Marylanders hit the state parks in droves on Monday. Or at least, they tried.
Over the weekend, several parks hit capacity, closed, and later reopened to incoming visitors when attendance dwindled.
The following parks were closed as of 11 a.m. Monday:
- Patapsco Avalon area in Halethorpe of Patapsco Valley State Park
- Greenbrier State Park in Boonsboro
Most of the state’s parks traditionally close each evening at sunset during the summer.
The Maryland Park Service said updates on closures will be posted on its Twitter as they become available.
In 2020, while the coronavirus pandemic shuttered popular recreation sites, state park officials had to close parks that had reached capacity a record 292 times. Visits to state parks increased by 45%.
This holiday weekend, that trend has continued as the pandemic axed such traditional holiday celebrations as public fireworks and Independence Day parades. In addition, the sunny and warm weather on Sunday and Monday made outdoor activities extra-appealing.
The uptick has some officials worried about maintaining park lands. Some parks, like the Falling Branch area of Rocks State Park, have even launched online reservation systems. More could be on the way.
This story may be updated.