March 17, 2020
There are plenty of outdoor spaces in the Philadelphia region where people can enjoy some time away from home while practicing social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The natural areas of state parks and forests in Pennsylvania are remaining open for "dispersed recreation," the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced Monday. But park facilities, including education centers and bathrooms, will be closed.
All trails, lakes, forests, roads and parking areas will be open for activities like hiking. Dog-walking also will be allowed in areas that permit pets.
Both the Philadelphia Department of Health, along with the DCNR, recommend that people use precaution when out in public.
“We encourage practicing social distancing while enjoying open spaces including avoiding groups and crowds," DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said in a statement. "Visitors should use the bathroom before they leave home."
State parks in the Philly region include Benjamin Rush State Park in Northeast Philadelphia, Neshaminy in Bensalem, Ridley Creek in Media, Evansburg in Collegeville, Nockamixon in Quakertown, Marsh Creek in Downingtown and Fort Washington in Montgomery County.
Visitors are advised against using public transportation to travel to these parks.
Within the city, Fairmount Park, Wissahickon Valley Park, Pennypack Park and Clark Park are among the larger parks for people to get some fresh air.
To practice maximum safety while enjoying parks, DCNR officials advise visitors to keep six feet away from others, bring hand sanitizer and avoid touching their face, eyes, and nose. They also advise visitors to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when sneezing or coughing.
Of course, if people who are sick should stay home and away from others.