State parks around Arkansas remain open during the coronavirus pandemic, providing a place of respite for those who have been cooped up in their homes. Offering a wide range of activities, including hiking, fishing, nature watching and more, the Arkansas State Parks can give weary people a chance to get outside and gain some exercise.
However, park officials are cautioning park visitors to take precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus by using social distancing methods. Because the parks will have limited services, officials are asking visitors to be conscientious of abiding by park regulations and to use common sense measures while enjoying their stay.
The Arkansas State Parks Department has issued a set of tips for visitors when they visit trails and parks. These tips list the range of safe activities that are available in the parks and recommendations for what people can do to avoid coronavirus.
See the tips below:
- Practice Social Distancing!
- Do not hold social gatherings at parks or anywhere.
- Stay 6 feet away from people you do not live with. Share the trail and yield to others to maintain a safe distance.
- Choose less frequented parks and trails. Do not park in a crowded parking lot or use a crowded trail.
- During this crisis, some parks and trails are open for safe activities solo or with people living in the same household.
- Examples of safe activities to do solo or with people living in the same household:
- Birding and wildlife watch
- Frisbee/catch/kicking a ball
- Sit under a tree, read, write, listen to music, draw
2. Stay Safe in the Parks!
- Do not visit parks that are closed.
- Do not use water fountains or playgrounds.
- If the parking lot is full, pick a different park. Do not park on the side of the road near the entrance; in most places this is illegal and you may be ticketed or towed.
- Many restrooms and facilities are closed; plan ahead before leaving home.
- Don’t stay long – give others the opportunity to have a safe experience.
- Stay at home if you or others in your household are sick.
- Keep your dog on a leash. Treat your dog as a family member by keeping them distanced from others and other dogs. Clean up after your pet.
- Leave no trace: pack out what you pack in because garbage collection is limited.