Pristine areas are typically remote, seldom visited and have few obvious impacts. Visit pristine areas only if you are committed to and knowledgeable in the techniques required to Leave No Trace in that particular area. Rocky places with shallow soils, sandy areas, low heath balds, cliffs, bogs and wetlands often harbor residual populations of endangered plants and animals in the Southeast. Avoid travel through these areas altogether.
Hike in small groups. The impacts associated with cross country travel are minimized when group size is small, routes are carefully selected to avoid fragile terrain and critical wildlife habitat, and special care is taken to avoid disturbance. If you are traveling with a large group, hike in groups of no more than 4-6 people.