Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests to indefinitely close camping and group recreation sites

Contact(s): Media contact: Steven Bekkerus, (770) 297-3043


Camping and group recreation sites on the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests have been closed indefinitely for the health and safety of visitors and staff. In response to guidance from State of Georgia health officials and experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), camping and group recreation sites will be closed effective today, March 20, 2020. This will include picnic pavilions and all restrooms, including at recreation sites and trailheads.

“As we work through an unpredictable and rapidly changing situation, health and safety is our number one priority,” said Acting Forest Supervisor Edward Hunter. “We are committed to continuing to support our communities and fulfill our mission as we all work together to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19.”

In addition to closing camping and group recreation sites, all Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests offices are operating virtually until further notice. This means most employees are teleworking and are no longer doing any business in person. To protect the health and safety of our employees and customers, we also are not scheduling face-to-face meetings. However, continuing our service to the public during this time is very important. Customers needing information, permits and maps are encouraged to visit the website or call the nearest office during regular business hours for assistance:

This is a clickable map so you can view and download map files of manageable size.Chatsworth 706-695-6736
Blairsville 706-745-6928
Lakemont 706-754-6221
Eatonton 706-485-7110
Gainesville 770-297-3000

Notifications to visitors making reservations through Recreation.gov will be made as soon as possible and refunds will be processed. 

Please see a list of facility closures on the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests by visiting (scroll down to Closures): www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/conf/alerts-notices

By closing campsites and group recreation sites, the USDA Forest Service is taking necessary measures to safeguard the health of employees and the public. The health and safety of employees and the nearby communities is always our top priority at the USDA Forest Service. Please remember to review current recommendations from the CDC and focus on recreating safely while protecting yourself, Forest Service employees and our volunteers. 

Visitors are primarily responsible for their own safety. Keep in mind, trails and roads may be open for use, but please recreate responsibly and follow public health guidelines regarding social distancing while you recreate in National Forests. Law enforcement and search and rescue operations may be limited due to COVID-19 issues. High risk activities such as rock climbing or motorized activities that increase your chance of injury or distress should be avoided. CDC infographicFor the most current and accurate information about COVID-19, contact your local health officials or visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov. Information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is available at: www.usda.gov/coronavirus.

Visitors are encouraged to review the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests' website for updates and more information, at: www.fs.usda.gov/CONF.





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/conf/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD713355