Bays Mountain Park’s COVID-19 Update

Bays Mountain Park’s Nature Center has reopened as of June 1, and we have resumed some programming, both at limited capacity. Park trails and the animal habitat area are and have been open. Other park buildings, like the herpetarium and Farmhouse Museum, remain closed.

We want to thank everyone for your support and understanding these past few months, and we ask that you continue to be patient as we take these first steps toward normal operations. Please review this information thoroughly before planning your visit to the park. If you feel sick or are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, BMP asks that for your safety and that of staff and others visitors, do not visit the park at this time.

At this time, only 20 guests will be allowed in the Nature Center at a time.

  • As of July 12, face coverings are required to enter park buildings, in accordance with the Sullivan County mandate.
  • Only the upper level and gift shop area will be accessible.
  • Please follow the designated flow of traffic through the Nature Center and keep visits brief so that others can enter.
  • Maintain social distance (at least 6 feet) from others and wash your hands frequently.

Nature programs and barge rides are available.

  • Programs and barge rides are limited to 9 participants (plus program leader).
  • At this time, the planetarium, adventure course and zip line remain closed.

All visitors need to stop at the gate when entering the park, as is normal park policy. As a reminder, park entry is $5 per vehicle or free to park members who show their membership card.

At this time, all Nature Programs will be held outdoors (weather permitting). Programs are $3 per person or free for park members. Barge rides will be held weather permitting and are $5 per person or free for park members. Tickets are available in the Nature Center the day of the program. Please arrive early to ensure plenty of time to get tickets.

Nature Center Hours and Program Times (see park grounds hours here)
Nature Center Hours
Monday – Friday              9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday     11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Weekdays | September – November
Barge rides at 1 and 3 p.m.
Nature programs at 4 p.m. (Tuesday – Friday)

Weekends | September – October
Barge rides at 1 and 3 p.m.
Nature programs at 4 p.m.

Weekends | November
Barge rides at 12 and 2 p.m.
Nature programs at 3 p.m.

At this time, our only rental facility available is the Pavilion at Lilypad Cove for groups not exceeding 10 people. No other facilities are avaiable for rent at this time.

Bays Mountain is committed to the health and safety of both guests and our park staff. We are following recommendations and best practices from the CDC, the Sullivan County Regional Health Department and Tennessee Pledge. We will continue to monitor any developments on the COVID-19 pandemic and how these might affect operations.

Watch this video for a quick run-through of what to expect on your visit to the park.