Note: Public health recommendations around mitigating the spread of COVID-19 may be subject to change. This content may not reflect the current recommendations. For current recommendations around social distancing and outdoor activity, please check the CDC website.
On the evening of Friday, March 12th, Montgomery and Chester Counties put out notices about park and trail closures that alarmed trail users.
Montgomery County’s Park system was announced as closed, including the Schuylkill River Trail. This caused a flurry of activity on social media, but both counties quickly clarified that while amenities and facilities were closed, the trails were open to bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
Later in the weekend Pennsylvania State Parks and NJ Department of Environmental Protection followed suit. Amazingly, both agencies information releases stressed that trails and roads through the parks remain open. Other Counties have not issued specific closures on their parks although we know that Camden County has suspended issuing event permits in their parks. The trails in Crystal Lake Park, Burlington County are open at this time.
For those looking for information on how to be safe, and what to believe, here is a video with some expert advice from USA Cycling:
As far as the Circuit Trails of Southeastern Pennsylvania, as of March 17th, this is what we know:
- Most park amenities including gated parking facilities, rest room facilities and campgrounds are closed.
- All trails are open for passive recreation.
- Waterways are open for fishing.
- Organized events are postponed or cancelled.
Kudos to our our State Officials Cindy Adams Dunn at DCNR PA and Olivia Glenn at NJ DEP in NJ.
And thanks to the Chester and Montgomery County Commissioners for realizing the values of trails for health, recreation and transportation.
Video – At the Montgomery County, PA Covid-19 press conference on 3/13, Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh stated: “Our trails are open, and you can actually get on our trail system. Get some fresh air, enjoy the sunshine. It is a wonderful way to deal with stress of this time. So please feel free to get out and use our trails” (Starts at 9:49)