Virginia Campgrounds prepare to reopen

Virginia Campgrounds prepare to reopen
Natural Bridge became a State Park in 2016.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Virginians ready to pitch a tent and experience the great outdoors will soon be able to do just that.

During Friday’s COVID-19 briefing, Governor Ralph Northam announced overnight use of state parks is part of the phase one reopening. Parks plan to open May 22 for Memorial Day weekend. State parks have been open for day use.

Visitors should check individual park website before visiting, as specifics vary park to park. More information is available from the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

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Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Release May 8, 2020

Virginia State Parks set goal to reopen campgrounds May 22

RICHMOND —Virginia State Parks are working toward a goal to reopen campgrounds for Memorial Day Weekend. The announcement to allow for the opening of campgrounds came Friday during Governor Northam’s press conference as part of the state’s phase one reopening strategy.

Governor Northam announced that while state parks continue to be open for day use, overnight facilities will open following a phased approach beginning with park campgrounds.

Guests should check the individual park’s website before their visit for the latest updates.

Guests who had a camping reservation canceled with a check-in before May 21 and with a check-out after May 22 will have the portion of their stay after May 21 automatically rescheduled. Those who would like to stay during the available portion of their reservation must update their check-in and payment option.

Guests who have camping reservations beginning May 22 and later do not need to take any action. Those reservations are still scheduled.

The fastest way to update reservation information is to visit www.reserveamerica.com and follow the prompts on the website. Guests may also call the reservation center at 800-933-7275, but please be aware our customer service representatives are working at capacity and wait times will be longer than usual.

No new reservations will be accepted through May 13 and at this time all other overnight facilities will remain closed including cabins, lodges and group campgrounds.

All other reservations between now and May 22 have been canceled and refunds have been automatically distributed through our customer service center.

Restrooms and campground bathhouses will open beginning May 21. Other park facilities, including camp stores, museums, picnic shelters and visitor centers, will remain closed.

"It’s with an abundance of caution that we take this step toward becoming fully operational. The safety of our guests and staff remain our highest priority,” said Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Director Clyde E. Cristman. “Thank you to our park visitors for continuing to adhere to social distancing guidelines and limiting group gatherings to 10 or fewer."

“This public health emergency has affected nearly every aspect of how we operate” said Virginia State Parks Director Melissa Baker. “While we work to safely navigate through the weeks ahead, we are happy to open more of our facilities to the public who will benefit from the increased access to the natural and historical resources the parks provide.”

“It remains very important that guests check the individual park’s website before their visit to get the latest park updates,” Baker added.

For the most up-to-date information regarding available recreational opportunities at Virginia State Parks, visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/covid-19-update.