State parks see rise in tourism despite COVID-19

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 11:52 AM CDT
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PINE MOUNTAIN, Ga. (WTVM) - More Alabama and Georgia residents are getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and beginning to head outside.

With many people heading to local state parks, there are still changes in effect because of the pandemic.

“Our campground, we are pretty much sanitizing everything, which is something new,” says Danielle Yeager, an Interpretive Ranger at FDR State Park.

She adds they’ve been trying to keep up with the camping demand this year, as campsites are completely booked at times. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Staff at the park are also working to ensure visitors are still socially distancing on the trails, in the stores, and the more common areas.

Leaders with Providence Canyon State Park in Lumpkin say during their spring preparations, they’ve had to change the days they are open after seeing so many visitors.

“We went in February and it was absolutely packed. There wasn’t a parking spot available. That’s very different. There’s been many times in the past where we’re the only people there,” said local visitor Kirk Hancock.

He adds despite parks being busy, he’s glad they’ve stayed open, giving people somewhere to go.

“People are rediscovering the parks that are in their backyard,” he said. “You can’t travel, you can’t go very far. I think a lot of people didn’t know they were here or had forgotten about them, Aand have rediscovered them during the pandemic.”

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