How To Be a Great Outdoors Visitor

Nature's bounty is plentiful in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains! Here are some important practices to put in place while enjoying these outdoor resources. Help maintain the great outdoors for generations to come.

Get a free 'drawstring backpack’ when you pick up Leave No Trace info at one of our Visitor Centers!

The Leave No Trace Seven Principles

1 . Plan Ahead
Know the regulations for the area you will be visiting. Prepare for all weather situations that could occur on your visit. 

Schedule your visit to avoid high times of use. Visit in small groups when possible. Repackage food to minimize waste. Use a compass or map to avoid using marking paint, flagging or rock cairns.

2 . Stick To Trails
Traveling off trail, whether hiking, running, or biking, can permanently damage vegetation and widen trails.

3 . Manage Your Pets
Most hiking trails in North Georgia do allow pets on a leash. Know your pet. Before you head to the trails, make sure your pet is fit for the trail. Visit the vet. Teach trail manners. Be prepared. Pick up after your pet. Stay safe around wildlife.

4 . Leave No Trace
Preserve the past. Examine, but do not touch or remove structures, artifacts, rocks, plants and other natural objects. Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species. Do not build structures, furniture or dig trenches.

Learn Wilderness Ethics and Stay Safe

click to download

5 . Respect Other Visitors
Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail. Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.

6 . Respect Wildlife
Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach wildlife. Never feed animals as this will damage healtlh, alter natural behavior and expose them to predators and other dangers. Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely. Control pets at all times or leave them at home. Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.

7 . Trash Your Trash
Pack it in, Pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter. Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. To wash yourself or you dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.

Make it a Volunteer Vacation!

You can help by volunteering for area clean-ups, like the River’s Alive event in September and the Lake Blue Ridge Cleanup on the same day.
Rivers Alive -   
Lake Blue Ridge Cleanup:

Fannin County Chamber of Commerce - 706-632-5680

Leave No Trace

US Forest Service

Putting Your Leave No Trace Principles into Practice:
Try out your Leave No Trace Hiking Skills  (map of hiking areas)

Try out your Leave No Trace Biking Skills  (map of biking areas)

Try out your Leave No Trace Hiking/Biking Skills  (map of Aska hiking/biking areas)

Try out your Leave No Trace Backpacking Skills  (map of AT and BMT trails areas)

Try Out Your Leave No Trace Paddling Skills:  
Toccoa River South and Lake Blue Ridge  Toccoa River North and Lake Blue Ridge  Toccoa River Canoe Trail  Waterfalls Hiking Access Points

About the Author

Chip Cipcic
Blue Ridge Georgia Tourism

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