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More areas reopen on Monongahela National Forest


ELKINS, W.Va., May 28, 2020 – Today Monongahela National Forest will open additional developed recreation sites. For a full list of open areas and up-to-date information on re-openings, visit the Monongahela National Forest website at

“Most of Monongahela National Forest is open for public use. Some recreation facilities and campgrounds are closed as we continue to balance our work in ways that allow us to adhere to our core value of safety while also following public health recommendations on social distancing,” said Shawn Cochran, Forest Supervisor. “We are working on this, and plan to open more recreation sites gradually over the next few weeks as we acquire additional safety equipment and cleaning supplies. Please continue to check our website for the latest information.”

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 28:

Bartow Area

·         Gaudineer Knob Picnic Area

·         Lake Buffalo

Elkins Area

·         Stuart Recreation Area group campsite and picnic shelters

Parsons Area

·         Horseshoe Recreation Area picnic shelters

Petersburg Area

·         Dolly Sods Picnic Area

·         Forest Roads 19 and 75 in the Dolly Sods area

Seneca Rocks Area

·         Seneca Rocks Picnic Area picnic shelter

·         Seneca Shadows Campground group campsites

·         Spruce Knob/Huckleberry Trailhead parking lots and Spruce Knob Observation Tower

·         Spruce Knob Lake parking lots

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 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. Some services may still be unavailable, so visitors are asked to plan accordingly and to remain flexible.

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