Baraboo, WI: Michigan's Keweenaw peninsula is an outdoorsperson's paradise. With year-round opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, paddling, and rapelling within two hours' drive, everyone's bound to find something to do. But certain spots are more well-known – and overly well-loved – than others. Hungarian Falls, just east of Hancock, is one such place, where a 2017 Leave No Trace Hot Spot was held in support of the Upper Falls.
The community came together in support of the land when they helped the Keweenaw Land Trust acquire the Upper Falls in 2013; they came together again in August of 2017 for a cleanup that removed over 1400 pounds of trash from the Falls and the surrounding lands. With help from the Leave No Trace Hot Spot – including a trailwork day and plenty of hikes and events in the community to raise awareness – both land managers and the greater community have high hopes for the area. If you want to help out, there are a few things you can do:
Stay on the Trail
As trail designations begin to appear in the area, one of the easiest things you can do to encourage new growth at Hungarian Falls is to stay on trail during your visits. You might have taken a certain path on previous visits, but if those trails no longer exist, respect the restoration in progress.
Pack It In, Pack It Out
There aren't any trash cans at Hungarian Falls for now, so whatever you bring in with you should definitely come out. Wrappers, bottles, and cans all mar the landscape and make restoration efforts more difficult. Pack out what you pack in, and then pack out a little more, to beautify the land as much as possible.
Healing the Scars
Fires aren't allowed at the Upper Falls – in such a small area, the ashen scars they leave on the land is obvious, and burning the nearby wood means there's less wood decaying and returning to soil. There are several nearby campgrounds where you can indulge your desire for fire, so keep them in the fire rings there, when allowed.
Hungarian Falls is a special place, and by getting involved, either with the Keweenaw Land Trust or in these ways on your own, you can help heal the area. We hope you enjoy the falls for years to come, and Enjoy Your World!
–Amanda and Junaid, Team East Central
Leave No Trace's Amanda Jameson and Junaid Dawud are part of the 2017 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Eagles Nest Outfitters, Deuter, Thule, Klean Kanteen, and Smartwool.
Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together
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