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Albert Pike Campground remains closed; roads reopen today

Albert Pike Campground will remain closed until further notice. However, most trails in the area will be reopened beginning Sunday, July 4.
Albert Pike Campground will remain closed until further notice. However, most trails in the area will be reopened beginning Sunday, July 4.

According to Caddo/Womble District Ranger Gloria Chrismer, “A portion of the Little Missouri Trail will be closed from Road 512 to the Road 106 by Albert Pike Campground. People can detour around the closed section by hiking east on Road 512, south on Road 73 and west on Road 106.”

Chrismer continued, “Notices will be posted with maps showing an outline of the detour area.” Also, the Viles Branch Trailhead on Forest Road 2106 and the south end of the Athens Big Fork Trailhead on B23F are accessible by foot travel only.

Emergency repairs are being completed on many roads in the area; however, for public safety, some roads and trailheads remain closed to vehicular traffic including:

• Road 73 from the junction of Road 43 to Road 512
• Road 512 from the second water crossing to ½ mile east of Road 38
• Road 106 is closed from Loop A access road to Albert Pike Campground for 2 miles west
• Winding Stair Trailhead and Viles Branch Trailhead on Road 2106 will remain closed to vehicular traffic
• Road 2106 from Highway 369 to the Viles Branch Trailhead
• Road B23F East of the Athens Big Fork Trail
• Road 99 is open; however, a barricade is in place at the junction of Road 73

Assessments have been conducted with estimates being compiled to address the damage that was done to the roads in the Albert Pike area due to the flooding on June 11, 2010.

Some of these roads will remain closed until repairs can be done. Many roads remain closed and are planned for reconstruction. “We encourage drivers to use caution on all forest roads, and to be alert to possible road damage as a result of the recent flood,” said Chrismer.

Personal property scattered by the flood in and around Albert Pike has been recovered and is being processed in an effort to provide the opportunity to be identified and claimed by the owners.

Albert Pike Campground will remain closed to all day use and camping due to extensive damages that resulted from the flood.

“With the upcoming Independence Day Holiday weekend, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of those impacted by the Albert Pike Flood. As we continue to reflect on the recent tragedy that occurred at Albert Pike, we encourage forest visitors to take every precaution to keep themselves and their families safe while recreating on the forest,” said Forest Supervisor Norm Wagoner.

Other recreational opportunities in the area include: Shady Lake Recreation Area, Bard Springs, Crystal and Big Brushy Campgrounds. To find out about other recreation opportunities on the Ouachita National Forest, information is available at http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/ouachita or www.fs.usda.gov/ouachita.
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