The Chattahoochee – Oconee National Forest and the Appalachian Mountains within it are an area rich in cultural history. From petroglyph message boards created over time by indigenous people on this ancestral homeland of the Cherokee Nation, to civil war battle sites, these forests contain important stories of our past.
From an ecological perspective, the Forests provide important habitat to numerous fish and wildlife species. It is also a recreationalist’s paradise, providing hundreds of miles of trails to bike and hike, streams to fish in, and wilderness areas in which to find solitude. The Appalachian Trail begins on this forest, but there are many other lesser-known trails that allow visitors to explore the historical area and experience nature’s offerings, via foot, bike or horseback.
This summer REI, NFF and local groups are partnering to improve a piece of the 36-mile Jake and Bull Mountain Trail System located 45 miles outside of Atlanta. This project will correct severe washout problems on the Jones Creek Dam Trail and make it safer for users. The project will include a 1.5 mile reroute to move the trail off of a road bed, and will improve tread and address erosion issues.
Along with the Forest Service, local partners include the Backcountry Horsemen of America, the Chattahoochee Trail Horse Association, the International Mountain Bike Association, the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association and a Youth Conservation Corps.