Virginia officials close the Channels Natural Area due to coronavirus concerns

Local Coronavirus Coverage

(Virginia DCR-DNH)

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation announced it is closing the Channels Natural Area Preserve on April 3 at 8 p.m.

Officials cite COVID-19 concerns as the reason for the closure.

According to a release, it “applies to the primary access point on Virginia Highway 80 in Hayters Gap and includes the parking area, the trail leading to the rock formations and the rock formations themselves.”

Officials state visitation to The Channels has surpassed capacity recently. They also stated in the release that the large number of visitors has resulted in “large rocks being thrown into the channels from above, vandalism and other negative impacts to the preserve.

They also say the area is closing due to the tight, confined spaces in The Channels which restrict social distancing.

According to the DCR, The Channels will remain closed until at least June 10.

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