Maryland State Parks are popular destinations year round, but especially so in the warmer summer months as families plan overnight camping trips, daytime visits to the water and outdoor gatherings on public lands. During holiday weekends such as the Fourth of July, many state parks will be forced to temporarily close public entrances due to capacity limitations.
Last year, Maryland State Parks hosted more than 338,000 daytime and overnight visitors during the three-day July 4th holiday weekend, with the following parks experiencing temporary closures: Assateague, Calvert Cliffs, Cunningham Falls, Greenbrier, Patapsco Valley (Avalon Area), Point Lookout, Rocky Gap, and Sandy Point state parks.
“Maryland State Parks offer affordable overnight and day excursions for families,” said Maryland Park Service Superintendent Nita Settina. “From Memorial Day through Labor Day, our parks provide outdoor recreation opportunities and lifetime memories for more than 6 million customers. In order to ensure a quality experience, families looking to spend holidays with us are encouraged to plan ahead and make reservations or call prior to leaving home.”
Once a park is closed due to space limitations, no additional visitors will be admitted. Guests may be redirected to other state parks in the area. During closures, entrance will be granted for groups with shelter rentals or guests with camping reservations. Additionally, during times of high visitation, guests should anticipate the possibility of delays due to heavy traffic at park entrances.
Park capacity limitations and the associated temporary park closures are in place to ensure the safety of all visitors, the quality of their experience, and the protection of valuable natural resources.