Why can’t I take a side? Is it bad that I think the “Treasure” is super cute and fun? Am I not a conservationist because of this? HELP!
This past week I was out hiking, trying to slowly overcome my fear of going solo (read more on that at https://hikelikeawoman.net/2020/05/confessions-with-crystal-i-hate-hiking-alone-and-yet-i-am-planning-my-first-thru-hike/. I decided to take a trail that was very urban; knowing I’d run into people, both hiking and mountain biking. On a side note, the term Mountain Biking in Florida is actually very hysterical, lol. It should be called “Hill Biking”. Secondly, I knew this trail would have plenty of cell phone service in case I felt uncomfortable and needed to call my husband for a pep talk. Third, it wasn’t too far from my house, and I’ve hiked it a few times before. Lastly, this particular trail has an immense history in the African American Community (read more on that at https://hikelikeawoman.net/2020/06/why-you-should-learn-the-history-of-the-trail/) and with everything goin on right now I wanted to make an effort to learn more about this amazing area’s background.
I couldn’t help it, I had to scream “YA’LL” and run for the phone!
While on the trail I noticed many new “additions” to the trail. It had brand new (and simply amazing) signage that was extremely accurate, freshly maintained trails (they go out once a week if not more to keep the trails up to par), and it also had funny “treasures” scattered throughout the trail. Everything from an old fashioned telephone to garden gnomes (which I could do without, thank you!) We all know how I feel about Garden Gnomes, Just sayin!
But, it did make me wonder, should I consider this trash or treasure? Even though this trail has loads of funny things, fairy villages and more, they are all kept up very well. Nothing on the trail was completely destroyed or looked trashy. Previously, I’ve talked with many of the bikers that clean the trail regularly and they all make sure it stays in tip top shape! However, the conservationist in me says these things don’t belong here. Such a happy and sad feeling all in one.
That’s when I put this question out to our Hike Like A Woman Facebook and Instagram community, “Are these items Trash or Treasure?”
There was an overwhelming response on both platforms, and the response was pretty much 50/50. Some thought it was a cute idea, and others would prefer if they stayed with the LNT (Leave No Trace) principles.
“Leave no trace. Not art. Just leftovers. If it’s a private trail do whatever. Public land NO. The problem is folks don’t understand the difference and just leave it anywhere.”
“I like it. Specific to this trail- makes it unique. I wouldn’t want that everywhere.”
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this if well maintained and limited to certain tracks. It would certainly encourage some people to get out hiking. I used to take the kids out geocaching when they were younger and it got them into loving the Bush.”
Now it’s your turn to tell us, would you consider this Trash or Treasure? Do some trails get a pass, or should ALL trails stick to the strict LNT?
Comment below, we’d love to know what you think.
If you live in Central Florida, or are visiting and would like to check it out yourself, here is the link to Google Maps to find the trailhead.