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Black Hills National Forest to begin seasonal closures

Due to an impending winter storm, staff began closing seasonal gates and recreation sites that are not open through the winter on the Black Hills National Forest, Mon., Dec. 12, ahead of the regularly scheduled Dec. 15 date.

Gates are closed to provide a seasonal refuge for wildlife, protect road and trail surfaces and other resources, and provide for public safety as some of the roads are converted into part of the snowmobile trail system. Seasonally closed roads and trails are identified on the current Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM).

Black Hills National Forest officials are asking the public to avoid parking in front of closed Forest gates.

“Forest employees may be working behind the closed gate and are unable to exit the area if a vehicle has parked in front of the gate,” said Scott Jacobson, Public Affairs Officer, Black Hills National Forest.

Seasonal closures also occur at many of the recreation sites including some campgrounds and picnic areas. A list of campground sites that remain open during the winter can be found at

Most restroom facilities and trash collection are closed for the season. The Forest encourages winter recreationalists to practice pack it in, pack it out during the off-season.

As a safety reminder, use extreme caution when driving on forest system roads as the road ahead may become impassable or hazardous due to ice and snow cover. National Forest System roads are not plowed or maintained during the winter.

For those that do travel or recreate in remote areas, please be aware of the local weather conditions and be prepared with appropriate gear.

Seasonal recreation sites and roads typically reopen mid-May, conditions permitting.

For more information on the Black Hills National Forest, visit, follow the Forest on Facebook: or Twitter: