Elachee Trail Blazers

Who are these dedicated souls, the Elachee trail blazers? Individuals devoted to the wilderness that is the 1,440-acre Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve. 

This forest is one of Georgia’s largest protected green spaces. The National Audubon Society has designated the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve as an Important Bird Area, recognizing it as an essential area for migrating and nesting birds. In addition, as part of the National Old Growth Forest Network, the Preserve is among the less than one percent of eastern United States’ forests that have been intact long enough to have developed Old Growth Forest characteristics.

Elachee's Volunteer Trail Crew completes a year-long hiking trails' signage and mileage marker update project along the 8-mile network within the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve in Gainesville, GA.Over several decades an Elachee volunteer corps has painstakingly installed the pristine hiking trail system within the Preserve, with the help of community partners. Today, the 8-mile Chicopee Woods hiking trails are tirelessly maintained by a weekly volunteer trail crew, under the supervision of Elachee Nature Science Center. Their efforts are supplemented by volunteer teams from area businesses and civic groups who assist with special Preserve projects.

An incredible resource for the north Georgia region, the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve hiking trails are open to the public daily from 7 a.m. to sunset. Access to the hiking trails are from two points within the Chicopee Woods Area Park: via Elachee Drive off Atlanta Highway or the Chicopee Woods Aquatic Studies Center at Chicopee Lake on Calvary Church Road. PLAN YOUR VISIT

Enhancing Hiker Navigation

Thanks to skilled efforts from our dedicated Volunteer Trail Crew, Elachee has completed a comprehensive signage and mapping overhaul for the 8-mile hiking trail system in Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve. New wayfinding signs reflect trail blaze color and mileage, and an updated map is now in circulation. READ MORE ABOUT THIS YEAR-LONG PROJECT

Comments from Our Trail Blazers

Some members of this team have been working these hiking trails for years and know every step. Others joined the team after a participating in a special project with their employer group or club. Still others enjoy the Preserve so much they have found a way to make a meaningful impact for others to enjoy this forest, too. Elachee's Volunteer Trail Crew shares their thoughts about the hiking trails of the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve.

At the conclusion of their year-long hiking trails’ signage and mileage marker update project, the Elachee Volunteer Trail Crew members gathered for a popsicle break. This humble crew sat around and exchanged thoughts about the hiking trails. Here are some of their comments. 

  • The hiking trails have been improved to optimize viewing and their scenic qualities – maintaining the Chicopee Woods in its natural, wilderness state.
  • From a custodial aspect the hiking trails are clearly marked, accurately measured, color-coded and clean (of trash). It takes everybody to take care of it.
  • The trails allow hikers to appreciate the natural beauty unique to this location.
  • Conveniently located, in a matter minutes you can be deep in the woods. It’s more than a park. The hiking trail system is so large you’re not going to run into a lot of people.