Clemson Beach, Experimental Forest, Other Recreation Areas Closed Due to Safety Concerns
Upon consultation with law enforcement and emergency management agencies, Clemson University has temporarily closed access to recreation areas, including the Snow Family Outdoor Fitness and Wellness Complex (formerly known as Y-Beach), the rowing facility, and public areas of the Clemson Experimental Forest (CEF). These closures are effective immediately. Parking areas, both designated and roadside, are also closed in the interest of public health and slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Earlier this week Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order stating, “law enforcement has the ability to disperse groups of people who pose a risk to the public's safety and to the safety of others.” Additionally, the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism announced all state parks are closed through April 30. With the previous closing of other public lands, parks, and forests in the area, Clemson has begun experiencing unsafe and overcrowded conditions which tax local resources. This is contributing to an unsafe situation with groups gathering in excess of the numbers permissible under the current state regulations. Local officials have reported crowds gathering along the beach, on trails and in parking areas, which compromises the degree of social distancing needed to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Other areas are currently being evaluated for closure should excessive use create an unsafe situation.
Clemson University officials regret that this temporary closure is necessary and will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring the University’s recreation spaces are reopened as soon as conditions allow. While this decision has not been made lightly, it is in the protection of public safety and is temporary. We appreciate your patience and understanding. For additional information and updates on Clemson University’s response and policy, can be found at Clemson.edu/coronavirus.