Some California State Parks seeing more visitors during stay at home order

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As people drive up towards Millerton Lake in Fresno County, blinking signs warn them parking lots are closed.

Many tried driving into the park Monday evening only to be stopped by a gate.

"This is not a time for a road trip to a destination park or beach," says California State Parks Information Officer Adeline Yee.

Millerton Lake remains open, but people can only access the water by foot or bike.

"Right now, we want people to balance the stay at home order with being able to go outside for part of your day," Yee said.

The decision to shut the parking lot down came Sunday after California State Parks issued the closures of all 280 of their parking lots in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Despite the Governors stay at home order, park officials say they've seen more visitors than normal.

"The previous weekend, we had a huge surge in visitation in many of our parks," Yee said.

At the moment, the state does not plan on enforcing full closures. They're leaving that decision up to the counties.

"There are unfortunately some park units across our state that are fully closed, and that would include the trails and the beaches as well."

Parking lots may be closed, but State Park officials are encouraging people to enjoy the outdoors. They're just urging them to do it in their neighborhoods.

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