Hot Spot - Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is suffering from the severe impacts of outdoor activities. As one of the 2018 Hot Spot selections it will receive a unique blend of education programs, service projects, targeted agency trainings, and expert consulting. The result is areas on the road to a healthy and sustainable recovery with site-specific Leave No Trace tools in place.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore stretches across 45 miles of the Lake Superior lakeshore. The park offers opportunities to explore pristine beaches, sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, northern hardwood forest and the shore of Lake Superior, the largest, deepest, coldest and most pristine of the Great Lakes. With over 100 miles of trails, there are lots of options for hikers and backpackers to enjoy the park. Whether it's the 42 mile North Country Trail or the hiking various trails out to sandstone cliffs, beaches or waterfalls, all the park trails have seen a steady increase in use with a 25% increase in the last two years. The most heavily used section of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is the Chapel/Mosquito Hiking trails/loop. Used by both day hikers and backpackers, this 10-mile heavily forested loop passes by two scenic waterfalls, two backcountry beaches, four and a half miles of stunning sandstone cliffs and two backcountry campgrounds. The Hot Spot will focus on this area of the park as its ever-increasing popularity with backpackers and hikers has caused numerous impacts including visitors traveling off trail and into closed areas of the park, improper disposal of human waste, abandoned bags of garbage and illegal campfires. 

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is teaming up with Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to execute a week of targeted training, education programs and service work with agency staff, key stakeholders and members of the local community. The overall goal of these efforts is the long-term improvement of resource conditions, increased awareness of impacts in the forest, elevated Leave No Trace programs within agency management plans and increased use of Leave No Trace skills and ethics by the visiting public. This week of action based events is just one step in helping the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on its road to recovery.