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Where Have All The Hemlocks Gone?

New River Gorge National River, WV: A hike along the rim of the New River Gorge offers spectacular vistas of steep walls, rushing water, and lush green trees. This environment hosts large groves of Hemlock trees, which have stood for centuries. Since early 2005 these groves have been under attack from an unassuming visitor, the deadly Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. Native to Asia, the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid has found sanctuary in the abundance of hemlock groves found on the eastern coast of North America. Without a native predator the Woolly Adelgid has the ability to reproduce quickly. So quickly...

Honey, Grab The Kids-We're Going Camping.

Myles Standish State Forest, Carver, MA A mother pulls into the driveway leading up to her weathered, salt-licked home; it is a Friday afternoon in early July. Summer is just kicking off, high temperatures have not yet gotten a grip on New Englanders, and a buzzzz fills the air. The mother of three excitedly escapes the confines of her car and jigs her way to the large door of her home. As she pries the swollen door from its frame, she realizes that this very door has shut her family in, disconnecting them from all that lies outside: the adventures and spontaneities of the out of doors. She...

Rice and Fall of a Trail Legend

Catskill Mountains, NY: Starfail, Pro-tip, Buckeye, Catnap, Smiley, Jethro, Gilgamesh, Giggles…what is the story behind all these “trail names”. Where do they come from? Why do they exist? This week we, the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers East Central Team, accepted a challenge to hike one of the toughest trails east of the continental divide: Devil’s Path in the Catskills. Testing our endurance, the grueling hike led us over five peaks that reached above 3,500 feet, through boulder fields, and up rock faces. As we marched forward, ready to defeat the army of obstacles on Devil’s...

Moth Invasion Kills Thousands

Savage River State Forest, MD—The devastating invasion of the Gypsy Moth is still apparent almost a decade after its fateful descent upon the majestic White and Red Oak of the Savage River State Forest. Invasive species have a detrimental effect on ecosystems across the world but are largely ignored until they hit close to home, destroying precious resources that in some cases we cannot get back. Such was the case with the American Chestnut in the early 1900’s when an invasive fungal infection was accidentally introduced by imported Chinese Chestnut trees. The result: billions of American...

Leave No Trace Where You Least Suspect It

San Juan Island, WA: Have you been to a Labyrinth lately? If not, we suggest taking a stroll through your local sacred gateway sometime soon. Many people walk labyrinths for the vibrant rows of natural colors – sunflowers, poppies, asters, and the list goes on. While some are after the herbs – with the beloved and relaxing scent of lavender dancing through the air, what’s not to like about a Labyrinth? Others are looking for a passage to self-discovery, one that may contain balance and regeneration. There’s no doubt about it, people visit these healing garden spaces for all sorts of reasons...

Top Five Reasons Why You Should Run an Awareness Workshop

Jackson, Wyoming: Wilderness Adventures has trips all over the country and world for pre-teens to college students. With over 80 instructors and 600 participants taking trips down rivers, up mountains, through canyons, and various forests throughout the country, we are proud to have them as an educational partner at Leave No Trace. Last weekend we had the privilege to put on a four-hour awareness workshop for all 80 instructors on how to teach their participants to minimize their impact when they are traveling and camping in the outdoors. Working with WA got us thinking about how important...

Coffee. Money. Teeth.

York County, PA: I stare inquisitively at my grandpa as he pauses before descending the porch’s steps: he is patting his chest, checking the back right pocket of his slacks, and with pulled lips, he begins clanking his teeth... then, full steam ahead. I hop in his truck, closing my eyes to enjoy the sweet coffee aroma that fills my olfactory glands. My brain begins shooting off memories of all the successful trips we have taken together, all the classified newspaper advertisements we have tracked down. A quick jerk to the right and a sudden “Watch your feet!” pulls me back. I stare at the...

M_SSI_G PIEC_S

Little River State Park, Waterbury, VT: Exploring the outdoors can come in many forms: high-adventure exploits, casual strolls through a park, or journeys through time. Dotting the globe, heritage sites feature historical remains that offer a peak into the lives of generations before us--they are an integral piece to the human puzzle. Our story. Our culture. We, the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer East Central Team, have spent the last week in Waterbury, Vermont working with local groups like the Green Mountain Club and exploring some of the local history left behind from the Civilian...

Behind The Scenes: Impacts At Tillamook State Forest

Tillamook State Forest, OR: If you've ever wondered what land managers are doing to practice Leave No Trace and what issues they face, this interview is for you. In order to better understand specific recreational impacts to Tillamook State Forest and how the Oregon Department of Forestry works to resolve them, the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer West Team interviewed Macy Yates, Recreation & Facilities Specialist for Tillamook State Forest. Macy has literally seen it all - from left behind self-made port a potties to piles of litter so vast that you would think you were in a...

Thunderstruck

Little River State Park, VT: You wake up early, antsy to climb Camel’s Hump Mountain and summit to the 360* view. Hours later, legs heavy with the repeated squat-like steps up the mountain’s side, you hear the “Sound of the drums, Beating in my heart, The thunder of guns, Tore me apart”. And suddenly realize, “You've been, Thunderstruck”! Every year, thousands of hikers are struck by lightening. Yes. Thousands . This week, we decided to discuss different tactics we can do if we find ourselves in a lightning storm. Please, keep in mind, these are not sure-fire ways to avoid the dangers of a...

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