PETERSBURG, W.Va. — Roads leading through Dolly Sods in northern West Virginia will close to motor vehicles for the winter beginning on January 3, 2023, according to officials with the Monongahela National Forest.
Rangers will close the gates on Forest Roads 19 and 75 to prevent emergencies in the high-elevation environment, according to Jim Morgan, ranger for the forest's Cheat-Potomac District.
These roads are closed to motor vehicles annually from January to early or mid-April due to variable road conditions in the winter months, he said. However, non-motorized use of the roads is allowed.
“The road closures are put in place to ensure the safety of both visitors and employees,” Morgan said. “Forest visitors and emergency responders are put at unnecessary risk without the road closures.”
Both roads usually open again by mid-April. “We will monitor road conditions in March and April, and reopen the roads as soon as weather permits,” Morgan said.
Dolly Sods is a rocky, high-altitude plateau with sweeping vistas and lifeforms normally found much farther north in Canada. Flagged trees, heath barrens, sphagnum bogs, and wind-carved boulders characterize the distinctive landscape of the sods.
Staff from Monongahela National Forest work with local landowners and residents affected by the road closures to ensure they have access to their property.
Landowners and residents who need access behind the gates should contact the Cheat-Potomac Ranger District office in Petersburg for assistance at 304-257-4488.
Information about the status of roads and facilities is also available at fs.usda.gov/mnf/.
Dolly Sods among most remarkable regions in West Virginia
The Dolly Sods Wilderness is part of the Monongahela National Forest in the Allegheny Mountains. It is arguably one of the most remarkable natural regions in West Virginia, if not the entire East Coast. READ THE FULL STORY HERE.
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