New Hampshire State Parks Response to COVID-19
Maintaining the safety of our visitors and our staff is a top priority for New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation. Many parking lots are open and visitors using those parks are requested to follow all COVID-19 precautions.
As you make plans to get outdoors remember Be safe, be well, and be local so that we can keep our parks open. The future status of parks and the availability of facilities will be determined by whether everyone is following all of the precautions.
|Planning to Visit a State Park?
|Visitors must be asked to:
- remain home if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19; and
- keep a safe distance of at least 6 feet from other people visiting the park/campground at all times; and
- wear a cloth face covering over mouth and nose to protect others when in locations where other consumers might be present (e.g. bathroom facilities)
Day Use reservations are available at www.nhstateparks.org/planning/day-use-reservations Advanced Day Use Reservation are required if you plan to visit one of these parks. Additional parks will be added to the day use reservation system as the season progresses.
When planning a visit, guests can purchase day use reservation tickets up until 5 p.m. including once they arrive at the park. Please plan ahead in the event the parking areas reach capacity.
Visitors with pre-paid or discounted access to NH State Parks (such as parks plates or season pass) are also encouraged to make an online reservation. When making a reservation you can indicate that you are a pass/parks plate holder and you will not be charged the day-use/parking fee. However there will still be a $1 transaction fee for using the online reservation system.
Example order detail - select the option that applies to you.
NH State Park seacoast sand beaches, bathrooms and parking are open with Restrictions
This includes Hampton Beach State Park (Seashell, South Beach and North Beach), North Hampton State Beach, Jenness State Beach and Wallis Sand State Park.
Hampton Beach State Park's beaches close at 9 p.m. daily. Parking at the CPA lot closes at 8 p.m. Cars still on the the lot at 9 p.m. will be ticketed. These closing times will be enforced by the Hampton Police Department.
Sunbathing and other traditional beach activities have resumed on seacoast beaches, effective June 5, 2020. Beachgoers must still remain 6 feet from other groups.
Parking at Hampton Beach
All NH State Park lots will provide parking at 50 percent capacity beginning June 1, 2020. Sections of Ocean Blvd. are restricted to pedestrian traffic only.
Parking at the CPA lot closes at 8 p.m. Cars still on the the lot at 9 p.m. will be ticketed.
Dropping off of passengers and items in parking areas is not permitted and is subject to a fine.
Day use parking reservations are required for Wallis Sands and Hampton South Beach parking lots at, www.nhstateparks.org/planning/day-use-reservations.
Metered parking areas are open and operating at 50 percent capacity.
Visitors with pre-paid or discounted access to NH State Parks (such as parks plates or season pass, Seniors and military) are strongly encouraged to make an online reservation. These parking areas fill quickly as we operate at 50 percent capacity. Once they reach the COVID-19 restrictions on cacity we willl be forced to turn away visitors. When making a reservation you can indicate that you are a pass/parks plate holder, NH senior citizen or military and you will not be charged the day-use/parking fee. However there will still be a $1 transaction fee for using the online reservation system.
See Hampton Beach Parking and Traffic Map
Status of NH Parks Inland Beaches
The following beach activities are permitted on inland beaches that are currently open: Walking/running; swimming; sitting, playing, and sunbathing as long as social distancing is maintained.
Limit occupancy - the capacity of each beach will be determined under social distancing guidelines to prevent overcrowding.
Picnic tables will be spread out 12 feet apart to maintain social distancing.
Campground Opening and Reservations
Visit our campground page for a list of currently open campgrounds at www.nhstateparks.org/activities/camping/campgrounds. C
To find current status of an existing reservation call Reserve America at 1-877-647-2757 or log in to your reserve America account and select my account and reservations. This will give you the status of your reservation.
Sign up to be added to our email list or follow us on Facebook for current park information.
Below are links to the reopening guidelines presented by the Governor:
Campgrounds will open at 50 percent capacity to allow for the social distancing guidance under Stay at Home 2.0.
All Campers are asked to:
- Remain home if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 including Fever, Respiratory symptoms such as sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath, Flu-like symptoms such as muscle aches, chills, and severe fatigue or Changes in a person’s sense of taste or smell; and
- Other than members of your own campsite party, keep a safe distance of at least 6 feet from other people visiting the campground at all times.; and
- Wear a cloth face covering over mouth and nose to protect others when in locations where other visitors might be present (e.g. bathroom facilities.)
Click here for more information on campgrounds under Stay at Home 2.0.
Current Park Updates and Information
(See current status of individual parks and spring hiking information on specific park pages)
All reservations for pavilions, group areas and historic sites are closed until further notice.
All playgrounds, and indoor venues (such as historic site buldings) are closed until further notice.
Social Distancing Guidelines
We encourage New Hampshire residents and visitors to review information provided by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services as it relates to the virus. We know our guests are interested in our efforts to help keep your family healthy.
We recognize the importance nature has in helping to relieve stress during this time and are committed to ensuring our guests and staff continue to have a safe and memorable experience at our state parks. While every individual must make decisions based on their own health, willingness to take on risk, and recommendations and mandates from local, state and federal governments, at the moment, being outdoors and isolated (dispersed recreation) meets current “social distancing” recommendations.
The graphic below describes some off the Do's and Dont's of getting outside, provided courtesy of The Exchange on New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR). Artwork by Sara Plourde.
What is Social Distancing?
To stop the spread of coronavirus, health and government officials recommend avoiding large gatherings and maintaining a distance of 6 feet from other people. This reduces the chance of contact with those knowingly or unknowingly carrying the infection.
How can you practice Social distancing your NH State Parks
State parks may be the best way to social distance while getting fresh air at the same time. Guests are still welcome to enjoy the public outdoor areas at state parks, recreation areas, state forests, state trails and, of course, our lakes, rivers and streams.
Be Safe, Be Well, Be local
With the current stay at home order issued by Gov. Sununu, we are asking our visitors to recreate close to where they live. We understand how important it is for many to get outdoors, but ask that you practice social distancing and avoid outdoor destinations that see many visitors. If you are out on the trails please maintain six feet of seperation from others, limit the use of public facilities by using the bathroom before leaving home and bring all the items you will need (water/snacks/supplies) to limit stops at businesses along the way.
Please take this situation seriously and do all that you can to protect yourself, your loved ones, and our communities. We appreciate your support of our park system and will continue to communicate updates during this rapidly evolving situation.
COVID-19 Q & A (Frequently asked questions)
When do you clean restrooms, showers, and other facilities?
Are you providing disinfectant to visitors?
- Restrooms and showers are cleaned daily or more often, and we are keeping a careful eye on the level of park use. Remember that public places are only as clean as the last person who touched them. It is important for everyone to follow suggestions for COVID-19 personal hygiene recommended by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.
How might my park experience be different now?
- Hand soap is available at all our restroom facilities with flush toilets. Hand sanitizer is provided at locations with outhouses only. A good portion of your safety relies on you, since any public facility is only as clean as the last person who touched it. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has a web page devoted to COVID-19 with updates and resources regarding COVID-19 (Link above).
If you see something in a park that needs attention, please notify a staff member. If you have additional questions or suggestions for us, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We have made changes in our cleaning routines to keep our guests safe and healthy. You can help to protect our staff by using a credit or debit card whenever possible to reduce social contact. It is also possible you will see reduced service in some areas where fewer staff and volunteers are available. We may make more changes as the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve and information is provided by the CDC and the NH Department of Health and Human Services.
NH has established a hotline for questions concerning COVID-19. You can reach the hotline by dialing 2-1-1 or 1-866-444-4211.