December 18th, 2019

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, a non-profit based in Boulder, CO, has a clear mission: to protect the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly. ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) has been officially involved in sharing that message since 2009, a ten-year partnership that we are proud to have upheld. Our staff has maintained this relationship by integrating messaging about the 7 Leave No Trace principles into everything that we do, including workshops, programs, signage at facilities, trail maintenance and general interactions with the public.

By the numbers, here is some of what we have achieved with Leave No Trace since the beginning of our partnership:

100,000 – Visitors Reached Annually


Every year, an average of 100,000 visitors come to the Heart Lake Program Center to hike, swim, ski, and otherwise recreate in the Eastern High Peaks region of the Adirondack Park. Through everything from a 5-day Leave No Trace Master Educator workshop to signage at the trail head, we have been working to share Leave No Trace outdoor skills and ethics with every single person that comes through our property. Even if all they learn is how to dig a cathole or dispose of their dish water properly, that is one less impact in the backcountry that helps protect the resource for future visitors.

400 – Fourth Graders at Heart Lake


3 Seasons winter

Seth Jones

ADK’s Marie L. Haberl Three Season’s at Heart Lake School Outreach Program teaches regional 4th graders about Leave No Trace. The program is currently working on becoming accredited through Leave No Trace. In the past 10 years we’ve shared Leave No Trace outdoor skills and ethics with close to 4,000 fourth graders. That is a whole generation of New York students that are being taught responsible recreation practices both in the classroom and on the trail.

123 – Master Educators


A key aspect of working with Leave No Trace is teaching and training people in Leave No Trace skills and best education practices so that they, in turn, can teach and spread Leave No Trace messaging. There are three levels of Leave No Trace courses: Master Educator, Trainer, and Awareness Workshops. Since 2009, we have trained 123 Master Educators, 268 Trainers, and hosted over 2,500 Awareness Workshop participants.

2 – Leave No Trace Hot Spots


Two Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers speak to a group of trail workers

Ben Brosseau

We worked with Leave No Trace and local stakeholder organizations to host a Hot Spot program at the Peekamoose Blue Hole in 2017 and in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness in 2019. These week-long events are led by Subaru Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, who work with participating organizations and area stakeholders to turn around heavy recreational impacts by hosting events, workshops, and other outreach. The goal of these Hot Spot programs is not only to provide intensive Leave No Trace messaging during the event week, but to facilitate a plan with stakeholders on how they are going to address these issues through education in the future.

1 – Dynamic Partnership


We are excited by all that we have achieved with Leave No Trace over the last decade. As many of our public lands and waterways deal with high recreational use and associated impacts, we believe that education is the key to minimizing these impacts and ensuring that these spaces remain protected and open for future generations. With all of this in mind, we look forward to continuing our partnership with Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics for many years to come.