After witnessing a surge in visits the day before, all 280 California State Parks will now be closed to vehicle access, according to a statement.
“On Saturday, many state parks once again experienced visitation surges that made it impossible for the public to implement appropriate social/ physical distancing practices,” a statement said from the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
State parks have already closed all campgrounds, museums and visitor centers, cancelled all events and were closed to vehicular traffic at certain parks and beaches. The department said it would continue to monitor visitations and physical distancing at all state parks to determine whether additional measures would be taken such as fully closing all parks including trails and bathrooms.
With L.A. County beaches and bike paths closed along with closures and strict social distancing rules on beaches throughout Southern California, nature preserves and state parks seemed about the only outdoor activity left for many people this weekend. The overriding message from public health officials has been no matter how great the weather is, people are to stay home.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and others have said that if people need exercise or want to walk their dogs to do so around their own neighborhoods rather than popular spots like the beaches and parks.
Rancho Palos Verdes, which oversees the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve, closed access to its trail system last week. Palos Verdes Estates too limited public parking for those who wanted to walk along trails that border the cliff tops.
LA County in addition to closing beaches, beach bathrooms, piers, promenades and beach bike paths, previously announced closures of public trails, according to the statement. And in Orange County, parking lots at all beaches, regional and wilderness parks were closed along with parking spaces at all trailheads.