Campgrounds reopen for West Virginia residents

Local News

KANAWHA STATE FOREST, WV (WOWK) — A long time tradition and hobby for many people, especially here in the Mountain State, is camping. But for the past couple of weeks it’s been on hold due to COVID-19.

Before today, May 26, 2020, you could only hike, fish, or simply visit your favorite State Park or campground. But starting today if you’re a West Virginia resident, you can camp overnight, under strict guidelines.

Michael Ruhnke who was camping at Kanawha State Forest today says, “I mean the way they’re doing it here is pretty safe, every other site is open, and you’re like 50 meters away from the next campsite. It’s a pretty safe outdoor activity considering all of the outdoor activities that could be done.”

Justice said the state’s seen pent up demand for some outdoor activities. In his daily briefing he said, “But the good part about it we got a 58% increase in our state park reservations this month – compared to last year.”

But in reopening the campsites, the state is limiting camping to West Virginia residents only.

The state parks are also offering a 30% discount for lodging from June 1 to Aug. 31, 2020.

Ruhnke says, “We’re probably going to be doing more of this summer, more than any other summer because it’s nice. You get Vitamin D, stay healthy, move around a lot, stay away from your screens and stay away from other people mostly.”

A favorite past-time — and an easy way to practice social distancing. Justin Snyder was also camping says, “Let’s just continue to cautiously open things back up. If you feel like you shouldn’t be doing it, then don’t do it.”

If you want to know more about how you can claim your 30% lodging discount, you can follow Governor Jim Justice’s instructions, here.

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