Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace LogoAs more and more people visit our forests and trails, many of our areas become overcrowded with people, and the evidence of people. Backcountry areas are places to seek solitude, and for those who value these places of escape, we ask they make a commitment to protect and preserve these areas. The Leave No Trace program has techniques that visitors can use to help reduce evidence of their presence.

In September 2014, the national Leave No Trace team came to the Hoosier National Forest and helped Forest staff and volunteers clean up sites along the lake to return them to their natural appearance. Rock "furniture" was dismantled, large fire rings were reduced to small warming fire size, and trash was collected. Below is a Youtube video, by the Leave No Trace team of the work done that day at one of the sites. 


These guidelines help protect the land, and lessen the sights and sounds of visitors to the Forest.
  • Plan for small groups - travel with fewer than 10 people. Campsites for small groups are easier to find and harmonize better with the environment.
  • Obtain information about the area , obtain a map, and plan your route. Check on local rules and regulations.
  • Visit areas which are less popular, or come in the off-season.
  • Repackage food, removing glass, and carry trash bags for litter pickup. The Charles C. Deam Wilderness currently bans glass and cans in that area.
  • Carry a small trowel for burying human waste and digging a small firepit. Use the "cat method" for burying waste, digging a shallow hole and covering with 6-8 inches of dirt. Stay at least 200 feet from water sources.
  • Leave what you find. Do not carry out artifacts, souveniers, fossils.
  • Stay on trails and do not cut across switchbacks.
  • Respect wildlife, view from a distance.
  • Do all washing away from water sources as soap is a pollutant.
  • Be prepared. Know what weather is predicted and be ready for extremes. A highly visible vest should be included in your pack for rescue in the event you become lost. Carry a signal mirror, a whistle, and warm clothing.
  • Be responsible. Pack out what you pack in.

For more information, visit the Leave No Trace website at www.LNT.org

For a downloadable/printable flier on Leave No Trace - click here.