George Washington and Jefferson National Forests temporarily shut down trailheads, access points to Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Contact(s): Nadine Siak (540) 676-7045


March 30, 2020 - Roanoke, Va. – The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are temporarily shutting down trailhead facilities and other access points to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail to prevent groups from congregating and to protect public health and safety.

The decision aligns with state and local measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Currently, many recreation opportunities on the forest are still open for public use, including dispersed camping and other activities that support social distancing and small groups.

“We realize our communities and our visitors value the recreation opportunities the forest has to offer,” said Joby Timm, George Washington and Jefferson National Forest Supervisor. “A lot of consideration went into this decision. The health and safety of our employees and the public remain our top priority.”

In addition to Appalachian Trail-dedicated parking lots, the following sites are temporarily shut down:

  • Jennings Creek Trailhead
  • Petite’s Gap Trailhead
  • Long Mountain Wayside Trailhead
  • Mount Pleasant/Hog Camp Gap Trailhead
  • James River Footbridge Trailhead
  • Priest/Three Ridges Trailhead
  • Crabtree Meadows Trailhead
  • SR42 Trailhead at O’Lystery Pavilion
  • Walker Gap Trailhead
  • Burke’s Garden Trailhead (SR623)
  • SR615 Trailhead at Laurel Creek (Suiter)
  • SR52 Trailhead in Bastian
  • I-77 Trailhead in Bastian
  • Price Ridge Road Trailhead (Crandon)
  • SR606 Trailhead (near Trent’s Store)
  • Angel’s Rest Trailhead
  • Town of Pearisburg Trailhead
  • Big Stoney Creek Road Trailhead (Pine Swamp/Peters Mountain Wilderness)
  • Cherokee Flats Day-Use Area Trailhead
  • SR613 Trailhead at Wind Rock
  • War Spur Trailhead at Captain
  • SR42 Trailhead (Huffman)
  • SR621 Trailhead (Craig’s Creek)
  • Audie Murphy Trailhead
  • SR620 Trailhead (Craig’s Creek)
  • Dragon’s Tooth Trailhead
  • Andy Layne Trail Trailhead
  • Whitetop Mountain/Forest Road 89 Trailhead
  • Elk Garden Trailhead, SR600 crossing
  • Scales/Forest Road 613 Trailhead (Pine Mountain Road)
  • Forest Road 603 Trailhead Parking (near Fox Creek Horse Camp)
  • Hurricane Campground/Comers Creek Road Trailhead
  • Hwy 16 Trailhead at Forest Road 650
  • NRA Headquarters/Hwy 16 Crossing Trailhead
  • Davis Valley Trailhead, Davis Valley Rd
  • Tillson Crossing Trailhead, SR 610 Nebo Road

For a complete of list of access sites affected by these changes and status updates, please visit www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/gwj/recreation.

USDA Forest Service managers remind forest visitors to recreate responsibly by avoiding gathering in groups of more than ten people and not engaging in high-risk activities, like rock climbing, that increase the chance of injury or distress. Also note that law enforcement and search and rescue operations may be limited due to COVID-19.

Guidelines for health and safety, recommended by the CDC, are available at: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html.   

See the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests website for the latest recreation information at www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/gwj/recreation.

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gwj/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD718767