Parking areas at multiple state parks closed after capacities reached for ‘maximum safe number of visitors’

The state Department of Conservation and Recreation started announcing the 2-hour closures by mid-morning as parking lots filled up.

Concord, MA - 4/07/2020  - Signs point out the direction visitors should take for one way trails to limit face to face contact while walking the trails at Walden Pond. - (Barry Chin/Globe Staff), Section:  Metro, Reporter:  Globe Staff, Topic:  08STATEPARK, LOID:  5e8cdb3ef4428a0001d9e9ac.
Signs point out the direction visitors should take for one-way trails to limit face-to-face contact while walking the trails at Walden Pond. –Barry Chin / Boston Globe

Update: In subsequent tweets, the state Department of Conservation and Recreation clarified that the closures were related to the parking areas at the state parks.

The return of warm and balmy weather on Saturday presented a challenge for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation as multiple state parks quickly reached capacity and were closed to maintain safe social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic

The state agency began closing parks for two-hour intervals starting as early as 10 a.m. on Saturday. 

Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield closed at 10 a.m., followed by Walden Pond State Reservation in Concord and the Blue Hills State Reservation in Milton at 11 a.m.

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The park at Walden was closed again at 1:35. Wachusett Mountain State Reservation in Princeton was also forced to close twice at noon and again at 2:30 p.m.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh issued a plea to city residents ahead of the nice weekend weather to continue practicing physical distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

“If you are going to a @BostonParksDept and you see it’s crowded, turn around and leave,” the mayor wrote on Twitter. “It’s that simple. Be smart and do your part in this.”

The flood of people visiting state parks follows a day after Gov. Charlie Baker announced that starting Wednesday, all Massachusetts residents over the age of two will be required to wear a face covering in public places where they may not be able to stay six feet away from other people.


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