(UNDATED) – The Hoosier National Forest Supervisor has issued a closure order which prohibits parking and camping in the Tower Ridge Road area of Monroe and Jackson counties, where it passes near the Charles C. Deam Wilderness, to improve public safety and protect natural resources on National Forest System land.
Tower Ridge Road is a Monroe County road and remains open to traffic.
Specifically, the order prohibits parking on or along the north side of Tower Ridge Road from Indiana State Highway 446 to County Road 1100 N (Robertson Cemetery Road) and on the south side from State Highway 446 to County Road 1500 W (Hickory Ridge Road).
In addition, the order prohibits camping within 300 feet of both sides of Tower Ridge Road between Indiana State Highway 446 and the junction of County Road 1500 W, and within 300 feet of the north side of Tower Ridge Road between County Roads 1500 W and 1100 N.
While camping and parking restrictions have been in place for several years, the new order has been issued to clarify very specifically where visitors cannot park along Tower Ridge Road, as illegal parking on the road has been an ongoing safety issue in which vehicles have impeded the flow of traffic, including emergency vehicles.
Due to the Wilderness Act of 1964, which stipulates that wilderness areas are to provide opportunities for solitude, visitor numbers must be managed, and are therefore limited to the number of vehicles that the currently designated parking lots can accommodate. To further clarify parking areas, staff have recently installed additional wooden posts to prevent parking in undesignated areas. Education efforts are ongoing, and additional signage is planned for Tower Ridge Road.
Visitors are encouraged to visit the Charles C. Deam Wilderness webpage for more information prior to their visit: https://go.usa.gov/xfTSP The closure order and map can be found at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/hoosier/alerts-notices .