COVID-19 CLOSURES... updated almost daily!

Updated May 22, 2020

Stay fit and engaged during the pandemic with these vitual classes and workouts from local climbing gyms

This page will serve as our landing page for any COVID-19 updates on impacts to outdoor climbing access across the Carolinas and beyond. Please note that this list can change hourly. We have listed CLOSURES, but will not be listing what is open.  

We care about the health and vitality of the communities we serve and are on continued alert as to how the Covid-19 can affect climbing in the Carolinas. This Access Fund article sums up many of our shared thoughts on outdoor climbing and the Covid-19 virus.

 

Specific Climbing Area Closures

  • Pisgah National Forest- National Forests have discouraged rock climbing.  The roads leading to Looking Glass and Linville Gorge (Table Rock) have recently opened. If you are in question, visit the Pisgah National Forest  website of closures. No overnight camping. 

  • Blue Ridge Parkway- Many sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway have been closed. The section which accesses Ship Rock and Grandmother Boulders is now open. If parking lots are full, please go elsewhere. 

  • Sauratown- all access is closed. Note: It is normally closed at this time due to our lease agreement. 

  • Hanging Rock State Park - Climbing at Moores is open as of May 9th but parking will be heavily restricted. Cooks climbing will be open but parking will have to be at the visitor center. Parking at the lake is closed. Please do not see this as a grand reopening of the area. It is a small and restricted reopening of a few areas, which currently includes limited access at the climbers parking. Illegal parking will be ticketed. Most park facilities will remain closed. 

  • Crowders Mountain State Park- As of Saturday, May 23, all access areas and trails at Crowders Mountain State Park will be open. Park hours are 8:00am to 9:00pm. Rock climbing and bouldering will open by registration only. Group rock climbing activities will remain closed until Phase 3. Picnic areas and the visitor center will also remain closed. The Shorts Lake Trail will remain closed for construction. Family backcountry camping will open May 23, by online reservation only. Group camping will remain closed. Stay tuned here

  • Pilot Mountain State Park - Climbing and the summit parking area will reopen on Monday, May 18th with parking limited to 90 vehicles. Once that capacity has been reached the summit parking area will be closed for the rest of the day.  

  • Rocky Face Park - Climbing access is closed.

  • Linville Gorge, Short Off, Hawksbill, Gold Coast, Black Fork, etc- McDowell County and Burke County Board of Commissioners have restricted all rock climbing in the Linville Gorge Wilderness/ Burke County and McDowell County section. Although road closures have lifted, this restriction has not yet lifted.  Overnight camping is restricted on weekends. 

  • South Carolina State Parks- Climbing access is normally closed this time of year and will continue to be closed at Table Rock State Park. 

  • Big Bradley Falls- access to the Bradley Falls climbing area is closed.

  • Hidden Valley- Hidden Valley is currently open but May 15-June 1 there will be aerial spraying of gypsy moths. The spray will be performed via helicopter and is scheduled to treat land to the north and east of Hidden Valley. The lake and camping will be closed. Climbing will remain open but proceed with caution. 

Additional Info

  • NC State Parks have closed facilities.  This may or may not affect access to climbing areas but will directly affect the parks’ ability to respond to any need. Please refer to each State Park’s individual websites for daily updates on closures.  We will post to this site as we hear of any specific closures.  Here is a link to NC State Park's response and  to Covid-19. 

  • Rumbling Bald and Eagle Rock within Chimney Rock State Park; all group climbing special activity permits are being revoked and no future group climbing permits will be approved for now. Individual climbing is curently allowed.  

  • All NC State Park campgrounds and facilities are closed 

  • Pisgah, Nantahala, and Uhwarrie National Forests have discouraged rock climbing activities.  National Forest roads that are typically locked in the winter may be locked longer than usual through the spring. All National Forest campgrounds and facilities have been closed.

    "The National Forests in NC asks members of the public to recreate responsibly by avoiding gathering in groups of more than ten people and not engaging in high-risk activities, like rock climbing, that increase the chance of injury or distress. Law enforcement and search and rescue operations may be limited due to COVID-19. In addition, visitors can help mitigate resource impacts while recreation sites are shut down by bringing home their trash (pack it in, pack it out), and by appropriately managing human waste by burying it at least six to eight inches deep and 200 feet away from water, trails and recreation sites."
  • CCC has cancelled any large volunteer opportunities or public events until further notice. We have some volunteer opportunities listed here at Buckeye Knob over various dates in May. All planned volunteer stewardship events in the Pisgah Ranger District are cancelled until further notice. 

  • CCC will remain a part of the Pisgah Nantahala planning process in a virtual capacity with planners.  You can also get involved by reading up on the draft plan. CCC and Access Fund will have be drafting public response to the draft plan, but now is a great time to get familiar with the draft plan on your own. The comment period has been extended pasy the previous June 29. There are public conference call meetings, lead by planners, listed here

  • CCC Board of Directors will be meeting over the phone instead of in-person.

 

Thank you all. Stay safe and healthy! 

Share this post