APPALACHIAN TRAIL — Outdoor trails were busier than ever this summer due to the limited amount of indoor activities available.
281 miles of the Appalachian Trail are in the state of Maine.
Like many heavily trafficked trails nationwide, people leaving trash behind has become a major problem.
“Some of our folks would usually pick up trash, but yeah, more people, maybe more litter, and less maintainers out sort of compacting the issue,” said Hawk Metheny, the senior regional director for the northeast section of the trail.
All they ask is that you don’t litter by picking up your trash and hanging onto it until you can find a trash can.
“What typically happens with litter, when someone leaves something behind, other people do it and leave stuff at the same location and you end up with a pile of trash,” Metheny explained.
Leaving trash behind can also cause problems for future hikers.
“Another problem with litter is that it could be food related,” Metheny said. “If it’s containers or wrappers, wildlife tends to be attracted to that and they develop an association between humans and food.
The AT in its entirety has about 200,000 volunteers who maintain the trails, but keeping them clean is everyone’s job.
“If a volunteer, a ranger, or a caretaker doesn’t pick it up, that doesn’t necessarily mean someone else will,” Metheny said.
For resources on how to be a good steward of your environment, you can go to LNT.org