Pasco parks to reopen on limited basis

The J.W. Starkey Wilderness Park in New Port Richey is one of several Pasco County parks that have reopened the areas with limited access.

NEW PORT RICHEY — The Pasco County Commission decided during its April 21 virtual meeting it was time to get out of the office and take a hike, walk, bike ride or even cast a rod for some fish.

Having to remain at home like everyone else during the COVID-19 emergency measures, the commission made the decision to reopen some of its county parks for such recreational activities as deemed “essential” by the governor’s executive order.

County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources began reopening select locations April 22 to allow essential recreation activities outlined in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order, such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing or running.

Federal and state social distancing and gathering guidelines remain in place. Groups of more than 10 will not be permitted, and social distancing of 6 feet is necessary.

These are being termed “limited access openings” and the public restrooms will remain closed unless noted.

The parks in which limited access is being made available are:

• Withlacoochee River Park, Dade City;

• Aripeka Sandhills Preserve, Hudson;

• Boy Scout Preserve, New Port Richey;

• Crews Lake Wilderness Park, Spring Hill;

• Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park, New Port Richey;

• Key Vista Nature Park, Holiday;

• Lake Lisa Park, Port Richey;

• Pasco Palms Preserve, New Port Richey;

• Upper Pithlachascotee Preserve, Spring Hill;

• Robert J. Strickland Memorial Park, Hudson

The following public boat ramps remain open: Anclote River Park, Holiday (restroom access); Robert J. Strickland Memorial Park, Hudson; Moon Lake Park, New Port Richey; Middle Lake, Dade City; Eagle Point Park (kayak and canoe), New Port Richey.

The Suncoast Trail, Starkey Boulevard Trail and Starkey Gap Trail remain open.

To ensure the safety of Pasco County staff members and customers, all recreation complexes and community centers, all events, activities, youth and adult sports leagues, special event reservations, pavilions, camp/RV grounds, cabin rentals, field reservations and any other reservations remain closed until further notice.

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