No Trace

“I must leave it as beautiful as I found it. Nothing must ever happen there that might detract in the slightest from what it now had.”

Sigurd Olson

With more than 200,000 visitors every year. the BWCAW is the most popular Wilderness area in the United States.  All these visitors mean the BWCAW is at risk of being loved to death, the very wilderness character that makes it such a popular destination degraded and destroyed.

Leave No Trace encourages people to minimize their impacts and prevent avoidable impacts while enjoying the outdoors. It is often summarized: “Take only photos, leave only foot prints.”



  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Use and Impact of Fire
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

(click the links to read more about each principle on the Leave No Trace website)


Everyone who enters the BWCAW watches the Superior National Forest’s Leave No Trace video when picking up their entry permit. The Friends collaborated with the Forest Service to create a new version of this video in 2006.