Press release from Friends of DuPont Forest:
Celebrating 21 years of caring for the trails, waterfalls, and natural resources of DuPont State Recreational Forest, Friends of DuPont Forest is introducing the Share the Trails Campaign for the summer of 2021. This education-focused campaign provides guidelines to visitors on best practices for sharing and caring for the Forest’s 80+ miles of trails.
In 2020, the 12,489-acre DuPont State Recreational Forest witnessed a record-breaking influx of 1.1million visitors, even with two months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside the influx of visitors, the Forest saw accompanying vandalism, trash, overuse, and user conflict in the area. With over 80 miles of trails, the Forest is open to hikers, mountain bikers, anglers, equestrians, and many other outdoor enthusiasts. Currently, the forest has a multi-use, multi-directional trail system and to be able to maintain it, Friends of Dupont Forest is launching a Share the Trails campaign that includes all trail users.
“There appears to be a lot of confusion over trail etiquette in the outdoor community,” says Sara Landry, Executive Director of Friends of DuPont Forest. “Our hope with the Share the Trails campaign is that all trail users will educate themselves so that everyone can enjoy themselves and treat each other and the Forest with respect and kindness.”
According to a report from Outdoor Industry Association and NAXIOM, more than 60 percent of those who started or resumed walking, bicycling, fishing, or running outdoors intend to continue their outdoor participation once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. This increase in outdoor participation means that in 2021, DuPont State Forest likely will see the same amount of, if not more, visitors to the Forest. To get ahead of any potential conflicts on the trail, Friends of DuPont is asking all visitors to check out the Share the Trails campaign, which clearly outlines who has the right-of-way on the trail and basic trail etiquette tips for each type of trail user, from hikers and trail runners to equestrians and mountain bikers. Mountain bikers should yield to all other users, hikers and trail runners should yield to equestrians, and equestrians should be mindful of other users.
“An important rule to remember when visiting DuPont State Recreational Forest is to not disrupt the experience of other users. Being courteous to others during your visit can go a long way toward sustainable sharing of this heavily used public land and its recreational infrastructure,” says Jason Guidry, The DuPont State Recreational State Forest Supervisor. The State Forest is part of the North Carolina Forest Service and has legislative authority over the management of the Forest and its resources.
Friends of DuPont Forest also wants to emphasize the importance of these outdoor principles when visiting DuPont State Recreational Forest:
- Pack it in/Pack it out, don’t leave your trash on our trails. These are public lands – help us protect our wildlife and our waterways from trash by coming prepared to take all of your trash home with you.
- Dogs must be kept on a leash, no matter how obedient your dog may be. Tickets are routinely given to dog owners who ignore this rule.
- Stay off the waterfalls! Our waterfalls are awe-inspiring, but they are also dangerous – so look but don’t touch.
- Roadside parking is prohibited. Parking is first-come, first-serve, and the lots are usually packed. Come early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds. Roadside parking is prohibited, as it leads to erosion and is dangerous to others using the road.
To learn more about Friends of Dupont and how you can help protect the natural beauty of DuPont State Recreational Forest, visit www.dupontforest.com. For media inquiries, please contact Sara Landry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Friends of DuPont Forest
Friends of DuPont Forest is a nonprofit, membership-based organization that cares for the trails, protects the natural resources, and inspires love for DuPont State Recreational Forest. Together, the Friends of DuPont are a unified voice for the Forest, advocating for policies and investments that benefit the lakes, waterfalls, wildlife, and trails. The Friends of DuPont strive to conserve the natural beauty of the 10,300-acre forest for current and future generations of hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, anglers, naturalists, and families to enjoy. Anyone can become a Friend of DuPont State Recreational Forest – to learn more, please visit www.dupontforest.com.