As fall approaches and temperatures cool down, crowds descend on many national parks to witness the annual ritual of leaves turning shades of red, yellow and orange. But because of the pandemic, visiting autumn hot spots such as Acadia, Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains national parks is a bit more complicated.
There is social distancing, closures and other state regulations to consider this year, on top of the usual ethics and standards travelers should keep in mind when visiting natural wonders.
The first thing to know is that national parks are undergoing a phased reopening on a park-by-park basis. Check individual park websites to ensure attractions and facilities are open. Policies vary among parks, especially regarding mask use. For those traveling out of state, research state guidelines. A few states such as Maine