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Hikers rejoice! Sandburg trails reopen on Monday

FLAT ROCK — The Carl Sandburg Home will reopen park trails, most of the grounds and parking lots beginning Monday.

With public health in mind, areas and services closed until further notice include the Sandburg home, goat barn and barnyard, restrooms, and other structures, water fountains, Sandburg Home tours, all volunteer shifts and all summer public programs, festivals, plays and other special events. The park shuttle will not be running. The park advises people to bring enough water for their entire visit as water fountains will not be available. Goats will only be visible from the barnyard fence, as the entire barn area will remain closed.

The National Park Service is working with federal, state and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and is using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

“Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is a small historic site in a small rural community," Superintendent Polly Angelakis. “Our 90,000 annual visitors come here from every state in the country. Summer is one of our busiest times. By working together to follow social distancing and other CDC guidelines, visitors and staff can remain safe. We look forward to seeing our visitors again.”

Weekends are busier than weekdays. The hours of 10 a.m.-3 p.m. are busy seven days a week.

Although the park closed to visitors on March 28, staff remained onsite and focused on livestock care, goat births and socialization and completing several preservation and visitor safety projects. The projects included installation of additional security cameras; completing the Sandburg Home roof repair; pavement repair work; re-paving and re-striping paved parking lots; installation of trail signs; and assessment of and removal of hazard trees throughout the park. Staff also added social distancing reminders throughout the park.