Roughing It Without Roughing Up the Watershed

Riverside County is home to several bodies of water with adjoining campgrounds, such as Lake Skinner and Lake Cahuilla. An opportunity for lots of fun comes with lots of responsibility, too. In order to preserve our watersheds, here are some guidelines for a camping trip that will make Mother Nature proud:

  • Hiking: While exploring off-trail may be intriguing, refrain from creating new paths. Sticking to the established trails prevents erosion, limits damaged vegetation or animal habitat, and reduces the amount of human impact.
  • Fire Safety: To build a fire, bring your own wood or purchase it at the campground. Never gather firewood in the park. Use only designated firepits, never open ground. Be sure to put the fire out completely when you are finished.
  • Hygiene: When available, use sinks and showers instead of engaging in personal hygiene in the outdoors. Many types of toothpastes, shampoos, conditioners, and soaps have ingredients that are harmful to our watersheds. Choose products that are eco-friendly when possible.
  • Pet Safety: Furry members of the family should be supervised at all times and kept on controlled leashes. Just like at home, your pet’s waste should be cleaned up promptly and properly.
  • Leave No Trace: Always thoroughly clean your site before you leave. Do not remove, deface, or disturb any part of the park features or wildlife. When setting up camp, do not attach anything to the trees.

Spending a relaxing weekend in Nature is easy to do with so many terrific sites close to home. Check out the Riverside County Regional Park and Open Space District website for information about reservations this summer. Follow these tips, and remember: “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”

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