Allegheny National Forest to Begin Reopening

Contact(s): Christopher Warner


Warren, PA, May 5, 2020 ––The Allegheny National Forest will begin a phased reopening of campgrounds and recreation sites beginning May 8, 2020. This phased approach will prioritize the health and safety of employees, visitors and volunteers, and is in alignment with current federal, state and local guidance for social distancing.  

“I want to thank our local and state partners and the communities in and around the Allegheny National Forest for their continued support during the pandemic response,” said Allegheny National Forest Supervisor Jamie Davidson. “While we understand there may be some excitement from the public to return to beloved recreation areas, please continue to follow local, state, and federal guidelines on staying safe while we continue to work on opening trails and roads. This may take some time as staffing remains staggered to encourage safe distancing.”

Effective immediately, dispersed overnight camping and limited developed camping have been reopened for recreation. Please see the attached closure order for a complete list of site closures.

 

ATV/OHV Trails:

All Allegheny National Forest All-Terrain and Off-Highway Vehicle (ATV/OHV) trails will remain closed until early June. Forest Service staff must properly prepare the ATV/OHV trails to ensure they are safe and maintained before opening. Additionally, we are developing office and vendor protocols for purchasing permits on site that follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. This will allow for visitors to purchase their permits in a safe environment and plan their trips accordingly.

 

Campgrounds:

The following developed camping sites, managed by Allegheny Site Management, will reopen at 8 am, May 8, 2020:

  • Willow Bay  
  • Buckaloons
  • Red Bridge

Please note that these three sites will have vault toilets available; shower and flush toilet buildings will remain closed. Toilet facilities will be cleaned in accordance with CDC guidelines.

 

Cabins:

The Farnsworth Cabin will be open for reservations starting May 8, 2020, on recreation.gov.  All cabins at Willow Bay and Red Bridge will remain closed at this time. 

 

Boat Launches:

The following boat launches are open starting May 8, 2020:

  • Willow Bay Boat Launch
  • Kiasutha Day Use Boat Launch
  • Webbs Ferry Boat Launch
  • Roper Hollow Boat Launch
  • Elijah Boat Launch

Please note that our concessionaires at these five sites will have opened restrooms and will assess fees. Toilet facilities will be cleaned in accordance with CDC guidelines.

 

Day Use Areas:

Please see the attachment A for a full list of the day use areas that are open but do not have restroom facilities.

While recreating on Allegheny National Forest, all visitors are encouraged to follow these health and safety guidelines:

  • Avoid visiting the forest if you are sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Follow CDC guidance on personal hygiene and social distancing before and during your visit to the forest.
  • Take your trash with you when you leave. Trash overflowing the receptacles becomes litter and can be harmful to wildlife and attract predators.
  • Please make arrangements to use the restroom before or after your visit to the forest as not all sites have opened restrooms. Also, please clean up after pets. Unmanaged waste creates a health hazard for our employees and for other visitors.
  • If an area is crowded, please search for a less occupied location. Also consider avoiding the forest during high-use periods.
  • Avoid activities that put you at greater risk of injury, as there is limited staff to assist.

For tips from the CDC on preventing illnesses like the coronavirus, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html. For up-to-date information on the Allegheny National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/allegheny.

To make camping reservations for the Allegheny National Forest please visit recreation.gov at www.recreation.gov/camping





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/allegheny/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD733960