The U.S. Forest Service has announced new restrictions at Max Patch, a national forest area near the Tennessee state line in Madison County which includes a section of the Appalachian Trail. The 4,629 foot bald is a popular camping and backpacking destination but the trail saw an explosion of visitors during 2020.
These new restrictions are designed to reduce impacts to natural resources and protect public health and safety, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
The following rules are effective immediately:
- No camping.
- No fires.
- Area closes 1 hour after sundown. Reopens 1 hour before sunrise. Visitors prohibited during closed hours.
- Group size limited to 10.
- Dogs and other animals must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet, or in a crate or cage.
- Stay on designated trails.
- Aircraft may not land nor drop off or pick up anything in this area. Drones are prohibited on Appalachian Trail.
- No fireworks.
- Bikes must stay on roads only.
- Horses and other saddle and pack animals may not be ridden, hitched, tethered, or hobbled in this area.
These rules are in effect until June 30, 2023.