CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – As the number of federal, state and local parks continue to close in the face of Stay at Home orders, more pressure is being put on the ones that remain open.
Here is our park update going into the weekend.
Tennessee Park officials announced the closing of all state facilities this weekend.
“In support of Governor Lee’s Executive Order 23, we have made the difficult decision to close Tennessee State Parks effective April 4, 2020. We appreciate your support and ask that you “Do Your Part. Stay Apart.”
Local officials like the Mayor and the Sheriff in Grundy County have called for the shutdown because of crowding.
That includes Cumberland/Fiery Gizzard, Fall Creek Falls, Hiwassee/Ocoee, Red Clay, Harrison Bay and Booker T. Washington.
Also TVA has now closed the Ocoee River for rafting for a couple of weeks. Rafting companies were just getting ready to launch a new season of whitewater trips.
But TWRA says fishing and hunting are still allowed, including the opening of Turkey season on Satuday.
Many local parks like the Tennessee Riverwalk and Athens city parks are closing their public facilities.
Much to the dismay of some local officials, Georgia is keeping their State Parks open.
But you will face shorter hours and capacity limits.
Dade County officials sent their resolution on Friday to Governor Kemp calling for the closure of Cloudland Canyon State Park on Lookout Mountain.
But County Executive Ted Rumley doesn’t expect to hear from him until Monday.
Dade officials are threatening to post deputies on the county road leading into the park to turn around out-of-town visitors.
Desoto State Park near Mentone remains open.
“Outdoor recreation in Alabama is considered an essential activity in the Order of the State Health Officer that was issued on April 3, 2020. That means outdoors activities such as hunting, fishing, trail use, boating, and paddling can still be enjoyed by all Alabamians as long as groups are kept to less than 10 people and a consistent 6-foot distance between persons can be maintained. Additionally, most Alabama State Parks, including campgrounds and associated facilities, remain open with some exceptions.”
The Little River Canyon National Preserve has closed the Canyon Mouth Park. It is a Federal system park.