Cherokee National Forest announces closures ahead of hurricane

Courtesy of the Cherokee National Forest

N.C. (WVLT) -- The forest service announced closures in the Cherokee National Forest as the East Coast prepares for Hurricane Florence to land.

According to a release from Cherokee National Forest, the USDA Forest Service is closely monitoring the pace of the hurricane.

Officials determined that it was necessary to close all developed campgrounds and certain other areas in the Unaka and Watauga districts of the forest on Friday, September 14 at noon.

The sites will be evaluated for safety and health, the forest service said, and will be reopened as conditions allow following the hurricane's passage.

Cherokee National Forest Supervisor JaSal Morris said, “We are implementing this closure for public safety concerns. With the uncertainty of the extent of impacts from Hurricane Florence
we believe this closure is prudent and necessary. Depending on the path of Florence it may be necessary to close additional areas."

The closures include suspension of reservations, which will be refunded.

Watauga District closures:

Developed areas

 Backbone Rock Campground
 Backbone Rock Recreation Area Pavilions
 Little Oak Campground
 Jacob’s Creek Campground
 Jacob’s Creek Day Use Area
 Jacob’s Creek Shooting Range
 Dennis Cove Campground
 Shook Branch Day Use Area
 Rat Branch Boat Ramp
 Pond Mountain Shooting Range
 Watauga Point Recreation Area
 Little Milligan Boat Ramp
 The Laurels Picnic Area Pavilions

Dispersed areas:

 Little Stoney Camping Area

Unaka District closures:

 Round Mountain
 Houston Valley
 Bubbling Springs Shooting Range
 Paint Creek
 Horse Creek
 Rock Creek
 Chestoa
 Scioto Shooting Range
 Round Knob
 Old Forge
 Limestone Cove

Dispersed areas:

 Weaver’s Bend
 Paint Creek Corridor
 Courtland Place

For weather safety in the park, visit here.

For information about the park, go here.