PA State parks opened cabin camping on June 12. According to a staff member at Black Moshannon State Park, this includes six modern cabins, 13 rustic cabins and two deluxe cabins at Black Moshannon.
“The park has been full every weekend since we opened,” the staff member said. Per Gov. Tom Wolf’s re-opening plan, state parks in areas first designated as yellow phase were opened May 15 for single family tent and RV camping, as well as trails and other limited outdoor activities.
The staff member noted that cabin check in and check out times are adjusted for all state parks, to allow for deep cleaning between campers. Check in time is now 5 p.m. and check out is 9 a.m. In normal conditions, check in/check out times would be 3 p.m. and 10 a.m., respectively.
Currently, beaches in PA parks are open with 50 percent capacity restrictions in yellow areas, and 75 percent capacity in green areas.
“The park rangers monitor the beach activity,” the staff member noted, “but people have been pretty good about following the [COVID-19 mitigation] regulations.”
According to state guidelines, visitors are required to wear masks when entering public facilities or in public gatherings. The Black Moshannon staff person stated that all park staff must wear masks while at work, and that visitors to their office are limited to five at a time.
Two annual events at Black Moshannon State Park, PA Wilds Child and Black Moshannon Summer Festival, have been cancelled for this summer.
High Country Arts and Crafts Fair, another favorite annual event held at S. B. Elliott State Park, has also been cancelled for this summer.
Parker Dam will hold it’s Annual Reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 4. The reading is conducted over the park’s public broadcasting system and does not include any public gathering activities.
Public programs at the parks have been limited to 25 participants, and must be held out of doors, according to DCNR’s Web site. Group sizes will increase in green areas, effective July 16, when amphitheater, organized group tenting, and pavilion rentals are scheduled to open.
Travelers may call local park offices or check individual park Web sites for information on scheduled activities.
“People must register on DCNR’s Web site for all camp reservations and events,” the Black Moshannon staff member advised, adding that there is also a toll-free number to call, but there have been long waits to speak to a service representative.
Reservations are available 24-7 on the DCNR Web site: www.dcnr.pa.gov. Select “Recreation” from the Recreation drop-down menu for information on Pennsylvania’s 121 state parks. Click on the “Reservations” tab to access the interactive reservations page.
The DCNR Web site offers a great deal of information, including an interactive map that provides the current status of each state park by county. The site also provides a link to an interactive map to locate local parks (https://goodforpa.com/).
To make state park registrations by phone, call 1-888-727-2757 (1-888-PA-PARKS), available Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas and New Year’s Day).