Cherokee Nat’l Forest announces spring management schedule for roads

Published 9:03 am Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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Cherokee National Forest officials announced the annual schedule for reopening seasonal roads to motorized vehicles on the northern portion of the forest. Access will return on March 15 to specific roads with seasonal limitations in place to protect wildlife habitat, decrease wildlife disturbance, reduce road maintenance costs, and for public safety.

Seasonal road openings are from March 15 to Dec. 20, 2024, on specific roads in Cocke, Greene, Washington, Unicoi, Carter, Sullivan, and Johnson counties. Access is restored to some of these roads to provide motorized access for various uses including hunting, and other activities.

Roads may be reopened 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 temporarIly closed to protect the various resources.

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Roads opening March 15 in Carter County include: Frog Level, Little Pond Mountain, Mill Creek/Holston Mountain, Bitter End (open to second gate), and White Rock (not recommended for highway legal vehicles until repairs are complete).

Roads in Washington County, which will open include: Buffalo Mountain (ATV parking lot), Horse Cove Gap, and Briar Creek.

These roads will be open through December 24.

Roads which will be opened March 14 until May 17 include Piney Grove in Carter County, open to the second gate; and Parks Branch in Johnson County, open to the second gate.

Temporarily closed for timber sales are the Cedar Gap Road, George Creek Road, and Griffith Branch.

The Cherry Flats Road in Carter County is not scheduled to be open due to resource or storm damage.