Leave No Trace in Every Park

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...

An Adventure Immersed in Culture and Art

Macon, GA: Dancing, stories, and cultural foods; these are just some of the things which contribute to the heritage of Native Americans. Did you know, there are over one hundred Native American cultural sites scattered across the United States? Each one, designated to preserve our public lands, and to help commemorate the contribution of Native American culture. From Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado to Ocmulgee National Monument in Georgia, these parks offer people an opportunity to take a step back into history and to become immersed in native traditions. The Earth...

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...

No Light, No Light?

La Crosse, WI: Fall is rapidly descending, bringing cooler temperatures, cloudier days, and decreased daylight. Under these conditions, it can sometimes be a struggle to both get the most fun out of the sun and settle into camp early enough to enjoy yourself before dark. While sometimes, lighting is necessary - there's no need to trip over every little thing when heading to the pit toilet at 3am - at other times, it's worth thinking twice about what kind of illumination, and how much of it, you need. Here are some things to think about before you light up the night: ...

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),...

Everyday Trail Maintenance

Madison, WI: When we think of trail maintenance, we often think of experienced workers, with large packs and larger tools, hiking in many miles with everything from McLeods to pick mattocks . But you don't have to be an experienced trail crew member to help keep our trails nice and tidy. Here are some tips and tricks on how to help your local trail crews when you're out on a hike: 1. Get Dirty After snowmelt or wet spells, those muddy or waterlogged trails can prove hard to travel - but earning that trail and the dirt that comes with it is half the fun! Come prepared with...

Take These Tips to the Alpine

Franconia Notch, NH: This unique environment is home to hundreds of species of plants, insects, lichens, and wildlife. The organisms living here are only found in this elevation and environment, making them incredibly rare. When hikers visit during the day or on a backpacking trip, each step we take in the alpine creates the potential for big impacts to sensitive vegetation. It is up to each and every one of us to do our part while visiting alpine zones. Below are the essential tips and tricks to know for your next adventure in the mountains. Plan Ahead and Prepare...

Are You Ready for the Solar Eclipse?

Boulder, Colorado: Are you ready for the 2017 Solar Eclipse Across America? Check out our video and blog below for tips on preparing for this historic event! 1. Know before you go: With over seven million people traveling to see the eclipse, you're sure to find lots of traffic, and little to no cell phone service, food, or other supplies available in the path of totality . Make sure you bring everything you'll need for a five to six day trip, since most agencies anticipate that roads in and out of the eclipse zone will be gridlocked at least two days before...

America's Newest National Park

First State National Historical Park, DE: The Beaver Valley is home to lush foliage, wildlife, vast rolling hills, and some our country’s earliest history. Nominated as a 2017 Leave No Trace Hot Spot, this newly established national park offers endless recreational activities for all families to enjoy. “Every Monday morning we pick up about thirty bags of litter from the Smith Bridge Picnic Area.” – Ethan McKinley, Superintendent Located next to the waters of the Brandywine Creek, the Smith Bridge Picnic Area is a beautiful place for families to enjoy...

How Many Piles of Poop in a Mile?: The Forest Park Hot Spot

How Many Piles of Poop in a Mile? Forest Park Hot Spot, June 19-26, 2017 Portland, OR: “It’s a forest in my backyard.” One visitor told us this on a cool June morning during the Forest Park Hot Spot in Portland, Oregon. She wasn’t exaggerating. Forest Park is the largest urban park in the United States. Just steps away from sidewalks, paved roads and, yes, lots of backyards, Forest Park is 5,172 acres of northwest forest in the middle of Portland. (By comparison, Central Park in New York City is 843 acres.) With 80 miles of wooded trails and forest roads, it’s a haven for daily walkers,...

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