A couple popular recreations areas on the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests are only weeks away from being opened and a third is slated to be open on the next holiday weekend

According to a press release from the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest office in Paris, the Cove Lake Day Use Area and Swim Beach will be open by May 1. A number of hiking trails around the lake have been closed due to ice storm damage, but they are expected to be re-opened by May 1 as well.

Additionally, Mount Magazine trails have been closed due to ice damage but are expected to be open by May 1.

Spring Lake Recreation Area will open Memorial Day weekend.

In the meantime, the Ozark-St. Francis has more than 60 developed areas from which to choose. Many of these scenic areas offer overnight camping for individuals, families and groups, as well as day use, swim beaches and hiking trails.

"Spring in the Ozarks is arguably one of the most breathtaking and inspiring times to be in the National Forest," said Robert Duggan, Recreation Program Manager. "While Autumn is outstanding, spring is also rich with the color of blossoming dogwoods, redbuds and wild fruit trees, and wildflowers are everywhere."

Most of the recreation areas in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests remain open and available throughout the cold winter months; however, a few are closed seasonally due to the harsher temperatures and usage patterns. Additionally, a few areas will be unavailable due to maintenance and other issues.