Crisp, clear days in the woodlands make this a popular time to hit the trails of Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests.
But if you’re hiking, biking or riding the trails this season, please remember a few key things that will help keep you safe:
It’s hunting season in Georgia, and many trails cross through Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) where organized hunts take place. It’s wise to avoid these areas altogether during the designated hunts, or at least wait until after 10:00am to use the trails. And be sure to wear bright colors – blaze orange is preferred – and consider marking your companion animal, as well. A list of WMA locations with hunting dates can be found here: http://www.georgiawildlife.com/hunting/regulations
The days are shorter, and darkness comes early in the forest and mountains. Plan your trail experience so that it ends before dark. Always carry a flashlight or headlamp.
It’s getting cold out there! Carry extra warm clothing, as you may experience more extreme conditions at higher elevations, including snow and high winds.
And it’s always important to carry plenty of water, to hit the trails with a buddy, and to let others know of your trip plans.
Following this advice will help you have a fun and safe experience on the trail, so get out there and enjoy winter in the woods!