Wild South has been putting the “public” in public lands for 28 years, giving communities opportunities to enjoy, value, and protect the wild character and natural legacy of the South. We want to see people of all ages appreciating and taking responsibility for the care of their public lands, now and for future generations. We believe our Southern National Forests and parks are treasured places that enrich our quality of life and the social, economic, and cultural wealth of our communities. Join us as we protect the South’s lands, water, and biodiversity!
The Cheaha Wilderness (Talladega National Forest), best known for its elevated terrain and panoramic overlooks, includes a section of Alabama’s longest walking path - the Pinhoti National Recreation Trail. Volunteers actively maintain the historic Pinhoti Trail and scenic overlooks, continuously work to mitigate visitor impact, and provide important public wilderness education and trail monitoring services.
The Dugger Mountain Wilderness (Talladega National Forest), Alabama’s newest wilderness area, was established to restore natural ecological conditions in the area, and is characterized by rugged, mountainous terrain, with plentiful opportunity for recreation and solitude. Volunteers provide critical trail maintenance support in order to restore and preserve the natural ecology of the area, provide improved habitats for imperiled species, and retain Dugger Mountain’s rugged character.
Harper Creek & Lost Cove
The Harper Creek and Lost Cove Wilderness Study Areas (Pisgah National Forest) are known for waterfalls, old growth forest, vistas, and a long tradition of backcountry hunting and trout fishing. These areas are being prepared for wilderness designation, but have not yet received permanent protection from Congress. To receive this protection, these areas need advocacy, in addition to practical solutions for on-the-ground challenges like trail erosion, stream sedimentation, and conservation of endangered plants.
The Linville Gorge Wilderness (Pisgah National Forest), one of the first places protected by the National Wilderness Preservation System, is a lost world of rugged terrain and vistas, hiking challenge, off-trail scrambling, and rock climbing. Over fifty years ago, Linville Gorge was one of the earliest demonstrations of wilderness protection, and today it provides new demonstration of how that protection can be sustainable. Volunteers now provide essential assistance in trail maintenance, invasive plant removal, conservation of imperiled species, and reduction of visitor impacts.
The Sipsey Wilderness (Bankhead National Forest) is characterized by large sandstone bluffs and the jade-hued water of the Sipsey River, making it home to some of the most picturesque natural features in Alabama. Volunteers maintain trails, clean up trash, and remove tenacious invasive plants. Despite the growing number of visitors to this beautiful wilderness, volunteer wilderness rangers are successfully demonstrating that visitor education leads to reduced visitor impact and increased safety.