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DEC: 20 campgrounds & day use areas to open June 19

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Wed, Jun 17th 2020 03:00 pm

From the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation:

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced 20 of DEC’s campgrounds in the Adirondack and Catskill parks will open on June 19 for the 2020 season. Three additional campgrounds are slated to open June 26, and additional DEC campgrounds and day use areas will open in the coming weeks as DEC works to safely reopen these facilities to meet guidelines in place to protect staff and visitors from the spread of COVID-19. 

To maintain social distancing and reduce the density of facilities and protect visitors, DEC is not accepting additional reservations or walk-in camping for the 2020 season at this time. Existing reservations will be honored for the DEC campgrounds listed below.

DEC Campgrounds to Open June 19

Adirondack Park Campgrounds and Day Use Areas

Catskill Park Campgrounds and Day Use Areas

Campgrounds to Open June 26:

For information about campgrounds operated by the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, visit https://parks.ny.gov/camping/

Campground Safety

According to the “New York Forward” guidance for the reopening of New York, campgrounds must take precautions to ensure campers maintain appropriate social distancing and adhere to proper cleaning and disinfecting protocols, including but not limited to maintaining 6 feet of distance between campers, unless wearing an acceptable face covering; and excluding persons from the same household who are camping together. Visit Reserve America for details. 

DEC has temporarily stopped issuing permits for backcountry camping for groups of 10 or more. As of June 11, DEC resumed issuing permits for groups of fewer than 10 people who would like to stay for more than three nights at one location on state lands. DEC is also temporarily restricting lean-to use to members of a single household at a time. 

Visiting New York State’s Public Lands During COVID-19 Response

New York is encouraging people to engage in responsible recreation during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. New York State DEC and State Parks recommendations for getting outside safely incorporate guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health for reducing the spread of infectious diseases. 

While enjoying outdoor spaces, the state advised guests continue to follow the CDC/NYSDOH's 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. Keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and others even when outdoors;
  • Wear a mask when you cannot maintain social distancing;
  • Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, and 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 and state lands, and other parks to: 

  • Use common sense when visiting the outdoors. Stay local within your region, because some amenities like public restrooms and restaurants may not be open.
  • Visit in small groups limited to family members and members of your own household. Maintain a distance from others while in places where people tend to congregate, such as parking lots, trailheads and scenic overlooks.
  • Know before you go. Plan ahead and make a list of alternate destinations. Beaches and trailheads will be busy. Many state beaches and parks will quickly reach capacity limits on nice weather days. Check parks.ny.gov and 511.org for park capacity closure alerts.
  • Choose a time to visit when beaches, trails and parks are likely to be less crowded, such as a weekday or earlier in the day.
  • Park responsibly in designated areas only.
  • Avoid games and activities that require close contact, such as basketball, football or soccer.
  • Do not share equipment, such as bicycles, helmets, binoculars, balls or Frisbees.
  • 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.
  • Practice “Leave No Trace.” Respect parks and state lands and take out whatever you bring in, including disposable gloves, wipes, masks and toilet paper.
  • Stay home if you're sick or if part of a vulnerable population.
  • Be patient. Accept that, this summer, you may have to adjust how you enjoy the outdoors to help keep yourself and others healthy and safe – even if it means changing your plans to visit a public space.
  • New Yorkers over 70 years old or with a compromised immune system should not visit public spaces, including those outdoors. These New Yorkers should remain indoors or spend time in the backyard or other personal outdoor space, pre-screen visitors by taking their temperature, and require visitors to wear masks.
  • Visitors to the Adirondack and Catskill Parks are reminded to always follow the Hiker Responsibility Code and avoid busy trailheads. Find trails less traveled and visit when trails may not be as busy during daylight hours. DEC also encourages New Yorkers to be safe and sustainable when recreating outdoors. Learn more about how you can protect natural spaces when exploring outdoors by following the seven principles of “Leave No Trace” (leaves DEC website). Additional information is available on the DEC website

DEC Hiring Campground Staff

DEC is seeking seasonal campground staff with all levels of experience and skill sets, including supervisors, security, maintenance and cleaning staff, and booth workers. If interested, please send an email to [email protected].

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