Recent Popular Blogs

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...

The Situation: Responses to December Situation

Every month in the Center's eNews, we pose a difficult Leave No Trace ethical and skills based situation for readers to comment on. Below is December's situation and a few of your responses. What Would You Do? While backpacking, an older solo hiker joins you. After dinner you notice he has a lot of trash left over, packaging and tin cans. He offers to bury your trash with his. When you ask him why he buries trash he explains he has been doing it for thirty years. How would you approach this "less than" Leave No Trace technique to deal with waste? Here's What You Said...

Take It to the Trail: 8 Tips for Trail Running

In the last 3 years, the number of trail runners has risen by 15.5%, accounting for over 5.6 million Americans running on trails across the country each year. According to Ben Lawhon, Leave No Trace Education Director, “Trail running is one of those outdoor pursuits that, while not entirely mainstream, continues to grow at a surprising rate. You’re seeing it occurring in more places every year such as Grand Canyon National Park, where people are now running from the North Rim to the South Rim and then back again in one outing.” Due to this growing interest and participation in trail...

2012 Backyard Sessions

In the last year, the Center has initiated a new focus of incorporating Leave No Trace education into volunteer community-service projects. In 2011, Leave No Trace educators and volunteers facilitated 23 such projects resulting in almost 8000 man hours of trail work, invasive species removal, and clean-ups. In 2012, the Center's target is 65 such "Backyard Sessions" and we are happy to announce that we're well on our way to hitting that goal with 12 such events already scheduled. This year so far, our hardworking volunteers and supporters have: Organized a clean-up of Beaver Lake near Bellvue...

Mount Rainier Hot Spot Success

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics recently completed work at Mount Rainier National Park’s Paradise Area, a 2011 Leave No Trace-designated “Hot Spot.” Located in Washington, Mount Rainier National Park receives up to two-million visitors a year. At Paradise, the most heavily visited area of the park containing 26 miles of trails, recreation-related impacts have been severe. Miles of additional social trails and damage to subalpine meadows caused by off-trail travel have resulted. In partnership with the National Park Service, the Center implemented a multifaceted education program...

Leave No Trace in Practice on the Appalachian Trail

Earlier this year, we met Buckeye Flash, who was planning on hiking the Appalachian Trail. He completed his journey earlier this month and we asked him to explain how he used Leave No Trace while on the trail: On March 22, 2011, I began my attempt to thru-hike the 2,181-mile Appalachian Trail (AT). I started at Springer Mountain, Georgia (southern terminus) and hoped to reach Mt. Katahdin (northern terminus) in Baxter State Park in Maine before it closed in mid-October. To say that I was inexperienced would be a huge understatement. My previous hiking was basically limited to a dozen or so...

John Muir Trail, September 2009 - Trip Report, part 1 of 4

It is still dark as we make our way over to Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley for the start of our trek down the John Muir Trail. There are a handful of others up at this early hour, most likely heading up Half Dome in a day. We stop for the required picture at the trail sign showing that Mt. Whitney is 211 miles away, and we are off. Six good college friends came together for this trip, and how lucky I am to have friends like these! We all used to race bikes together in college, and our periodic gatherings have always held some very physical element to them. Previously being teammates will be...

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