Pisgah Forest announces two-year camping ban on popular trail
MARCH HILL, NC (WSPA) – On Thursday morning, forestry officials announced new restrictions on Max Patch, an increasingly popular trail in the Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina.
The number of visitors to the trail has increased dramatically, causing damage to the natural habitat of wildlife.
According to forestry officials, past efforts to educate visitors and provide technical controls such as barriers and fences have not been sufficient to meet the challenges.
“We have worked with partners to achieve sustainable recreation at Max Patch due to the impacts of a significant increase in visitor numbers over the past decade,” said Jen Barnhart, Appalachian District Ranger. “Unfortunately, the level of use is causing danger to public safety as well as serious damage to wildlife habitat.”
The new restrictions are designed to reduce impacts on natural resources and protect public health and safety.
The restrictions will be in effect for two years and the impacts of visitor use of the area will continue to be monitored and addressed.
Here is the full list of new restrictions:
- Camping forbidden.
- No fires.
- The area closes 1 hour after sunset. Reopening 1 hour before sunrise. Visitors prohibited during closing hours.
- Group size limited to 10.
- Dogs and other animals must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet, or in a crate or cage.
- Stay on designated trails.
- Aircraft cannot land, drop or pick up anything in this area. Drones are prohibited on the Appalachian Trail.
- No fireworks.
- Bicycles should stay on the roads only.
- Horses and other saddle and pack animals must not be ridden, harnessed, tied up or restrained in this area.