Some National Forest recreation areas and roads in NC closing in advance of Hurricane Irma


FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – SEPTEMBER 10: Trees bend in the tropical storm wind along North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard as Hurricane Irma hits the southern part of the state September 10, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The powerful hurricane made landfall in the United States in the Florida Keys at 9:10 a.m. after raking across the north coast of Cuba. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The U.S. Forest Service is closely tracking the forecast models of Hurricane Irma and is temporarily closing all campgrounds and recreation areas in the Nantahala, Pisgah, and Uwharrie National Forests.

This includes the temporary suspension of creating reservations on, according to a press release from the National Forests in North Carolina.

“The health, safety, and well-being of the public and visitors to our National Forests is of our number one priority and this decision is intended to keep our recreation users safe,” the press release stated.

Heavy rain is expected and may result in flash flooding of low-lying and poorly drained areas.

High winds, especially in ridgetop areas, are predicted, making camping extremely dangerous due to the potential for falling trees.

Isolated tornadoes are also possible. The service strongly recommends no camping in the backcountry or at dispersed sites while the storm passes through the area.


  • Closing all camping areas effective Sunday, Sept 10 at 2 pm. Campgrounds are expected to reopen Wednesday, Sept 13. This includes:
    o Ammons Branch Camp
    o Apple Tree Group Campground
    o Balsam Lake Lodge
    o Bear Creek Hunt Camp
    o Bristol Fields Campground
    o Cable Cove Campground
    o Cheoah Point Campground
    o Fires Creek Campground
    o Hanging Dog Campground
    o Horse Cove Campground
    o Jackrabbit Campground
    o Kimsey Creek Campground
    o Lake Santeetlah Campsites
    o Rattler Ford Campground
    o Standing Indian Campground
    o Swan Cabin
    o Tsali Campground
    o Van Hook Glade Campground
    o Wine Springs Horse Camp

Appalachian Ranger District is closing the following recreation areas and roads listed below starting Sunday, Sept 10. All are expected to re-open by Thursday if damage is minimal:

  • Recreation Areas:
    • Roan Mountain day use
    • Murray Branch day use
    • Black Mountain campground
    • Briar Bottom campground
    • Carolina Hemlocks campground
    • Harmon Den campground
    • (Rocky Bluff campground is already closed for the season)
    • South Toe River NFSR # 472
    • Neal’s Creek NFSR # 2074
    • Flat Top # 278
    • Big Ivy NFSR # 74
    • Stoney Fork NFSR # 63
    • Roan Mountain NFSR # 235
    • Hickey Fork NFSR # 465
    • Mill Ridge NFSR # 113
    • Rich Mountain NFSR # 467A

Grandfather Ranger District is closing the following recreation areas and roads listed below starting Monday, Sept 11:

  • o Curtis Creek Road (NFSR # 482)
    o Table Rock Road (NFSR # 99)
    o Maple Sally Road (NFSR # 187)
    o Brown Mountain OHV Trails
    o Brown Mountain campsites
    o Mortimer and Curtis Creek Campgrounds

Pisgah Ranger District is closing recreation areas listed below until further notice.
• Campgrounds – closed starting Monday, 9/10, at 8 am
o Davidson River CG
o Lake Powhatan CG
o North Mills River CG
o Sunburst CG
o All group campsites and horse camps including Cove Creek, Kuykendall, Wash Creek, White Pines, Wolf Ford
o All designated roadside campsites
• Day Use Areas: Sycamore Flats Picnic Area & Cradle of Forestry in America
• National Forest Roads (Closures beginning Sunday, 9/10)
o Courthouse Creek (#140)
o Yellow Gap (#1206)
o Wash Creek (#5000)
o Avery Creek (#477)
o NFSR #475B
o Bent Creek (#479) from Ledford Branch TH to Blue Ridge Parkway

  • Closing day use and campground areas starting Sunday, Sept. 10. All are expected to reopen Thursday, Sept. 14, or sooner if deemed safe.

    o King’s Mountain Point day use area and Holt’s picnic area closed starting Sunday, Sept 10 at 2 pm
    o All campgrounds closed starting Sunday, Sept 10 at 2 pm including Arrowhead, Badin Lake, Canebrake, Uwharrie Hunt camp, West Morris Mountain, Yates Place
    o Badin lake OHV trail system closed starting Monday, Sept 11
    o Hiking, biking and equestrian trail systems closed starting Monday, Sept 11
    o Flintlock valley shooting range will be closed on Tuesday, Sept12 through Thursday, Sept 14.

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