Cabin restoration completed at Smokies historic Elkmont

  It still takes imagination to envision sitting among the suit-and-dress crowd listening to the orchestra on a Saturday night at the Appalachia Club House in the Elkmont Historic District of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Thanks to a National Park Service project, however, at least a part of what it was like during those 1910 glory days is being...

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In a Stunning Turnaround, Britain Moves to End the Burning of Coal

Bigger than any medieval castle, with its 12 giant white cooling towers gleaming in the sun, the Drax Power Station dominates the horizon for tens of miles across the flat lands of eastern England. For four decades, it has been one of the world’s largest coal power plants, often generating a tenth of the U.K.’s electricity. It has been the lodestar for the final phase of...

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Purchase opens 32,600 Arizona acres near Coronado Forest to hiking

The U.S. Interior Department’s purchase of a plot of private land will allow public access to 32,600 acres of previously isolated forest land in Arizona, a move that drew praise from wilderness advocates and hunters alike. The deal opens up two parcels of public land, one in the Coronado National Forest and one northwest of Safford, that had been inaccessible because...

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Hurricanes keep bringing blackouts. Clean energy could keep the lights on.

When Hurricane Irma scraped its way up the Florida peninsula, it left the state’s electrical grid in pieces. Between 7 million and 10 million people lost power during the storm — as much as half of the state — and some vulnerable residents lost their lives in the sweltering days that followed. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of electrical workers from around the country...

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Rural communities can coexist with wolves. Here’s how.

Because wolves are prolific breeders and able to adapt to a range of habitats, they do fine, so long as they’re not poisoned, trapped or profusely shot. The key to a future for wolves is retaining public support by minimizing conflict. That means finding ways for wolves and ranchers to coexist. Washington has forged a model for building coexistence based on bringing...

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A military legacy loosens its grip on a landscape

In 1942, the U.S. Army transformed a valley near Leadville, Colorado, into training grounds for its 10th Mountain Division. The high altitude, climate and steep terrain prepared World War II troops for critical battles in the Italian Alps. At Camp Hale, as the area at the headwaters of the Eagle River became known, thousands of soldiers learned to ski, mountaineer and...

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Potty Packs – Travel and Outdoors Toilet Pack

Are you an outdoors lover? Have you found yourself in a filthy pit toilet at a trailhead, or five miles into the wilderness with the sudden urge to go? Just think about your own experiences. There is likely a time where you may have given your left sock for one of these products. The made in the USA Potty Pack toilet pack combines everything but the toilet, all in a...

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Small Pests, Big Problems: The Global Spread of Bark Beetles

Warming temperatures are fueling the expansion of pine and spruce beetle outbreaks across North America, Europe, and Siberia, ravaging tens of thousands of square miles of woodlands. Scientists warn that some forest ecosystems may never recover. First, mountain pine beetles devastated lodgepole and ponderosa pine trees across western North America. Then came spruce...

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Trails Around the World, the Magazine of the World Trails Network

The World Trails Network strives to connect the diverse trails of the world to promote the creation, enhancement, and protection of outstanding trail experiences. The World Trails Network brings trail associations, trail advocates, walkers, hikers and people passionate about the outdoors together from around the world to foster global collaboration and networking for the...

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Thru-Hike Your City. Not As Crazy As It Sounds.

In 2011, Liz “Snorkel” Thomas hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in 80 days and 13 hours, cementing a reputation as a trailblazing woman in the American hiking community. She has completed hiking’s Triple Crown, which in addition to the Appalachian Trail includes the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. Thomas estimates she has...

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Featured Recreational Trail: Fisher Towers National Recreation Trail, Utah

The Fisher Towers Trail allows visitors to the Moab and Arches National Park area to hike among the world-renowned towers of the Colorado Plateau. Improvements to the trail have been funded with Recreational Trails Program dollars. The Fisher Towers are among the most outstanding scenic features of Utah’s Colorado Riverway. These rock pinnacles soar above a maze of...

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Park Hosts Volunteer Trail Opportunity for National Public Lands Day

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hosting a volunteer trail maintenance workday on Saturday, September 30, 2017 in celebration of the 24th annual National Public Lands Day. Participants are invited to participate on a trail rehabilitation project along the Clingmans Dome Bypass Trail from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Volunteers will perform trail maintenance including...

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A New Trail Would Connect 3 States Across 1,650 Miles

The NY-NJ-CT region features hundreds of parks and landscapes, from the Catskills and Pinelands to the beaches of Jersey and Long Island. Despite all of this open space, these recreational spots are disjointed from each other and from the communities that would use them. A New York-based non-profit has proposed a plan to connect the state with Connecticut and New Jersey...

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Volunteers remove tons of trash from Arizona National Forest land

Arizona’s Natural Restorations remove trash, graffiti and anything foreign to the environment from natural areas throughout the state. They have a passion for nature and believe outdoor restoration and education ensures everyone will be able to enjoy the outdoors for generations to come. They approach every project with a commitment to long-term change and making...

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Hiking Etiquette 101: The 12 Trail Rules You Should Know

There are not many rules of etiquette that stretch across the world, but hiking etiquette is one of them. No matter where you are, people tend to abide by the same hiking rules, keeping the peace and helping everyone around them to stay safe. Of course, you might not always meet other people on your treks, but when you do it is important to know what to do and how to...

