Holiday weekend crowds jam southeastern Pennsylvania parks

Mark Abrams
July 06, 2020 - 10:27 am
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A couple of state parks in southeastern Pennsylvania were forced to turn away visitors at various times over the holiday weekend because of near-record crowds showing up at the gates.

The Fourth of July holiday period is one of the busiest times for the state parks in this region – especially Marsh Creek in Chester County, Nockamixon and Neshaminy in Bucks County, and French Creek, straddling Berks and Chester counties.

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Cindy Adams Dunn, secretary of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which runs the parks, said because of COVID-19 restrictions, parking lots are open at only 75% capacity to accommodate social distancing.

“Disappointingly for some, they get to the park, and they get turned away because the park has reached capacity,” Dunn said. “And this has happened in past years, even without the COVID pandemic.”

She said Nockamixon, Marsh Creek and French Creek were especially popular destinations because of the pools at each location.

Dunn said because of COVID-19 restrictions in place at the pools, too, there were limits to the number of people allowed in at each at various times

“So considering now with increased visitorship we’re seeing every day, there’s a very real possibility of closures early,” Dunn said. “You can expect parks to be crowded. So think about your options. We hate to disappoint people.

“We want everyone to have a good experience when they visit a state park. But we don’t want people, especially who have traveled some distance, to find that they just can’t get in.”

Dunn said, with hot, humid weather in the forecast for the next couple of days, visitors should consider coming very early or dropping in much later in the day.

She added she’s expecting summer weekends through July to be crowded and advises those planning to make the trek to be prepared.