King County parks are partly reopening today. The emphasis is for people to keep moving in the parks and on the trails. No congregating or group activities. One important thing is that restrooms will remain closed, so if you tend to get surprise emergencies due to medication or health issues you may want to hold off until toilets are available again.
The list of what is and isn’t open is complicated, so I’m just providing a link to the list on the King County website. That way you can check to see if your preferred activity is open.
Too many people who are flocking to Seattle area parks and other places like Snoqualmie Falls to avoid going stir crazy are ignoring social distancing precautions.
Police have been forced to disband large groups at places like Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill and Alki Beach. People are also ignoring the closure of all active recreation facilities like playgrounds and basketball courts.
The city is already discussing the possibility of completely closing all parks if people continue to disregard distancing safety measures. Stiff fines and potentially jail time would be imposed on anyone ignoring park closures if they are shut down.
We need to maintain access to parks so we have a place to get outside in these stressful times! Don’t ruin it for everyone. Keep your distance from other people at all times.
What you can do:
King County Parks and Seattle Parks & Rec have issued new rules for county and city parks in order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Parks remain open to the public and people are encouraged to get outside to exercise and enjoy nature. Just make sure you keep social distancing in mind and avoid park areas where bottlenecks may force people close together.
Some park ammenities are now closed until further notice. These include playgrounds, picnic shelters, and all active recreation areas like sports courts and ball fields. You can see the full announcement here.
Credit: King County Parks
I recently posted about two online map tools to help with park outing planning, and one of them was King County iMaps. Now King County iMaps has a new version specifically for parks.
King County has 200 public parks and natural areas and 175 miles of trails in its system. They range from typical playgrounds and ballfields to large tracts of forest and wetland. There’s even a campground (including yurts) at Tolt-MacDonald Park.
If you’ve been wanting to explore new places or get away from it all, the King County ParkFinder is a great way to get ideas on where to go without having to take a long trip.