(SEE UPDATE BELOW) Cherokee, Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests temporarily shut down trailheads, access points to Appalachian National Scenic Trail

UPDATE: These reopen May 22, 2020. See news release of May 21.

Asheville, NC, March 28, 2020 - The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests in North Carolina, and the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee 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).

"We realize our communities and our visitors value the recreation opportunities the forest has to offer," said JaSal Morris, Cherokee 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."

The following popular access sites are affected by these changes:

  • Wayah Bald - Nantahala National Forest
  • Cheoah Bald - Nantahala National Forest
  • Hampton and Dennis Cove Trailheads (Laurel Falls) - Cherokee National Forest
  • Osborne Farm - Cherokee National Forest
  • Max Patch - Cherokee and Pisgah National Forests
  • Roan Mountain/Carvers Gap - Cherokee and Pisgah National Forests
  • Lovers Leap - Pisgah National Forest

Below is a complete list of access sites affected by these changes.

USDA Forest Service managers remind national 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:  

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html

See the Cherokee National Forest website for the latest recreation information at https://www.fs.usda.gov/cherokee. For the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests visit www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nfsnc, and on Twitter at twitter.com/NFsNCarolina.

AT Access Points & Trailheads

  • Bly Gap (NC)
  • Chunky Gal at US64  (NC)
  • Deep Gap (NC)
  • Lower Trail Ridge at Kimsey Creek Group Camp (NC)
  • Upper Nantahala Road FSR67 access points for Beech Gap, Big Indian Loop, Timber Ridge, Betty Creek, Mooney Gap, and Long Branch (NC)
  • Albert Mountain  (NC)
  • Rock Gap (NC)
  • Wallace Gap SR1448 (NC)
  • Winding Stair Gap (NC)
  • Wayah Gap (NC)
  • Burningtown Gap (NC)
  • Tellico Gap (NC)
  • Wesser Creek (NC)
  • US19/74 at Nantahala Outdoor Center (NC)
  • US19 Nantahala River Bike Trail Trailhead to Bartram (NC)
  • Nolton Ridge (NC)
  • Locust Cove (NC)
  • Wauchecha (NC)
  • Stecoah Gap (NC)
  • Yellow Gap Road SR1242 (NC)
  • Cable Gap SR28 (NC)
  • US129/Tapoco Lodge
  • Fontana Road FSR2624
  • SR28 and SR1245 at Fontana (NC)
  • Davenport Gap (TN, TDOT)
  • Waterville School Road (TN, TDOT)
  • Brown Gap (TN)
  • Cold Springs  (NC)
  • Max Patch (TN/NC)
  • Bluff Mountain (NC)
  • Lemon Gap (NC)
  • Shutin at SR1183 (NC)
  • Garenflo Gap (NC)
  • Hot Springs (NC)
  • Silver Mine Road (NC)
  • Mill Ridge (NC)
  • Lovers Leap at US25/US70 (NC)
  • Tanyard Gap (NC, NCDOT)
  • Hurricane Gap (NC)
  • Allen Gap (TN)
  • Devils Fork Gap (NC, NCDOT)
  • Roundtop Ridge at SR1304 (NC)
  • Hickey Fork (NC)
  • Fork Ridge (NC)
  • Rice Gap (NC)
  • Street Gap (NC)
  • Sams Gap (NC, NCDOT)
  • Spivey Gap (NC, NCDOT)
  • Indian Grave Gap (TN, TDOT)
  • Beauty Spot (TN)
  • Unaka Mountain Overlook (TN)
  • Iron Mountain Gap (TN, TDOT)
  • Hughes Gap (TN, TDOT)
  • Cloudlands (NC)
  • Carvers Gap (TN)
  • US 19E (TN, TDOT)
  • Walnut Mountain Road (TN)
  • Dennis Cove Road (TN)
  • Hampton Trailhead (TN)
  • Shook Branch Recreation Area (TN)
  • Watauga Dam Road (TN, TVA)
  • Osborne Farm (TN)
  • Holston Mountain/US-421 (TN, TDOT)
  • Roaring Creek/SR1132 (NC)
  • Elk Falls Road FSR190 (NC)

 

 

AT Shelters

  • Muskrat Creek (NC)
  • Standing Indian (NC)
  • Carter Gap (NC)
  • Long Branch (NC)
  • Rock Gap (NC)
  • Siler Bald (NC)
  • Wayah Bald (NC)
  • Cold Spring (NC)
  • Wesser Bald (NC)
  • Rufus Morgan (NC)
  • Sassafras Gap (NC)
  • Brown Fork Gap (NC)
  • Cable Gap (NC)
  • Fontana Dam (NC)
  • Groundhog Creek (NC)
  • Roaring Fork (NC)
  • Walnut Mountain (TN)
  • Deer Park (NC)
  • Spring Mountain (TN)
  • Little Laurel (NC)
  • Jerry Cabin (NC)
  • Flint Mountain (NC)
  • Hogback Ridge (NC)
  • Bald Mountain (TN)
  • No Business Knob (NC)
  • Curley Maple Gap (TN)
  • Cheery Gap (TN)
  • Clyde Smith (TN)
  • Roan High Knob (TN)
  • Stan Murray (NC)
  • Overmountain (NC)
  • Mountaineer Falls (TN)
  • Moreland Gap (TN)
  • Laurel Fork (TN)
  • Vandeventer (TN)
  • Iron Mountain (TN)
  • Double Springs (TN)
  • McQueens Knob (TN)
  • Abingdon Gap (TN)

 

Access Trails

  • #134 Brown Gap (TN)
  • #135 Walnut Mountain (TN)
  • #11 Little Paint Creek (TN)
  • #14 Sarvis Cove (TN)
  • #524 Temple Hill (TN)
  • #193 Overmountain Victory (TN)
  • #36 Lacy Trap
  • #37 Coon Den Falls
  • #501 Hampton-Blueline Trail (TN)
  • #53 Backbone Rock (TN)
  • #308A Overmountain Victory Trail from SR1132/Roaring Creek (NC)
  • #285 Fork Ridge (NC)
  • #286 Jerry Miller (NC)
  • #287 Green Ridge (NC)
  • #292 Hickey Fork (NC)
  • #293 Whiteoak (NC)
  • #295 Roundtop Ridge (NC)
  • #309 Pump Gap Loop (NC)
  • #308 Lovers Leap (NC)
  • #296 Shutin Creek (NC)
  • #300 Cherry Creek (NC)
  • #306 Max Path Loop (NC)
  • #2 Benton MacKaye / #48 Yellow Creek Mountain from US129
  • #47 Wauchecha Bald (NC)
  • #404 Locust Cove (NC)
  • #67 Bartram Trail from Nolton Ridge Road (NC)
  • #67 Bartram Trail from US19 Nantahala River Bike Trailhead (NC)
  • #26 Wesser Creek (NC)
  • #67 Bartram Trail from SR1310 (west) to Wallace Branch Trailhead (east) (NC)
  • #369 Wilson Lick (NC)
  • #373 Siler Bald (NC)
  • #86 Long Branch (NC)
  • #36A Albert Mountain (NC)
  • #22 Bear Pen Gap (NC)
  • #67P Bear Pen Creek (NC)
  • #367 Betty Creek Gap (NC)
  • #20 Timber Ridge (NC)
  • #35A Beech Gap (NC)
  • #34 Big Indian Loop (NC)
  • #28 Lower Trail Ridge (NC)
  • #377 Deep Gap (NC)
  • #23 Kimsey Creek (NC)
  • #77 Chunky Gal from US64 (NC)
  • #84 Bly Gap (NC)




https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/nfsnc/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD717426