Murder at The Jumpoff by Jenny Bennett

Jenny Bennett first crossed my radar when I happened upon her website Endless Streams and Forests. She writes about many things, but among them are trail and hiking reports for areas of Great Smoky Mountains National Park that were very familiar to me. What intrigued me about Jenny’s reports was the type of hiking she does. Jenny is what is known as an off-trail...

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Letchworth among NY parks to conduct guided hikes Jan. 1

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will sponsor 24 guided hikes in state parks and historic sites on New Year’s Day as part of the third annual First Day Hikes program taking place across the nation. First Day Hikes give individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors...

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Why Are Reindeer Eyes Golden In Summer But Blue In Winter?

When Glen Jeffery first took possession of a huge bag full of reindeer eyes, he didn’t really want them. Jeffery is a neuroscientist from University College London who studies animal vision, and his Norwegian colleagues had been urging him to study the eyes of reindeer. They wanted to know how these animals cope with three months of constant summer sunlight and three...

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McVicar trail opens for New Year hiking event

The McVicar Trail at Anderson Marsh State Historic Park in California has re-opened in time for the nationwide “First Day Hikes.” The event offers an opportunity to begin the New Year connecting with the outdoors by taking a hike on Jan. 1 at a state park close to home. The McVicar Trail had been closed because of fallen trees and landslides. The work to...

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2,200 miles, four pairs of boots

After six months and more than 2,000 miles, nurse Marcus Ross has learned a lot about his experiences on the Appalachian Trail. Ross began his 2,200-mile hike through the trail, which he described as “basically walking up and down mountains,” in April and finished in September, but he admits there is still some recovery left to do. “You lose a lot of weight doing...

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How Far to Fun and Inspiration? Mile…Mile and a Half

Disclosure: The DVD distributor for the Muir Project produced documentary “Mile…Mile and a Half” contacted me to watch this film at no cost to myself. My only responsibility was an agreement to complete a review. I was not pressured in any way to make a positive endorsement. A group of artists leave their daily lives behind to hike the John Muir Trail...

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Lake Metroparks lists 5 trails for winter hiking

Although the unseasonably warm weather already has come and gone, Lake Metroparks has planned events in and around suburban Cleveland, OH and organized programs for all temperatures this season. The park system has released a list of five hiking trails they recommend for a winter hike to “fight off cabin fever.” Veterans Park in Mentor, Chagrin River Park in Willoughby,...

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Yellow Mountain Gateway – 357 Acres Preserved

The Yellow Mountain Gateway in Avery County, NC is one of those rare treasured jewels — a large contiguous swath of mountain land handed down generation after generation. Rather than risk it being subdivided in the future, eight heirs of the Vance & Odom families came together to sell the tract to Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, ensuring that it will...

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Hiking in a Winter Wonderland in New York City Parks

JUST because temperatures have dropped doesn’t mean outdoor efforts to elevate your heart rate should take a nose dive, too. New York City offers many walking trails and paths through scenic, wooded parks and along breathtaking waterways. “Winter is a great time to get out and see the parks in a new way once the trees have shed all of their leaves,” said Sarah Aucoin,...

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Expand Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park has long blessed us with its breathtaking beauty and the transcendental splendor of its valleys and backcountry. Yet between the massive Rim Fire and 17-day government shutdown, there’s no denying that 2013 was a hard year for the park we all love. As the New Year dawns, we still have a chance to enhance Yosemite’s splendor by adding 1,600 acres of...

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Arkansas state parks celebrate the start of a new year with first day hikes

First Day Hikes originated over 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Massachusetts. The initiative targeted the first of January-the start of a new year-to promote both healthy lifestyles throughout the year and the year-round recreation that can be experienced locally in state parks. Through the years, other states joined this health...

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Shaun Carrigan – Film-maker

Producer and Director of Photography   Tell it on the Mountain – Tales from the Pacific Crest Trail follows a handful of diverse characters that go on a life-changing journey. This film features several legends of the trail, including Scott Williamson (former record holder for fastest thru-hike, and the only hiker to ever “yo-yo” the PCT), Billygoat (a John...

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National Park Service Offers Nine Fee Free Entrance Days in 2014

One of the best deals around is our national parks. If you have a permanent disability or you’re a current military member or their dependent, you can get special passes that allow you to get into National Parks at no charge 365 days a year. If you’re a senior over the age of 62, you can get a lifetime pass for only $10. Even the annual pass for the general public is a...

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Cataloochee Divide Trail to Hemphill Bald, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Cataloochee Divide Trail follows the eastern national park boundary for 6.4 miles from Cove Creek Gap to a junction with Hemphill Bald Trail. It is then another half-mile climb to the 5,520′ summit of Hemphill Bald. We shaved 4+ miles off the round trip by starting at Purchase Knob rather than Cove Creek Gap. You will pass fabulous views to the east and south...

