Burnside Photo

General Burnside Island State Park is open, but following strict state guidelines through the COVID-19 crisis.

General Burnside Island State Park is open but during the coronavirus pandemic the park is strictly following directives from Gov. Andy Beshear and the Kentucky Department of Parks.

Mike Lynn, manager of the state park at Burnside, said the Brian Ault-designed golf course and 102-site campground are open but golfers and campers are encouraged to make tee times and reservations online. Offices at the Burnside state park are closed to the public because of the COVID-19 crisis.

"We operate from the Pro Shop office door," said Lynn. He said a golfer or camper approaching the office door is observed by an employee and the transaction is done at the door.

Golf carts, sanitized before and after use, can be rented as usual, but, here again, the transaction is done at the Pro Shop office door.

At the campground, the small office at the campground entrance is open weekends but if a camper has made online reservations he or she may drive directly to the campsite. The boat-launching ramp at the park remains open, Lynn said.

No retail business of any kind is being done at the park, he added. Lynn said current restrictions are in place until at least April 30, or longer.

General Burnside Island State Park is located in the corporate limits of Burnside in southern Pulaski County. The local state park, despite decades of efforts, does not have a lodge.

The park encompasses 430 acres in the middle of Lake Cumberland, making it Kentucky's only island park. The park is named for General Ambrose E. Burnside, a Union general during the Civil War who stationed his troops at the location the park now occupies.

Statewide, the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus has led to some changes for Kentucky State Parks. Health and safety of guests and staff are important and some adjustments have been made to park operations and schedules.

• Food services will be limited to carry out at most parks. No seating will be available in the dining rooms at the parks 17 restaurants. Lounges and bars are closed. The restaurant at Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park is closed.

• Group events are cancelled through April 30.

• Park events scheduled through April 30 have been cancelled or postponed. Patrons should check with individual parks to find out about park services and hours.

• Historic homes, museums and gift shops are closed for the time being. Park grounds are open for hiking, picnicking and exploring. Tours of homes are also suspended at this time as well as tours of the two pioneer forts at Fort Boonesborough and Old Fort Harrod state parks.

• All 17 lodges and cottages remain open. Housekeeping services will be limited during this time as a precaution for guests and employees.

• All state park campgrounds, golf courses, marinas and hiking trails remain open to the public.

Pulaski County Park opened this week but the bathhouse remains closed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has delayed opening recreational areas along the lake. Bee Rock Campground near Mt. Victory will not open this summer because the U.S. Forest Service does not have money to make repairs from last spring's floods.

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