In recent years, a LOT of people have discovered the value of getting outdoors and enjoying nature. That's awesome, but it's coming at a steep cost. I saw a news story this morning about how crowds on the Appalachian Trail are exploding with images of erosion and other physical damage to the trail, trash on the trail, liquor bottles in fire pits and food stuff lying around everywhere (a fed bear is a dead bear). My "home trail" has gotten beat up by people cutting switchbacks and making "shortcuts" to the point that it's hard to see the actual trail in many places and it's now uncommon NOT to find the little doggie doo bags just tossed on the trailside (I'd much rather you just let the dog poo on the side of the trail, at least that will break down, but that's another post). Part of me would love to find a way to fix the problem but another part of me, probably the selfish part, just wants to find a place to go that's not beat up, littered and crowded. Is it just me? Are there any "unpopular trails" left to just walk out a few miles, hang a hammock or setup a tent or whatever (bivy, tarp, bedroll, etc.) and just be outside with no artificial noise, no artificial light and just unplug?

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