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DCNR Facilities – What’s Open and Closed

Updated March 18, 2021

In keeping with current guidelines to respond to COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, DCNR has implemented the following measures for its public lands and facilities:

State Parks and Forests

All DCNR lands including trails, lakes, rivers, streams, forests, roads, and parking areas are accessible statewide for recreation. Restrooms are available.

Masks are required to be worn indoors and outdoors if you are away from your home.

State Park and Forest Programs

Outdoor, in-person programs will resume with a limit of 40 participants per program. Masks and social distancing are required.

Virtual and self-guided programs will continue to be offered at parks and forests. All available programs will be listed on DCNR’s Calendar of Events.

Large, DCNR-sponsored events remain canceled until further notice.

Visitor Centers, Interpretive Areas, Theaters

State park and forest visitor centers, offices, theaters, and interpretive wings will return to an occupancy limit of 75 percent of capacity.

Masks are required and social distancing and hand sanitizing will be encouraged.

Friends Groups Meetings and Workdays

Volunteer Friends group meetings must be virtual or outdoors; not indoors in park or forest facilities.

Outdoor facilities must be under the 50 percent occupancy limit -- social distancing must be practiced and masks worn.

Not considered organized park or forest events, volunteer work days are permitted to resume.

Volunteer Friends group work day guidelines include:

  • Maximum at 40 per group
  • Multiple groups are permitted in separate locations
  • Multiple groups may attend at different times
  • Masks and social distancing are required

Third-Party Events

Private third-party events can continue when established gudelines are followed.

DCNR staff may be present to assist with public safety and to maintain compliance with event agreement.

Safety Precautions When Outdoors

To help avoid exposure to COVID-19 and still enjoy the outdoors:

• Don’t hike or recreate in groups -- go with those under the same roof, and adhere to social distancing (stay 6-feet apart)
• Take hand sanitizer with you and use it regularly
• Avoid touching your face, eyes, and nose
• Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow
• If you are sick, stay home

DCNR has developed the following resources for guidance when recreating outdoors during this pandemic:

Leave No Trace Outdoors

Visitors can help keep state parks and forest lands safe by following these practices:

  • Avoid crowded parking lots and trailheads
  • Bring a bag and either carry out your trash or dispose of it properly
  • Clean up after pets
  • Avoid activities that put you at greater risk of injury, so you don’t require a trip to the emergency room

DCNR Central Office in Harrisburg

In order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, DCNR’s main office in Harrisburg is closed until further notice.

Most of DCNR’s central office staff is teleworking and still fulfilling the mission of the department. The best way to contact staff is through individual email or the DCNR contact us form.

Geological Survey Offices

The Pennsylvania Geological Survey Library in Middletown is under a limited opening to the public. Visitors to the library and core library collections will be admitted by appointment only. No walk-ins will be accepted.

Visitors must supply their own face mask and abide by all safety rules, including wearing a mask. Bringing your own hand sanitizer is recommended.

Library appointments can be scheduled online.

To schedule a core library appointment, contact John Neubaum.

The Pittsburgh office of the Geological Survey remains closed to visitors.

The majority of Survey staff remain on telework. The best way to address specific questions or requests is to contact staff through individual email or to call the main desk in Middletown at 717-702-2017 or Pittsburgh at 412-442-4235.

Service of Legal Process

For Service of Legal Process, call the Administrative Assistant, DCNR Office of Chief Counsel, at 717-772-4171, or email tesheely@pa.gov.