Here’s what the new National Parks mask mandate means for Blue Ridge Parkway visitors

If no one’s around, you don’t need a mask

ROANOKE, Va. – Contrary to what you may have read from other media outlets, the new mask requirement at National Parks has very clear exceptions.

So if you’re walking along a trail on National Park land and there’s no one around, would you be in violation of the mandate?


“Face masks are now required in all NPS buildings and facilities. Masks are also required on NPS-managed lands when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including narrow or busy trails, overlooks and historic homes,” according to the new National Park Service guidance announced on Tuesday.

This mandate extends to the NPS-opperated Blue Ridge Parkway, so if you’re walking around and able to maintain social distancing, then you don’t need to wear a mask, according to these guidelines.

After seeing incorrect reporting regarding the Blue Ridge Parkway and this mandate, we wanted to make sure people were accurately informed about what it meant.