While national parks have at least temporarily closed their gates due to the federal government shutdown -- including the George Washington Birthplace National Monument and most of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park -- all 36 Virginia state parks remain open, including Lake Anna State Park.
The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, which manages the commonwealth’s park system, said in a statement released Wednesday that it has received “numerous inquiries” from the public expressing concern that state parks are affected by the government shutdown.
False Cape State Park in southern Virginia Beach is the only Virginia State Park affected. Primary access to the park is through the federal Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, which is closed because of the shutdown. False Cape remains open, although it can now only be accessed through North Carolina or by boat.
“All Virginia State Parks remain open for business during this prime fall season,” said State Parks Director Joe Elton in a statement. “Schedules have not changed, reservations are being honored, and all programs remain intact."
October marks the beginning of a busy fall, leaf-viewing season for the state parks. Foliage is beginning to turn in the western part of the state, particularly at higher elevation parks such as Grayson Highlands in Grayson County or Douthat State Park near Clifton Forge.
More than 500 miles of state park hiking, bicycling and equestrian trails allow visitors to view the fall foliage and outdoor scenery at their own pace.Follow Fredericksburg Patch on Facebook and Twitter.
Related Story: Government Shutdown: What's Open, What's Closed