PSA: Bags of Dog Poop

A few weeks ago we discussed bad trailhead parking and I promised that I would step off my soap box…but as spring has sprung I’ve noticed something. Poop.

Now we’ve written about poop on the trails before, that post went wild and it turns out that a surprising amount of people get emotional about shit.

But in the past 2 weeks I’ve seen ridiculous amount of bags of dog poop on the side of the trail.

C’mon people!

Recently I was hiking with our kiddos at Happy Jack. Nothing serious, a mile at a 2 year old’s pace.

Not far from the trailhead we ran into this.

bag of poopIt’s dog poop in a white plastic bag…perfectly blending in with the snow. I made a mental note of it’s location so I could grab it on our way out and toss it in the garbage at the trailhead.

About a half mile down the trail, just as we were at our turn around point we ran into another bag of dog poop on the side of the trail. Just hanging out, waiting for someone to pack it out.

2 bags of poop.jpgSo I asked my 2 year old what we should do about. He said “put it on the garbage”–so we packed it out, picked up the second bag of poop and a handful of other trash we found littered on the trail and properly disposed of them.


Now, it’s appears that it’s just not me who is fed up with dog owners leaving their bags of poop on the trails. Close to home the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers think it’s inconsiderate. Hikers in Portland are annoyed with it.

But as I hike around Laramie I can’t help but notice these icky bags of poop are magically popping up on the side of trails more frequently than in the past.

I’d rather see a wet steamy pile of dog poop on the side of the trail than a plastic bag of Rover’s fecal matter.

Last summer I saw this.

Poop on the trails

Here’s the deal. We can all agree that this sucks. I promise to pack out my children’s dirty diapers if the dog owners out there promise to pack out their bags of dog poop. It’s just the right thing to do.

Oh wait, I already pack out dirty diapers.

Update 3-24-15

This shitty saga continues. Do people just “forget” to pick up their bags of poop? If so why go to all the bother to even bag it? I’m so confused!

Exhibit A. Less than 100 meters from the Tie City Trailhead on 3/20/15

Tie City 1

Exhibit B. Less than 75 meters from the Tie City Trailhead on 3/24/15tie city 2


Do bags of dog poop on the trail annoy you too? Leave us a comment and tell us if you’ve ever picked up another person’s bag of dog’s fecal matter.


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User Comments

  1. cathy cooper |

    I live in western NC and frequent the trails around my home daily. There are 2 trails nearby. 1 is a 2 miler, the other is almost 6 miles. Unfortunately I pick up at least 1 bag of dog poop every day. I am so over it, its always on the 2 mile hike that I see it. Just don’t know how to make people stop doing this.

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  3. Liz |

    When wer’e hiking on a trail that will loop back around itself, and one of our girls poop on a part we will cross over again, we bag it and leave it; and mark where it’s at so we don’t forget where it is, and grab it on our way out. Perhaps others are doing the same, only irresponsibly forgetting it :/

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  5. Ali Riggle |

    Thank god I’ve found a place where I can vent about this! It’s absolutely maddening. I live (more or less) in the Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California, a biodiversity hotspot and of the few slivers of chaparral habitat on the planet. I feel so lucky to be able to explore this unique terrain every time I’m out on the trail, and it makes me utterly CRAZY that people do this. By what twisted logic does a person think it’s better to leave plastic waste in addition to their dog’s steamers on the trail? Insanity. This bad habit chips away at my already minuscule hope for humanity. *End rant.*

    • Yes! I’ve never understood why people think it’s better to seal their dog’s poop in plastic and leave it by the trail. Essentially making a permanent monument to their utter disregard for other people and the trail that they presumably enjoyed!

  6. Andy |

    It’s absolutely maddening. I see it all over the wonderful trails we have in the SF bay area. I started a Facebook page on the topic. I don’t know if it’ll do any good, but at least it’s a place to vent my frustrations.

    • Rebecca |

      It’s crazy! Clearly not just a problem limited to our region.

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  8. Sam Kimerling |

    I am a new dog owner and avid hiker in the wilderness and backcountry. I found this site because I was confused why I kept finding tidy little bags of poop on the side of the trail. I treat my dogs poop like my own. It can be buried safely away from a trail, or, in wilderness areas, needs to be packed out. That means all the way out. I carry an empty mayo or peanut butter jar in my pack for just such an occasion. I can’t imagine these dog owners are just forgetful. I pack out all the ones I find on the trail…

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  10. Jane |

    I found this by googling ‘dog shit in bags on side of trail’, because, it’s everywhere all over the trails In Whitehorse,YT. I don’t get it??? These are trails in the middle of the woods. No garbage bins. Why are they even bothering to put it in a bag much less leave it right on the side of the trail??? So confusing.

  11. I do not walk on urban or suburban paths… I live in the mountains, where dog hiking is a popular pastime. I have put up “There is no Poop Fairy signs”, and provided bags at trail-heads for the past few years, but folks tear them down…Letters to the editor seem futile…but this year, our local trail conservation network has developed an approach that may be having a positive impact.

    But this is still a problem, on even remote backcountry trails, especially in the winter. The problem is noticeably less in the summer months. It completely escapes my comprehension, how you can leave a pile right on a trail! I also believe that the vast majority of our problem piles are left by “free-range” hiking dogs; the owners claim they did not see their dog “do it”, and so are not picking up the messes. Our dogs are always on a trekking line, so we can’t ignore what they do…

    • Rebecca |

      Sheila, I think a “poop crew” is an excellent solution to the problem. At the end of the day it really just comes down to education…and lazy hikers who don’t think they need to pack out their pooch’s poo.

  12. As a dog owner, I clean up after my pets and discard the bags in a provided container. I honestly can’t see why this is so hard for some, and it leaves me wondering why some can’t be responsible pet owners by simply cleaning up after them. Just this past weekend, I cleaned up 10.5 lbs (yes, I even weighed it) and within the first 200 yards from the Greyrock trail head during my PWV patrol. Unbelievable and most of the dog poops were recent and not under snow or molted.

    • Rebecca |

      10.5 pounds! That’s outrageous…wow. We appreciate all the work you do with PWV.

  13. Kristen |

    I live in St. Paul, MN. We have a great city and state park system within the metro area and this is a big problem here too — and so many people “forget” their bags. GAH! Just take it with you. Double bag it if you have to. Don’t leave it for me or a park employee.

    • Rebecca |

      Yes! I totally agree. It’s so gross…and rude…and annoying!

  14. Glen |

    MOG – that drives me nuts. Love to go hiking and really makes me wonder about the intelligence level of folks who bag dog poop & leave it on the trail. Ummm-there are many acres of forest around you, do the math.

  15. Matt |

    YES! Finally, someone who said what I’ve been thinking all along. I’d much rather see a steamy pile of crap than a steamy pile of crap in a plastic bag that won’t ever mix in with the earth. WTF.

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