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Visitation has reached record levels along the Appalachian Trail, a 2000+ mile footpath extending from Maine to Georgia along the crest of the Appalachian Mountains. Camping impacts associated with this use have also expanded rapidly in recent years, particularly in popular National Parks and at attraction features such as lakes and ponds. This article reviews recreation ecology research on camping impacts and their relationship to amount of use and environmental attributes. Management options for responding to camping management problems are described, including the manipulation of use-related, environmental, and managerial factors.
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May the forethought (and studies) be with your campsite-protection planning!