Saturday, December 9, 2023

Parts of Colonial Parkway set to reopen

The Colonial National Historical Park has over $420 million in backlog repairs from the National Parks Service. (WYDaily/Flickr)
Colonial Parkway. (WYDaily/Flickr)

Colonial Parkway is finally starting to reopen to increase recreational access.

The National Parks Service announced Tuesday the Colonial Parkway is increasing recreational access following guidance from government authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health districts.

The Colonial National Historical Park will reopen parkway access starting Wednesday for vehicle traffic from Highway 199, west of Colonial Williamsburg, to Jamestown Island.

Services will be limited as NPS continues to monitor the coronavirus pandemic and uses a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Visitors to the park are urged to continue to practice the following “Leave No Trace” principles from the National Parks Service:

Plan ahead and prepare

  • Be aware of any regulations to the area you’re visiting.
  • Prepare for extreme weather and emergencies.
  • Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
  • Visit in small groups or split larger groups.
  • Repackage food to minimize waste.
  • Use a map or compass to minimize the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.

Be considerate to other visitors

  • Yield to other users on the trail.
  • Step to the downhill side of the trail when passing a group of people.
  • Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
  • Avoid loud noises and voices.

Travel on durable surface

  • Durable surfaces include maintained trails and designated campsites.
  • Protest riparian areas by camping 200 feet away from lakes and streams.
  • Walk single file in the middle of a trail.
  • Keep campsites small and concentrate use on existing sites.

Dispose of waste properly

  • “Pack it in, pack it out,” inspect the campsite and food preparations for any trash or leftover food and litter.
  • Use restrooms whenever possible.
  • Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
  • Wash yourself and supplies 200 feet away from streams or lake and use small amounts of soap.

Leave what you find

  • Don’t touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
  • Leave rocks, plants and natural objects.
  • Avoid introducing non-native species.
  • Refrain from building structures or digging trenches.

Minimize campfire impacts

  • Use a lightweight stove for cooking instead of campfires.
  • Where fires are permitted, use an established fire ring.
  • Keep any fires small and only use down or dead wood from the ground that can be broken by hand.
  • Burn all wood and cools to ash and put fires out completely.

Respect wildlife

  • Observe wildlife from a distance.
  • Do not feed any animals.
  • Store rations securely to protect them from wildlife.
  • Control pets at all times.

The National Parks Service will notify the public when operations are fully restored on the Colonial Parkway. For more information, visit NPS online.


Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at

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