Hot Spots

2016 Leave No Trace Hot Spots  

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 we cherish for future generations.

In 2015, the Center received 67 nominations for Hot Spots, and has selected 16 geographically and ecologically diverse sites, nationwide. Volunteers will participate in community based projects in their parks, and the Center will engage with partners and friends’ groups around the nation to begin activating Leave No Trace in communities far and wide. 

2016 Leave No Trace Hot Spot Locations

  1. March 14 – 21: Kern River, Kernville, CA
  2. March 21 – 28: Southern Appalachian Trail, Chattahoochee NF, GA
  3. March 28 – April 4: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, NV
  4. April 11 – 18: Patapsco Valley State Park, Ellicott City, MD
  5. April 18 – 25: Breaks Interstate Park, Breaks, VA/KY
  6. June 6 – 13: Lake Tahoe Region, South Lake Tahoe, CA
  7. June 20 – 27: Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
  8. July 11 – 18:San Juan National Forest, Durango, CO
  9. August 26 – 28: Shawnee NF, Jonesboro, IL (RE-VISIT)
  10. August 8 – 15: Devil’s Bathtub, George Washington & Jefferson NF, Roanoke, VA
  11. September 8 – 10: San Juan Islands NM, Lopez Island, WA (RE-VISIT)
  12. September 19 – 26: Delano Park, Decatur, AL
  13. October 10 – 17: Mt. Rogers, Wilson Creek, VA
  14. October 17 – 24: Fayette County Nature Area, Peachtree City, GA
  15. October 27 – 29: Red River Gorge, Daniel Boone NF, Stanton, KY (RE-VISIT)
  16. November 16 – 18: St. Andrews State Park, Panama City, FL (RE-VISIT)

This program supports community-driven projects on public lands that work to improve the condition of a designated Hot Spot using Leave No Trace education, resources, volunteers and training.

2016 Hot Spots will receive the following:  

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

Now in its sixth year, the Leave No Trace Hot Spot program and events are designed to raise awareness about natural areas around the country facing the threat of irreversible environmental damage. With more than 1.6 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.

This 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. 


High-use weekend at the San Gabriel River, just an hour from Los Angeles, CA.

Previous Hot Spots

In 2015 Leave No Trace selected twelve Hot Spots across the country to conduct special Leave No Trace events and community trainings including: