In response to county and state health guidance in North Carolina and Virginia to slow the spread of COVID-19, Blue Ridge Parkway managers announced on April 1 that planned seasonal facility openings and operations originally scheduled to open between before May 1 are now postponed until further notice.
Park trails and the Blue Ridge Parkway motor road remain accessible to the public in accordance with the latest federal, state and local health guidance, where not otherwise closed.
In addition to previously announced closures, the following services and operations are postponed:
- Milepost 63.6: James River Picnic Area
- Milepost 294: Moses Cone Manor House and Craft Center
- Milepost 296.9: Price Park Campground and Picnic Area
- Milepost 316.4: Linville Falls Campground and Picnic Area
- Milepost 364.5: Craggy Gardens Visitor Center
- Milepost 451.2: Waterrock Knob Visitor Center
- All backcountry campsites, including sites at CCC Camp (Rock Castle Gorge, Milepost 167.1), Basin Cove (Bluffs North and South, Milepost 244.7) and John’s River Road (Milepost 296.9) are now closed.
On March 23, the Blue Ridge Parkway, a part of the National Park Service, announced that all public restroom facilities were closed to the public. The following day, the southernmost 14 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway — from Milepost 455 to 469 — were closed in coordination with travel restrictions in place from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Great Smoky Mountains Park, according to Blue Ridge Parkway officials.
A full list of current closures is available on the park website at nps.gov/blri. Decisions regarding future planned seasonal facility openings are pending.
"The NPS encourages people who choose to visit the Blue Ridge Parkway during this pandemic to strictly adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities, to protect visitors and employees," the National Park Service stated. "Visitors are reminded to maintain social distance, plan visits at times other than busiest of the day and find alternate locations to experience the park away from crowded trailheads or overlooks."
The organization also urged visitors to continue to practice "Leave No Trace" principles, which includes pack-in and pack-out actions to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy.