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Vicksburg National Military Park increasing recreational access with phased approach



Vicksburg National Military Park road
(photo courtesy VNMP)
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The Vicksburg National Military Park is increasing recreational access by opening the park tour road to vehicles following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local public health authorities.

The National Park Service is working service-wide 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 June 27, Vicksburg National Military Park reopened access to:

  • Vehicle use of the park tour road
  • Pedestrian access to the Vicksburg National Cemetery.

With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed:

  • Main Visitor Center.
  • USS Cairo Museum and ramp approaching the area around the USS Cairo.
  • The Shirley House area
  • Park restrooms.

In addition, visitors will find fewer picnic tables in the park picnic areas. When using park picnic tables, we encourage visitors to take CDC recommended precautions for frequently touched surfaces, such as wiping them down with EPA approved sanitizing wipes, before and after use.

For safety reasons the following areas remain closed indefinitely:

  • Grant Avenue from the Sherman Avenue access to Union Avenue remains closed to vehicles.
  • Grant Avenue from the Sherman Avenue access to and including Grant Circle is closed to vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Union Avenue from Grant Avenue to the USS Cairo Museum is closed to vehicles and pedestrians.
  • The Vicksburg National Cemetery is closed to vehicles and the area within the chain link fence is closed to vehicles and pedestrians.

“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount,” said Park Superintendent Bill Justice in statement. “At Vicksburg National Military Park 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 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 may 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 to 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.

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