hikers  crossing footbridge

Trail Safety and Best Environmental Practices

Here's how to take sensible precautions to ensure your own safety when you're on the trails, and tips for hiking lightly to leave a light footprint out in nature.

Stay Safe on the Trail

  • Take a first aid kit, sunscreen, bug repellant, flashlight and water.
  • Check the weather before you go and be mindful of lightning.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when to expect your return.
  • Wear the appropriate footwear and clothes.
  • Be careful crossing footbridges or wet areas.
  • Know how to identify poison ivy and avoid.
  • Watch where you put your hands and feet to avoid snakes.
  • Check yourself for ticks after your hike.
  • Check state hunting seasons and be aware of hunters present during hunting seasons where hunting is permitted.
  • Do not go alone or travel at night.
  • Do not venture off trail.
  • Be considerate of other visitors.
  • Do not harass or approach wildlife.
  • Do not wear headphones on multiuse trails.

Help Protect the Environment

  • Stay on the trails.
  • Respect wildlife and plants.
  • Carry out pet waste.
  • Do not litter and follow Leave No Trace guidelines.
  • Travel on durable surfaces.
  • Dispose of waste properly.
  • Leave what you find.
  • Do not remove, damage, alter or deface plants or historical artifacts.
  • Do not enter caves.
  • Do not bike on muddy trails.
  • To prevent trail erosion, do not cut across switch-backs.
  • No motorized vehicles on trails or in drawdown zones.
  • Do not leave valuables in car.


TVA Trails

With our guide to TVA's 170+ miles of trails, finding the right destination has never been easier. Consult our map or list, which is sorted by state and reservoir. You'll find detailed trail descriptions, the inside line on difficulty levels, information about amenities, maps, distance, uses and any relevant notes that might affect or enhance your experience. Find your TVA Trails.

Adopt a TVA Trail

TVA manages more than 30 public trails (150 miles) along the Tennessee River and its tributaries and on reservoir lands. You can help us by protecting and monitoring the trails to instill a legacy of conservation. Learn how to volunteer.