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  1. #1
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    Default How to check on the status of Forest Service roads (VA specific-Big Schloss GW NF)

    Got some unexpected days off and want to head up to Big Schloss, in George Washington NF in VA/WF. I need to access forest road #f92. Unfortunately when I was able to plan this trip, the rangers office is closed. Any input on how to check the status of forest roads being open? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    Try to find a map of the forest put out by the FS and see if there is any kind of gate in the way.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
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  3. #3

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    I contact USFS Office or Wilderness Area's falling under the jurisdiction of either the USFS, NPS, US Fish & Game or, in the west, BLM Office assigned to that area. For example, seasonal gate opens around Lake Jocassasee in SC. For example close/piped access roads in/and near the Everglades in FL. On these Offices's maps or other maps the gates are color coded based on seasonal access, never open to the public, etc. Every once in a while I see maps with small annotations under the gate listing open times or other restrictions or 4WD recommended or finding that info possibly in the map's legend. I do the same thing in NP's but contact the NPS Backcountry Rangers's Office. I much prefer confirming with personal info from someone in the know in one of those offices. They've saved me from attempting to go down roads that were overgrown, not suitable for my vehicles, currently closed for logging or a washout, etc.

  4. #4
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    Try using the directions from the following link. As I recall the parking area used/described is open access. But it has been a decade plus since I've done this hike. https://www.hikingupward.com/GWNF/BigSchloss/.


    Furlough
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L’Amour

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    I contact USFS Office or Wilderness Area's falling under the jurisdiction of either the USFS, NPS, US Fish & Game or, in the west, BLM Office assigned to that area. For example, seasonal gate opens around Lake Jocassasee in SC. For example close/piped access roads in/and near the Everglades in FL. On these Offices's maps or other maps the gates are color coded based on seasonal access, never open to the public, etc. Every once in a while I see maps with small annotations under the gate listing open times or other restrictions or 4WD recommended or finding that info possibly in the map's legend. I do the same thing in NP's but contact the NPS Backcountry Rangers's Office. I much prefer confirming with personal info from someone in the know in one of those offices. They've saved me from attempting to go down roads that were overgrown, not suitable for my vehicles, currently closed for logging or a washout, etc.
    All great advice and worth remembering.

    Seemed like last minute though for Crushed Grapes. I'll throw another option out too, more helpful probably for a long trail and that is to contact a regular shuttler. They are often on the back roads and know the gate systems. Asking here is a good idea too just needs to be a local seeing the thread. I am going to modify the thread title to include Big Schloss.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

  6. #6

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    And here's another. I mapped it with Google. That road has two entrances. Barring any kind of washout or other road interruption, the gates would be placed on the ends. The satellite map is pretty good (not 100% but decent) with no visible gate on either end.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

  7. #7

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    Comprehensive great advice from all.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furlough View Post
    Try using the directions from the following link. As I recall the parking area used/described is open access. But it has been a decade plus since I've done this hike. https://www.hikingupward.com/GWNF/BigSchloss/.
    Furlough
    That link has you park at the Wolf Gap Recreation Area, which is always open thankfully (that's the route I did a few weekends ago). Oddly enough, FS road 92 was open at both ends, the gates were unlocked. Had I known, I would have done a longer route, but any weekend out is better than none.

    Thanks for all of the great advice here!

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  10. #10
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    After waiting several days for my account validation, finally I can contribute to the discussion.

    Mike's link to the GWNF alerts and notices page is good, but here is the complete GWNF Motor Vehicle Use Map:

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gwj/m...3_000547#02how

    It shows the status of all forest roads. Some are open year round, some only during hunting season, and some are closed to all public motor vehicle use. You can download the map as an 11 MB pdf file.

    Also, if you use CalTopo, go to the upper right corner of the screen for the pull down menu of base layers and map overlays. There is an overlay menu item for "Motor Vehicle MVUM." On brief inspection, I have only found motor vehicle use status for roads in the GWNF, and not for the Monongahela NF in West Virginia. I don't know if nationwide motor vehicle use information is available.

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