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Area National Parks open

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service Flight 93 National Memorial is in Somerset County. It is the site of the crash of United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked in the September 11 attacks, in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, about 2 miles north of Shanksville. It opened Friday.

The National Park Service (NPS) Units of Western Pennsylvania, following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site, Flight 93 National Memorial, Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Friendship Hill National Historic Site and Johnstown Flood National Memorial opened increasing recreational access on Friday.

The NPS is working servicewide with federal, state and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

The following park units reopened access to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County. It is the site of the crash of United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked in the September 11 attacks, in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, about 2 miles north of Shanksville.

Other parks are:

n Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site

n Trails, Picnic Area, Staple Bend Tunnel

n Flight 93 National Memorial

n Trails, Tower of Voices, Flight Path, Memorial Plaza, Wall of Names

n Fort Necessity National Battlefield Trails, Fort Grounds and Battlefield

n Friendship Hill National Historic Site Trails and Grounds

n Johnstown Flood National Memorial Trails, North and South Abutment, Picnic Area

With public health in mind, visitor centers and restrooms will remain closed, however portalets will be available at all five park units.

“The National Park Units of Western Pennsylvania provide a place for local residents and visitors from all across the country, to recreate, relax, and to serve as an inspiration,” said Superintendent Stephen M. Clark. “We are approaching this phased opening with that in mind as we balance our responsibility to protect park resources and the health and safety of everyone.”

The health and safety of employees, partners, volunteers, visitors, and local residents continues to be paramount. The operational approach in the five Western Pennsylvania park units will be 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 guidance to ensure public areas and workspaces are safe and clean.

While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy at this time, a return to full operations will be determined with the advice and guidance of public health officials.

When recreating, the NPS requests visitors follow CDC guidance, practice Leave No Trace principles, and remember social distancing practices.

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on each park website and social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

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