State Coastal Beach Reservations
Some state coastal beach parking areas remain temporarily closed. State managed beaches remain open for passive recreational activities that only involve transitory movement (walking, jogging, running, etc.) and for solitary beach fishing. Sitting, sunbathing, and other stationary recreational activities are prohibited on state beaches. Additionally, athletic and recreational activities that bring participants into close, physical contact are prohibited.
State Park Properties
As of Saturday, April 11, 2020, state park properties statewide will have reduced parking in an effort to prevent overcrowding and the spreading of the COVID-19 virus. The parking reduction will continue indefinitely.
Playgrounds, Fitness Areas, and Bathroom Facilities:
Athletic Fields and Courts
Athletic Fields and Non-Contact Courts (Non-Organized/Permitted Use)
Athletic fields and athletic courts can be utilized only for non-contact sports, with no shared equipment, such as tennis and pickleball. No permits will be issued for group gatherings and users should not engage in pick-up games, organized games or tournaments.
Athletic Fields Guidelines:
• Users should sanitize hands before and after play, not share equipment, and clean and wipe down equipment.
• When engaged in play, users should avoid touching other users’ equipment in separate areas.
• Users waiting to utilize a section or area of the field should wait outside the field of play until previous users have vacated the facility to ensure proper social distancing and prevent accidental contact of other users’ equipment.
• Users should not engage in pick-up games, organized games, or tournaments.
Athletic Courts (Non-Contact) Guidelines:
• Users should sanitize hands before and after play, not share equipment and clean and
wipe down equipment, including racquets, balls, and water bottles.
• Users waiting to utilize a court should wait outside the court’s gates/fence until previous
users have vacated the facility to ensure proper social distancing and prevent accidental
contact of other users’ equipment.
• Users should not engage in pick-up games, organized games, or tournaments
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the agency is not providing trash receptacles throughout the state parks system. Visitors are asked to practice the agency’s “carry in, carry out” policy during this public health emergency and to do their part to help protect our shared natural resources by leaving no trace and taking any trash with them.
In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, DCR opened segments of four parkways in the Greater Boston Metro Area to expand pedestrian and cyclist access. The measure, which closes the segments to vehicular traffic, will reduce close contact of park users, as well as large concentrations of people on adjacent sidewalks and paths.
The segments include:
- William J. Day Boulevard in Boston (from Farragut Road to Shore Drive including Castle Island Parking) – open indefinitely;
- Francis Parkman Drive between Perkins Street and the Arborway in the City of Boston (Jamaica Plain) – open indefinitely;
- Greenough Boulevard (Little Greenough) between Arsenal Street and North Beacon Street in the Town of Watertown – open indefinitely; and,
- Fellsway West between Sheepfold Park in the Town of Stoneham and Parkway Park in the City of Medford – open weekends only (dawn to dusk).
Working in close coordination with the City of Cambridge’s health and public safety officials, the Department of Conservation and Recreation will open Riverbend Park on Sunday, May 24, 2020 and Sunday, May 31, 2020, and close Memorial Drive to vehicular traffic. After Sunday, May 31, 2020, DCR and the City of Cambridge will reassess the status of Riverbend Park/Memorial Drive.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts issued guidance permitting the safe operation of recreational boats subject to the discretion of local officials, harbormasters, and law enforcement. Any recreational boating must be conducted in accordance with stringent guidelines including social distancing, and only persons from the same household should be together on a boat at one time. Additionally, all local rules, regulations, laws and Coast Guard requirements still apply.
Inland Boat Ramps and Canoe Launches
Inland boat ramps and canoe launches within state parks, forests, wildlife management areas, boating access facilities and other state owned properties managed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts remain open for use by boats being launched by vehicles registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, except where the access has already been closed due to parking restrictions or other restrictions. All other inland boat ramps that are currently managed by municipalities remain open subject to the discretion of the city or town.
Coastal Boat Ramps and Canoe Launches
Coastal boat ramps managed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts remain open for use by boats being launched by vehicles registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. All other coastal boat ramps currently managed by municipalities remain open for recreational use subject to the discretion of the city or town.
Visitor Centers and Campgrounds
As of Saturday, March 14, 2020, agency managed visitor centers throughout the state parks system have temporarily closed until June 7, 2020, at which time the closure of these facilities will be reassessed.
Out of an abundance of caution due to COVID-19, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation has announced the closure of all camping, pavilion and picnic areas through June 7, 2020.
Reservations will be automatically cancelled and refunded in full. Campers do not need to contact ReserveAmerica. PLEASE DO NOT CANCEL YOUR OWN RESERVATION.
Refunds may take a few weeks to be processed. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
DCR is not taking any camping reservations until campgrounds have reopened.
In addition to the closure of campgrounds, Appalachian Trail shelters, campsites, and privies within the Massachusetts state parks system are also temporarily closed due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Please remember, camping is always prohibited other than on designated campsites, throughout state parks and along the 90-miles of the Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts.
Agency managed golf courses (Ponkapoag Golf Course in the Town of Canton and the Leo J. Martin Golf Course in the Town of Weston) have not yet opened for the season. All golf related activities are prohibited.
As of Saturday, March 14, 2020, all agency owned ice rinks throughout the Commonwealth have closed to the public. DCR managed ice rinks have permanently closed for the season (these rinks were previously scheduled to closed on Sunday, March 22, 2020). Agency rinks operated by third parties are closed until Monday, May 18, 2020, at which time the closure of ice rinks will be reassessed. Additionally, during the temporary closure all associated events at these locations are cancelled.
During this public health emergency, the department has postponed several upcoming lifeguard qualification and recertification tests. Please continue to visit the agency’s DCR Lifeguarding webpage for the most up-to-date test schedule information.