Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Okay, not really secret, but I'm curious how many people know of trails they enjoy and either don't tell others about them or only share them with a select few. It seems like trails get "outed" on blogs, YouTube, movies, printed publications or whatever and get a lot more traffic in a relatively short amount of time. It's natural to love something and want to share it, but I guess the wild places becoming less wild and a little more overrun is the downside. So, it seems natural to me that, like a great fishing hole, some lovers of solitude would want to keep their favorite trails to themselves. You don't have to tell us the actual names or locations of any trails, but I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this.
The journey is more important than the destination.
Trails, not so much, but we certainly have routes and destinations that we hold close to the vest.
On the other hand, we decided to go try a new (undiscovered for us) hike near our cabin on New Year's Day, to find many, many cars, and tons of hikers. It was a great hike, by the way, but it sure wasn't anyone's secret!
Loc: Portland, OR
The concept of not publicizing backcountry sites is sometimes called Leave No Virtual Trace. I participate and am a moderator at the local hiking organization's website, where I tend to post trip reports only about trails that are definitely under-used and could use a bit more traffic, especially if it redirects people from over-used trails.
The national forests regional offices here in the PNW have stopped maintaining most of the lesser-used trails and often declare them officially 'abandoned' or 'non-existent'. This is one distressing trend.
One consequence is that this tends to drive even more traffic toward the well-maintained trails, which now are being declared as "damaged" and "loved to death" so that strict quotas are being placed on wilderness trailheads to "save" these trails from hikers. That's the complementary distressing trend.
Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:
Affiliate Disclaimer: This forum is an affiliate of BackcountryGear.com, Amazon.com, R.E.I. and others. The product links herein are linked to their sites. If you follow these links to make a purchase, we may get a small commission. This is our only source of support for these forums. Thanks.!