James Madison’s Montpelier to reopen grounds, gardens, trails

James Madison’s Montpelier to reopen grounds, gardens, trails
(Source: WVIR)

ORANGE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - President James Madison’s Montpelier plans to reopen its outdoor spaces Friday, May 15.

The historic Orange County property will open its gates for people to walk its grounds, gardens, and trails. However, indoor areas will remain closed.

Admission will be free for county residents, and $10 for everyone else for a one-day pass.

Montpelier is encouraging people to buy passes online, to wear face masks, to come in groups no lager than 10, and to stay 10 feet away from other groups.

05/11/2020 Release from James Madison’s Montpelier:

ORANGE, VA - On Friday, May 15, if the office of Governor Northam proceeds with Phase I of easing restrictions on businesses, Montpelier will open its gates and welcome the general public to access and enjoy its grounds. This includes the historical core, Annie duPont Formal and Oriental gardens, Madison family and enslaved community cemeteries, and walking trails, on 2,700 acres. The grounds will be open Thursday-Monday from 9 AM to 4 PM. Orange County residents will be admitted onto the grounds free of charge.

All visitors will enter through the front gate and stop at the gate house to get on property. There are three purchase options for non-Orange County residents to access the grounds during operating hours: (i) $10/car Day Pass for one day; (ii) $35/car Annual Pass for a full year; or (iii) $50 Annual Membership for year-long access to property, access to programming free of charge including virtual tours, invitations to special events, and a 10% discount off online purchases from the Museum Shop. Visitors are strongly encouraged to purchase their passes online before visiting.

"We're delighted to open our gates and welcome our members and the community back onto the grounds," said Roy Young, President and CEO of Montpelier. "We want people to think of Montpelier as a place for recreation, to know that this is a vast space where they can responsibly practice social distancing with enjoyment, and to take advantage of the beautiful historic landscape. Bring your leashed pets, walk our trails in the Landmark and Demonstration forests, and visit the gardens. Montpelier is in full bloom and we want to share it with you."

In order to operate the site in a safe manner, Montpelier asks that groups be no larger than 10 and that visitors stay 10 feet away from those with whom they are not socially distancing. Staff members at the gate house selling passes and handing out site maps, as well as other staff onsite to assist visitors, will wear masks and gloves. Visitors are encouraged to wear masks; however, it is not required. There will be ample signage to remind guests to socially distance and to enjoy the historic area and walking trails.

At present, all indoor spaces, including the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center, the galleries, the house and cellars, the South Yard structures, the archaeology lab, the Gilmore Cabin, and the 1910 Train Depot, will remain closed. No tours or other educational programs, other than existing interpretive signage, will be offered. As Governor Northam's office issues further directives for easing restrictions and phasing in the reopening of Virginia, Montpelier anticipates offering outdoor tours and limited access to the Visitor Center Museum Shop and restrooms. In the meantime, Montpelier is staying virtually open for business by educating, inspiring, and engaging the public with its continuing work, which includes publicly accessible blog posts, websites, podcasts, online courses, webinars, and social media platforms for the public to enjoy. Montpelier encourages parents, students, and teachers to use and share this information as it continues to be a place of education, inspiration, and American history.

For more information and to purchase an entry pass online, please visit our website at www.montpelier.org.

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