Chinnabee Recreational Area to remain closed until Nov. 30
by Eddie Burkhalter
eburkhalter@annistonstar.com
Oct 22, 2013 | 2211 views |  0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The U.S. Forest Service has extended the closure of a portion of the Talladega National Forest through Nov. 30 as forest service officials determine how to manage the flood-prone area.

The Lake Chinnabee Recreational Area, Lakeshore Trail and a section of the Chinnabee Silent Trail were closed May 21 after heavy rains May 18 flooded the areas.

The Forest Service had hoped to reopen the 17-acre lake to visitors Sept. 30, but a study of the area meant to ensure the park would be safe for visitors wasn’t done in time, said Gloria Nielsen, district ranger for the Talladega District.

There may be changes to the way visitors can use the park, Nielsen said, but any changes won’t be known until after workers contracted by the Forest Service complete the study. The eight camping sites at Lake Chinnabee are within floodplains, Nielsen said.

While the closure remains in effect, Nielsen recommends residents visit other parks inside the national forest. Areas unaffected by the flooding are Cheaha State Park, and the Tuskegee, Bankhead and Conecuh national forests.

Nielsen also recommends residents check the website for national forests in Alabama,www.fs.usda.gov/alabama, before visiting. The website’s "Know Before You Go" section lists safety and weather alerts.

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.

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