Forest Service closes low-lying recreation sites, advises campers to heed warnings ahead of Hurricane Florence

Contact(s): Judy Toppins

The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests is closing several low-lying recreation sites in the predicted path of Hurricane Florence beginning today, Friday, September 14. The sites will remain closed until Hurricane Florence passes and sites are safe for visitors. A Hazardous Weather Outlook has been issued for areas of the national forest.

Our highest priorities are visitor and employee safety. The Forest Service is advising campers to avoid the forest during hazardous weather for personal safety and to prevent further stress on emergency responders who may not be able to quickly respond to emergencies because of conditions that limit access or create safety hazards.

Low-lying areas are especially vulnerable to rapidly rising and swift water. These areas should be avoided during and after major storm events. Excessive rain and high winds have the potential to create high water, flash floods, falling trees, mudslides, and severe damage to roads. Our national forests are heavily wooded, remote and/or mountainous, making the potential for hazardous conditions significant. Trees falling or large limbs breaking off are common occurrences during storm events.

Temporarily Closed Sites: (this list may change as conditions warrant, so check back before visiting)

Blue Ridge Ranger District:

Chattooga River Ranger District:

Oconee Ranger District:

Remember, your safety is your responsibility. As always, please keep yourself, your loved-ones, and our responding personnel safe by making thoughtful decisions, staying aware of weather conditions, and heeding the advice of your local and state authorities.

Stay connected with us to view alerts related to possible hazards and additional closures on the Chattahoochee and Oconee National Forests on Facebook and twitter @ChattOconeeNF and on our website at

Stay safe! We are thinking of you during this time, and appreciate your understanding.