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Backpackers and the Cohutta Wilderness
Checking out the Blue Ridge Mountains simply should be a must for any backpacker. When it comes to these mountains, the Cohutta wilderness is one of the best areas.

If you've planned a trip to Georgia, there are a few sites that must be visited. The beautiful shoreline and the graceful cities of Atlanta and Savannah should be on your list, but if you're into the great outdoors the Blue Ridge Mountains can't be beat. Whether you enjoy camping, hiking, hunting or fishing, there will be a spot that will suit you in the Blue Ridge Mountains. For the best time hiking, however, the Cohutta Wilderness within the mountains can't be beat.

The Cohutta Wilderness is a 36,997 acre area of wilderness that was originally owned and worked by private timber companies. In 1975, the area was added to the National Wilderness Preservation System by an act of Congress; and is now the largest National Forest Wilderness in the southeast. As it is under the protection of the United States government, the Cohutta Wilderness prohibits anything that might endanger the welfare of the land, foliage or animals within the boundaries. Therefore, no mechanized vehicles may be driven within the Wilderness area.

Trekking in the Cohutta Wilderness means that you can hike over 95 miles of trails within this beautiful mountain area. There are two major rivers in the Wilderness, the Jacks and the Conasauga, and both can get quite raging and full during times of rain. Caution is warranted when hiking along these two rivers, as when they are raging it is impossible to cross them safely.

Experiencing the Cohutta Wilderness means you'll get wet. Even during a dry season, it is impossible to stay completely dry. Be sure to bring extra socks and shoes when hiking here. This area is also mountainous and can become dangerous after dark, so hiking here should be done with awareness and caution.

You can camp anywhere in the Cohutta Wilderness, as long as you're not on a trail or at a trailhead. Horses are allowed on some, but not all, of the trails here. Taking wildlife or plants from the Cohutta Wilderness is prohibited – the specially balanced ecosystem of the wilderness area depends on no interference from man. If you agree to abide by the regulations of this area, backpacking in the Cohutta Wilderness can be fun and exciting.

As with any hike, be sure to notify someone of the trail you're going to take and when to expect you home, in case of any emergencies. Also take a trail map with you, and be prepared with supplies and emergency needs. Being prepared for your trek can make it even more fun.
About the Author
Rick Chapo is with Nomad Journals - makers of travel journals to preserve your travel experiences.
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