State parks will re-open on Friday

Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors but continue to do you part and stay apart. That’s the message from the state’s public parks system after Governor Bill Lee announced on Monday that he’ll allow his Stay at Home order to expire on April 30.

As such, the Tennessee State Park system will re-open this Friday, April 24 with several caveats. One, parks will open for day use only from 7 a.m. to sunset. Overnight accommodations will remain closed until after May 1. Two, visitors will be encouraged to still maintain the CDC recommended six feet of social distance between groups. Gathering areas such as pavilions and playgrounds will remain closed, and three, prepare for very limited or no bathroom access.

“We are eager to serve once again but we urge Tennesseans to continue to practice physical distancing when visiting parks,” Deputy Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Jim Bryson said. “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.”

The parks system also recommends that you limit visits to those parks closest to home. For Moore County residents, that would be Tims Ford in Winchester, Old Stone Fort in Manchester, and South Cumberland in Grundy County.

State officials say they won’t hesitate to re-close the park should visitors choose not to practice appropriate social distancing. If the park you plan to visit is crowded when you arrive, state officials recommend leaving and coming back another time.

“We urge the public to help us keep our state parks open by doing their part to stay apart, by maintaining proper social distancing and personal hygiene,” the state parks system said in a press release.

For information on which parks will re-open and which will remain closed visit the Tennessee State Parks COVID-19 Closures webpage. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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