind guests that most facilities, including restrooms, remain closed at the recommendation of state health officials. As such, arrangements should be made to remove all trash, waste and personal belongings before leaving a park or forest.
Park guests are encouraged to continue practicing public distancing by avoiding crowded trails and public spaces. To stay up to date on state park facility closures and service changes, visit wvstateparks.com/travel-alert.
West Virginia’s state parks and forests are the vacation destination of choice for more than 7 million people each year. Made up of 35 parks, 9 forests and two rail-trails, the West Virginia State Parks system provides endless opportunities for family fun and adventure.
West Virginia State Parks is managed by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, a division of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.