Monongahela National Forest sets winter 2023-'24 schedule

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Monongahela National Forest sets winter 2023-'24 schedule
Winter is an ideal time to discover the West Virginia woodlands. (Photo courtesy Kyle Peyton)

ELKINS, W.Va. — Most of the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia is open year-round, closing only when access roads are snow-covered, though some developed campgrounds, picnic areas, and visitor centers routinely close from late fall through mid-spring.

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According to forest service media contact Kelly Bridges, officials have posted the following seasonal closures for winter 2023-2024. For the most current information, visit the Forest’s Recreation Conditions Report at .


Roadside Camping

Roadside camping, also called dispersed camping, is available year-round in many areas of the Forest. For more information about recreation facilities, contact a district office near the location you would like to visit. Contact information is listed at


Elkins and Parsons areas

Closing dates for recreation sites on the Cheat-Potomac Ranger District (304-478-2000) in the Elkins and Parsons areas:

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Bear Heaven Campground – Dec. 1
Bickle Knob Observation Tower – Closes when roads are snow-covered
Horseshoe Recreation Area – Closed for the season
Olson Observation Tower - Closes when roads are snow-covered
Stuart Recreation Area – Closed for the season


Petersburg and Seneca Rocks areas

Closing dates for recreation sites on the Cheat-Potomac Ranger District (304-257-4488) in the Petersburg and Seneca Rocks areas:

Big Bend Campground – Oct. 30
Dolly Sods Picnic Area – Jan. 1
Gatewood Group Campground – Until Nov. 30, no fees are charged. Pack in, pack out with no services
Jess Judy Group Campground – Oct. 30
Red Creek Campground – Dec. 31
Seneca Rocks Discovery Center – Oct. 29 is the last day open
Seneca Rocks Picnic Area – Nov. 30
Seneca Shadows Campground – Oct. 30
Spruce Knob Lake – Lake open year-round. Toilets close on Dec. 1
Spruce Knob Lake Campground – Closed for the season
Spruce Knob Observation Tower – Area open year-round (except when roads are snow-covered). Toilets close on Dec. 1


Bartow area

Closing dates for recreation sites on the Greenbrier Ranger District (304-456-3335) in the Bartow area:

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Gaudineer Knob Picnic Area – Closes when roads are snow-covered. Toilets close on Dec. 1
Island Campground – Dec. 1
Lake Buffalo – Lake open year-round. Toilets close on Dec. 1
Laurel Fork Campground – Dec. 1
Middle Mountain Cabins – Dec. 1
Old House Run Picnic Area – Dec. 2


Richwood area

Closing dates for recreation sites in the Gauley Ranger District (304-846-2695) in the Richwood area:

Big Rock Campground – Dec. 1
Bishop Knob Campground – Dec. 1
Cranberry Campground – Dec. 1
Cranberry Mountain Nature Center – Closed for the season
Cranberry River Developed Dispersed Campsites – The area closes when snow-covered. Toilets close on Dec. 1
North Bend Picnic Area – Closed for the season
Summit Lake – The Lake is open year-round. Toilets close on Dec. 1
Summit Lake Campground – Dec. 1
Williams River Developed Dispersed Campsites (Sites #1 - #20 located downstream of Tea Creek Campground) – The area closes when snow-covered. Toilets closed on Dec. 1
Woodbine Picnic Area – Closed for the season


Marlinton area

Closing dates for recreation sites in the Marlinton-White Sulphur Ranger District (304-799-4334) in the Marlinton area:

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Day Run Campground – Dec. 1
Highland Scenic Highway – The Road closes when snow-covered. Toilets close on Dec. 1
Pocahontas Campground – Dec. 1
Rimel Picnic Area – Jan. 1
Tea Creek Campground – Dec. 1
Williams River Developed Dispersed Campsites (Sites #21 to #30 located upstream of Tea Creek Campground) – The area closes when snow-covered. Toilets closed on Dec. 1.


White Sulphur Springs area

Closing dates for recreation sites in the Marlinton-White Sulphur Ranger District (304-536-2144) in the White Sulphur Springs area:

Blue Bend Recreation Area – Camping closes Dec. 1. Picnicking closes Dec. 1
Hopkins Knob Fireman’s Cabin – Dec. 1
Lake Sherwood Recreation Area and Campground – West Shore Loop closes Nov. 1. All other camping loops and day-use areas are closed for the season. The lake is open year-round. Lake toilets close on Oct. 31

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