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US Forest Service reminder: 'Hike responsibly'

Posted: 12:40 PM, May 29, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-29 14:40:30-04
US Forest Service reminder: 'Hike responsibly'
US Forest Service reminder: 'Hike responsibly'
US Forest Service reminder: 'Hike responsibly'

Memorial Day weekend marks the official start of the outdoor season, but before you hit the trails or set up camp, the U.S. Forest Service is reminding you to leave no trace .

Crowded trails are becoming more commonplace in Colorado and some hikers said not everyone respects the great outdoors.

“Yeah it's extremely busy,” said hiker Marcos Vela.

“I feel like it's changed a little bit more. More people come in, they don't really respect the area,” said hiker Amer Rios.

So much so that trail advocates are now pushing back.

“Hanging Lake and all that. It's been real trashy up there,” said Vela.

Hanging Lake, known for its crystal water and falls, has seen a huge surge in foot traffic just in the past few years. Visitation saw an 81 percent hike, with more than 130,000 visitors last year. 

Concerned Coloradans are worried the extra people, taking selfies on fragile foliage, wandering off trails and not picking up after pets, could cause lasting damage.

Some have even taken to social media with the Aspen Trail Finder website , scolding those who post pictures of their outdoor exploits with the #savehanginglake.

“You have to love the space around you and keep the state nice,” said Rios, “Have some etiquette.”

But native or new in town, the U.S. Forest Service says the Rocky Mountain Region should be enjoyed so long as people play responsibly.

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