Tower, Bark Camp sites reopen

June 17, 2020

One local U.S. Forest Service recreation area reopened late last week.

Locally, the High Knob observation tower is back open, but the campground remains closed. Also, the Bark Camp day use area is open, but restrooms and camping are not available, according to a June 11 press release.

The Cane Patch campground in Wise County will reopen June 19.

“Forest leadership is making every effort to expand access to recreation sites within the context of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and state and local government orders while prioritizing employee and public health and safety,” the release stated. “The decision to reopen recreation areas is being made on a case-by-case basis.”

Reopening of sites includes an assessment of facility cleanliness, maintenance status and health and safety.

The forest service urges responsible recreation that will help expand access. Avoid crowded areas; be careful with campfires and wildlife; and bring extra food, water and clothing in case of an emergency. Trash services and restrooms are not available in many areas, so be prepared to take your waste home with you.

Visitors are urged to take the precautions recommended by the CDC along with local health and safety guidance.

For tips from the CDC on preventing illnesses like COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus, go to:

For the most up to date information about recreation sites and their status, visit