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(MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK – March 4, 2009) Superintendent Patrick Reed announced today that the park’s backcountry trails and backcountry campsites are open to visitors.
“This clean up has been a major undertaking,” said Reed. “The roads and trails in the backcountry were severely impacted by the ice storm. About 50 people worked every day for six weeks to clear the downed trees and limbs. It was an enormous effort.”
Today all park trails and roads reopened to the public. All park facilities, excepting Maple Spring Group Campground, are also open. “It is going to take a while longer to get the group campground in shape,” explained Reed. “There are holes in the middle of some of the campsites where the ground was uprooted from tree falls.
“Visitors need to be aware that there may still be overhead hazards along the trails,” he cautioned. “We are posting warning signs at all the trailheads and asking visitors to be conscious of their surroundings when they enter the woods.”
The downed wood along roadsides is still available to the public, and recently opened roads, such as Flint Ridge Road and Houchins Ferry Road, have more wood available. To collect the wood, the public should:
· Collect only the cut wood lying within the mown shoulder of park roads that are open to the public, mown cemeteries, and the mown grounds in the visitor center area. Wood may not be gathered from the park campgrounds, picnic areas, or forest.
· Use care in parking vehicles off the pavement. Do not drive off the pavement if the shoulder is wet and muddy. Damage to road shoulder could result in a citation or fine.
· Collect wood between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
· Use only non-mechanized equipment. The use of chainsaws and heavy equipment is not permitted.
“The trails are open, but there is more work to do to clean them up,” Reed added. Anyone interested in volunteering in the park may contact Ranger Eddie Wells, the park’s Volunteer-In-Parks coordinator, at e-mail us, or 270.758.2143.
- NPS -