Wet conditions and overuse force additional temporary road closures

Release Date: Mar 1, 2018

Contact(s): (770) 297-3043 sbekkerus@fs.fed.us

Forest Service officials are encouraging 4x4 enthusiasts and other unnecessary traffic to stay off national forest roads until conditions improve

Today the U.S. Forest Service will temporarily close some Forest Service Roads (FSR) on the Chattahoochee National Forest in Rabun and White counties.

These are in addition to roads closed in Stephens County yesterday.

Continuing rain has led to extremely wet roads which increase vulnerability to long-term damage from overuse.

Vehicle traffic after rain can lead to increased soil erosion into streams and watersheds that supply drinking water and habitat for economically important trout, sensitive fish and other aquatic species.

The following roads are now temporarily closed to motorized public access:

White County
• FSR 44 (Chattahoochee River Road)
• FSR 79 (Chimney Mountain Road)
• FSR 79 (Tray Mountain Road)

Rabun County
• FSR 164 (Dick's Creed Road, above Kennesaw Lane)
• FSR 163 (Popcorn Creek Road)

Stephens County
• FSR 92 (Red Root Road)
• FSR 87 (Guard Camp Road)

"There are folks who must use these roads to access their homes or work," said District Ranger Ryan Foote. "And more importantly, these roads may also provide the only access for emergency responders. We need your help by staying off the roads to stop further damage."

Closures will last until roads can dry out to prevent further damage. The agency will continue to monitor road conditions and weather forecasts, and expects to be able to reopen roads in about a week.

Road damage from vehicle impacts can be costly to repair, quickly using up limited funds needed for other priorities.

Forest Service Roads are identified by number on Motor Vehicle Use Maps, available on the national forest website.

More than one-hundred miles of motorized trails exist on the Chattahoochee and Oconee National Forests where off-highway vehicle enthusiasts may legally ride ATVs or motorcycles. The Beasley Knob Trail System, located in Union County, also allows full size four-wheel-drive vehicles on the specially designed trails. Forest Service officials emphasize that motorized trail users should know and practice prudent safety measures and responsible use while recreating on the trails. Motorized trails close when conditions are wet to prevent trail damage and erosion into streams.

Check the status of your favorite trail by calling (770) 297-3000 or visit the recreation webpage. For additional information about the many opportunities to legally ride vehicles on the national forests in Georgia, please visit www.fs.usda.gov/conf.


FSR 79 (Tray Mountain Road) in White County 
on the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Safety Tips for OHV Riding: Some trails have been damaged and badly eroded.
They are now closed so the land can heal.
Please help restore these sites by not riding on them.
Avoid wet trails and wheel spinning.
More: http://bit.ly/SafetyTips4OHVs

More photos: https://flic.kr/p/223dHuL


FSR 79 (Tray Mountain Road) in White County
on the Chattahoochee National Forest.
More photos: https://flic.kr/p/24Jgaow


Several closed roads follow nearby creeks and streams that flow
into the Chattahoochee River and Lake Burton.
This includes streams stocked with trout by the Wildlife Resources Division - Georgia DNR.
Photo by U.S. Forest Service/Steven Bekkerus.

Chattahoochee River webcam in Helen, Ga., via U.S. Geological Survey (USGS):

Trout streams of Georgia: https://arcg.is/v9fH5

More photos: https://flic.kr/p/UWKG1q


Updated March 12, 2018 (to correct name for FSR44)