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Users straying from designated trails in the Uwharrie National Forest have caused the indefinite closing of two trails in the Badin Lake Recreation Area, the U.S. Forest Service said today.
Rocky Mountain Loop Off-Highway Vehicle Trail and Hang Glider Horse Trail have been "closed for further review."
The closings are "because of excessive damage to the natural resources of these areas," a news release says. "The damage is directly related to the recreational uses of OHVs, horses and dispersed camping in these areas."
An emailed version of the release, but not the online version, says: "The damage was caused by some users venturing off designated trails and out into the Forest."
Rocky Mountain Loop is a 2.8-mile moderate trail near parking for the Badin Lake OHV Trail Complex's Art Lilley dispersed camping area. It is blazed with orange diamond trail markers.
The Hang Glider Trail is a 1.4-mile trail rated as difficult that leads to a scenic view of Hang Glider Rock. It is blazed with salmon blazes.
The Forest Service will keep the trails closed until they figure out how to protect the sensitive resources in these areas.
The Badin Lake Recreation Area has 17 miles of OHV trails and about 40 miles of hiking, biking and bridle trails.
Tickets will be issued to anyone found using OHVs, horses or dispersed camping in or along the closed trails, the news release says.