COVID-19 News & Updates

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our e-newsletter to get the latest about any changes in Parks’ operations.

COVID-19 actualizaciones en español.

WHAT IS OPEN NOW?

As of June 2020, King County is in Safe Start Phase 2. On October 6, Governor Jay Inslee announced a loosening of restrictions on sporting activities. This includes allowing games and scrimmages for youth and adult sports, as well as runs, rides and races, with some restrictions.

The Washington State Phases and Risk Assessment dashboard shows an increase in King County coronavirus cases, and as of October 14, 2020, the level of COVID-19 activity in King County ranks as “high”.

King County Parks will NOT be allowing youth and adult sports games at this time due to this classification. We WILL allow outdoor group athletic activities, such as runs, race, and rides, as of October 15.

We will continue to monitor King County’s level of virus activity and adjust our operations accordingly.

We have been making every effort to align our operations in a way that is consistent with guidance from state and local public health experts, while adjusting our operations to ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers, and visitors.

Please practice physical distancing by staying 6 feet away from others. Before heading out, review our tips to recreate responsibly to keep each other safe, so we can keep our parks and trails open.

Frequently Asked Questions

As you explore our 200 parks, 175 miles of regional trails, and 215 miles of backcountry trails, please help us by reporting crowding, areas that need attention, or other issues using our reporting tool, SeeClickFix.

Here’s what’s open (As of Sept 20)

FacilityStatus
Backcountry Trails
(hiking, trail running, mountain biking, horseback riding)
Open
BallfieldsOpen
Informal recreation of groups of 5 or fewer outside the household
Scheduled use (practices only) resumed June 22.
*contact Regional Scheduling or the Marymoor Park office about team/league reservations.
Basketball/Tennis/Sport CourtsOpen
Informal recreation of groups of 5 or fewer outside the household
Scheduled use (practices only) resumed June 22.
Campground (Tolt-MacDonald Park)Open
*Seasonal closure begins Oct 31
*contact Regional Scheduling for reservations.
Climbing wall (Marymoor Park)Open
Community Centers & Indoor FacilitiesOpen
Limited to small weddings & funerals per state guidelines.
*contact Regional Scheduling for reservations.
Community Gardens (Marymoor Park & N. Green River Park)Open
ConcessionsOpen
*Check with vendor to verify status & hours of operation
Disc Golf (Dick Thurnau Memorial Park)Open
Docks/Boat Launch (Cottage Lake Park, Dockton Park, Five Mile Lake Park, Marymoor West)Open
*The marina at Dockton Park is currently under repair. Read more.
FieldsOpen
Informal recreation of groups of 5 or fewer outside the household
Scheduled use (practices only) resumed June 22.
FishingOpen
Jerry Baker Memorial Velodrome (Marymoor Park)Open
Katherine Taylor Equestrian ParkOpen
Off Leash Dog Area (Marymoor Park)Open
Paragliding (PooPoo Point)Open
Parking LotsOpen
Picnic SheltersOpen
Scheduled use limited to groups of 5 or fewer outside of household.
*contact Regional Scheduling or the Marymoor Park office for reservations.
Play AreasOpen
Regional Trails Open
Radio Control Air Fields (Marymoor Park & Marlow Anderson R/C Field)Open
RestroomsClosed
Limited opening as of June 22, see below.
Volunteer eventsOpen
Limited to groups of 5 or fewer.
Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center & Banquet HallClosed
*Closed through Dec 2020 for construction.

Frequently Asked Questions

*Last updated on 09/20/20

How will Parks adapt its operations to make sure employees are protected? 

Under the guidance of our public health experts, King County Parks has decided that certain facilities will remain closed, both to protect visitors as well as our Parks employees.   

We have adapted our operational protocols to adjust to the current circumstances in ways that protect our employees and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

Some of these measures include:  

  • Operations and maintenance employees have been issued disposable gloves, face coverings, and hand sanitizer.  
  • We are encouraging physical distancing among employees by: 
    • adjusting work shifts to decrease the number of employees in maintenance shops/offices at the same time 
    • sanitizing tools, equipment, and vehicles after use 
    • providing more laptops so employees don’t have to share computers 
  • Contractors performing work at Parks-owned sites and concessionaires and other vendors are required to update and implement Health and Safety Plans to reflect COVID-19 prevention measures. 

When will you resume full operations? 

We are taking a phased approach to re-opening. As of June 19, King County was approved to move into Safe Start Phase 2.

