National Forests in North Carolina launch digital passes

Fetching Featured
digital passes
Asheville, NC – July 14, 2020 –Visitors to Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests will have a convenient new way to pay day use fees at several recreation sites starting this summer with mobile passes.
A new online platform allows visitors to pay day use fees using their personal computer or mobile device through There is no additional cost to pay fees online.
To purchase a pass, go directly to, search “National Forests in North Carolina Digital Passes” at the homepage, or scan the QR code below. Some sites may have limited cell phone reception so users should purchase passes before heading to the destination. Passes can be printed and placed on the dashboard though this is not required since rangers can validate license plates of passholders. Where cell service is good, passes can be purchased at recreation sites using a smartphone.
Digital Passes are available through for the following sites:
– Cheoah Point Beach: $5, open through 10/31
– Dry Falls, Whiteside Mountain, and Whitewater Falls*: $3, open year round
– Jackrabbit Mountain Beach: $5, open through 9/30
– Roan Mountain: $3, open through 9/30
*A pass purchased for Dry Falls, Whiteside Mountain, or Whitewater Falls are honored at all three locations.
Recreation fee revenue helps protect natural resources and enhance recreation opportunities. These fees are critical to the operation and maintenance of recreation sites, including but not limited to cleaning, maintaining, and updating bathroom facilities, replacing sand at beaches, removing trash, mowing and maintaining grounds and parking lots, and replacing picnic tables and other amenities.
For more information on digital passes please visit
Images courtesy of Nantahala Forest Facebook.
If you’re enjoying the Sunday Edition, then consider becoming a contributor with your own articles. If you have an article that needs highlighting send it to to become a part of our growing community of feature news.

USFS Acquires 49-Acre Tract in Fires Creek

Fetching Featured
Fires Creek

Murphy, NC, June 26, 2020 – The U.S. Forest Service has acquired a 49-acre inholding at the headwaters of Laurel Creek, a tributary to Fires Creek, in a popular recreation area on the Tusquitee Ranger District. Funding for the purchase comes from the North Carolina Threatened Treasures FY 2020 Land and Water Conservation Fund Appropriations.

The tract, which is completely surrounded by national forest, had been privately owned until it was purchased by Mainspring Conservation Trust in 2017.

In closing on the sale to the U.S. Forest Service, Jordan Smith, Executive Director for Mainspring said, “We are thrilled that the Laurel Creek inholding is forever part of the National Forest, after more than a decade of uncertainty. Mainspring is grateful to the landowners, who were willing to seek a conservation solution for this incredibly significant property, the organizations and supporters who helped donate to this project so the property could become public land, and for our partners at the U.S. Forest Service, who recognized what this inholding means to hikers, hunters, and people who love the Fires Creek Area. This project exemplifies what can happen when everyone works together for permanent conservation.”

The parcel includes a section of the Rim Trail, a 25- mile foot and horse path that traverses the rim of the Tusquitee Mountains and Valley River Mountains that form the Fires Creek watershed. The Rim Trail loop starts at the Fires Creek Recreation Area and connects to other trails including the Shinbone, Sassafras, Phillips Ridge, and Bristol Horse Trails.

“This property is an important wildlife area used by sportsmen for bear, deer, turkey, and grouse hunting and ensures recreation access to the Rim Trail,” said District Ranger Andy Gaston. “Mainspring Conservation Trust has been a great partner in adding public lands to this well-loved part of the Nantahala National Forest.”

Acquisition of the property also helps provide for abundant clean water through protection of the headwaters of Fires Creek, Laurel Creek, and Phillips Creek that flow into the Hiwassee River Basin, the primary source of drinking water for residents in North Carolina and Georgia.

Back to Top