Fears About Out-Of-State Campground Visitors Linger In N.H.'s North Country | New Hampshire Public Radio

Fears About Out-Of-State Campground Visitors Linger In N.H.'s North Country

May 4, 2020

Moose Brook State Park in Gorham
Credit NH State Parks

New restrictions for New Hampshire campgrounds are easing some -  but not all - fears in North Country towns about the spread of coronavirus.

Under new state orders, campgrounds must run at half capacity and can only open to New Hampshire residents or private members.

This comes after a petition and letters last month from several North Country towns, urging the state to close campgrounds.

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Gorham town manager Denise Vallee says she’s comfortable with campgrounds reopening under the new restrictions, which she says are better than nothing. But she says campground members from out of state should still heed self-quarantine orders and stay away from local stores for two weeks.

"I know they're trying to limit people going back and forth in between states, and that I would agree with,” Vallee says.

Gorham has one main campground, at Moose Brook State Park, but Vallee says visitors from several other campgrounds in nearby areas often come into town to shop and eat.

She says she's especially concerned about enforcing self-quarantine orders for out-of-state visitors once restaurants can reopen for outdoor dining on May 18 – a change she says she found “odd” and “contradictory” during the extended stay-at-home order.

"On the one hand, if we're going to be open... it'd be nice to have somebody come and eat,” Vallee says. “But it's a mixed signal, so it's really tough."

Campground restrictions will also include online-only reservations and other protections for staff. The state plans to take similar steps in its management of state parks, ATV trails and other amenities deemed safe to operate as the summer season begins.

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