UPDATED 04/03/2020: Frequently Asked Questions Regarding MWCD Operations During COVID-19
April 3, 2020
The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) prioritizes the safety and health of our community: the visitors we serve, our employees, volunteers, and neighbors. Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are committed to aligning operations with the orders/ recommendations of national, state, and local public health experts.
Information will be updated frequently to adapt to the continually evolving situation.
What facilities are closed?
Currently MWCD operated facilities are closed including campgrounds, cabins, restrooms, playgrounds, marinas, and offices are closed to the public.
Why are the facilities closed?
The MWCD is following orders from the Ohio Department of Health to close facilities. The order states that seasonal use of campgrounds should not be permitted as all citizens are ordered to stay at home. Here is information provided by the Tuscarawas County Health Department:
Campgrounds: We are clarifying the stay at home order to close campgrounds with the exception where a camper or recreational vehicle in a campground serves as somebody’s permanent residence and they are unable to secure safe alternative housing.
Which facilities are not MWCD operated?
The MWCD has several leased operations throughout the district. For questions regarding operations at the following facilities, please reach out to these privately-operated businesses directly, as the answers may be different for these locations:
- Atwood Lake Marinas (East and West)
- Atwood Lake Lighthouse Bistro (located at the West Marina)
- Atwood Dock Restaurant (located at the East Marina)
- Charles Mill Marina
- Leesville Lake Marinas (North and South)
- Leesville Lake Northfork Campground
- Pleasant Hill Marina
- Seneca Lake-Dockside Restaurant
- Seneca Lake- Boat Sales and Service by Ohio Valley Boats
- Tappan Lake- Latitude 40 Restaurant
- Tappan Lake- Boat Sales and Service by Ohio Valley Boats
When will MWCD campgrounds re-open?
As soon as the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) permits the campgrounds to re-open, we will make that announcement. Unless a user is sheltering in place with nowhere to go, campgrounds are not deemed as essential business operations in Ohio. We will continue to follow guidelines and may not be able to open playgrounds and other outdoor areas right away but will allow camping as soon as possible.
Will the seasonal camper lotteries still be held?
The lottery for seasonal camping is scheduled for Saturday, May 2, 2020
When will the Marina’s re-open?
The Marina’s will most likely first resume operations on a limited basis. (Fuel, bait, etc.) when the Stay at Home order has been lifted.
UPDATED: If I am a seasonal docker at one of the MWCD Marinas, will I be able to put my boat on the water, even if the marina is still closed?
Although some docks are in place, docking will not be permitted until the stay at home order has been lifted. This is due to minimal staffing being onsite, and to minimize the number of people who may gather at MWCD facilities. Public boat launches remain open.
If the park or marina remains closed after my permit starts will I receive a refund?
Once the restriction has been lifted, and the number of camping and docking days impacted by COVID-19 can be counted, we will be offering a pro-rated refund for the number of days you are unable to camp or dock at MWCD operated facilities due to restrictions put in place by the Ohio Department of Health as a result of COVID-19. Depending on the extent of the closure, seasonal campers may have the option of extending the camping season beyond October 31, 2020 by the number of days missed if they prefer that over a refund.
Under normal circumstances, seasonal camping permits begin April 1, and seasonal docking permits begin April 15.
NEW: If I am a seasonal camper who has opted into the payment plan, can I have an extension on my payment?
Payments for those utilizing the seasonal payment plan have been extended by 30 days. The new due dates are as follows: May 15, July 15, and September 15.
NEW: If I am a seasonal camper, can I access my camper:
If you need to access your camper to retrieve items, pull your camper out, or have work completed, you are permitted to do so. Please contact the park or marina office and schedule a time to gain access. Please limit unnecessary trips as our staff is working limited hours. These restrictions are in place to provide security to the camp areas. Rangers are routinely patrolling camp areas.
If my reservation was canceled due to the Corona Virus or I cancel my reservation due to the virus, will I receive a refund?
Yes, refunds will be provided in full. Contact the park or marina directly where the reservation was made.
Are the cabins still available to rent?
Currently the cabins (including the park model cabins at Piedmont Marina) are closed until further notice. All reservations made while the cabins are unable to be open will be refunded in full.
Are trails available for hiking?
Yes, trails are open! Vehicle access into the park/ campground areas is limited at some locations. At Pleasant Hill, please access the trails that are available at the dam. Seneca Lake guests can park at the welcome center and walk into the park to access the trails. Guests at Tappan can in the third car parking lot near the park office and walk into the park to access the trails. Please note that due to rain and flooding the trails are muddy in some areas, and access may be limited due to high water.
Can I still fish along the shoreline of the lakes?
Yes, fishing along the shoreline is permitted on public property.
Are the boat launch ramps still open?
Yes, the boat launch ramps are still open.
Can I get a fishing license or register my boat at an MWCD marina?
While MWCD marinas remain closed to the public, we will not be offering these services.
NEW: Are fishing tournaments permitted during the Stay at Home Order?
No fishing tournaments will be permitted while the Stay at Home Order is in place.
Are the rangers still patrolling MWCD lands?
Yes, Rangers are still patrolling, and providing aid to the public.
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