Wayne National Forest trails to close on Jan. 2

Published 1:28 am Sunday, December 26, 2021

The Wayne National Forest has adopted a Recreation Amendment to its Forest Plan which will grant more flexibility in seasonal recreation opening and closure dates. This amendment takes out direction from the Forest Plan and allows the Forest Supervisor to determine closure dates based on a variety of factors.

After adopting an amendment to its forest plan, Wayne National Forest is extending the use of its trails for non-motorized use, such as biking and horseback riding, through Sunday, Jan. 2. However, the off-highway vehicles) season closure date of Dec. 15 remains in effect for this year.

“Riding horses, bikes and OHVs can cause extra wear and tear to trails during wet winter periods, but amending the forest plan gives us the ability to be more flexible in our seasonal opening and closure dates based upon weather and other factors,” said Forest Supervisor Carrie Gilbert. “We hope visitors who use the Wayne National Forest’s recreational trails will enjoy this year’s extended trail season.”

The decision to adopt the amendment was made after consultation with its users, featuring comment and objection periods in which the public could provide input on the proposed amendment.

Facilities and trails are expected to reopen in early April.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors back for the 2022 recreation season,” Gilbert said.

While trails designated for riding horses and mountain bikes close soon, hiking is allowed on all Wayne National Forest trails year-round for free, regardless of whether the trail is also designated for riding purposes.

Developed campgrounds are also closed for the winter season, but dispersed (primitive) camping is allowed year-round throughout most of the national forest. Visitors can go to go.usa.gov/xe6D6 for more information.