Governor Phil Murphy, New Jersey recently signed Executive Order No. 133, re-opened state parks and golf courses and retained county government power to decide if county parks are either open or closed. The order came into force on Saturday, 2 May, according to the National Park Service (NPS). “We understand New Jerseyans want to get outside, and have fresh air as the weather warms,” Governor Murphy said. “It should not, however, be an open invitation to move back into normality and destroy the social dissociation steps that we have introduced. This will also put New Jersey in line with our neighboring states, which prohibit people from crossing state lines for recreational purposes. “The order requires forests and state parks to be accessible to the public, including boating, canoeing, fishing, hunting, horse-riding, foot-running, horse-riding and biking. Many amenities such as picnic areas, playgrounds, pavilions, toilets and other building facilities will be closed until further notice.
The Buffalo National River is also among the latest to announce the resumption of visitor access for day-trip recreation. Starting from 15 May, access will only be restored for private and commercial floaters, including all waterfront entry points, all park boundary trails (except the Lost Valley Trail) and restricted toilet facilities. Park personnel will provide trailways and access points to the river to ensure traffic control and guidance on social distance.
The National Scenic Riverways Ozark, which will enhance leisure access from 9 May, and the Gulf Islands National Seaside, as well as the National Parks of Everglade, Bryce Canyon and Great Smoky Mountains from 9 May, are also parks which have declared progressive openings. Denali National Park opened a Denali Park Road section last month with plans to proceed in stages.