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It is always a treat to realize how priceless these forest experiences can be. Educational outings help us stay connected with the beautiful and wild parts of the natural world during times when it was needed most. ForestWatch Outings range in difficulty, topic, and locations, stretching across the entire national forest on a regular basis.
ForestWatch outings help the public discover lesser known trails and areas to explore, which is becoming more and more valuable as popular trails see record numbers of visitors. The fact that these Outings are open to the public and free of registration costs, makes this program one of the best kept secrets of North Georgia forests.
The Outings program is unique because members, leaders, and specialists within the community are the ones sharing their passion for an area or topic. From wooly adelgids and bladderworts to geology to Native Americans, there is always more to learn and explore. This community building is important in helping to advance our mission while being just plain fun!
Of course, the Outings program incorporates adventurous components of exploring our forests, too. With over 1200 miles of Forest Service roads, many of the roads that lead us to lesser known areas are gravel and degrade over time. Sometimes, our favorite hike or area gets overused, and funding for basic road maintenance isn’t always top priority for our land managers. Access to these areas that we experience and grow to love is a key component of educating about and experiencing our forests. We greatly appreciate coordinating with Outings Leaders who have scouted the route, providing a more enjoyable experience in our national forests. Once comfortable with an area, we can often find additional opportunities to extend the adventure further to known waterfalls, vistas, and big trees.
Have an Outings Leader you want to recommend? Email Jessica Morehead at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteer With Us!
Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities
Subscribe to our email list to ensure you are receiving our most up-to-date notifications. GAFW regularly schedules work days such as invasive pulls, trash pickups, forest monitorings, and other one-day opportunities. Join GAFW to receive even more opportunities to serve.
Can you lead an outing?
GAFW Needs You
GAFW is always looking for active and engaged board members who can lead the growth and direction of the organization. To learn more, please email Board Chair Anne Heikkila at email@example.com.
For Our Hardcopy Newsletter
GAFW strives to produce a hard copy newsletter each quarter and a digital newsletter that are both educational and enlightening. We are seeking writers and authors to contribute short and medium length newsletter articles on topics relevant to the CAFW community. No experience necessary. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss a submission.
What Folks Are Saying
Georgia ForestWatch Outings take me to inspiring places in the company of people who care deeply about our forests. – Mark Ogilvie
Georgia ForestWatch Outings are the icing on the cake of its great advocacy work with the U.S. Forest Service: a chance to learn not only names of plants, but also how our forest works. – Dr. Bill Witherspoon, Geologist
ForestWatch Outings are well-planned and educational. – Charles Brown
The trips I attended provided great opportunities to learn about aspects of the Forest beyond simply hiking (stream ecology and geology of the NW part of the state). Thanks! -Bob Anderson
I got to hike on two different sections of the Bartram Trail with Georgia ForestWatch last year. Both hikes were on sections I would not otherwise have known about or been able to find on my own. – Jane Trentin
ForestWatch Outings opened the forest to me. – Sue Harmon
I especially enjoyed the Yonah Mountain hike, because it was led by a geologist, Dr. Bill Witherspoon. So in addition to a great hike with wonderful views, we learned some geology, too! – Bob Lusher
The diversity of Outings and caliber of Georgia ForestWatch Leaders, who offer their time and knowledge, provide the foundation for my exponential appreciation for our forests and all the unique aspects that encompass an ecosystem. These experiences also spark a flame to learn more, to participate more, to share, and continue to pass down the knowledge to others. Thank you! – Leslie Phillips
There’s nothing like safely exploring trails I’ve not hiked before with knowledgeable leaders and fellow hikers. – Susan White