In the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fort Stanwix National Monument in Rome was still able to host 24,134 visitors during its 2020 season.
Although locally, that number represents a decrease in visitors from the previous year, across the National Park Service 237 million visitors enjoyed our national parks throughout the difficult year of the pandemic.
At Fort Stanwix, the decrease was due largely to temporary park closures and restrictions implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic. At Fort Stanwix, people were able to explore park trails and the historic fort with a new self-guided tour program but several signature events, including the annual Honor America Days concert, were scuttled.
“This past year has reminded us how important national parks and public lands are to overall wellbeing,” said NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge. “Throughout the country, national parks provided close-to-home opportunities for people to spend much needed time outdoors for their physical and psychological health.” The coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly every National Park Service operation, and parks continue to work with public health officials to navigate changing conditions.
A maximum 66 of the 423 parks of the National Park System were fully closed for two months or more. The majority of parks – particularly those with outdoor spaces – remained accessible to the public. Just a handful of historic and cultural parks, primarily historic homes with limited indoor space, remain closed.
In continued support of these outdoor endeavors to combat the pandemic, Fort Stanwix will be reopening the historic fort this spring — with its massive lawn offering plenty of open-air space for the public to safely enjoy.
“Hopefully, the groundhog prediction of another six weeks of winter falls way short,” said Fort Stanwix Superintendent Kevin Wyrick. “It would be very refreshing to have an on-time spring arrive in Upstate NY this year so folks can come on out and enjoy downtown Rome.”
To protect the health of those who live in, work at, and visit America’s national parks, face masks are required in all NPS buildings and facilities. Masks are also required on federally managed lands when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including narrow or busy trails, overlooks, and parking lots. Additional public health measures remain in effect, and visitors should check with individual parks for details on operations before visiting.
Fort Stanwix National Monument trails are open throughout the year. Historic fort hours vary. Admission to the park is free. For information, go online to www.nps.gov/fost, or follow the fort on Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.
Fort Stanwix is one of more than 400 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about these national parks, visit www.nps.gov.