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Assateague Island National Seashore increasing recreational access to beaches, nature trails

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Posted at 9:53 AM, May 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-17 09:53:28-04

BERLIN, Md. — Assateague Island National Seashore is increasing recreational access to beaches and nature trails.

The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to gradually increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Beginning Sunday at 9:30 a.m., Assateague Island National Seashore will restore access to:

  • Recreational beaches, parking areas and restrooms at North Beach, South Beach, Ferry Landing and Bayside Peninsula
  • The Maryland District Over Sand Vehicle Zone (OSV): Valid OSV permits are required. OSV permit sales will be available at the Maryland District visitor contact/ranger station. For more information visit: https://www.nps.gov/asis/planyourvisit/osv.htm
  • Nature trails in the Maryland District

With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:

  • Assateague Island National Seashore Visitor Center in the Maryland District and the Toms Cove Visitor Center in the Virginia District
  • All front country and backcountry campgrounds

While most outdoor areas will be accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased in and visitor services will be limited.

When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, maximize physical distance from each other, avoid crowding in all areas, limit gatherings to less than 10 individuals and practice Leave No Trace principles.

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Sick or vulnerable individuals should stay home. They will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.