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Green Mountain National Forest restricts some overnight camping sites

May 7 2020, 1:05 PM

Overnight camping at some campgrounds and shelters in the Green Mountain National Forest is prohibited, according to USDA Forest Service officials. Additionally, the use of backcountry privies along the Appalachian Trail and Long Trail segments in the National Forest is prohibited to ensure the health and safety of employees, visitors and volunteers, the Forest Service said.

“These difficult decisions are not taken lightly. They consider the current risk to public health, the national effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, and the local community desire to access public lands,” said John Sinclair, forest supervisor of the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests. “Restricting access to recreational sites or areas is a particularly difficult decision for the Forest Service, but health and safety concerns during this pandemic must be taken seriously.”

Areas impacted by the current forest closure include certain campgrounds in the Rochester Ranger and Manchester Ranger districts as well as many Appalachian Trail and Long Trail shelters and privies. Details are on the Forest Service’s website.

While the Green Mountain National Forest has restricted activities at certain locations, the majority of the GMNF remains open. 

The forest service asks that visitors avoid recreating on public land if they are sick, stay at least 6 feet apart from other visitors, keep dogs on leashes, choose low-risk outdoor activities and avoid public areas during high-use periods. 

— Sarah Asch