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North Carolina closes 25 state parks to promote social distancing

Dozens of North Carolina's state parks are closing as the statewide stay-at-home order takes effect.

Posted Updated

Joe Fisher
, WRAL reporter

Dozens of North Carolina's state parks are closing as the statewide stay-at-home order takes effect.

Under Gov. Roy Cooper's order, which goes into effect at 5 p.m., people are still allowed to enjoy trails and greenways as long as they practice social distancing.

However, North Carolina has already closed 25 parks because of continued overcrowding that made social distancing almost impossible, and the public is barred from using those parks.

On Sunday, closures were announced at Cliffs Of Neuse State Park in Wayne County and Carvers Creek in Cumberland County.

Over the weekend, many people arrived at the trails at William B. Umstead State Park and Eno River to find “closed” signs at the entrance. As of Monday morning, the following North Carolina parks were closed:

  • Carvers Creek State Park
  • Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park (Eagle Rock and Rumbling Bald accesses are open)
  • Cliffs of the Neuse State Park
  • Crowders Mountain State Park
  • Elk Knob State Park
  • Eno River State Park
  • Falls Lake State Recreation Area
  • Fort Fisher State Recreation Area
  • Fort Macon State Park
  • Gorges State Park
  • Grandfather Mountain State Park
  • Hanging Rock State Park
  • Lake James State Park
  • Lake Waccamaw State Park
  • Lumber River State Park
  • Morrow Mountain State Park
  • Mount Jefferson State Natural Area
  • Mount Mitchell State Park
  • New River State Park
  • Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area
  • Pilot Mountain State Park
  • Raven Rock State Park
  • South Mountains State Park
  • Stone Mountain State Park
  • William B. Umstead State Park
For the most up-to-date list of closings, visit the state parks website.

Although the governor’s order allows running, biking, golfing and other outdoor recreation as long as people are keeping six feet of distance, some parks were closed to protect the community.

Even parks staying open have restricted some areas – like picnic shelters – and all visitor centers and restrooms are closed. National parks are closing too, including Yellowstone, Grand Teton and the Great Smoky Mountains.


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