Phased-in reopening of Big South Fork Recreation Area underway

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ONEIDA, Tenn. (WATE) – A National River & Recreation area in East Tennessee has begun to reopen access to visitors.

The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area has now increased access to park trails and back country camping.

Not all of the Big South Fork is back open right now. Campgrounds, restroom facilities, Charit Creek Lodge, Bandy Creek Stables and all visitor centers at the Big South Fork will remain closed.

“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Big South Fork, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance, and will be regularly monitored,” said Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas. “We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.”

Officials recommend the public follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities. The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Full operations will continue to be phased in.

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