Leave No Trace Archives - Appalachian Mountain Club

Leave No Trace

Have you ever met a Ridgerunner while hiking on the Appalachian Trail? For the AT’s entire 60 miles in Connecticut and its first 17 in Massachusetts, these AMC staffers serve as the trail’s eyes and ears: talking to the public about Leave No Trace principles, taking care of blown-down trees, gathering statistics on trail use,…

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As a teenager, I struggled with alcohol addiction. I was able to find my healing by going back to what my Nipmuc ancestors called the Original Instructions. These are the teachings that instill our sacred place in the world: the renewal and remembering of our intimate relationship to all the life forces in the universe….

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Biking on trails and other unpaved surfaces can cause significant damage, especially if the terrain is muddy or easily disturbed. While fat bikes can cause less impact than mountain bikes due to wider tires and broader weight distribution, that doesn’t give you an all-season pass to ride when conditions are poor. Always check local regulations…

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Thanks to the efforts of conservation groups and the effectiveness of federal, state, and local clean-water policies, many of New England’s most iconic rivers—including the Connecticut, Housatonic, and Merrimack—are cleaner today than they were in decades past, says Kristen Sykes, AMC’s director of conservation strategies. Despite the improvements, there is no guarantee better conditions will…

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Extensive use of trekking poles on popular trails can tear up soft soil, damage trailside vegetation, and scar rocks. The good news is, you can reduce those damaging effects by following a few best practices. Be mindful of the potential environmental and visual impacts where you plant your poles. Don’t use trekking poles when you…

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When you gotta go in the woods, it’s crucial that you follow proper Leave No Trace (LNT) practices to minimize your impact. I’ve included a refresher video at the end to review this essential skill, but here wanted to highlight one of its most critical aspects: digging a proper hole. Per LNT guidelines, it should be 6 to…

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First published in 1907, AMC’s revered and respected White Mountain Guide marks a milestone with the publication of its 30th edition, which rolled off the press and onto bookshelves in August. Together with its revamped pull-out maps, the guide is an essential trip-planning tool, designed not only to help hikers find and appreciate plunging waterfalls,…

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What better way to get a feel for what it’s like to be part of an AMC Teen Trail Crew than through the eyes of a participant? Recent White Mountain Two-Week Spike Crew volunteer Tim Berger shared this collection of photos with us, and not only are they excellent, we think they speak volumes about the Teen…

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Mud season can be a challenge for hikers and trail maintainers alike. So if you want to hike in the spring, knowing how to safely enjoy soggy trails without destroying them is an essential outdoor skill. Wet Trails are Fragile “More and more people are hiking year-round, and while it is wonderful to have people…

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Stepping into the backcountry means leaving behind your cushy standards for immaculate hygiene. That doesn’t mean you should sacrifice health or basic cleanliness while camping or backpacking. It just means you need to understand what really matters—and how to stay clean in the most eco-friendly way possible. Handy Tips Dirty hands are a primary cause…

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