Holston Mtn. Road closed until late spring

The road to the top of Holston Mountain will be closed for the winter season. The Watauga Ranger District closed Forest Road No. 56 until the end of the freeze/thaw cycle in late spring. The purpose of the closure is to protect the road surface and provide for public safety, while providing the necessary access to electronic site permittees.
   The gravel road begins at the end of Panhandle Road in Carter County and leads to the top of Holston Mountain. The road is gated approximately one-half mile above the Blue Hole parking area. Only authorized electronic site permittees are allowed to use motor vehicles beyond the gate during this winter road closure.
   This road closure affects access to trailheads for Holston Mountain Trail No. 44, Morrell Trail No. 47, Short Spur Trail No. 48, Flint Mill Trail No. 49 and Josiah Foot Trail No. 50.
   The general public is welcome to hike, ride bicycles or ride horses on this road and other Forest Service roads that are gated closed. However, all motorized vehicles are prohibited. All users are asked not to park blocking any gate, in case of administrative or emergency use.
   Information on when Forest Service Road No. 56 will be reopened to the general public in the spring and other information regarding national forest land and outdoor recreation opportunities is available at the Watauga Ranger District Office, 4400 Unicoi Drive, Unicoi, Tenn., (423) 735-1500.