Hot Spot

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore 2018

Munising, MI

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 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 alone. The most heavily used section of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is the Chapel/Mosquito loop trails. 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 has caused numerous impacts including visitors traveling off trail and into closed areas, improper disposal of human waste, abandoned bags of garbage, and illegal campfires.

Solution

  • 140 Feet of Dangerous Trails Re-Routed
  • 20 Pounds of Trash Removed
  • 84 Volunteer Hours
  • 157 Toilet Paper Flowers Removed

While on-site, the Leave No Trace team spent time working with Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore staff, the local community and lakeshore visitors to implement minimum impact education strategies that will help Pictured Rocks on the road to recovery. They hosted a workshop for 27 staff members that focused on communicating Leave No Trace with the public and helping visitors understand why these practices are so important. Leave No Trace staff, NPS staff and community volunteers also teamed up for a service event in which they re-rerouted a dangerous section of trail and cleaned up backcountry campsites. Finally, the Leave No Trace team and Pictured Rocks staff spent a day educating visitors at a popular trailhead about the impacts threatening the area and the Leave No Trace practices that could help prevent them.

Upcoming Hot Spot Events

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