Predictions of very cold wind chill temperatures in far north Georgia have prompted the U.S. Forest Service to warn would-be weekend hikers to stay out of mountain forests Saturday and Sunday.
The agency is advising hikers unprepared for severe winter to stay off the Appalachian Trail and other high elevation trails for personal safety reasons. In addition, USFS is concerned that local emergency responders might not be able to respond to trail emergencies because of unsafe and/or inaccessible conditions.
In addition to the bitter cold Saturday and Sunday, rain and freezing rain are forecast Sunday across north Georgia.
The Forest Service also suggested would-be hikers check the following Websites:
* #KnowBeforeYouGo and check current Watches, Warnings and Advisories for Georgia from the National Weather Service. https://alerts.weather.gov/cap/ga.php?x=1
* Learn more about hypothermia: https://www.fs.fed.us/visit/know-before-you-go/hypothermia
* More about winter weather safety: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r8/home/?cid=fsbdev3_066387#winter
* Trail updates from Appalachian Trail Conservancy: http://www.appalachiantrail.org/home/explore-the-trail/trail-updates