Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park is increasing recreational access. The National Park Service is working servicewide 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 Friday, May 15, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will reopen access to:
• All roads
• All picnic areas
• Most trails (foot traffic only)
o Please be aware that downed trees may be present on some trails as park maintenance crews continue to remove storm debris from recent severe weather events.
o While horse trails are not yet accessible, they are a top priority while the park begins to increase access.
However, if the visiting public does not comply with social distancing guidelines and park staff cannot safely mitigate these risks, selective closures of certain re-opened areas will resume.
With public health in mind, the following park areas and facilities remain closed at this time:
• For a complete list of closed facilities/areas, refer to the park website’s Operations Modification Page at: https://www.nps.gov/chch/planyourvisit/2020chchopsmod.htm.
“We recognize that this temporary closure has been very difficult for local residents and visitors who seek inspiration in the park’s historic and scenic landscapes,” said Superintendent Brad Bennett. “We are pleased to resume opportunities to experience the park while continuing to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all concerned.”
"The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers and partners continues to be paramount," officials said. "At Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park 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 orders, 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.
"We have an amazing tour of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park that can be conducted virtually. So, for those who are still home schooling or not currently traveling, check out the park’s tour at chch.oncell.com."
Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted online at www.nps.gov/chch and social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.