News: COVID-19 Users Guide to Parks
While indoor spaces and restrooms may be closed to prevent community spread of COVID-19, parks, grounds, forests, and trails are open during daylight hours, seven days a week. Getting outdoors to walk, jog, hike, ride a bicycle, or visit a park or state lands is a healthy way to stay active, spend time with your immediate household family members, and reduce stress and anxiety while practicing physical distancing.
While enjoying outdoor spaces, please continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/State Department of Health (DOH) guidelines for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19:
- Stay home if you are sick, or showing or feeling any COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, coughing, and/or troubled breathing;
- Practice social distancing by keeping at least six (6) feet of distance between yourself and others, even when outdoors;
- Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, or high-fives;
- Wash hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available; and
- Avoid unnecessary contact with surfaces that are often touched, such as doorknobs and handrails.
DEC and State Parks also encourage visitors to State Parks, State Lands, and other parks to:
If you are sick or have had contact with someone who is sick in the last 14 days:
- Stay local and keep visits short;
- Visit in small groups limited to immediate household members;
- Maintain distance from others while in places where people tend to congregate, such as parking lots, trailheads, and scenic overlooks;
- Avoid games and activities that require close contact, such as basketball, football, or soccer;
- Avoid playground equipment like slides and swings and other frequently touched surfaces;
- Do not share equipment, such as bicycles, helmets, balls, or Frisbees;
- If you arrive at a park and crowds are forming, choose a different park, a different trail, or return another time/day to visit; and
- If parking lots are full, please do not park along roadsides or other undesignated areas. To protect your safety and that of others, please choose a different area to visit, or return another time or day when parking is available.
If you are over 70 or have a compromised immune system:
- Stay home; and
- Spend time in the backyard or other personal outdoor space. Do not visit public outdoor spaces.
Face Coverings: For the safety of all visitors, please wear a face covering when you cannot maintain social distance.
- Avoid visiting outdoor public spaces;
- Remain indoors or spend time in the backyard or other personal outdoor space;
- Pre-screen visitors by taking their temperature from a safe social distance; and
- Require visitors to wear masks, if available.
Playgrounds, Athletic Courts and Sporting Fields: All State Park playgrounds, athletic courts, and sporting fields are CLOSED.
Restrooms: Most indoor spaces - visitor centers, nature centers, and historic houses are closed. Most public restrooms remain closed and visitors/park users should plan accordingly.
For more information specific to North Tonawanda Programs & Facilities click here