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Discover Oklahoma: State parks offer trails for outdoor exploration

Autumn weather just gets us stirring around, doesn’t it? Perhaps it all originates with that preparation for the change of season. Various creatures such as squirrels start packing away supplies for the winter, but we humans may be seeking a little food for the soul as we can see the gray winter days that will keep us housebound coming straight at us. The timing...

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Important Facts You Should Know About Post-Wildfire Restoration

As of September 15, 2017, over 8,834,487 acres across the United States have been burned by wildfire, the highest number of wildfire acres burned in year-to-date records kept by the National Interagency Fire Center. The highest total acreage burned in any year on record is 9,873,745, in 2006. Wildfire is a necessary and important part of a natural landscape, but it is...

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Why it’s a real mistake to count on a cellphone when you go hiking

Sarah Savage was alone in the woods and didn’t know which way to turn. She had been eager to explore the Appalachian Trail when she moved to Pennsylvania and discovered that her house was near an access point. But not long after she took off from the trailhead, the path branched in different directions. She wasn’t carrying a cellphone or a map. Nervous, she turned back....

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Glacial melt will wreck ecosystems

Glaciers cover one-tenth of the planet’s land surface – but not for much longer. Glaciers worldwide are in retreat, and losing mass. They are shrinking and melting, and that will create problems almost everywhere, according to new research. Between 2003 and 2009, glaciers melted on a gargantuan scale, with an estimated 1,350 cubic kilometres of meltwater draining from...

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Conserving Carolina’s Fall Hiking Series Begins September 22, 2017

Join Conserving Carolina, formerly the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC), for five Friday hikes offered to the public, free of charge, this fall. Conserving Carolina invites the community to enjoy the work that many conservation organizations have done for the preservation of areas of natural resources and take in the beauty of...

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The Mark Twain Trail through Nevada & California brings ups, downs and a new view of the author

Who flies to Reno on a spring evening, rents a car and heads into the mountains with no skis, no mountain bike and a backpack full of books? and Why? Because in 1861 a 25-year-old Missouri riverboat pilot named Sam Clemens boarded a stagecoach bound for the same territory. He was going to dodge the Civil War for a few months, work for the government, do some writing,...

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130 Miles, 8 Days, 1 Spellbound Hiker/Photographer on Kodiak Island

Kodiak Island, the second largest in the United States, is best known for the main quarry of this trip, the oversized subspecies of brown bear, the Kodiak bear, that is unique to its mountains and shorelines. This journey goes 130 miles along the notoriously rough shoreline of Shelikof Strait, across river drainages and bays, paddling packrafts through a series of lakes...

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For the National Parks, a Reckoning

Even though the National Park Service is charged with keeping places like Sequoia “unimpaired” for future generations, it doesn’t usually step in when trees meet their end because of thirst and pestilence. Droughts and insects are supposed to be normal, natural occurrences. But it’s hard to say whether the changes witnessed here — or at neighboring Kings Canyon National...

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A Bear’s-Eye view of the Katmai Coast

Ever wonder what the world looks like through the eyes of a brown bear? Researchers at Katmai National Park wonder, too. To learn more, they initiated a collaborative, multi-year study examining the relationship between intertidal resources, coastal brown bear behavior, and human influences. As a part of this study, nine brown bears along the Katmai coast were outfitted...

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The West Is on Fire. Get Used to It.

The West is burning, and there’s no relief in sight. More than 80 large wildfires are raging in an area covering more than 1.4 million acres, primarily in California, Montana, and Oregon, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Taken together, that’s a wildfire larger than the state of Delaware. California has declared a state of emergency as wildfires burn...

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Electric cars are about to get their biggest boost ever

The largest and fastest-growing car market in the world is going to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars. China has announced plans to join the rapidly expanding list of countries with plans to phase out fossil fuel-burning cars, a list that includes the UK, France, Norway, and India. “These measures will promote profound changes in the environment and give...

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Columbia Gorge trails might be closed until spring

Hiking trails affected by an Oregon wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge might be closed for months, authorities have said. Landslide risk, potential for falling trees, root snags and severe erosion as the winter rains start will have repair crews busy until spring, Dawn Stender, a trail crew supervisor for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area said. The fire in...

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North Carolinians Team up to Complete MST Hike in One Day

Over 1,600 North Carolinians collaborated on September 9, 2017 to complete in one day 100% of the 1,175-mile Mountains-to-Sea hiking trail from the Smokies to the Outer Banks.    Most hiking legs were 3-5 miles long, although one hiker went over 20 miles. Officials with the American Hiking Society said the “one-day” hike was probably the first such event ever among...

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Why flowering meadows are better than lawns

Groomed, grassy fields can be good for certain uses, like sports or picnics. But for broader “ecosystem services” — things like plant pollination, disease control, soil quality and climate regulation — look to meadows. Meadows are more than just unmowed lawns, though. They are rich, diverse ecosystems, bustling with a wide range of wildlife. And as a new...

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Taking in the White Mountains, every step of each trail

In 1907, the Appalachian Mountain Club published a little book called “Guide to the Paths and Camps in the White Mountains.” As its rather wordy title made clear, it was a collection of maps and descriptions of trails through the Presidential Range and beyond. Through printing after printing, the book changed titles — the 30th edition of what is now known simply as the...

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