TUPELO - Following federal, state and local pandemic guidelines, the Natchez Trace Parkway will begin the process of opening up to the public this weekend.

Starting Sunday, May 24, the parkway will resume providing visitor information at the Parkway Visitor Center.

"Visitors will be able to speak to a park ranger and receive brochures and information about the Parkway, and passport stamps," said acting Chief of Interpretation Jane Farmer. "The restrooms at the visitor center will be open with group size restrictions."

While the main visitor center in Tupelo is resuming limited activities, all other restroom facilities and contact stations will remain closed to the public at this time, as will the Meriwether Lewis Campground.

All other outdoor spaces, including all roadways, trails, pullouts and roadside exhibits along the parkway remain accessible to the public.

Parkway officials will continue 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 (Centers for Disease Control) guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers," Farmer said. "A return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited."

The public is asked to follow local area health guidance, including staying home if sick, wearing a mask in public, avoiding groups of 10 or more people, social distancing, practicing Leave No Trace principles, and avoiding high-risk outdoor activities.

william.moore@journalinc.com

Twitter:@WilliamMoore_DJ

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