KERR LAKE CAMPGROUNDS WILL STAY CLOSED IN NC STATE PARKS UNTIL MAY 22 – VA MAY REOPEN FIRST – CORPS?
Campers and park users have been especially eager this spring to get to parks, though socially distanced, masked and armed with hand sanitizer, people want to get out since the Covid 19 pandemic hit our country. Times are confusing, and while government staff and officials continue to be on parks’ payrolls, getting a park open these days is proving to be more difficult than walking a pet alligator.
Kerr Lake Park Watch has tried numerous times to talk to the NC Governor’s office, state legislators from Vance and Warren counties and others. The voicemail boxes are full and the emails sent out don’t get any responses. Ho hum.
US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS – Campgrounds remain closed indefinitely. Shelters are scheduled to open May 16, but may be closed at any time. There are a number of day-use areas and boat ramps open and you consult directly with the USACE on their website.
VIRGINIA – Conversely, Kerr Lake Park Watch can pick up the phone and call Virginia and get answers in minutes. Our two Virginia State Parks on Kerr Lake have had trails, picnic areas and boat ramps open continually, and it appears that Governor Northam may open the campgrounds in his soon-to-be-announced Phase I reopening for Virginia.
NORTH CAROLINA – After sending emails to NC Division of State Parks heads, to which there’s been no written response, we did got the word a few minutes ago in a phone call.
Although the governor’s Phase 1 rules says that parks in North Carolina can reopen, NC State Parks will open on a limited basis only beginning tomorrow.
At Kerr Lake and other state parks, trails and limited bathroom facilities will be open. Campgrounds and playgrounds still remain closed. Campgrounds, including the seven (7) state recreation areas at Kerr Lake are scheduled to enter Phase II and open on May 22.
The decision WAS NOT made by any state parks administrators or officials of state parks but by the Chief Deputy Secretary, and the Secretary of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, noted that they have the blessings of the governor’s office.
If you want to vent, here are the emails to Secretary Susi Hamilton, firstname.lastname@example.org or Chief Deputy Secretary D. Reid Wilson, email@example.com.
We don’t see any need to give you a phone number because they’re not answering and their mailboxes are full. The Secretary, for that matter, the Director of State Parks, the Governor, nor the two elected General Assembly legislators who represent Kerr Lake have NEVER returned a phone call or responded to an email.
We can’t figure out who the hell they all work for.
The bottom line on the NC side of Kerr Lake is that you can go walk, use the bathroom where there are absolutely no germs, but you cannot, can not, camp in already socially distanced campsites.