Camp and Travel:In Popular Areas

campingWhen in popular or high-use areas, concentrate your activity within established campsites and trails to prevent impact to the surrounding area. These areas have been “hardened”-have already lost their vegetation cover-and continued use causes little additional impact.

Stay on trails. Hiking outside of the established treadway tramples plants, contributes to erosion, and creates wide or multiple paths. In muddy or wet stretches, stay on exposed rocks or wooden planking where possible. Wearing gaiters over boots helps keep mud out, allowing you to walk through wet places when there are no planks. Do not shortcut, switchbacks-it saves little time and causes gully formation and erosion.


Principles of Leave No Trace


Principles-of-Leave-No-TraceAs growing numbers of people seek the beauty and exhilaration of outdoor recreation, our collective mark on the environment and natural ecosystems becomes more apparent-and more damaging. Water pollution, litter and disturbance to vegetation, wildlife and other visitors are indicators of the need to develop a national ethic that protects wild and scenic areas. Techniques designed to minimize these impacts are incorporated into the national Leave No Trace education program as the following Leave No Trace Principles:

Principles of Leave No Trace

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Camp and Travel on Durable Surfaces
  • Pack It In, Pack It Out
  • Properly Dispose of What You Can’t Pack Out
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Use and Impact of Fires

These principles are a guide to minimum impact camping in the Northeast’s mountains and forests. Visitors to the region’s lakes, rivers, seacoasts and winter environments may learn from other guides produced in the Leave No Trace Outdoor Skills and Ethics series.