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Campgrounds, visitor centers remain closed on storm-damaged federal lands

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A number of campgrounds, visitor centers, trails and offices on federally managed land across West Virginia remain closed due to damage from the past several days' storms.

In Greenbrier County, the Lake Sherwood Recreation Area, home of the largest lake and biggest and busiest campground in the Monongahela National Forest, is closed until further notice because of damage from overturned trees and windblown branches.

Ordinarily, hundreds of July campers can be found relaxing in the recreation area's 94 family-sized campsites, or casting for fish in 165-acre Lake Sherwood.

Several other developed campgrounds in the Monongahela still lack power and water as a result of the storm, but have reopened to accommodate primitive camping, according to the forest's website.

In the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, the Trout Pond Recreation Area near Wardensville in Hardy County remains closed indefinitely due to storm damage. The area contains Rock Cliff Lake, a popular trout-fishing water with a swimming beach, and Trout Pond, West Virginia's only natural lake, as well as 64 campsites.

In the National Park Service's New River Gorge National River, the park's headquarters building in Glen Jean remained closed on Monday due to a lack of power. "We hope to have power restored in the next couple of weeks," said park spokeswoman Robin Snyder.

Power was restored to the Canyon Rim, Thurmond and Grandview visitor centers on Monday, and all were expected to reopen today, Snyder said.

"Park crews continue to work clearing trees on roads, campgrounds and trails," she said.

The only other areas of the park that remain closed due to storm damage are the Turkey Spur Overlook in the Grandview Unit, and the Rend Trail linking Thurmond to Minden. Downed trees may be encountered on park trails that remain open.

Several popular campgrounds located on recreation areas managed by the Huntington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also remain closed due to power outages and storm damage.

At Summersville Lake in Nicholas County, the 117-site Battle Run Campground, with two bathhouses and a laundry facilities, remained closed on Monday, although Corps officials were hopeful the campground would reopen sometime today.

In Braxton County, Burnsville Lake's Bulltown Campground was open, but the 60-site Riffle Run Campground remained closed, while at Sutton Lake, Bakers Run and Gerald R. Freeman campgrounds, with a total of nearly 240 campsites, remained closed, while the Bee Run Campground was open.

All Corps of Engineers' campgrounds at Wayne County's East Lynn Lake, damaged by a tornado in March as well as the June 29 wind storm, had reopened by Monday afternoon, according to Huntington District spokesman Chuch Minsker.

Reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelhammer@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5169.

 


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