WINCHESTER, Ky., (WTVQ) - Following state and federal guidance and moves taken my many other national parks and forests, most developed recreation areas are now temporarily shut down in the Daniel Boone National Forest.
The move includes include campgrounds, picnic areas and shooting ranges.
General forest area and trails remain open. Other recreation areas that remain open are several campgrounds under contract management by concessionaires.
All boat ramps at Cave Run Lake and Laurel River Lake are also open.
Some had feared popular trails would be closed, especially after four different sets of hikers got lost Monday and Friday. But Thursday’s statement didn’t include trails, although park leaders and rescue services advise hikers to stay on clearly marked trails and to take extra precautions.
All individuals with reservations through Recreation.gov, who have been affected by these temporary campground shutdowns will have their reservation fees refunded.
“As we work through an unpredictable and rapidly changing situation, the health and safety of our forest visitors and employees are our number one priority,” said Forest Supervisor Dan Olsen. “We are committed to serving in the best interest of our local communities, and we will continue to work together to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19.
“Additional temporary shutdowns will likely be announced that will impact visitors to the Daniel Boone National Forest. This is a very fluid situation and visitors can check the Daniel Boone National Forest website and Facebook page for daily updates,” added Olsen.
The Daniel Boone National Forest manages nearly 709,000 acres across 21 counties in eastern Kentucky. The forest has four ranger districts that provide multiple outdoor recreation opportunities. Visitors can learn more about the forest at www.fs.usda.gov/dbnf/ or on the forest Facebook page at www.facebook.com/danielboonenf/.