Cane River Creole National Historical Park is pleased to announce that Oakland Plantation will reopen to the public on Thursday, Sept. 10, following a two-week closure due to Hurricane Laura.
Over the past week, park staff and members of the National Park Service Arborist Incident Response team have worked to remove a significant number of downed and hazard trees throughout the plantation grounds. Staff have been working tirelessly to clean and stabilize the park after Hurricane Laura caused minimal to moderate damage Thursday, Aug. 27.
“We are incredibly fortunate to be able to reopen Oakland Plantation so quickly, largely in part to the outside assistance we received from our neighboring national park units and specialized arborist team. Power was restored to both plantations on Friday, which allowed clean-up efforts to move quicker than anticipated,” said Cane River Creole National Historical Park Superintendent Carrie Mardorf. “However, as Oakland reopens, Magnolia Plantation will remain closed due to ongoing hurricane clean-up efforts.”
Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Cane River Creole National Historical Park is also opening the visitor restrooms and an outdoor visitor services tent and bookstore at Oakland Plantation. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
Beginning Thursday, Sept. 10, the park will offer new access to the following buildings at Oakland, with limited occupancy.
- Visitor Restrooms at the Oakland Plantation Entrance Pavilion
- Outdoor Visitor Services Tent at Oakland Store with Cooperating Association Bookstore
- Oakland Plantation Cook’s Cabin
In addition, the following spaces continue to be available:
- Oakland Plantation Grounds
- Oakland Trails
- Oakland Visitor Parking Lot
- Oakland Plantation Overseer’s House
- Oakland Plantation North Slave/Tenant Cabin
With public health and safety in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:
- Oakland Plantation Main House
- Oakland Plantation Store
Other sites at Cane River Creole National Historical Park remain closed or have limited access due to Hurricane Laura recovery:
- Magnolia Plantation, closed until further notice as work continues to remove downed trees and hazardous limbs from the park grounds.
- Park Headquarters and Curation Facility, open by appointment only.
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Cane River Creole NHP, our operational approach continues to be centered on examining each facility function and service to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and are regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public areas and workspaces are safe and clean.
A safe and enjoyable park experience begins at home. The NPS encourages visitors to plan their visit by checking the park’s website and social media for current conditions and travel tips. The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We ask the public to be our partner in recreating responsibly, by following CDC and state and local guidance, social distancing, and wearing a face covering when social distance cannot be maintained.