Cranberry and Williams rivers campsites closed
Broken limbs, down trees and tree tops, as well as numerous hazard trees left as a result of Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012, have led the Gauley Ranger District on the Monongahela National Forest to close several popular campsites.
The Gauley Ranger District provides several primitive, separately numbered sites along the Cranberry River Corridor, Forest Road 76, and along the Williams River Corridor, Forest Road 86. Due to concerns for public safety, Forest Supervisor Clyde Thompson signed an Emergency Closure Order for many of these sites. The closure order is effective as of March 5.
“I know this closure order is disappointing for many people, but public health and safety is our top priority when making decisions about keeping sites open or closing them,” Acting District Ranger Jane Bard said. “As soon as these sites are made safe, they will be re-opened.”
The campsites which will be affected include all sites along the Cranberry River. These individually numbered sites are between Big Rock Campground and Cranberry Campground. The campsites impacted by this closure order along the Williams River include individually numbered sites 6 through19. These sites are located between Three Forks of the Williams River and Tea Creek Campground. Campsites 1 through 5 as well as campsites 21 through 30, will remain open.
In addition to the closures at the primitive campsites, the gates will remain closed at Cranberry Campground, Big Rock Campground, Woodbine picnic area, and North Bend picnic area until contracts can be issued to complete the needed work.
“I am hopeful we can start addressing the impacts from Hurricane Sandy at our recreation sites in April and open the sites as soon as the work is completed,” Bard.said.
The Forest will provide detailed information about delays and closures as repair work starts and as sites re-open. If you have any questions, contact the Forest Service office in Richwood at 304-846-2122, Elkins at 304-636-1800 or visit the forest website at http://fs.usda.gov/mnf for information.