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Forest Service Shuts Down Many Popular Spots In Pisgah National Forest

Matt Bush
Blue Ridge Public Radio
The Cradle of Forestry in America is one of the sites closed in the Pisgah National Forest


The U.S. Forest Service is closing several popular trails and recreation spots in the Pisgah National Forest due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Among sites now closed include Max Patch Pond, Graveyard Fields, Looking Glass Falls, Catawba Falls, and the Cradle of Forestry in America.  Trails to Mt. Mitchell, Mt. Pisgah, and as wells as the Mountains To Sea, Max Patch Loop, and Lover’s Leap trails are also closed.  The Forest Service is also shutting down dispersed camping and many roads in the Pisgah National Forest. 

The order lasts until August 13th, or until its rescinded.  Some recreation sites and trails are still open in Pisgah, as well as in the Nantahala National Forest, but those using them are encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines, and if they find an area that is crowded, they’re urged to search for a less occupied location. (A full list of road closures can be found here)


Appalachian Ranger District

AT Deer Park Shelter

AT Flint Mountain Shelter

AT Groundhog Creek Shelter

AT Hogback Ridge Shelter

AT Hot Springs Trailhead

AT Jerry Cabin Shelter

AT Little Laurel Shelter

AT Overmountain Shelter

AT Overmountain Victory Trailhead

AT Roaring Fork Shelter

AT Spivey Gap Trailhead

AT Stan Murray Shelter

Big Butt Trailhead

Black Mountain Campground

Briar Bottom Group Camp

Buncombe Horse Trailhead

Carolina Hemlocks Campground

Carolina Hemlocks Picnic Area

Carolina Hemlocks Trailhead

Corner Rock Trailhead/Big Ivy parking

Douglas Falls Trailhead

Elk River Falls Trailhead

Fork Ridge Trailhead

Harmon Den Horse Camp

Hickey Fork Trailhead

Laurel River Trailhead

Max Patch Pond

Max Path Trailhead

Murray Branch Picnic Area

Poplar Boat Launch

Roan Mountain

Rocky Bluff Campground

Shinbone Trailhead

Shope Creek Parking Area

Silvermine Trailhead

South Toe Trailhead (Mt. Mitchell Trailhead)

Stackhouse Boat Launch

Walker Creek Trailhead



Grandfather Ranger District

Boone Fork Pond

Brown Mountain OHV Trailhead

Brown Mountain Roadside Campsites

Catawba Falls Trailhead

Curtis Creek Campground

Curtis Creek Roadside Campsites

Hawksbill Trailhead

Linville Falls Trailhead

Linville Gorge Cabin

Mortimer Campground

Mortimer Picnic Area

Spence Ridge Trailhead

Tablerock Picnic Area and Trailhead

Toms Creek Falls Trailhead

Upper Creek Falls Trailhead

Wilson Creek Day Use Area (as indicated on map)

Wolfpit Trailhead



Pisgah Ranger District

Art Loeb Trailhead, Camp Daniel Boone

Art Loeb Trailhead, Davidson River

Art Loeb Trailhead, FSR816 Black Balsam

Avery Creek Roadside Campsites

Black Balsam Trailhead

Buckhorn Gap Shelter

Butter Gap Shelter

Campground Connector Trailhead

Cat Gap Trailhead

Cathy Creek Roadside Campsites

Coon Tree Picnic Area

Courthouse Falls Roadside Camping

Cove Creek Group Campground

Cradle of Forestry in America

Daniel Ridge Trailhead

Davidson River Campground

Deep Gap Shelter

Hardtimes Trailhead

Headwaters Roadside Campsites

Hendersonville Reservoir Road Roadside Campsites

Kuykendall Group Camp

Lake Powhatan Campground

Lake Powhatan Picnic Area

Lake Powhatan Swim Area

Ledford Branch Trailhead

Lickstone Dispersed Campsites

Looking Glass Falls

Looking Glass Falls Picnic Area

Looking Glass Rock Trailhead

Moore Cove Trailhead

North Face Trailhead

North Mills River Campground

North Mills River Picnic Area

Pink Beds Picnic Area

Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education

Pisgah Ranger Station Visitor Center

Rice Pinnacle Trailhead

Shining Creek Trailhead

Slick Rock Falls Trailhead

Sliding Rock Recreation Area

Stony Fork Picnic Area

Sunburst Campground

Sunburst Picnic Area

Sunwall Trailhead

Sycamore Flats

Upper Cove Creek Roadside Campsites

US276 Picnic Areas

Wash Creek Horse Camp

Wash Creek Roadside Campsites

White Pines Group Camp

Wolf Ford Horse Camp

Yellow Gap Roadside Campsites



Appalachian Ranger District


Big Butt


Douglas Falls


Walker Creek


Elk Pen




Upper Corner Rock


Little Andy




Bear Pen


Black Mountain Crest


Green Knob


Stair Creek


Laurel Gap


Mount Mitchell


Buncombe Horse


Big Tom Gap


Roaring Fork Falls




River Loop


Fork Ridge


Jerry Miller


Green Ridge


Hickey Fork




Roundtop Ridge


Shutin Creek


Cherry Creek


Cold Springs Horse


Buckeye Ridge Horse


Max Patch Loop


Lover's Leap


Overmountain Victory Trail (from Roaring Creek to AT)


Pump Gap Loop


Laurel River


Groundhog Creek


Mountains to Sea




Briar Bottom


Elk Falls

Grandfather Ranger District




Brown Mountain 1A


Brown Mountain 1B


Elliot Deer


Sullivan’s Pass


Kirby’s Loop


Ned’s Knob


Miller Circle


Richard’s Bypass


Brown Mountain 8


Brown Mountain 9


Brown Mountain 10


Falls Branch


Catawba Falls


Spence Ridge




Little Table Rock


Table Rock Summit


Table Rock Gap




Linville Falls Access


Upper Creek

Pisgah Ranger District





Ivestor Gap


Daniel Ridge Loop


Looking Glass Rock


Slick Rock Falls


Cat Gap


North Face


Art Loeb – Davidson River to Joel Branch FSR5002


Art Loeb – Black Balsam Road FSR816 to Camp Daniel Boone


Moore Cove


Campground Connector


Mt. Pisgah


Graveyard Ridge


Graveyard Ridge


Graveyard Fields


Upper Falls


MST Access


Shining Creek


John Rock


Rainbow Falls




Hardtimes Gap


Deer Lake Lodge and FSR491

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.