Minimizing Our Impact on the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is an incredible gift. As visitors, we must be careful to help preserve its beauty and ecological diversity for future generations. Here are some tips to help minimize our impact as we enjoy this national treasure:
- Read the signs and obey the park rules and regulations.
- Stay on designated trails when hiking. Taking shortcuts or leaving the trail to avoid wet, muddy sections can destroy endangered plants and cause other damage. For minimal impact, walk single file and stay on the trail.
- Leave what you find. Like most good rules, this one has an exception: feel free to pick up any trash you may find! However, leave objects such as shells, feathers, stones and artifacts where you find them for the enjoyment of other visitors, and never remove any plants or animals from the Parkway. Preserve your memories with photographs if you wish.
- Don't build fires.
- Do not feed animals and keep a safe and respectful distance from wildlife.
- It's best to leave pets at home. If you are traveling with a pet, be sure to keep them on a leash and under control.
- Peace and solitude are part of the appeal of Nature. Be considerate of others by talking quietly and making little noise.
- Bring a garbage bag with you and carry out all trash, including any that others may have left behind.
- Do not bury trash, because animals are likely to dig it up and spread it around. This includes toilet paper and feminine hygiene products. Put everything in your trash bag and carry it out. It is recommended to bury human waste in holes about six inches deep and 200 feet from sources of water.
- If you'd like to learn more about protecting the Parkway, please visit Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina at www.blueridgefriends.org or contact the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation at www.brpfoundation.org.