Top 5 favorite hiking trails in the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Magazine counted the votes from their latest poll question: What’s your favorite Hawaii hike? The top five vote-getters are on the pages ahead. Your picks specified dozens of different trails throughout Hawaii’s major islands, with difficulty levels ranging from easy-breezy strolls to rigorous climbs geared especially for experienced hikers. Mahalo for...

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Lake Havasu Area Hiking Trails Online

A detailed guide to 17 hiking trails around Lake Havasu City is now posted online. The local Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has worked for the past year to add the new information to its website. “It’s part of our objective to detail everything about the community that might be a draw to bring visitors to town,” said Bureau President and CEO Doug Traub. “(Hiking) is...

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Boardwalk planned for trail where giant sequoias fell

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to build a boardwalk near the twin giant sequoias that toppled to the ground along a popular trail, an event that garnered national attention and a slew of suggestions about what to do with the ancient trees. The agency received more than 150 comments from the public, ranging from “cut them into firewood” to “leave...

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Some answers on that West Virginia national park issue

For this week’s Gazette-Mail column, John McCoy went to Judy Rodd, the principal source for the push to create a national park and preserve in West Virginia’s northeastern highlands. Judy was able to answer some of the existing questions, but not all. Last week, when news broke that much of West Virginia’s northern Allegheny Highlands might be considered for national...

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Nova Scotia Hiking & Snowshoeing Summit 2012

Hike Nova Scotia invites individuals and groups with an interest in hiking, walking and snowshoeing to the first annual Nova Scotia Hiking & Snowshoeing Summit. This one-day event will take place on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site in Maitland Bridge. The Summit is a celebration of Nova Scotia’s hiking culture,...

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SC National forest local treasure

The Francis Marion National Forest turned 75 this year, and the thousands of local residents who enjoy its wide range of recreational options should celebrate the commitment of public resources that have made its existence possible. The forest has played a central role in preserving native habitat and species, some of which were highly endangered. The state’s...

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Trailblazing on House Mountain: Replacement path to highest Knox peak planned

Just below the 2,100-foot crest of House Mountain, TN the terrain gets steep and rocky. It’s here that the Mountain Trail — one of two footpaths that lead up House Mountain — begins to zigzag through the boulder fields in a series of switchbacks that lead to the top. In recent years, the trails at House Mountain State Natural Area have suffered from...

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Women backpacking alone: Scary? Lonely? A little, but gratifying, too

When I talk about backpacking alone, a 52-year-old woman, people tend to ask two things: Do you get lonely? And are you afraid? The answer to both is yes. Loneliness sets in during the long interval between supper and sleep. Meal done, I sit at my campsite, waiting for dark before crawling into my tent. My body is tired from hiking, but my mind is awake, wishing for...

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Columbia Triple Trail Shell and Baselayer Midweight Long Sleeve 1/2 Zip and Tight

Disclosure: The Columbia Field Test Team contacted me to try these apparel products at no cost to myself. My only responsibility was an agreement to complete a survey after trying the items. I was not pressured to write this review, nor was I pressured to make a positive endorsement. Columbia describes their Triple Trail Shell jacket as “a lightweight-yet-warm...

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Kirkland, WA to consider purchase of rail corridor

Kirkland could soon become the owner of a 5 3/4-mile rail corridor that city officials hope to turn into a biking and hiking trail that has limited views of Lake Washington. The City Council is scheduled to decide whether to pay $5 million for the portion of the Eastside Rail Corridor that starts not far from Highway 520 and connects with the Totem Lake area of Kirkland....

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Hiking in grizzly country – or not

Is it possible to be scared out of your wits and profoundly grateful at the same time? Those competing emotions are racing through my brain, although at the moment “scared out of my wits” is out to a commanding lead. It’s nearly dawn, and in two hours I’m supposed to be hoisting my backpack onto my shoulders and setting off on a 14-mile hike to a...

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Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Bridge to reopen in January

Two years ago the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Bridge was closed because an inspection found major structural deficiencies. The old bridge, built in 1970, was demolished. Now a replacement bridge is scheduled to be opened to recreational use on Jan. 6. A dedication ceremony will be scheduled for the spring. The bridge spans the Pennsylvania Turnpike between the Somerset...

