Bays Mountain Park’s COVID-19 Update

April 3, 2020
5:48 p.m.

We’ve gotten a lot of questions today, so we wanted to give a public update: park grounds remain open as of April 3. Getting into the outdoors and exercising can be a much needed mental break from the world right now, and we understand that.

However, whether we are able to stay open depends on your ability to be responsible. You are welcome to visit for a walk, hike, or bike ride, but you must maintain social distancing and follow all other CDC recommended guidelines. See our post here for some practical tips:

If we determine that overcrowding is making the park unsafe, that can and will result in Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium closing for an undetermined amount of time.

Please help us maintain the park as the refuge we hope to be during this time. Please maintain a responsible, respectful distance from others when you visit. Better yet, if you can, stay home and stay safe. We’ll be here when all this is over. Thank you for your continued support!


March 18, 2020
11:30 a.m.

Effective at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, all park buildings including the Nature Center and the herpetarium will close until further notice. At this time, the park itself and the gatehouse will remain open, along with the Nature Center bathrooms, which are accessible from outside the building.

This decision, recommended by the Center for Disease Control and the Sullivan County Regional Health Department, is part of a city-wide effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, in our community. As of March 16, all programs and events at Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium have been suspended indefinitely. This includes all nature programs, astronomy programs, planetarium shows, barge rides and other programs.

As of March 17, the CDC recommends that for the next 15 days, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events of 10 or more people; and for the next eight weeks, cancel events of 50 or more people. If you have booked a rental between now and April 3, please reach out to us directly with any questions or if you wish to cancel.

We are making every effort to ensure that park grounds remain open during this situation. So long as you are not sick or at high risk, visiting a park—whether it’s ours or one of Kingsport’s 35+ city parks—can be safe. If you choose to come to the park for a hike or to bike, we urge you to follow CDC guidelines about social distancing. Maintain a safe distance of six feet between yourself and others, and do not hike in large groups. Spending time outside and in nature can help during this difficult time. All we ask is that you do it safely!

Additionally, please do your part to slow the spread of germs. For more information on behaviors that help ensure good personal health, please visit Here are some basic recommendations:

  1.     If you’re sick, stay home.
  2.     Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  3.     Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and wash them often.

Above all, we want to assure the public and our staff that we are committed to their safety and well-being and will continue to monitor the effects of the Coronavirus and any new information available. We have increased cleaning and sanitation efforts at the park to ensure the safety of staff and park visitors.

For the most up-to-date operations information, please check our website and social media. Thank you for your support of Bays Mountain Park.