As COVID-19 is a fluid crisis with rapid changes affecting parks facilities, the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (LA County Parks) continues to assess operations daily in consultation with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on necessary safety precautions. Based on Stage Two of the reopening plan for the County of Los Angeles, LA County Parks has modified its operations to begin the multi-phased approach to public access of golf courses and trails on Saturday, May 9.
LA County Parks is taking precautions to ensure the health and safety of park guests, team members, and the community remains the top priority upon reopening. LA County Parks will launch a park monitor program at golf courses and trails to remind players, visitors, and trail users of physical distancing requirements that remain in place. Staff training, prominent signage, and operations protocols are also part of the department’s necessary preparation and deployment for reopening.
The development of these protocols comes after consultation with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and input from the Golf Re-Opening Task Force and the Countywide Trail Re-Opening Task Force consisting of Local, State and Federal Park and Recreation organizations and trail managing partners. Adherence is critical to safely operate these open facilities so the community can enjoy the emotional and physical benefits provided by golf and trails.
While the golf courses and trails will reopen, there are specific restrictions and safety guidelines that the public must follow in accordance with the health officer order. These include but are not limited to, the following:
Golf Courses – Reopening on Saturday, May 9
- Golf courses are open for regular play of no more than 4 players per tee time. Tee times will be at least 10 minutes apart. No tournaments or group play.
- Physical distancing of 6 feet always required. No group gathering allowed on the course or in the parking lot.
- Online reservations and payment recommended. Golf courses will accept payment online, only by debit, credit or gift card.
- Push carts and walking recommended. Golf carts are limited to single riders.
- Rental golf clubs and push carts are not available.
- Bring your own water. Drinking fountains are closed.
- Golfers may not touch, remove or adjust the flag stick during their round. Course green cups are touchless. Rakes, ball washers, benches, divot boxes and sand bottles will be removed.
- Driving ranges open. One-hour time limit may be enforced. Practice putting and chipping greens remain closed.
- Clubhouses and pro shops remain closed. Restaurants and cafes open for take-out only.
Trails – Reopening on Saturday, May 9
- Trail users are encouraged to check the Trails LA County website for updated guidelines, notifications, and up-to-date information prior to visiting trails. The trails website offers information for over 600 miles of trails that residents can visit and experience the wonderful outdoors.
- Download the Trails LA County mobile app before heading out for real-time updates and offline location tracking and trail information to explore the extensive trail network within our diverse landscapes across the County.
- Do not visit public trails and trailheads if feeling sick and/or exhibiting any symptoms of illness.
- Follow all posted regulations at trails and trailhead facilities
- Physical distancing of 6 feet always required. No group gathering allowed on trails or in the parking lot.
- Limit visit to members of your household only.
- Trail users over the age of 2 are required to wear face coverings at trailheads, parking lots and while on the trail.
- Consider avoiding popular locations that are prone to crowds.
- Alert trail users of your presence and step aside to let others pass.
- Bring water, hand sanitizer and/or disinfecting wipes to wash or sanitize hands frequently.
- Practice the leave-no-trace principles on the trails to protect park staff and wildlife.
Meanwhile the US Forest Service Front Range Trails are closed until, May 15:
Arcadia, Calif., – The USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region, announced that most developed recreation sites will remain closed through May 15. In conjunction, the Angeles National Forest has extended its closure of high-use areas.
While, Regional Order 20-03 does not close trails, trailheads, and general forest areas, Angeles Forest Order 05-01-20-04 does extend its closure of 4 formal trailheads, 23 informal trail access points, and 19 roads.
Outdoor recreation can be beneficial to mental and physical health but must be practiced safely. In light of the statewide shelter-in-place order issued by the Governor of California, we continue to ask visitors to recreate locally.
If you do plan on visiting the Angeles National Forest, please be aware that:
- Limited trash removal is currently offered – please pack out all trash and waste
- Minimal toilet facilities are currently offered – please plan accordingly
- Avoid high-risk activities – law enforcement and search and rescue operations may be limited
- If an area is crowded, please search for a less occupied location
Closing any site for any reason is not an action we take lightly, but protecting our visitors and employees remains our highest priority. We are working with our state and local partners to determine the best path forward to safely reopen closed sites.
We appreciate your cooperation in keeping our national forests safe and healthy for everyone’s use.
Mother’s Day – Parks stay open on Sunday, May 10
Local, community and regional parks, botanic gardens (except Descanso Gardens) will remain open on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10, for passive use, such as walking, jogging, and leisure time outdoors for individuals or families. Since the holiday is one of the busiest days of the year, LA County Parks reminds all park guests that social distancing is required and group gatherings are prohibited by the health order.
For more information on closures and changes in response to COVID-19, visit the LA County Parks website at https://parks.lacounty.gov/covid-19.