Nacoochee Valley Nature Preserve
SNCA’s Environmental Group is focused on the protection
and enhancement of the natural resources of the Sautee Nacoochee
community and environs. The hilly and mountainous areas of
White and Habersham counties that surround the Sautee and Nacoochee
valleys include major forestlands and waterways. Much of northern
White County lies in the Chattahoochee National Forest, parts
of which are incorporated into two of Georgia’s premier
state parks, Unicoi and Smithgall Woods. The spring that gives
rise to the Chattahoochee River is in the National Forest near
the White County line, and the river’s headwaters cascade
down the mountains toward Robertstown and the Helen Valley.
among those who know of the Nature Preserve, some
do not know that it is an extension of SNCA
and is the former location of the slave cabin and
proposed heritage site. As we look forward to our
next big step in Nature Preserve development building
a pavilion on the valley overlook-we
would like to recap major efforts involved in the
transformation of this highly disturbed site into
the beautiful, nature-focused place it is now. We
hope this review will be a reminder that SNCA’s
Nature Preserve team, like the Heritage Site
and History Museum volunteers, is committed
to fulfilling a vital part of SNCA’s mission: to
preserve and protect our natural and cultural
heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of the larger
community. Actually, at the Nature Preserve we
are nurturing creativity as well!
The exceptional ground work, craftsmanship
and fundraising efforts by the Nature Preserve
Team, as well as their significant financial
outlays, reflect a determined commitment
to provide area residents and visitors
with peaceful recreational and hands-on
Winter is a good time to visit the Nature
Preserve, allowing observations of nature’s
intricacies that often are hidden by foliage. We
hope you do visit so you’ll know that there is
something for everyone at SNCA!
Open to the Public
The Nacoochee Valley Nature Preserve is
open for the community to enjoy. The Nature
Preserve Committee and an especially wonderful
group of volunteers worked long hours, both at
the site and in home workshops, to get ready for
our “Open Preserve” day on October 30.
While work continues on additional trails
and planted areas, and plans for a pavilion on
the valley overlook are developed, two areas are
available for public use: an open picnic area with
two tables and the woodland trail, a 1/3 mile
loop accessed from the picnic area. Except for
walking up the ramp to the overlook for viewing
the Nacoochee Valley, please limit activities
to these areas where hazards such as poison
ivy have been removed to the extent possible.
Currently, no water or restroom facilities are
available. To minimize disturbance and allow
us to keep the preserve open, please observe the
• Visit the preserve only during daylight
• One or two cars may be parked on the
entrance concrete as far from the highway
without disturbing the
ties that protect a planted area.
• Enter the preserve on the left side of the
gate, where there is room for a person and
a bicycle to pass through.
• Children under 18 must be accompanied
• Do not disturb areas under development
and marked off with flagging.
• Take trash, empty bottles and cans, and
any other debris with you when you leave.
• Fires for cooking or otherwise are
• For group access and additional parking,
Ted Doll (706-878-2526)
Audrey Moylan (706-348-6363)
at least 48
hours in advance to have the gate opened.
A nominal fee of $50.00 will be charged for
social events and special activities.
We hope you will enjoy the preserve as much as
we have enjoyed working there. It is a wonderful
addition to SNCA’s recreation facilities and
commitment to preservation.
The roots of our environmental committee pre-date the official
formation of the Association. Back in the late 1970s, local landowners
saw the need to work together. They wanted to protect and preserve
this beautiful part of the planet. Their interest and ability to
work together eventually led to the Valleys being placed on the
National Register of Historic Places. In time, these individuals
became the core group of the Sautee-Nacoochee Community Association.
Although the Association's mission broadened to include cultural
programming, the commitment to conservation and preservation efforts
Programs that fulfill this commitment can be viewed through the
links at the top of this page.