Monongahela National Forest to reopen some recreation sites

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ELKINS, WV (WOWK) – Monongahela National Forest will open some developed recreation sites on May 21.

The forest asks visitors to avoid congregating at trailheads and parking areas and to refrain from gathering in groups of more than 10 people.

“While we understand there may be some excitement to return to these recreation areas, there may be limited services or spaces available,” says Forest Supervisor Shawn Cochran “We ask that visitors please continue to follow local, state and federal guidelines on staying safe and practice good hygiene and social distancing wherever they choose to visit.”

For a full list of open areas and up-to-date information on re-openings, visit the Forest’s website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/mnf

Developed recreation sites to open May 21 include:

  • Bartow Area
    • Camp Allegheny Day Use Area
    • Cheat Summit Fort Day Use Area
  • Elkins Area
    • Bickle Knob Observation Tower
    • Stuart Recreation Area (both the campground and picnic area, but not the group campsite)
  • Marlinton Area
    • Highland Scenic Highway Overlooks
    • Williams River Fishing Pier (on Forest Road 86, just east of the Highland Scenic Highway)
  • Parsons Area
    • Horseshoe Recreation Area (both the campground and the picnic area will open May 22)
    • Olson Observation Tower
  • Petersburg Area
    • Big Bend Campground
  • Richwood Area
    • Cranberry Glades Boardwalk
    • Falls of Hills Creek Trail
    • Summit Lake Day Use Area (not the campground)
  • Seneca Rocks Area
    • Seneca Rocks Picnic Area and trailhead (but not the picnic shelter)
    • Seneca Shadows Campground
    • Spruce Knob Lake Campground

Certain services may still be unavailable, so forest officials are asking visitors are asked to plan accordingly and to remain flexible.

Monongahela National Forest officials say they are taking the risks presented by COVID-19 seriously and will continue to monitor the local situation and forest operations to meet changing information, safety protocols, and recommendations from federal, state and local officials.

Visitors are asked to stay as local as possible when choosing a site to visit and to pack out everything they bring, especially trash. The forest service also urges visitors to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with local health and safety guidance.

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