Access limited to state tourism facilities, heritage museums closed

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 400 views 

In an effort to control the spread of COVID-19, the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism (ADHT) is closing or limiting access to some parks and museums.

Stacy Hurst, ADHT secretary, announced that the lobbies of the 13 Arkansas welcome centers across the state, which serve travelers, will close Friday (March 20) until further notice.

The Division of Arkansas Heritage’s Little Rock museums will close to the public until further notice. This includes Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and Old State House Museum.

Access to certain Arkansas State Park facilities will be limited, effective Friday:
• Park visitor centers will only be accessible for camping/lodging check-in, and trail access; exhibits and gift shops will be closed.
• Lodges, cabins, and camp sites will remain open. Daily housekeeping will not be provided. • After a stay is over, the room will be cleaned and sanitized for the next guest, using Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
• Restaurants are open for carry-out only.
• Parks will continue to provide some access to restrooms. Per the discretion of park superintendents regarding labor and supplies, some restrooms may close.
• Trails, picnic areas and outdoor pavilions remain open.
• Museum parks without trails will provide limited access to exhibits. Gift shops are closed.
Playgrounds are closed.
• Marinas and boat ramps will remain open with availability of rental equipment that will be sanitized following each use. Gift shops will be closed.
• Golf courses will remain open. Pro Shops will be open to accept golf fees only. Gift shop and club rentals are closed. Cart rentals continue and are cleaned and sanitized between rentals.
• All interpretive programming, events and workshops are canceled until further notice.

Groups holding reservations should contact the specific park. Group size, meeting location and other conditions will affect the ability for events to proceed, Hurst said.

“We believe the closing of welcome centers, heritage museums and some limiting of access and services at our parks is the best thing to do for our visitors and our staff,” Hurst said. “People can still come enjoy our beautiful state parks, where social distancing is achievable; but they can also get some great stress relief by hiking or biking our trails, enjoying our lakes, or just sitting still and taking in the great outdoors.”