Hiking can be a good form of eco-tourism, provided that the person follows the rules of the trail and the hiker’s creed, “leave no trace.” Hiking is a great way to see an area on foot, but it important to stay on the trail and to carry any trash until finding an appropriate receptacle. The other thing to consider is how much driving is involved to get to the hiking destination. If solo driving or the trail is hours away it might be better to find something closer.
Going to trails you pay to see can even help the surround ecosystem as proceeds from public parks often go toward conserving the area and wildlife. Also, the funds often pay the salaries of rangers who protect the area and enforce the rules that keep it in good, natural condition.
Ecotourism is important for the ecological experience it offers so I think hiking is a superb example. Instead of hiding behind the confines of mass tourism, where the reality of an environment is concealed beyond hotel walls, ecotourism offers a more authentic experience. The idea of ecological preserves is that a tourist can embark into a real experience of a place, rather than a replicated experience. Appreciation for the organic dimension of a place is the first step in a sustainable mindset.
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