N. Cherokee Nat’l Forest announces seasonal road opening schedule

Published 8:51 am Friday, March 13, 2020

USDA Forest Service officials at the Cherokee National Forest recently announced the annual schedule for opening some roads that are closed seasonally. These roads are located in the northern portion of the Cherokee National Forest (Cherokee Wildlife Management Area) in Cocke, Greene, Washington, Unicoi, Carter, Sullivan and Johnson counties.

Certain National Forest System Roads (NFSR) in the Cherokee National Forest are systematically closed to motorized vehicle use for public safety, to protect wildlife habitat, decrease wildlife disturbance and reduce road maintenance costs. However, some of these roads are temporarily opened for short periods to provide seasonal public access for various uses including hunting and other activities.

Roads may be opened later than scheduled due to poor road conditions brought on by extreme weather conditions or fire danger. These weather conditions may include freezing/thawing, extreme drought, fire danger or storm damage. In some cases roads sustain severe damage from vehicle use and are closed to protect the various resources.

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Forest service roads in Carter and Johnson counties, which will open March 20 to Dec. 20 include:

Frog Level; Mill Creek/Holston Mountain; Bitter End (open to second gate); White Rock; Jenkins Mountain

Roads open from March 29 to May 18 include Parks Branch (Johnson County, open 1 mile to second gate); Cedar Gap; Piney Grove (open to second gate)

Spring road closings for timber sales include Cherry Flats, Little Pond Mountain, and George’s Creek, all in Carter County.

For additional information, contact the following Forest Service offices: Unaka Ranger Station, Greeneville, TN – Phone: 423-638-4109; Watauga Ranger Station, Unicoi, TN – Phone: 423-735-1500.