BREAKS, Va. (WYMT) - Breaks Interstate Park is a popular tourist destination during the summer. The beginning of that boost usually takes place Memorial Day weekend.
Now, as states begin to slowly lift COVID-19 safety restrictions, park employees hope they will see the usual crowd of people enjoying the amenities they are able to provide.
Though some of the park areas are still closed for safety reasons, trails, lodging and the paddle boat area are open for business. The park's popular restaurant is also operating.
"We’re actually having to run things differently, but it’s actually going very smooth," said Director of Programs Tim Cleary. "We’re hoping to have a really big weekend this year.”
Even with COVID-19 safety guidelines in place for park employees, people are showing up to take advantage of the park amenities.
“Haven’t been to the Breaks in years. Just looking at the overlooks and seeing what’s out today," said David Miller, visiting from Honaker, Virginia.
Families from surrounding states made their way to the park Saturday, kicking off Memorial Day weekend with a little nature.
"We're out here camping. We're about to go on the hike down to the river," said Ethan Rhoades, visiting with his family from Wilmington, North Carolina.
The people on-site said the trails were not as packed as normal, but that makes it easier to stay safe.
Still, they encourage others to make the trip to the park this weekend for a small escape.
"It's refreshing. It's just different from what we've all been doing," said Rhoades. "And it's a lot better than staying home, playing video games."