Should locals keep some trails a secret?
Yes: 76%
Some things in life you find out for yourself; go get lost on your own. Some of my best hikes are ones I can’t even remember how to find again. If someone else finds it, great for their natural spirit of inquiry. Things get blown up so quickly these days. Sure, it’s good for some things to be exposed, like a new good beer or band. But the natural world should be a secret for others to find on their own.
—Micah Wheat, Black Mountain, N.C.

Too many people get spoon-fed everything. I’m not telling everybody every place I hike, nor the location of every cave I’ve been. No trails I use are secret. The locations are published in some paper or the Internet. If people choose not to find them, they miss out.
—Patrick, Cary, N.C.

Illustration by Wade Mickley

I always encourage people to get outdoors, but I direct them to more popular spots. Some lesser-known special places should not be overrun by the masses.
—Gene, Cumming, Ga.

No: 24%
Share the wealth! Let people from outside your area know what makes your neck of the woods special. As the old saying goes, “If you’ve got it, flaunt it.” If we want more people to enjoy and learn about the great outdoors, we’ve got to be willing to let others learn why we love the outdoors so much.
—Joe McAlister, Greer, S.C.

In today’s society, the more trails available, the better. America is obese. We need to do anything we can to get more people outdoors. More people recreating outdoors also brings more money to our local and regional economies.
—Matt Greene, Winston-Salem, N.C.


Does your personal carbon footprint really matter?
Yes: 70%

Everything adds up. If you choose to lessen your footprint, then the world is that much cleaner. And you also set a positive example for others to follow, magnifying your effect even more.
—Jacqueline, Roanoke, Va.

Reducing our impact on the planet should matter to everyone, whether that means reducing your carbon footprint, water conservation, or just not littering. We aren’t borrowing our natural resources; we’re using them. And many of them cannot ever be replaced.
—William McKelder, Greenville, S.C.

My single footprint isn’t going to solve the climate change problem, but others may be inspired by my more sustainable lifestyle. If I can influence a few people to be more carbon conscious, and they influence others, then we’ll start to see some positive change.
—Jon Livengood, Knoxville Tenn.

Illustration by Wade Mickley

No: 30%
Carbon footprint? Just words used for people to make themselves feel good. People should just act the way they want in life without looking for a pat on the back.
—Marshall Brown, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

I never drank the kool-aid that carbon was an evil. Carbon is a natural part of life, beneficial for the growth of plants, which helps all our lives. Sorry there are so many rubes who bought into the phony global warming scam, because they’ll have to re-construct their entire view of the world.
—Reasoner, Lexington, N.C.