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ASHEVILLE — On June 1, Pisgah National Forest opened several campgrounds and recreation sites. Some sites remain closed and facilities and services remain limited.

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

  • All concession-operated campgrounds on the Pisgah Ranger District including Davidson River, North Mills River and Lake Powhatan
  • Mount Mitchell Trail and Buncombe Horse Trail
  • Hardtimes, South Toe River and Buncombe Horse Trailheads

Dispersed camping on the Pisgah Ranger District is now allowed but campsites must be further than 1,000 feet from the nearest road. Dispersed camping is also allowed on the Appalachian and Grandfather Ranger Districts. Permits are required to camp within the Linville Gorge Wilderness on weekends and holidays and are issued by the Grandfather Ranger District office.

For a complete list of trails, roads and recreation areas that are reopening, click to www.fs.usda.gov/detail/nfsnc/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD746276. The few roads that remain closed are only closed to motorized vehicles; non-motorized use is allowed.

The Forest Service is reopening sites in phases using a site-by-site approach, including assessment of facility cleanliness, maintenance status, and health and safety. The agency is committed to maximizing public access while ensuring the safety and well-being of employees, partners and volunteers. We are working closely with our state and local partners to determine the best path forward to safely reopening sites.

Responsible recreation will help expand access. Avoid crowded areas, be careful with campfires and wildlife, and bring extra food, water, and clothing in case of emergency. Trash services and restrooms are not available in many areas so be prepared to take your waste home with you.

Visitors are urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with local health and safety guidance. For tips from the CDC on preventing illnesses like COVID-19 caused by the coronavirus, click to www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html.

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