Fort Pickens set to reopen

Fort Pickens is reopening Thursday under normal operating hours.

Gulf Islands National Seashore has also announced it is reopening the Perdido Key Area and Santa Rosa Area during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, restrooms will open at The Okaloosa Area. However, they remain closed at Naval Live Oaks.

The Pensacola Bay Cruises are starting back up. Information on its modified schedule can be found at www.cruisepb.com.

Regarding Fort Pickens, restrooms will be open at Langdon Beach and outside the discovery center. Lifeguards will be on duty at Langdon Beach.

Perdido Key will resume normal operating hours as well. Lifeguards will be on duty at Johnson Beach.

In the Santa Rosa Area, lifeguards will be on duty at Opal Beach. Restrooms at clusters C & D will be open as well at Opal Beach.

Starting May 23, the tram service at Fort Pickens begins again. Also, passengers on the Pensacola Bay Cruises can be dropped off and picked up at Fort Pickens.

For now, however, Fort Barrancas, the campground at Fort Pickens, the discovery center and book store remain closed. The headquarters and indoor exhibits at the Naval Live Oaks Area are also still closed.

Parking lots 33A and 36A along Highway 399 are closed for the season. Parking lots 34A and 34E at Opal Beach also remain closed.

The decision to reopen additional areas at the national seashore is being done while following guidance from the White House, CDC and state and local public health authorities.

A phased approach to increase access is being done on a park-by-park basis.

“Park staff, in coordination with public health officials continue to monitor health data from local and regional areas to determine when gating criteria is met,” Gulf Islands Superintendent Dan Brown said. “As the areas evaluated continue to move through the required criteria the park is working hard to increase recreational access in a safe and responsible way.”

More information on Gulf Islands and the can be found at www.nps.gov/guis.

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