WICHITA MOUNTAINS WILDLIFE REFUGE, Okla. (TNN) -After being closed for over a year, Mt. Scott finally reopened Friday.
In September of 2018, Mt. Scott temporarily closed for road repairs.
“Initially it started with a small sinkhole in the roadway, and as we got to looking, we started realizing that there were larger gaps, lots of cavities underneath the roadway itself from where water erosion had pushed material around underneath,” said Lynn Cartmell, Visitors service manager.
They hired a contractor to come in and fill those gaps.
“It looks the same, it is the same. We’ve done some brush clearing to help make sure the water flows properly, so we’re not seeing any erosion in certain areas,” said Cartmell. “We’re going to be doing more solidified maintenance schedule on it, so we’ll be doing inspections on a regular basis.”
But before you get ready to make a trip up here. There are some things you need to know about the new times that you can hike or drive up the mountain.
Mount Scott’s operating hours will be sunrise to sunset, with cars and bikes only allowed on the road from noon to sunset Friday through Sunday.
Hikers will only be allowed from sunrise to noon on Saturdays and Sundays.
And Monday through Thursday --- everybody shares the road.
“Some of it had to do with safety, We had a lot of reports as Mt. Scott was closed about safety hazards, about people being run off the road, about people being worried about pedestrians walking in front of them,” said Cartmell.
“I think it will make it safer,” said Mt. Scott visitor Dennis Meyer. “People will feel more comfortable about coming up and down without having to worry about the vehicles. I’m glad it’s open. It’s been over a year, it’s been closed. I think it’s a strong focal point for the refuge and it’s in our backyard.”
Cartmell says she was very happy with how quickly the repairs were made.
“Not only did we get to save a resource that is near and dear to the public’s heart, we got to save a resource that was hand built by Americans in a time period where there is not a lot left from that,” said Cartmell. “I think that we’re really excited about it, and it’s going to be something that will last in perpetuity.”
Cartmell wants to remind folks to please follow the rules about the times, because you could be fined otherwise.