North Carolina State Forests remain open to the public, with limited access

Turnbull Creek Education State Forest (Photo: NC Forest Service NC)

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — As of Friday, all North Carolina State Forests remain open to the public for individual visits within normal operating hours.

Due to public safety and in support of social distancing, effective at noon Friday, the N.C. Forest Service (NCFS) is implementing the following safety measures for State Forests in response to COVID-19:

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• State Forests remain open to the public; however, amenities including offices,
education and visitor centers, restrooms and picnic shelters are temporarily closed to
the public until further notice.
• No special use permits of any kind are being issued in person at any State Forest or
other NCFS locations.
• Events, educational programming and group programming have been canceled,
postponed or rescheduled.

In the interest of safety for visitors and staff, additional measures may be implemented, and other forest amenities may be adjusted and closed as needed. NCFS urge visitors to practice social distancing and adjust recreational activities to minimize the need for assistance. Although Forest offices are temporarily closed to the public, NCFS staff remain available to assist visitors as needed and continue making every effort to keep trails and other forest areas open as safe places for recreation and respite. We urge visitors to be partners in this effort.

The N.C. Forest Service operates three state forests and a system of seven educational state forests.

Friday, March 20, is North Carolina’s Arbor Day and folks can come out to Turnbull Creek ESF, located in Elizabethtown, for a driving tour, exploring exhibits, or hiking trails until 5 p.m.

For updated information about public access to North Carolina State Forests during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit