~ Press release provided by the U.S. Forest Service
ROANOKE — The USDA Forest Service is preparing recreation sites for winter by closing or reducing services at some campgrounds and day use sites and will soon be closing seasonal roads on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.
Check the Forest recreation webpages before visiting to know what sites and services are available. Some campgrounds will remain open, but offer limited services meaning there will be no camp hosts, no trash pick-up, no water, no electricity, and/or no restrooms available. Sites reopen at varying times in the spring based on location and availability of services.
Seasonal roads are closed at certain times of the year to protect forest resources. Opening and closing dates vary. Refer to the Interactive Visitor Map for an online view of Forest Service roads and trails and information about which roads are seasonally open to motorized travel. Many seasonal roads are closed during the freeze-thaw of winter to protect roads surfaces from damage, typically closing on January 10 and reopening April 1. Other roads are seasonally closed to protect wildlife and are open only for a few months in the fall.
“Although some sites and roads close for the winter season, there are still many recreation destinations, roads, and trails that are open on forest lands for people to enjoy,” says Forest Supervisor Joby Timm. “Forest lands offer an opportunity for people to connect with the outdoors throughout the year.”
When visiting the national forest this winter be prepared for winter weather and know the weather forecast before you go. Snow is not removed from Forest Service roads and ice can build up in shady areas even if other sections of the road appears dry.
For more information about the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests visit our website www.fs.fed.us/r8/gwj, call your local district office or follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/GWJNF.