Editor’s Note: After this story was written, the U.S. Forest Service called an emergency road closure in Dolly Sods. Click here to read the latest.
PETERSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — The roads in Dolly Sods Wilderness will close in a few weeks.
Officials at the Monongahela National Forest said in a press release that the annual winter road closures, in which the gates on Forest Roads 19 and 75 are shut, will be on Tuesday, Jan. 3. That’s the first business day after the holiday for the new year, which lands on a Sunday this year, meaning government offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 2.
The Forest Service closes Forest Roads 19 and 75 to motor vehicle use from January to early or mid-April each year for safety reasons.
“The road closures are put in place to ensure the safety of both visitors and employees,” Cheat-Potomac District Ranger Jon Morgan said in a press release. “Forest visitors and emergency responders are put at unnecessary risk without the road closures.”
The roads are still open to use by non-motorized vehicles, and local landowners and residents affected by the road closures can contact the Cheat-Potomac Ranger District office in Petersburg for assistance at 304-257-4488 for access.
The road conditions are monitored during March and April and are reopened when the weather permits. The status of roads and facilities is available on the Forest Service’s website.