State and County Parks Still Open – and Free; Public Golf Courses Ready for Play

Delaware’s beautiful state and New Castle County parks are still open and free of charge, but state campgrounds are closing down until the COVID-19 health crises passes.

Governor Carney’s emergency declaration still allows Delawareans to take advantage of the waived entrance fees at Delaware State Parks and state wildlife areas, with the proviso that “social distancing” is observed and groups be limited to no more than 10 people.   The state’s popular campsites, cabins, cottages, yurts and playgrounds will close at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24 until at least May 15. 

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer announced earlier today that county parks would continue to stay open for hiking, jogging and biking, but that playgrounds and athletic amenities like basketball courts would be closed.

 

Public golf courses remain open, with their own safety restrictions – for example, flag pins and sand trap rakes have been removed. Golf courses open to the public include White Clay Creek Country Club at Delaware Park, Rock Manor, Ed “Porky” Oliver and Delcastle.

The championship-level White Clay Creek Country Club is open to the public

Downstate, beach access from within Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore and Fenwick Island state parks is prohibited, but parking and fishing at the Indian River Inlet within Delaware Seashore State Park is allowed.

In New Castle County, changes to county park operations include:

  • Paper Mill Park (removal of basketball rims, installation of fencing around playground)
  • Delcastle Recreational Park (removal of basketball rims, installation of fencing around playground)
  • Glasgow Park (removal of basketball rims, installation of fencing around playground, closed High 5 playground)
  • Banning Regional Park (installation of fencing around playground)
  • Edgemoor Gardens Park (fenced in basketball courts will be locked)
  • Greenbank Park (fenced in basketball courts will be locked)
  • Talley Day Park (installation of fencing around playground)

All neighborhood parks, courts and sports fields are closed until further notice.

 

State park officials offer the following guidance for park-goers:

  • Keep your social distance, even when outside. Enjoy less crowded areas. Limit your group to fewer than 10 people and keep at least 6 feet away from other visitors.
  • Avoid close-contact activities. Instead, fish, hike, paddle board, ride a bicycle or explore nature.
  • Don’t rent or share sports equipment. Use your own binoculars, bike, fishing rod, golf disc, kayak, yoga mat, etc.

There was a strong mid-afternoon crowd for a weekday at Brandywine Creek State Park

  • Wipe down sports equipment before and after use. Disinfect gear with federal recommended products including diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol and EPA-registered household disinfectants.
  • Avoid playgrounds. Delaware State Parks has closed all its playgrounds, but they may still be open in other areas. Surfaces like slides and swings have a lot of touch points that could potentially spread the virus.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands. Use soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use hand sanitizer until you can wash your hands.
  • If you’re sick, stay home. If you’re sick or have been sick in the past two weeks, please stay home to recuperate.

Delaware State Parks offers Play Outside, a map-based, mobile-friendly app that helps visitors find parks, natural areas, trails and more.

 Additional resources are available at dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/coronavirus and destateparks.com/Covid19.

 


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