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NC tourism official urges planning for travel

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- With a federal government shutdown underway, officials in North Carolina are urging people who want to travel on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see the fall foliage to consider making some plans.

The NC Department of Commerce's Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development says visitor centers and other staffed facilities are set to close, meaning travelers should consider how they plan to do their viewing.

Department tourism marketing director Wit Tuttell said that without comfort stations every 20 or 30 miles, travelers will want to find alternative places to take a break.

State parks such as Mount Mitchell and Grandfather Mountain are considered ideal stopping points. Reports from rangers at state parks across North Carolina are posted at visitNC.com/fall to keep leaf-watchers informed about foliage and other conditions.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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