It’s hard to resist the solitude and serenity of the Arctic Circle Trail, and, inevitably, the number of people hiking the trail is increasing year by year. This is great, but it makes it more difficult and more costly to maintain the trail and to keep it pristine for everyone.
The most important thing you can do, on an individual level, to protect the trail, is to carry out what you carry in. This means that you need to keep all of your garbage and packaging with you throughout the hike and dispose of it properly when you reach Kangerlussuaq or Sisimiut. This includes empty gas canisters: while leaving behind canisters with gas still in them at the huts can definitely be a help for other hikers, dumping empty canisters is not only a waste of time for other hikers but, more importantly, litters the trail. It is also crucial that you do not pollute lakes or streams when going to the toilet and that all hikers carry out their toilet paper with them. The idea behind the Leave No Trace policy is that wilderness areas like Greenland’s backcountry can be enjoyed as untouched and unspoiled as possible by each and every hiker as the years go by.
Please don’t build your own cairns on the trail – those that are in place are important markers and some of them are ancient.
There have been instances of wildfires taking hold on the ACT and in the surrounding landscape. It is absolutely forbidden to light fires on the trail, and hikers should be very careful with stoves and cigarettes. Wildfires are incredibly difficult to control and can cause extensive damage.
In 2018, the Aasivissiut – Nipisat area was granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status, being recognised as a cultural landscape that has acted as an important hunting ground for settlers in the area throughout history. The site covers a huge area that stretches from the ice cap to the coast, and the Arctic Circle Trail passes through it.
If you have any comments on the condition of the trail or notice anything that should be made known, please get in touch with Destination Arctic Circle and let them know.