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Forest Service warns of high-water swimming hazards

It's a holiday weekend and the weather forecast is looking great.

Many people are probably planning to head to national forests this weekend to recreate, but increased rainfall in the western part of the state may have caused hazards that require special attention.

First, rainfall may have shifted things below the water's surface and created invisible swimming hazards. Streambeds that were flat and clear before may now hold debris and snags from broken tree limbs and shifted rocks. That same rainfall will also raise water levels throughout the weekend, creating faster currents that make swimming more difficult, especially when trying to avoid identified hazards. Finally, road and trail conditions may also be impacted. Employees have tried to ensure access throughout the Districts, but Pisgah District employees are reporting damage to the Art Loeb trailhead at Camp Daniel Boone and are advising the public to avoid that area.

Please take your safety seriously. We ask anyone planning on recreating this weekend to respect closures, park safely, and always have an alternative plan. These are your public lands but please be prepared, responsible, and respectful when using them. As always, limit your impact and limit your risk.