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Saturday, September 30, 2023
Sept. 30, 2023

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Skamania County closes hiking areas

The Columbian

All recreational hiking destinations in Skamania County are closed until further notice to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The order, issued Monday by the Skamania County health officer, includes all trailheads and state park access in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area within Skamania County, according to a news release.

“Skamania County is a small rural community with relatively little infrastructure available to handle large numbers of COVID-19 infections,” the news release reads. “Unnecessary travel from larger metropolitan areas for the purposes of recreational hiking in the Skamania County Gorge increases the likelihood of close social interaction both in the parking areas of trailheads, on crowded trails themselves and during other incidental social interactions resulting from such travel.”

Anyone parked at a trailhead in Skamania County for anything but emergency needs is subject to a parking infraction, criminal citation or both. Violation of the order is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine, 90 days in jail or both.