DuPont State Recreational Forest temporarily closed to the public; public access restricted due to COVID-19 safety concerns
Forest Service officials have temporarily closed DuPont State Recreational Forest and neighboring Holmes Educational State Forest effective at 10 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, restricting public access until further notice.
All trails, trailheads and forest facilities are closed until further notice. Parking areas, both designated and roadside, are barricaded in the interest of public safety. “Closing state forests to the public is a decision I do not take lightly, and much consideration has been given to this decision,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.
“The bottom line is that these sites are beautiful and treasured places in our state where families and visitors can make positive, lasting memories. These state forests have experienced what many state parks and beaches have, too — unsafe and overcrowded conditions that tax these resources. This temporary closure to the public is necessary, but rest assured, it is temporary.”
NCFS officials note that crowds are gathering in parking areas and trailheads which compromises the degree of social distancing needed to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. Forest Service regret that temporary closure of DSRF and HESF is necessary. NCFS officials will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring both forests are reopened when conditions allow.
For updated information about public access to North Carolina State Forests during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit ncforestservice.gov/COVID19.htm and follow us on Facebook.
DuPont Forest Covered Bridge in North Carolina – Getty Images