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.


  • Visitors must remain on the trails. No off-trail exploring.
  • Trails are for foot traffic only. Vehicles, bikes, dogs and horses are not permitted. (exceptions below).
  • Youths under 18 years old may enter only with a responsible adult.
  • Trails lead into potentially hazardous areas, including high cliffs. Visitors enter at their own risk. 
  • Arc trails are open sunrise to sundown year around, weather permitting.
  • Walk single file to protect in order to protect trailside vegetation, including the delicate bulbs of spring wildflowers.
  • 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
  • No fishing, swimming, diving nor wading
  • No smoking; no alcohol.
  • No Littering nor off-trail picnicking. Pack out all refuse and personal possessions.
  •  Dogs are only permitted only at the following locations and when on a six-foot leash: Fort Hill, Junction & Steel Earthworks, Samson/Obrist Woods*, and the Highlands Nature Sanctuary: Crow Point Trail and Ridgeview Farm Trail. (*Please note: Samson/Obrist Woods has an unusually high number of ticks and chiggers during the growing season. Dogs are discouraged from the trail during this time, as they could be exposed to hundreds of ticks during their visit).
  • Winter Closures: Parking lots are not winter maintained and trail hiking in the perilous cliff country of the Sanctuary should never be attempted during snowy or icy weather for safety reasons. Many of the Sanctuary’s trails are closed during our annual Deer Management Hunt which currently take place annually on 1) the Monday through Sunday following Thanksgiving, and 2) the Saturday and Sunday before Christmas.