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Hiker shares disappointment after stumbling upon scene left by tourists on popular trail: 'I've seen it far too many times'

"This is why I always carry trash bags."

"This is why I always carry trash bags."

Photo Credit: iStock

A hiker of Pennsylvania's popular Pinchot South Loop called out an inconsiderate parkgoer (or parkgoers) who left their trash dangerously littering the trail.  

In the r/PAWilds community, the hiker shared a photo revealing a collection of abandoned waste in and around what appears to be a fire site. 

"This is why I always carry trash bags."
Photo Credit: Reddit

Among the litter is plastic wrapping for a 24-pack of single-use bottles, crumpled-up tin foil that presumably was used for cooking, and two empty cans. 

"Trash on the trail," the original poster wrote, also calling attention to how the other hiker's disrespectful choice could cause a problem for humans who encounter bears on the trail. 

"I've seen it far too many times," a commenter responded

According to backpacking resource Into the Backcountry, it's not uncommon for hikers to spot bears along the Pinchot Trail, a state-designated path that offers recreation opportunities for beginners and advanced hikers alike.

While bears generally prefer to mind their own business, the National Park Service warns that they can stop fearing humans if they begin forgoing their natural food sources for human food — which includes food scraps and even tasty-smelling trash like sunscreen and soaps

This reduces the creatures' life expectancies, with euthanization more likely if the bears become aggressive in search of their new favorite foods. In Colorado, officials even had to euthanize a bear that was suffering after ingesting large volumes of plastic waste. 

The improper disposal of trash isn't the only threat to bears and other creatures often spotted in the great outdoors. 

Vacationing close to home at national and state parks is an amazing, eco-friendly way to relax, particularly if you opt for reusable equipment like water bottles when camping or hiking. However, disregarding rules can put undue stress on animals and create a potentially perilous situation for nearby visitors and park staff. 

At Yellowstone, for example, a bison charged at a crowd seemingly unaware of or ignoring the park's numerous warning signs and/or online materials about keeping a safe distance. 

Hopefully, no harm will come to hikers or wildlife as a result of the thoughtlessness of the litterbug(s) on the Pinchot Trail. In the meantime, other commenters shared in the OP's frustration and highlighted how they took action after encountering similar situations.

"I will usually pick up small bits and pack out if I can, [but] it's the whole fire pit full of trash situations that really infuriate me," the aforementioned commenter shared

"This is why I always carry trash bags," another person wrote.  

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