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Today’s Hike – Bearwallow Mountain

Started out today with another visit to Florence Nature Preserve. When I went a couple weeks ago, my usual companions were unavailable, so I took them today to share what I had found. Very pleasant day — a dusting of fresh snow on the ground. We took the red trail back down off the mountain to make it more of a loop hike than what I had done before. Next we hopped...

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More bike lanes, walking trails a great idea for Foley, Alabama

Foley, Alabama is thinking big in applying for a multimillion-dollar federal grant that could transform how people move around the city. Currently bisected by Alabama Hwy 59, Foley epitomizes the traffic problems along the main drag to Baldwin County beaches. Alabama 59 is a major thoroughfare, and it’s bumper to bumper in the summertime with coastal visitors. For much...

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Chimney Rock State Park, NC to Grow

The N.C. Council of State approved the purchase of 1,222 acres at Rumbling Bald Mountain to expand Chimney Rock State Park by more than 20 percent. State officials said the approval was the last step needed for the state to buy the significant tract of land north of the Chimney Rock attraction in Rutherford County for $4.2 million. The news was a welcome surprise to park...

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Raven Cliff Falls Trail, Dismal Trail, Naturaland Trust Trail, Gum Gap Trail, Caesars Head State Park, South Carolina

Matthews Creek plunges more than 1,000 feet over Raven Cliff Falls into the gorge it has carved below Raven Cliff Mountain. One of a myriad of landmarks along the Blue Ridge Escarpment in Caesars Head State Park, this gorge offers a very challenging yet rewarding hike. Part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area that also includes Jones Gap State Park, this is the most...

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The Waimea Valley Reveals Its Secrets

The steep, junglelike terrain of the Waimea Valley, about an hour by car from Honolulu, is home to more than 5,500 species of plants and 1,875 acres of tropical rain forest stretching from the mountains to the sea. It also holds some of the rarest and most important native Hawaiian archaeological sites, including temples, countless burial caves, and stone fishing shrines...

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Winter Wonder at Arches National Park

I spent six hours scrambling across the frosted red rock, eyeing the endless blue above and surrendering to the quiet that commands this place in late January, when the obvious was finally put to me. “What are you doing out here — in winter?” The question came from Kenna Chandler, 31, whom I encountered in the midst of a seven-mile hike through Devils Garden....

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America’s State Parks Celebrate the New Year with First Day Hikes on January 1, 2012

America’s State Parks announced that all 50 state park systems will sponsor free, guided First Day Hike Programs on New Year’s Day 2012. America’s State Parks First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on January 1, 2012 at a state park. First Day Hikes...

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Rehabilitating Forney Ridge Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

In the trail guide, Hiking Trails of the Smokies, the description of Forney Ridge Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park starts out, “The first section of Forney Ridge Trail is eroded and uneven.” After a couple of paragraphs, it continues, “After more rocky descent with roots to trip you …” Now the trail guide will need to be updated....

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Flurry of winter activities at Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park in New York is a park for all seasons, with programs and activities throughout the year. These activities are fun, and also deepen appreciation for and involvement in the park. The park is known for trails and open space, so it should be no surprise that hiking and outdoor recreation are a big part of the program schedule. Every season...

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Hikers stumble onto dinosaur prints at Red Rock Canyon

In 28 years with the FBI, Gary Smith never cracked a case as cold as this one. While hiking with friends in Red Rock Canyon, Smith spotted something strange in an outcrop: smudgy impressions that hinted at three-toed feet striding across the orange sandstone. “I knew that they were tracks, but I didn’t know what they were tracks of,” the 69-year-old...

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Town to Celebrate Conservancy Link

Hiking legend Mary “Trailangelmary” Parry will be happy to see her vision unfold on June 2, 2012. That’s when hikers, wannabe hikers and residents will gather near Cumberland and High streets to celebrate Duncannon’s acceptance to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC). Parry said the event will be held to encourage people to hike the trails in Duncannon. Several guided...

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Origins of the Trails in the Great Smoky Mountains

There are roughly 850 miles of hiking trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There’s also a lot of history beneath those trails we walk along today. How were they established? Who blazed them, and why? Some of the earliest trails in what would become the national park were simple game trails, created by migrating bison, elk, and other large animals. Many of these...

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