USFS Closing Seasonal Recreation Sites and Roads for Winter

The USDA Forest Service is preparing recreation sites for winter by closing or reducing services at some campgrounds and day use sites. They will soon be closing seasonal roads on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, according to a press release.

You can check the Forest recreation webpages before visiting to know what sites and services are available. Some campgrounds will remain open, but offer limited services meaning there will be no camp hosts, no trash pick-up, no water, no electricity, and/or no restrooms available. Sites reopen at varying times in the spring based on location and availability of services.

Seasonal roads are closed at certain times of the year to protect forest resources. Opening and closing dates vary. You may refer to the Interactive Visitor Map for an online view of Forest Service roads and trails and information about which roads are seasonally open to motorized travel. Many seasonal roads are closed during the freeze-thaw of winter to protect roads surfaces from damage, typically closing on January 10 and reopening April 1. Other roads are seasonally closed to protect wildlife and are open only for a few months in the fall.

“Although some sites and roads close for the winter season, there are still many recreation destinations, roads, and trails that are open on forest lands for people to enjoy,” says Forest Supervisor Joby Timm. “Forest lands offer an opportunity for people to connect with the outdoors throughout the year.”

When visiting the national forest this winter be prepared for winter weather and know the weather forecast before you go. Snow is not removed from Forest Service roads and ice can build up in shady areas even if other sections of the road appears dry.


In other USDA forest news, the Southern Region of the USDA Forest Service has developed a regional grants calendar which provides the public and partners access to funding opportunities they might otherwise not be able to find from online searches.

The grant calendar is available online on the Southern Region website:

“I hope this calendar will offer a one-stop-shop for our current and future partners to apply for grant opportunities to enhance and improve forest resources, services, and products,” said Joby Timm, George Washington and Jefferson National Forest Supervisor.

The calendar offers Forest Service staff, partners, and the public access to the latest funding opportunities in a variety of forest-related themes, including climate change, habitat restoration, outdoor experiences, recreation, open space conservation, historic preservation, environmental education, and community outreach.

Some grant opportunities are open year-round, with no specific due date, while other grant opportunities have multiple application deadlines throughout the year. The calendar reflects the deadline for applications with links to the organizations’ websites for more information. Questions about specific grant opportunities should be directed to the organization offering the funding.

If you know of additional grants that should be posted to the calendar, please contact Jules DeFriese at

For more information about the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests visit our website, call your local district office or follow us on twitter:


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Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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