Just in time for hunting season, the U.S. Forest Service will open several roads on the Cumberland Ranger District to public vehicles again this year.
“We’re providing additional motorized access to the national forest during hunting seasons to better distribute hunters across the landscape, ensure an effective harvest, and improve safety in the woods,” said District Ranger Jonathan Kazmierski with the Daniel Boone National Forest.
In the Morehead and Cave Run Lake area from Sept. 5 through Jan. 20, the following Forest Service roads will be open to licensed vehicles: Ramey Creek Road 961; Buffalo Branch/Click Cemetery Road 973, the main road only; Big Perry Road 977; Peter Branch Road 1058; and Pioneer Road 1225.
In the Stanton area, Hatton Ridge Road 165 and June Bug Road 167 (not Short Creek) will be open during the same timeframe.
Hunters should use caution and be aware that many of these roads have surface damage from heavy rainfall over the past year. Several roads that are normally open for hunting season will not be open in 2019 due to poor conditions, including Shooting Range Road 909, Murder Branch Road 1074, and Scott Creek Road 1093. The Forest Service is working to secure funding to repair these roads.
On Paragon Road, work is ongoing to repair flood damage. More than three miles of the road between Highway 519 and Jones Ridge Road remain closed to motorized vehicle use. Vehicle access is available up to a new gate installed a half mile east of Highway 519 or via Jones Ridge Road. The entire road is scheduled to open by Oct. 16, in time for the first muzzleloader season for deer.
On Lockegee Road, a landslide at the southern end of Road 16 has resulted in the closure of 1.5 miles of the road nearest to Twin Knobs Campground. Lockegee Road and the surrounding area is still accessible from the north via Highway 1274.
To help ensure the availability of open roads in the future, visitors are expected to carry out their trash, keep vehicles on established roadways, avoid blocking gates, and respect the land by not cutting down trees. Any vandalism or illicit activity found to occur may result in the roads being closed to further use. Inclement weather causing road damage or safety concerns may also result in the roads closing earlier than planned.
All-terrain vehicles, including side-by-sides, are prohibited on national forest system roads and prohibited from cross-country travel on national forest lands. The White Sulphur ATV Trail system is open to ATV use.
Hunters are encouraged to try a new online mapping tool that provides the public with management status of open lands and forested areas, including timber harvests and fire history. The link is
Copies of the Daniel Boone National Forest motorized vehicle user maps (MVUM) are available at www.fs.usda.gov/main/dbnf/maps-pubs. Additional information can be obtained on the Daniel Boone National Forest website or by contacting one of the Forest Service visitor centers or information desks.