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Contact: Jane Farmer - Acting Chief of Interpretation and Partnerships
Tupelo, Mississippi – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Natchez Trace Parkway is increasing recreational access to the Parkway Visitor Center and Restroom at milepost 266, near Tupelo, Mississippi. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
Beginning May 24, 2020, Natchez Trace Parkway will provide visitor information at the Parkway Visitor Center. Visitors will be able to speak to a park ranger and receive brochures and information about the Parkway, and passport stamps. The restrooms at the visitor center will be open with group size restrictions.
All other outdoor spaces, including all roadways, trails, pullouts, and roadside exhibits along the Parkway remain accessible to the public.
With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:
- All other comfort stations and contact stations
- Meriwether Lewis Campground
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At the Natchez Trace Parkway, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.
While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health guidance, including staying home if sick, wearing a mask in public, avoiding groups of 10 or more people, social distancing, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.
The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We 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.
Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on our website https://www.nps.gov/natr and social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Last updated: August 20, 2020