Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Gulf Islands National Seashore is increasing recreational access at the Fort Pickens Campground. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
Beginning Monday, August 10, Gulf Islands National Seashore will increase access to Fort Pickens Campground, Loop A. Campers will be able to begin making reservations for the identified sites in Loop A on August 3, using recreation.gov. Additional campsites will be available for reservations throughout August and September as conditions allow.
In addition, the following areas continue to be available:
- The Fort Pickens, Santa Rosa, Naval Live Oaks, Okaloosa, and Perdido Key areas in Florida.
- The Davis Bayou Area and Petit Bois, West Petit Bois, Horn, and Ship islands, as well as the NPS-owned portion of Cat Island in Mississippi.
With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:
- Fort Pickens Campground Loops B-E
- The Fort Pickens Discovery Center
- The Fort Barrancas Area due to the NAS Pensacola closure
- The group campsites at the Fort Pickens and Naval Live Oaks areas
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Gulf Islands National Seashore, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.
While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services will be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.
The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.