Cloudland Canyon State Park reopens day after being shut down over coronavirus concerns

Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Cloudland Canyon State Park as seen on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020 in Rising Fawn, Georgia.

Less than 24 hours after Cloudland Canyon State Park was shut down indefinitely due to crowding concerns and the spread of the coronavirus, the park was reopened to the public on Sunday.

On Saturday, Mark Williams, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, visited the park and closed it after seeing backed-up traffic entering and leaving the park. Dade County residents and the local commission had called for the park's closure for weeks.

State and local officials congratulated one another Saturday on ensuring public safety to stop the spread of COVID-19 by closing the park. At the time, it was announced the park would be closed indefinitely.

Then on Sunday, Cloudland Canyon was again opened for visitors. According to a Facebook post from the park announcing the decision, trails or parking lots would be closed if they became too crowded. The park headquarters confirmed the park was open but Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials did not respond to requests for further explanation of the decision.

Contact Wyatt Massey at [email protected] or 423-757-6249. Follow him on Twitter @news4mass.