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William B. Umstead State Park to Test Early Opening Hours

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Michael F. Easley, Governor
William G. Ross, Jr., Secretary

Release Note: 
Charlie Peek
Release Date: 
Tuesday, November 27, 2007

William B. Umstead State Park to Test Early Opening Hours

RALEIGH -- Gates at the U.S. 70 entrance to William B. Umstead State Park will open at 7 a.m. starting Dec. 1 as part of a pilot program to allow early access to the park's trails system, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.

The program is intended to address early-morning trail use only. The park will continue to open its visitor center, restrooms and other facilities at the normal posted time of 8 a.m. Gates at the Reedy Creek entrance will continue to open at 8 a.m. All gates will be closed at the posted times.

'This test program is specifically in response to the DOT's posting of 'No Parking' signs along Graylyn Road and new restrictions on parking at other points on the park's boundary,' said Park Superintendent Scott Letchworth. 'The park cannot control or provide parking outside its borders. We hope this compromise will help address concerns of park visitors about the loss of early morning access.'

Letchworth added that there are currently no plans to change the opening hours at the Reedy Creek entrance since the park does not have adequate staff to open both entrances early.

State law only requires state parks to open by 8 a.m. Letchworth said posted opening times on park signs will not change, and that there may be times when an early opening is not possible due to staff shortages or special circumstances.