Outdoor Safety & Ethics

As a visitor to the National Forests, there are lots of ways be a good steward and to protect the Forests and the natural environment, to ensure the health and safety of visitors, and to promote pleasant and rewarding outdoor recreation experiences for all visitors. We ask that you follow certain rules and regulations designed to ensure your health and safety, to protect the Forest, and to promote pleasant outdoor experiences for everyone. 

Topics unique to this forest that you need to know before visiting:

Outdoor Ethics

  • Leave No Trace

    Leave No Trace logo

    It's up to all of us to sustain healthy, vibrant natural lands for all people to enjoy, now and into the future. Every person who ventures outside can put Leave No Trace practices into action!

  • Tread Lightly!

    Tread Lightly logo

    Tread Lightly!'s core focus is on supporting and encouraging stewardship of America's lands and waterways.

  • Don't Move Firewood

    Don't Move Firewood logo

    The state of Kentucky strongly advises residents and visitors purchase local or certified, heat-treated firewood to avoid moving forest pests that can destroy trees like emerald ash borer, spongy moth, spotted lanternfly, Asian longhorned beetle and laurel wilt disease.

Visitor Safety

There are many elements of nature that are not as hospitable as the people of the South. Many of these elements are unseen or unknown until the unthinkable happens.  Know Before You Go!

  • Weather Safety

    Weather Safety rain on roadway

    Weather in the Southern Region varies widely across the area, and can include everything from tornadoes to hurricanes to extreme winter weather conditions.

  • Water Safety

    Water Safety Family canoeing

    There are inherent risks associated with water recreation and outdoor sports. Know before you go to keep you and your family water safe!

  • Wildlife Safety

    A snake slithers across concrete.

    Snakes, Ticks, and Black Bears! Oh my!

  • Safety in the Woods

    Safety in the Woods hiking feet

    What should you do if you get lost? Or if you slip and fall? Check out the safety checklists for these potential emergency situations and more!

  • Safety Around Others

    Protect From Others Car Lock

    Protect yourself and your valuable before venturing out! Simple tips, and what to do ahead of time to keep yourself and your family safe can be found here.

  • Outdoor Ethics

    Outdoor Ethics footprints in sand

    We are all stewards of the environment. Make sure those who visit these special places after you have their own experiences!