NEWPORT — People seeking to spend time outdoors can visit Croatan National Forest again, but the U.S. Forest Service advises to be prepared for a “primitive experience.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service announced Thursday it’s expanding access to recreational opportunities, however facilities and services are limited at many sites. Restrooms and vault toilets are closed, and there are no trash services at most sites.
The USFS advises forest visitors to visit and expect a primitive experience, and asks visitors to recreate responsibly. It offers the following recommendations:
- Bring the food and water you need for the day and use the restroom before you leave home. Many forest areas have no restrooms and are far from towns.
- Bring hand sanitizer and the supplies you need to hygienically pack out your waste and your pet's waste.
- Know your limits and choose activities appropriate for your physical condition. Bring a first-aid kit and extra food, water and clothing in case emergency response is delayed.
Campgrounds, visitor centers, picnic pavilions, shooting ranges, beaches, restrooms, day-use areas and other developed recreation sites remain closed.
In Croatan Forest, Cedar Point Campground, Flanners Beach Campground, Oyster Point Campground, Cedar Point Day Use Area and Black Swamp OHV Area remain closed.
Closed areas also include high-use places like Dry Falls, King's Mountain Point, Roan Mountain, Tidelands Trail and Wayah Bald. Some recreation sites, including some campgrounds, are expected to reopen in June.
Updated information on temporary closures is available online at fs.usda.gov/goto/currentclosures.