End of school year marks the start of recreation season

The school year is nearly over, and the days are warmer and longer, making it a time to introduce or reintroduce the family to Cleveland National Forest.

“The forest is ready for the 2012 summer recreation season,” said Forest Supervisor Will Metz. “We encourage people to enjoy the outdoors while camping, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, or a variety of other recreational activities on our forest.”

Forest officials encourage visitors to be aware of their surroundings and responsibilities when visiting the forest.

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Know before you go

•Campfires are only permitted at developed sites in the designated fire rings in campgrounds and picnic areas. Outside of developed sites, only propane or gas cooking stoves are permitted. Call ahead to check on current fire restrictions.

•Campgrounds are popular for weekend getaways, so reserving early is sometimes the key to success. Campground reservations may be made at recreation.gov  or 1-877-444-6777. The following campgrounds are not open: Dripping Springs and Indian Flats Campgrounds on the Palomar Ranger District; Boulder Creek Campground on the Descanso Ranger District; and Supper San Juan Campground on the Trabuco Ranger District.

•Cedar Creek Falls access is limited to only the eastern trailhead along Eagle Peak Road. The trailhead at the end of Thornbush Road and the trails from this location remain closed.

If planning to hike to Cedar Creek Falls from the Eagle Peak access, be aware the trail is for advanced hikers, is an arduous trek, and is considered a difficult 3.5 mile-hike.  It is not recommended for families with children, for elderly people, or those who might be physically out of shape. Parking is limited and vehicles blocking county road access will be towed at the owner’s expense.

Alcohol possession and/or use are prohibited in this area. The cliffs surrounding Cedar Creek Falls are closed to jumping and diving. Swimming is allowed. Multiple law enforcement agencies will have officers patrolling and enforcing the rules.

For all other waterfalls, contact the ranger stations to find out about current conditions at these waterfalls.

•Recreation use fees: The Forest Adventure Pass must be displayed on a visitor’s parked vehicle when recreating in Standard Amenity Fee Areas and certain developed sites such as campgrounds and picnic areas. An online source of designated fee sites, areas, and fee information is available at fs.usda.gov/adventurepass.

•Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) users should call the ranger station to confirm their OHV plans and verify rules and regulations. OHV riding area maps are available on the Cleveland National Forest website.

For more information about the Cleveland National Forest, visit fs.usda.gov/cnf.

   
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