Workforce capacity is a major factor affecting our ability to re-open our facilities. Because of COVID, we had to delay hiring seasonal staff until late June, which we normally do in March. We were only able to onboard a third of the number of seasonal employees that we normally do.

That, coupled with new safety protocols that we are following, is affecting the levels of service that we are able to deliver at this time.

We ask for your patience and collaboration. You can do your part by recreating responsibly and helping keep our parks, trails, and other facilities tidy.

We will continue to update this page as conditions evolve. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our e-newsletter to stay up to date about any changes in Parks’ operations. 

Why are restrooms still closed?

Important factors affecting Parks’ level of service include workforce capacity and ability to provide facilities, such as restrooms, in a manner that is safe for our employees and park and trail visitors.  

Most restrooms remain closed at this time. As of June 22, single stall facilities opened at Marymoor Park, Lake Geneva Park, Gary Grant Park/Soos Creek Trail, Tolt-MacDonald Park (west side), Cougar Mountain – Harvey Manning Trailhead. The Portland Loos at Steve Cox Memorial Park are also open. Shower facilities (Tolt-MacDonald Park and Dockton Park) will remain closed until further notice.

Restrooms are areas where physical distancing can be challenging, and keeping them sanitized to prevent the spread of the virus requires a higher level of service than we are able to provide due to limited protective supplies and limited staffing.

We have increased the number of portable toilets throughout our system, siting additional ones at strategic locations. The toilets are serviced by a third party vendor two times per week.

We encourage visitors to stay local and keep their recreational outings short.

How are you keeping play areas safe?

Our play areas are open as of June 22. Per guidance issued on June 16, 2020 from the Washington State Department of Health, we clean high touch areas every two weeks and have placed mobile hand washing stations at play areas. 

Current guidance states the primary concern related to children on play equipment is from face-to-face respiratory droplet transmission.

Follow these simple tips to help keep our families safe at the play area: 

  • Wash your and your child’s hands, or use hand sanitizer, before and after playing 
  • Practice physical distancing – you and your child should stay 6 feet apart from others outside the household 
  • Wear a face covering – this applies to both adults and children 
  • Avoid crowded play areas – enjoy other activities in the park or find another play area to visit 
  • Do not visit a park or play area if you or your child are feeling sick 

The ballfields are open, so can my team get together to practice? 

Yes. Scheduled use of ballfields resumed on June 22 for practices only. When not reserved, ballfields are open for informal recreation with 5 or fewer people outside of the household. Enjoy your time, but please limit your stay so others may enjoy the fields as well. 

We are working with our teams and sports leagues to ensure compliance with public health guidance, such as practicing in groups of 5 or fewer in separate parts of the field and separated by a buffer zone.  

Can I book a wedding or funeral at one of your indoor or outdoor venues?

Yes. Effective October 1, state guidelines allow for small weddings and funerals in indoor and outdoor venues. Click here to see a list of our venues (note: WKCAC remains closed until further notice).

Some of the measures we are taking to ensure the safety of our employees and guests include:

  • Limit of 30 guests (excluding vendors and staff) per event
  • Limit of 3 hours per event
  • Alcohol service, delivery, and consumption must end by 10 pm.
  • There is a 24-hour period to allow for sanitizing between event bookings.

Contact Regional Scheduling for reservations. For events at the Clise Mansion in Marymoor Park, contact Seattle Event Solutions. For events at Bethaday Community Learning Space, contact the Technology Access Foundation.

When will camping open? 

Our campground at Tolt-MacDonald Park opened July 1 and will close for the season on Oct 31. The group camping site remains closed. Restrooms on the west side of the park will be open; shower facilities remain closed until further notice.

Campgrounds pose unique challenges – please remember to recreate responsibly!

Contact Regional Scheduling for reservations.

How are you enforcing physical distancing requirements and will you close if people aren’t following the guidelines?  

We encourage people to recreate responsibility to keep each other safe and help keep parks and trails open. Do your part to help save lives and slow the spread of the virus! 

We continue to monitor use, encourage park and trail visitors to recreate responsibly through on-site signs and social media, and continue to make informed operational decisions based upon the COVID-19 data and guidance from our public health experts. 

If further COVID-19 concerns develop, we may close parks and trails with limited notice to protect public health. 

Where can I report if I see crowding, congregating, or other issues in parks or along trails? 

Please report crowding, areas needing attention, or other issues using King County Parks’ reporting tool, SeeClickFix, at https://seeclickfix.com/king-county

Tips to Recreate Responsibly

  1. Know before you go – Check the status of the place you want to visit. If it is closed, don’t go. If it’s crowded, have a back-up plan.
  2. Practice physical distancing – Keep your group size small. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth and give others space. If you are sick, stay home. Communicate who will step aside on the trail (trail etiquette gives hikers coming uphill the right of way). 
  3. Plan ahead – Prepare for facilities to be closed, pack lunch and bring essentials like hand sanitizer and a face covering. Learn about the 10 Essentials
  4. Explore locally – Limit long-distance travel and make use of local parks, trail and public spaces. Be mindful of your impact on the communities you visit.
  5. Play it safe – Slow down and choose lower-risk activities to reduce your risk of injury. Search and rescue operations and health care resources are both strained.
  6. Leave no trace Respect public lands and waters, as well as Native and local communities. Take all garbage with you.
  7. Build an inclusive outdoors – Be an active part of making the outdoors safe and welcoming for all identities and abilities.

Where can I learn more?

Visit kingcounty.gov/covid to learn more about the virus and how to slow its spread. Keep updated on the latest developments on the Public Health – Seattle & King County blog at publichealthinsider.com.

Some additional tips from our recreation partners:

22 thoughts on “COVID-19 News & Updates

  1. Hello King County Parks! When will you update your guidelines to reflect the Governors announcement on 10/7 to allow some youth sports?

  2. As a mother of young children what am I supposed to do with my baby and toddler when I need to use the restroom at a park and my only option is a porta potty? In a normal bathroom I push the stroller in but I’m not able to do that in a porta potty. Seems unsanitary to place them on floor of porta potty. Why not put a sign on regular bathroom requesting limited capacity and keep open.

    1. Sorry for the delayed response – we didn’t see your question until now! We suggest checking with your local school district, as they make the policies regarding their property. The play areas located in parks maintained by King County Parks have been open since June.

      1. All of the playgrounds in Bellevue/Kirkland are still taped off. It says here play areas are open. I’m not understanding why they are still taped off then?

      2. The Cities of Bellevue and Kirkland have their own parks systems, which are independent of the parks and trails that King County Parks takes care of. Please check directly with those cities to see what decisions they have made regarding their playgrounds.

  3. Someone on the phone said there is a list of parks that have bathrooms open. I don’t see any such list here. Specifically are the restrooms at Farrell McWhirter open? Going to a park to social distance is the only option for our family this Father’s Day.

  4. If the tennis courts are open as part of modified phase 1, why are they still locked with the nets removed? Thanks!

    1. What park are you referring to? We can make sure to let our staff know! We are working hard to get our facilities re-opened, but have limited staff at this time. This week, we are onboarding some seasonal employees (which we do in March normally), and we hope to have our system open per the modified phase 1 guidelines by the end of the month.

  5. Why are you not allowing youth sports to participate in organized athletics if they have leased fields and are following phase 1.5 guidelines?

    1. We will soon begin taking reservations from youth sports and other recreation organizations for our ballfields and will post information on this page when those details become available. Effective June 8, ballfields can be used for informal recreation for groups of 5 or fewer from outside the household. Physical distancing is required during all activities.

  6. It is Myopic to Keep the Bathrooms
    LOCKED at Vashon’s Dockton Park on an ISLAND! A rural Community that is CVRY DIFFERENT than the REST OF this County and not prone to Crowds or overcrowded non socially distant ignorance! A Dozen Miles or more & a $25 Ferry ride and hours away from any urban areas where there May Be a reason to Keep such facilities from the public! PLEASE PLEASE RESTORE THE FACILITY TO A RURAL COMMUNITY WHERE THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO NEED SHOWERS!
    Thanks for your Time and Consideration & Hopefully Your Support, as well!

  7. Dear King County Parks,
    A great way to spread disease is to close toilets so people have no sanitary place to go to the bathroom. There are diseases other than Covid-19!!! Even if people stay local to recreate people still have to go bathroom. Please open public bathrooms at the trailheads and provide hand sanitizer.

    1. Amen! LET’s open up all the parks…Now they are shutting down Five Mile Lake Park, because they said people are not complying…Complying with what? Complying with the governor’s edicts and dictates…We paid a huge Levy last year as property tax owners for these parks. We OWN these parks, LET’S TAKE THEM BACK FOLKS…It’s time to rise up and take what is ours, not some two-bit Authoritarian in Olympia…

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