Hot Spots




Nominate an outdoor area for a week-long education and training program from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics in 2018.

Beginning April 1st through May 15th, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is calling for nominations for the 2018 Hot Spot program.

Hot Spots are all public lands — city parks, forests, open space land, national parks — across the country that have sustained damaged from overuse. The Hot Spot program provides week-long, onsite education and events, engaging the local community in training, service and outreach.

In its sixth year, the Leave No Trace Hot Spot program has helped dozens of damaged public lands regain their health and long-term sustainability. By identifying and working with Hot Spots across the nation, we rapidly move toward recovery and protection of these places and their American heritage into the future. 

The Center intends to do the following:

1. Nominations are accepted April 1 – May 15, with up to 20 Hot Spots being selected for 2018.

2. Nominations will be accepted from land managers, youth serving and educational organizations, partners, members, individuals, and governmental agencies for areas with recreation-related impacts that could be successfully mitigated through effective Leave No Trace programs.

3. Chosen Hot Spots will receive the following: 

  • Consultation on solutions and program implementation from the Center
  • A week-long set of programs lead by expert Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers
  • Training workshops for volunteers, employees, and key members of the community
  • Locally-tailored programs to meet site-specific needs
  • Leave No Trace educational materials
  • Volunteer citizen monitoring programs
  • Assistance in putting the Leave No Trace program into action


Nomination Deadline: May 15, 2017 for 2018 Hot Spot Program.


Everyday, people seek the outdoors for adventure, kinship, exercise, solitude and all forms of enjoyment. Yet the places we have explored and adored for years are impacted by recreational use, some more severely than others. We call these areas Hot Spots –sites that are damaged but that can recover and become healthy again after specific Leave No Trace applications. By identifying and working with Hot Spots across the nation, we rapidly move toward recovering and protecting the places and American heritage we cherish for future generations.

With more than 12 billion people visiting public lands each year, many outdoor areas across our nation are negatively impacted by recreational use. We are literally loving our land to death. The reason is usually not malicious or intent to harm nature and wildlife; rather it’s simply lack of knowledge or skills. The end result however is usually the same: litter, invasive species, habituated wildlife, dog waste, trail and campsite erosion, water sources polluted with human waste and more.

The specific week-long Leave No Trace training, conducted by expert Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, includes special events and programs for local officials, land managers, volunteers and the general public. 



2017 Leave No Trace Hot Spot Locations

  1. Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserve | Fort Pierce, FL | Feb. 27 – Mar. 6
  2. Travis County Parks | Austin, TX | Mar. 1 - 3 | Re-Visit
  3. Lower San Marcos River Recreation Area | San Marcos, TX | Mar. 6 – 13
  4. Martin Park Nature Center | Oklahoma City, OK | Mar. 13 – 20
  5. Pinnacle Mountain State Park | Little Rock, AR | Apr. 3-5 | Re-Visit
  6. Kern RiverKernville, CA | Apr. 6 - 8 | Re-visit
  7. Forest Park | Portland, OR | June 19 – 26
  8. Conundrum Hot Springs | Aspen, CO | June 26 – July 3
  9. First State National Historical Park | New Castle, DE | June 26 – July 3
  10. Grand Teton National Park | Moran, WY | July 10 – 17
  11. Catskill Park | Denning, NY | Aug. 14 – 21
  12. Hungarian Falls | Hubbell, MI | Aug. 21 – 28
  13. Guffey Cove | Guffey, CO | Aug. 28 – Sept. 4
  14. Springfield Gorge | Springfield, OH | Sept. 25 – Oct. 2
  15. Carolina Beach State Park | Carolina Beach, NC | Oct. 2 – 9
  16. McAfee Knob | Catawba, VA | Oct. 26 - 28 | Re-visit

Previous Hot Spots

All the pins represent the Hot Spots we have held each year. By un-checking the boxes at the top of the map, you can manipulate which pins you see on the map. To see more categories in the legend, click on the arrows on the top right of the map. Feel free to zoom in and explore! 

You can click on the pins to learn more about the area and the Hot Spot that was held there, watch a video, or look at some awesome photos!

See what Andrew Downs, Appalachian Trail Conservancy Regional Director, had to say about our Hot Spot visit at McAfee Knob. (Click the picture below to watch video).

To read the comprehensive, 2015 Hot Spot Report click here

2015 Hot Spot Press Highlights

Watch more videos here!

Special thanks to KEEN and REI for their support of the Leave No Trace Hot Spot Program!