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National Forest to start reopening some facilities Thursday


ELKINS, W.Va., May 20, 2020 – On Thursday, May 21, Monongahela National Forest will open some developed recreation sites. For a full list of open areas and up-to-date information on re-openings, visit the Forest’s website at

“While we understand there may be some excitement to return to these recreation areas, there may be limited services or spaces available,” said Shawn Cochran, Forest Supervisor. “We ask that visitors please continue to follow local, state and federal guidelines on staying safe and practice good hygiene and social distancing wherever they choose to visit.”

Please remember to avoid congregating at trailheads and/or parking areas and refrain from gathering in groups of more than 10 people.

Developed recreation sites to open May 21:

Bartow Area

·         Camp Allegheny Day Use Area

·         Cheat Summit Fort Day Use Area

Elkins Area

·         Bickle Knob Observation Tower

·         Stuart Recreation Area (both the campground and picnic area, but not the group campsite)

Marlinton Area

·         Highland Scenic Highway Overlooks

·         Williams River Fishing Pier (on Forest Road 86, just east of the Highland Scenic Highway)

Parsons Area

·         Horseshoe Recreation Area (both the campground and the picnic area will open on May 22)

·         Olson Observation Tower

Petersburg Area

·         Big Bend Campground

Richwood Area

·         Cranberry Glades Boardwalk

·         Falls of Hills Creek Trail

·         Summit Lake Day Use Area (not the campground)

Seneca Rocks Area

·         Seneca Rocks Picnic Area and trailhead (but not the picnic shelter)

·         Seneca Shadows Campground

·         Spruce Knob Lake Campground

Monongahela National Forest is taking the risks presented by COVID-19 seriously and will continue to monitor the local situation and Forest operations to meet changing information, safety protocols, and recommendations from federal, state and local officials. We are committed to providing customer service and advancing recreation opportunities in an adaptable manner while monitoring health data and state orders.

Visitors are asked to stay as local as possible when choosing a site to visit and to pack out everything they bring, especially trash. Visitors are also urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with local health and safety guidance. For tips from the CDC on preventing illnesses like the coronavirus, go to:

Responsible recreation will help expand access to facilities, services and other opportunities. Certain services may still be unavailable, so visitors are asked to plan accordingly and to remain flexible.

Up-to-date information about Monongahela National Forest is available online at

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