Us Forest Service Covers Abandoned Shaft To Protect Hikers

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service has put a grate over an abandoned pit mine shaft in North Carolina that had posed a hazard on a popular biking trail.

Nicknamed the “sinkhole,” the 30-foot-(9 meters) deep mine shaft is on the Holly Springs Trail in Pisgah National Forest, the forest service said on its Facebook page. In the last decade, there had been multiple incidents in which people and animals had fallen into the hole, the news release said.

The forest service said several options were considered before officials decided to cover the sinkhole with a 12-foot by 10-foot (3.6-meter by 3-meter) flat aluminum grate that is safe to walk or ride over, and meets safety requirements while maintaining the character of the trail.

The trail had been closed since February and reopened on Wednesday, the forest service said.