North Cascades Roadless Area, Washington. Photo by Holly Werran, Courtesy REI.
Aug. 7 - 15 marks the first-ever National Roadless Recreation Week — a week to celebrate by hiking, rafting, fishing, mountain biking or camping in your favorite national forest roadless area.
If you're not familiar with the term "roadless area," you might be surprised to learn that at one time or another you may have very well stepped into one. Roadless areas are among the most pristine lands of our national forest system, supporting more than 2,000 major watersheds that provide drinking water for 60 million Americans, and playing a key role in maintaining clean air and wildlife habitat — not to mention a place where you can find tremendous recreational opportunities.
The Roadless Area Conservation Rule, issued in 2001 to protect 58.5 million acres of national forest roadless areas, is one of the most popular federal policies ever developed following years of scientific review, hundreds of public meetings across the country and a record number of favorable public comments.
With summer in full swing, what better way to get out there and experience our wild places than by honoring roadless areas through recreation?
Not sure where roadless areas are in your state? Check out the Forest Service's state roadless area webpage.
Make sure to check in with your favorite local hiking club, trail maintenance group or other recreation organizations to find out how they'll be celebrating the week.
Also, a number of organizations across the country are hosting activities for National Roadless Recreation Week. Here are a few groups hosting events:
North Carolina / South Carolina / Tennessee
photo: North Cascades Roadless Area, Washington. Photo by Holly Werran, Courtesy REI.