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Shenandoah Park closes portion of Skyline Drive, limits access

In an effort to keep a social distance between users, Shenandoah National Park officials announced Monday that the park will be closed to all overnight use and that 65 miles of the scenic Skyline Drive will be closed to motorists.

The changes were implemented Saturday as the park closed down most services not related to policing or protection of animals and resources.

The closures are in additional to previous moves made by park officials in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The park will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., but will close to hikers, bikers and motorists at 8 p.m., officials said. All picnic sites and campgrounds are also closed.

Skyline Drive now is closed to motorized vehicles from Front Royal to U.S. 33 west of Stanardsville. It will remain open to motorists from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. between U.S. 250 and Swift Run Gap, but motorists must be out of the park by 8 p.m..

Outdoor public spaces in the park remain open, but social distancing guidelines are in effect, officials said.

Most trails in the park will be open but some trailheads and parking areas are closed. More information is available on the park’s website.

The changes are in addition to previous closures that included boundary trailheads in Rappahannock and Page Counties; Old Rag and the Whiteoak-Cedar Run loops and associated trails; Routes 670 and 648 in Madison County leading to boundary trailheads for Rose River and Dark Hollow; and all bathrooms.

Albemarle County, the city of Charlottesville, and the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority last month closed the recreational area around Sugar Hollow Reservoir, which also blocks an access point to the Moormans River Trails.

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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