Hot Spot

Anatomy of a Successful Hot Spot

Aspen, CO: Imagine a cross between a frat party and a Phish concert. Now drop that scene onto a high alpine basin with a small hot springs pool and you’ve got an idea of the trouble that was facing Conundrum Hot Springs until recently. Trash, discarded clothing, exposed piles of human waste (yup, poop), loud groups and music playing on speakers, vegetation damage from trampling and firewood gathering, human-wildlife conflicts, and safety risks to unprepared hikers marred the wilderness character of this otherwise idyllic spot high in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness...

Lansing Isn't...

Lansing, MI: Lansing City Parks are a lot of things. They’re cool swimming pools. And favorite fishing spots. Lansing City Parks are the heart of the city. They’re playgrounds, kayak trips, and basketball courts for shooting hoops. Lansing parks are great places for a basketball game with friends. And they’re more than 20 miles of riverside trails for morning runs, long walks, wildlife watching, family bike rides, and even skateboarding with friends. More visitors are discovering that Lansing is a great place to paddle. But check out this video from the City of...

In praise of Colorado 13ers

Westcliffe, CO : 14ers are a point of pride in Colorado, for better and for worse. These 14,000+ peaks set the state apart, and nearly every resident can tell you how many they’ve hiked. The most difficult peaks call for serious mountaineering skills, but even relatively accessible 14ers require lung-busting climbs. It's Colorado credibility. But as the state’s population grows, these peaks are getting loved to death. There are only 54 to 58 14ers ( depending on who you ask ) , meaning all aspiring peakbaggers direct their attention to the same limited number of...

Delta National Forest Hot Spot Week - Rolling Fork, MS

The Delta National Forest in Sharkey County Mississippi is home to a large bottomland hardwood forest, seasonally flooded timber and small swamps that drain into the Big and Little Sunflower Rivers. It is a popular destination for camping, hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing.

Eastern Hot Spot Excitement

Paradise Valley, AZ: 2018's Hot Spot program is in full swing! Our Hot Spot program identifies areas suffering from the severe impacts of outdoor activities - areas we believe can thrive again, by implementing Leave No Trace solutions. Each location receives a unique blend of educational programs, service projects, follow-up programs, and more. The result? Areas on the road to a healthy and sustainable recovery! We've chosen 20 Hot Spots for 2018, but we of Team East Central are particularly excited about one in particular: We know you were looking forward...

Protecting the Most Photographed Spot on the Appalachian Trail

Eugene, OR: When we think of the Appalachian Trail, we think of high adventure, green mountain vistas - and, of course, McAfee Knob. A Leave No Trace Hot Spot in 2015, McAfee Knob is beloved by thru-hikers and day hikers alike, all of them making the four-mile trek from Virginia Highway 311 - and some heading the four miles back to the trailhead parking lot - just to snap that picture of them and that iconic view. As a part of our Hot Spot Revisit program, a pair of Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers went back to McAfee Knob this year, and brought back some tips on how...

Mad About Our Latest Hot Spot

Wytheville, VA: There's a fair amount of indoor climbing in central Ohio - but what about outdoor climbing? The dolemite cliffs along the Mad River just outside of Springfield have been an illicit climbing spot for the last two decades, but they are illicit no more. About 40 acres on the south side of the river have been turned into the Mad River Gorge and Nature Preserve, and the Clark County Parks District has plans to add about 60 acres to the property. Team East Central recently conducted a Hot Spot in the area, and found a budding community of climbers, locals, and land...

Help Heal Hungarian Falls!

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...

Guffey Gorge is Instagram Famous

Guffey, CO: Guffey Gorge (a.k.a. Paradise Cove), a 2017 Leave No Trace Hot Spot, is Instagram famous. Once a local secret, this 80-acre gorge, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, boasts a gorgeous waterfall that tumbles from steep granite canyon walls. Tucked 1/2 mile down an unassuming trailhead, social media attention has turned this sleepy spot into a hotbed of activity. On sunny July weekends, up to 1,000 visitors a day make the steep hike into the Gorge to enjoy a swimming hole at the base of the falls that’s not much bigger or deeper than your average backyard...

A Local Gem in Danger

New Paltz, NY: The Peekamoose Blue Hole has become an Internet celebrity. Now selected, as a 2017 Leave No Trace Hot Spot , the Blue Hole needs a new type of fame, one that recognizes its fragile ecology. This geologic formation is wild in nature and unfortunately; its fame has exponentially increased the number of visitors and the impacts, which follow them. With anywhere from 600-2000 visitors in a weekend the ¾ acre footprint of the Blue Hole has seen its fair share of impacts. Soil erosion, trampled vegetation (including small plants, flowers, and primarily mosses),...

Pages