ASHEVILLE — The Pisgah National Forest began to reopen many trails and roads and partially lift restrictions for dispersed camping May 14, using a site-by-site approach, including assessment of facility cleanliness, maintenance status and health and safety of recreation areas. Facilities and services may remain limited at some sites.

Popular recreation areas that will reopen include, but are not limited to:

  • Catawba Falls, TR 225
  • Brown Mountain Off Highway Vehicle Area
  • Black Balsam Road, FSR 816, and associated trails
  • Bent Creek Road, FSR 479 and most trails and trailheads

For a complete list of trails, roads, and recreation areas that are reopening please visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/pisgahreopenings. The few roads that remain closed are only closed to motorized vehicles, non-motorized use is allowed.

Dispersed camping restrictions will also be lifted for the Grandfather Ranger District with the exception of overnight camping within the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area on the weekends, which requires a permit. For the month of May, the Forest Service will not be issuing these permits.

Restrictions on dispersed camping will be lifted for the entire Appalachian Ranger District. Dispersed camping restrictions remain in place for the Pisgah Ranger District. These decisions were made in coordination with county and local partners to ensure the safety of the public and employees.

Visitors can expect restrooms to remain closed and trash services to continue to be suspended. Please pack out what you pack in and remember to use Leave No Trace Principles.

Forest Service staff will continue to perform risk assessments to determine which recreation areas can resume operations in accordance with county and local partners and current public health guidance.

The Forest Service’s highest priority is ensuring the safety of the public and their employees while supporting mission critical functions. Please review current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with local and state guidelines for social distancing and cloth face coverings.

For additional information please contact the Appalachian Ranger District at (828) 689-9694; Grandfather Ranger District at (828) 652-2144; Pisgah Ranger District at (828) 877-3265; Supervisor’s Office at (828) 257-4200.

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