Gulf Islands National Seashore reopening Davis Bayou Area, Petit Bois Island, Horn Island on Saturday, May 16

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WXXV) – Gulf Islands National Seashore is increasing recreational access at its areas in Mississippi.

The National Park Service (NPS) says they are working 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 on Saturday, May 16, Gulf Islands National Seashore will initiate “Phase One” access at:

  • The Davis Bayou Area
  • Facilities near the visitor center including the parking lot, picnic area, fishing pier, restroom, and all hiking trails
  • Petit Bois, West Petit Bois, and Horn islands, as well as, the NPS-owned portion of Cat Island
  • Regular operating hours resume
  • Group camping at Petit Bois and Horn islands will not be permitted

NPS says the following facilities and areas will remain closed at this time:

  • Ship Island
  • The William M. Colmer Visitor Center at the Davis Bayou Area
  • The Davis Bayou Campground
  • Robert McGhee Road and associated facilities including the public boat ramp

“Park staff, in coordination with public health officials continue to monitor health data from local and regional areas to determine when gating criteria is met,” said Superintendent Dan Brown. “As the areas evaluated continue to move through the required criteria the park is working hard to increase recreational access in a safe and responsible way.”

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 is asked to follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

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