ELKINS, W.Va. -- Lingering late-season snow is keeping work crews from making repairs to a number of Superstorm Sandy-damaged Monongahela National Forest campgrounds, trails and recreation areas popular with spring trout anglers.
"This is the time of year many people start to think about fishing," said Eric Sandeno of the Monongahela National Forest headquarters office in Elkins. "So we'd like to let everyone know, particularly if they're driving in from areas where there's no snow on the ground, that some of our campgrounds will be closed for a while to allow storm repairs to be made."
Campgrounds under temporary closure orders due to safety hazards posed by downed trees, broken limbs, and sheared-off treetops include Cranberry and Big Rock campgrounds along the Cranberry River in the Gauley Ranger District.
All numbered primitive campsites along the Cranberry River between the Big Rock and Cranberry campgrounds are also closed pending repairs, as are the Woodbine and North Bend picnic areas.
At nearby Williams River, numbered campsites along Williams River Road between the Three Forks and Tea Creek campgrounds are also closed for repairs. The campsites affected by the closure order are numbered sites 6-19.
Some campgrounds and day use areas in the Gauley Ranger District escaped serious storm damage from Sandy and have opened as normal, including Summit Lake and Bishop Knob campgrounds and the Falls of Hill Creek waterfall viewing trail and the Cranberry Glades Botanical Area.
In the Monongahela's Cheat-Potomac Ranger District, gates are closed due to storm damage at the Horseshoe Recreation Area and Campground in Tucker County, and at the Stuart Recreation Area and Campground along Shavers Fork in Randolph County.
Contracts will be issued soon to clear storm damage from the campgrounds and recreational areas as they become accessible to heavy equipment, Sandeno said.