Forest Service issues emergency closure order for portion of Falls of Hills Creek Scenic Area
Few areas on the Monongahela National Forest were spared by this winterﾒs unforgiving weather, and the Falls of Hills Creek Scenic Area was no exception.
On March 15, the Forest Supervisor issued an emergency closure order that officially prohibits access to the lower section of the trail.ﾠ All portions of the trail beyond the metal staircase and lower observation platform to the second waterfalls below the parking lot are closed.ﾠ
ﾓWeﾒre closing a portion of the trail due to public safety concerns,ﾔ Gauley District Ranger Jared Johnson said.ﾠ ﾓWeﾒre in the process of assessing damages in order to determine what repairs need to be made and hope to re-open the trail as soon as possible.ﾠ We apologize for the inconvenience.ﾔ
Wooden railings, support beams and floorboards sustained storm-related damage, as pieces are either chipped or missing altogether.ﾠ Fallen trees and other woody debris obstruct stairways and viewing platforms at various points.ﾠ Much of the snow has melted, but a significant amount remains on shaded parts of the trail.ﾠ Visitors to the area are encouraged to exercise caution.
Violating the closure order is punishable by fine.ﾠ The closure will remain in effect until the Forest Supervisor terminates the order.ﾠ
For more information, contact Tim Henry at the Marlinton Ranger District office at (304) 799-4334, or visit the Monongahela National Forest Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r9/mnf to view the closure order in its entirety.