As a part of my commitment to do more trail work in the Amador District of the El Dorado National Forest (just South of Tahoe) I spent a day hiking and cleaning up the trail to and from Lake Margaret.
This is a popular trail, partly because it is almost walking distance from the Kirkwood resort...so lots of visitors take advantage. And it's an easy hike. I met one family of five doing the trail with a four year-old, and another backpacking group with four kids all under the age of twelve.
But there are issues. I cleaned up way too much TP on this trail. For some reason, people seem to think that leaving TP under a rock, or burying it in shallow and light duff isn't going to be a problem.
It is. And it makes the whole scene quite unappealing--especially for those hiking with young kids. There were a couple of campsites here that were disgusting.
Meanwhile, the same kids were probably responsible for the more than 100 cairns I knocked down. There were cairns on the ends of logs that had been cut through for the trail. There were cairns immediately across from each other on both sides of the trail. There were cairns next to cairns next to cairns, and there were cairns built on top of cairns.
I knocked almost all of them down, as per USFS policy.
Still, I had a nice hike, met some lovely people, and left the place better than I found it. All in a good day's work.