Natural splendor has regained a strong foothold in this Wilderness, the largest in Tennessee, ever since fire put an end to a devastating logging period. You can actually find stands of virgin forest in some of the more isolated regions. Three steep-sided ridges run west from the long, high ridge of the Unicoi Mountains: Brush Mountain, Pine Ridge, and Sassafras Ridge. Narrow steep-walled valleys of streams divide these smaller ridges, draining swiftly westward. Elevations range from 1,400 feet to about 4,600 feet, with only a few of the rugged upper terrain's slopes inclined less than 30 degrees. The Wilderness contains the entire upper drainage of Citico Creek, which consists of the North and South Forks and at least eight clear-running tributaries. The Wilderness shares its eastern border with Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness of Tennessee and North Carolina. Thirteen trails totaling 57.4 miles provide access to much of the Wilderness. Most of the paths at lower elevations follow old tramways or roads with gentle inclines, but may require "wet" crossings (typically streams). Upper-elevation trails grow faint and sometimes remarkably steep. The 10.6-mile Fodderstack Trail, often used by horsepackers, runs along the Unicoi Mountains, passing near the crests of Big Fodderstack and Little Fodderstack. Several trails lead into the neighboring Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness and North Carolina.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Citico Creek Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Tennessee Wilderness Act of 1984 - Public law 98-578 (10/30/1984) To designate certain lands in the Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee, as wilderness areas, and to allow management of certain lands for other purposes than wilderness