Hiking Regulations

The Arc of Appalachia Preserves stewards highly protected nature preserves. Please read all regulations before visiting.

SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT: Trail hiking is potentially dangerous, even life threatening. Visitors must hike at their own risk. Trails are back-country in nature and may be narrow, uneven, steep, slippery, and/or icy. Many trails border high vertical canyon walls. Hikers may encounter poison ivy and stinging nettle. Keep all youths in close contact and attended at all times.

Following these regulations serves to protect plants, animals, visitors and the Arc’s outstanding natural landscapes. Arc trails are open without charge to the general public. However, visitors who are found violating any of these regulations risk losing visiting privileges.

  • Arc trails are open sunrise to sundown year around, weather permitting, except the Appalachian Forest Museum trails, which are open from 9:30am to 4:30pm, April 1 through October 31.
  • Youths must be 18 or older to hike Arc trails without an adult guardian.
  • Remain on trails and walk single file to protect our “narrow trial initiative” and from crushing the delicate bulbs of spring wildflowers that grow immediately trailside. No off-trail exploring.
  • Do not disturb nor collect plants and mushrooms. Do not pick wildflowers. Most wildflowers take 5-7 years to bloom.
  • Do not disturb, catch nor collect wildlife. Hunting is limited to management hunts only.  
  • Do not disturb nor collect natural features, rocks, nor artifacts. No caving nor rock climbing.
  • Setting campfires and collecting firewood is prohibited
  • Trails are for foot traffic only. Vehicles, bikes, and horses are not permitted.
  • No fishing, swimming, diving nor wading
  • No smoking; no alcohol.
  • No Littering or off-trail picnicking. Pack out all refuse and personal possessions.
  • Sorry, no dogs. Most Arc trails are hotspots for rare botanicals. Dogs are not permitted except at the following locations on a six-foot leash: Fort Hill, Serpent Mound, Junction & Steel Earthworks, and the Crow Point Trail at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary.