Leave No Trace in Every Park

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...

Take Me to the Beach

Oregon Inlet, NC: Hurricane season is here with a force this year. Unprecedented energies have pummeled coastal environments in the southern United States and secluded islands of the Atlantic. These storms, so devastating to locals and the environment, significantly alter the lay of the land. With each storm surge and the flooding which follows, coastal ecosystems are proving their vital role in aiding to protect people, homes, and shoreline habitats. Sand dunes are most effective barriers from winds and flooding when left intact. Footprints, although small individually,...

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...

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