Most of mountainous Cohutta, the state's second largest Wilderness, lies in Georgia and within the Cohutta Wildlife Management Area. But a small portion runs over the border into Tennessee. Immediately northeast of Tennessee's portion, and sharing a border, lies Big Frog Wilderness. Although loggers worked their way through 70 percent of the forest between 1915 and 1930, oak and pine have all but reclaimed the forest, and a rich growth of hardwoods now fills out the lower elevations: magnolia, maple, buckeye, hornbeam, sassafras, holly, silver bell dogwood, and chestnut, to name but a few. Spring and summer bring a riot of colorful blooms to many shrubs, vines, and herbaceous plants, ranging from the brilliant orange of flame azalea to the pink and yellow of lady's slippers, the blue cohosh, and the scarlet cardinal flower. But summer also means heat and high humidity, biting insects, and foliage so dense it blocks some views that are truly spectacular in fall and spring. The Conasauga and Jacks Rivers, two of the state's most prolific trout streams, drop through rocky gorges and flash flood the Wilderness during periods of heavy rain. Anglers can try hooking trout in the many streams, too, while hunters train their sights on white-tailed deer, black bears, and wild boars. More than 100 bird species have been identified in the area (situated along the Appalachian Flyway), along with copperheads, timber rattlesnakes, and other slithering species. Popular trails follow both the Conasauga and Jacks Rivers, and at least a dozen other footpaths provide access to the Wilderness. Many of the trails require wading through waterways. The 15.7-mile Jacks River Trail, for instance, passes through water no less than 40 times.
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 Cohutta 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.
(Known as the Eastern Wilderness Areas Act) - Public law 93-622 (1/3/1975) To further the purposes of the Wilderness Act by designating certain acquired lands for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System, to provide for study of certain additional lands for such inclusion, and for other purposes
(No official title, boundary adjustment for Bristol Cliffs Wilderness) - Public law 94-268 (4/16/1976) To provide for the modification of the boundaries of the Bristol Cliffs Wilderness Area and for other purposes