The government shutdown has all national parks closed, but you wouldn’t know it from seeing the Castillo de San Marcos national monument in St. Augustine, FL.
On a recent visit to St. Augustine, I noticed that the monument was crowded with people walking around it and taking pictures. It appeared to be very much open for business with the number of people enjoying it.
It was only in talking to a US Park Service ranger that I found out it was technically closed. Unlike some other parks, this one wasn’t barricaded; rather, people couldn’t buy tickets to go inside of the monument but could freely walk around the grounds.
The ranger also told me he was working for free right now because of the shutdown. I assumed that meant he was considered an “essential” federal employee. He did say that most of the people in his office had been furloughed, however. Despite the unfortunate situation he was facing, he seemed to be in good spirits and appeared to enjoy working at the park and seemed optimistic the shutdown would end soon for his job to return to normal.
So while the shutdown wears on, some of the land in national parks is still open for the public to enjoy.