Visit Rich Mountain Georgia U.S. Forest Wilderness Area - All of this 9,476-acre wilderness is located in Georgia and is managed by the U. S. Forest Service. Stay and Play in Georgia!
Description - At 4,050 feet, Rich Mountain anchors an area that includes several threatened and endangered plants and numerous species considered rare in Georgia. About 30 miles of trout streams and waterfalls embellish the rocky outcroppings in this rugged, mountainous terrain. A second-growth hardwood forest provides habitat for deer, squirrels, raccoons, wild turkeys, and grouse, with black bears, quail, and woodcocks making unexpected appearances. The wild hog population has been on the increase. Small and big-game hunters are the predominant human users of this Wilderness (which lies within Rich Mountain Wildlife Area). A few hikers and horseback riders occasionally end up here, despite the lack of established trails. They follow what remains of old logging roads. Private land nearly surrounds the Wilderness.
Contact: Toccoa Ranger District - Phone: 706-632-3031 Address: 6050 Appalachian Hwy, Blue Ridge Georgia 30513
The Rich Mountain Wilderness is part of the 109 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. This System of lands provides clean air, water, and habitat critical for rare and endangered plants and animals. In wilderness, you can enjoy challenging recreational activities like hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, horse packing, bird watching, stargazing, and extraordinary opportunities for solitude.
You play an important role in helping to "secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness" as called for by the Congress of the United States through the Wilderness Act of 1964.
Please follow the requirements outlined below and use Leave No Trace techniques when visiting the Brasstown Wilderness to ensure protection of this unique area.
General Wilderness Prohibitions
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited on all federal lands designated as wilderness. This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters, unless provided for in specific legislation.
In a few areas some exceptions allowing the use of motorized equipment or mechanical transport are described in the special regulations in effect for a specific area. Contact the Forest Service office for more specific information.
These general prohibitions have been implemented for all national forest wildernesses in order to implement the provisions of the Wilderness Act of 1964. The Wilderness Act requires management of human-caused impacts and protection of the area's wilderness character to insure that it is "unimpaired for the future use and enjoyment as wilderness." Use of the equipment listed as prohibited in wilderness is inconsistent with the provision in the Wilderness Act which mandates opportunities for solitude or primitive recreation and that wilderness is a place that is in contrast with areas where people and their works are dominant.
Wilderness managers often need to take action to limit the impacts caused by visitor activities in order to protect the natural conditions of wilderness as required by the Wilderness Act of 1964. Managers typically implement 'indirect' types of actions such as information and education measures before selecting more restrictive measures. When regulations are necessary, they are implemented with the specific intent of balancing the need to preserve the character of the wilderness while providing for the use and enjoyment of wilderness.
The following wilderness regulations are in effect for this area. Not all regulations are in effect for every wilderness. Contact the Forest Service office for more specific information about the regulations listed.
Dogs Restricted - Leased-Under Control Pets must be on a leash at all times.
Stock use restriction - No Hitching or Tethering
Hitching, tethering or hobbling a horse or other saddle or pack animal closer than 50 feet from a stream or body of water is prohibited, possessing or using a saddle, pack or draft animal on developed trails which has been closed to use by horses and so posted as prohibited.
The priority for the Forest Service during the 1960's and 1970's was to restore badly eroded lands on the Oconee and restore forest health. During the 1960's construction efforts were undertaken to provide developed recreation areas within 50 miles of every major town. Brasstown Bald Visitor Information Center atop Georgia's highest mountain and Warwomen Dell are examples of areas built as a result of this effort.
The next four decades saw increased environmental legislation that governs management of the national forests to protect environmental quality and insure public involvement in the process. Wilderness areas were preserved, Wild and Scenic Rivers designated, and experts in natural resource management were employed to help meet the challenges. While the way we do things have changed many times over the years, our tradition of stewardship--caring for the land and serving people, is the same.