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Forest Service plans changes for recreation sites in Scott, Wise, Lee

Staff Report • May 7, 2019 at 6:30 PM

The USDA Forest Service is planning several changes to offerings for the 2019 recreation season on the George Washington and Jefferson national forests.

Some recreation sites and trails will delay opening as repairs are completed, and others will remain closed in 2019, according to a press release.

The anticipated changes are listed below. Some changes will be temporary, while others may be permanent.

• Cave Springs Recreation Area in Lee County: The 2019 season opening is delayed until repairs to the water system and trails are completed. The recreation area will be operated by the Southwest Regional Recreation Authority’s Spearhead Trails initiative.

• Cane Patch Campground and Phillips Creek Day Use Area in Wise County: The swimming beach will not be provided, some bathrooms are closed, and mowing is reduced.

• Bark Camp Campground and Picnic Area in Scott County: The campground is closed until the water system is repaired. The picnic area, Lake Trail, Kitchen Rock Trail and boating access remain open.

• High Knob Day Use Area in Wise County: The small bathroom building is closed. The larger bathroom building is open, but showers will not be provided.

• Little Stony National Recreation Trail (#331) in Scott County: Portions of the trail are closed due to storm damage.

• Pine Mountain Trail (#201) in Dickenson and Wise counties in Virginia and Letcher and Pike counties in Kentucky: Portions of the trail on private lands are closed.

• The number of garbage cans at recreation sites will be reduced. In some remote locations, trash removal service will be discontinued and visitors will need to pack out their trash.

The Forest Service’s capacity and aging infrastructure limits its ability to continue maintenance and services at all the sites managed across the forest, the press release states.

Changes will continue to be made as the Forest Service works to invest in its key sites. This may mean closing, decommissioning, re-purposing, reducing services or sharing management responsibility with partners at other sites.

“I recognize the impact of these changes to communities and visitors who use these sites,” said District Ranger Michelle Davalos in the press release. “By reducing services at some sites, we hope to be able to focus our limited resources where it is most needed.”

For more information, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/gwj/ or contact the Clinch Ranger District office at (276) 679-8370.

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