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DCNR moves to open state park swimming beaches, pools

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Today, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced a phased opening of all state park swimming beaches and some pools in keeping with Gov. Wolf’s direction to ensure Pennsylvanians have opportunities to safely enjoy outdoor recreation and help maintain positive physical and mental health. Effective June 6, all 58 state park beaches will be open to swimming. State park pools will remain closed through at least June 12, with most in designated yellow and green counties reopening June 13.

Capacity at beaches and pools will be limited to 50 percent of the normal facility capacity, the secretary noted. Mitigation measures will be in place, including restricting visitor parking, controlling facility access, social distancing and the wearing of face masks when not in the water. All CDC guidance remains in effect.

DCNR is following Gov. Wolf’s plan and process for reopening Pennsylvania using red, yellow and green colors to outline restrictions in place for that county. Regardless of any county color designation, all state parks and forests now have at least one restroom open to the public in day-use areas and in marinas statewide. Additional cleaning protocols are in place to help protect park and forest visitors.

In addition, the public can still access DCNR trails, lakes, rivers, streams, forests, roads, and parking areas statewide for recreation. All nine marinas in state parks are open. Shoreline mooring sites at all state parks also are open.

Boat concessions (which are privately operated) in red counties will remain closed. Boat concessions in yellow counties are permitted to be open, but in some cases are not. State parks should be called directly for more information about marinas and boat concessions.

Except for one restroom in each day-use area, all state park and forest facilities in the red phase will remain closed until changes are made consistent with Wolf’s guidelines for reopening. All picnic pavilion reservations, playgrounds, nature play areas, interpretive centers, amphitheaters, and group camping facilities statewide will remain closed until further notice. All programs, events, and large gatherings at state parks and forests in counties that are designated red are canceled through June 15. In counties designated yellow, any events with more than 25 people will be canceled. If the event is under 25 people and outdoors it will be allowed to occur, however any indoor events will be canceled.

Picnic tables in state parks are dispersed to allow room to spread out and avoid crowds. Campsites and cabins should only be used by members living in the same household as part of COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

Information about state parks and forests is available on the DCNR website. Updates also are being provided on DCNR’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.


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