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New documentary celebrates the toughness of hiking the Continental Divide

The Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) in partnership with TBW Productions announces the hiking documentary “Embrace the Brutality – a Continental Divide Trail Adventure.” “Embrace the Brutality” captures the realities of one of the last great adventures – walking 3,100 miles along the “Backbone of America,” the Continental Divide National...

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Saluda, N.C.: The Next Great Mountain Town

There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of Saluda, North Carolina. If the tiny town (pop. 703) is famous for anything at all, it’s the ridiculously steep, but closed, Saluda railroad grade, the steepest main line railroad in the U.S. So yeah, you’ve probably never heard of Saluda. But that’s about to change. The once-quiet downtown is now thriving, and adventurers from...

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Prescribed Burn Planned for Caldwell County, NC

The U.S. Forest Service plans to conduct a prescribed burn tomorrow, Dec. 19, in northern Caldwell County, NC on the Grandfather Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest. The Forest Service will conduct the 200-acre burn in the Thunderhole Creek area to reduce hazardous fuels and help protect local communities from catastrophic wildfire. Public safety is the highest...

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Poll finds history is top draw at Md. state parks; hiking opportunities place 2nd

Maryland residents heavily favor state parks with features of historical interest, according to a Goucher College poll released 12/17/13. The school said it surveyed 665 Marylanders by telephone in late October. When asked which activities they would likely participate in at state parks, 69 percent said they would likely or very likely visit historic sites. Hiking came...

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Israel has 6,200 miles of marked hiking trails – but hardly a foreigner on them

It was 1934, and an adventurous group of young Zionist pioneers decided they wanted to hike around the Dead Sea, located in what was then a desolate border region. So the youths, against the orders of their commanders in the pre-state Haganah paramilitary organization, loaded nine guns and crossed clandestinely into Transjordan. With no good maps, they hit impassible...

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Hike with CMLC to Explore the ‘Missing Link’ – Sunday, January 19th

Join Carolina Mountain Land Cconservancy on Sunday, January 19th for the unique opportunity to view land referred to as the ‘missing link’ of the Southern Appalachian Loop Trail. This land has the potential to complete the final public connection to an extensive interstate trail network measuring over 350 miles in length. This tract of land is also part of a...

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Chequamegon Chapter puts in its time on North Country Trail

This year, Chequamegon Chapter volunteers have contributed well over 2,150 volunteer hours on their sections of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) in Northern Wisconsin. These volunteer hours include building new bridges/puncheon, removing downed trees, brush mowing, hand brushing (wilderness sections), trimming overhanging vegetation (lopping), blue blazing...

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Cuomo says he’ll sign Adirondack wilderness plan

The Adirondack Park Agency has voted to create a vast new 24,000-acre wilderness and primitive area along a remote stretch of the upper Hudson River in upstate New York. The land, most of which lies in Hamilton County, had been owned by the Finch Pruyn logging and paper company for more than a century. This decision by the Adirondack Park Agency commission sets aside a...

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America’s State Parks to Host First Day Hikes

Looking for an invigorating way to kick off the New Year? Ring in 2014 with a First Day Hike January 1 in a state park near you! All 50 states are participating in the third annual event that invites families and friends to celebrate the New Year amid the sights, sounds and wonder of our natural world with fun, guided hikes. “Last year, First Day Hikes hosted 22,000...

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Trails to tranquillity

A hike, at its bare essence, is simply a vigorous venture out of the city and into the wild — a test of legs and lungs against a backdrop of scenic splendor. But something else, something more subtle, lures many to the trails around Tucson, AZ: a quest for a place that inspires quiet reflection, moments of meditation or private prayer. It might be an overlook with...

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Candlelight Ski, Snowshoe, Hiking Events Set in Minn. Parks

Thirty candlelight ski, snowshoe and hiking events are scheduled to take place at Minnesota state parks and trails this winter, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Among the highlights are the annual New Year’s Eve candlelight walk at Fort Snelling State Park in St. Paul, which has drawn 1,500 or more participants in past years; an all-new candlelight walk...

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Grand Enchantment Trail

The Grand Enchantment Trail is a 730-mile wilderness trekking route across the Southwest U.S., connecting mountains, deserts, canyons, and places of cultural and historic interest. Beginning in the Sonoran desert near Phoenix Arizona, the route meanders eastward, crossing unique and diverse Sky Island mountain ranges, deep and water-blessed desert canyons, the...

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Cayuga Trails Club explores and preserves region’s numerous hiking areas

On a recent Saturday in November, a handful of outdoor enthusiasts gathered at the Cornell Plantations. Led by Cayuga Trails Club volunteer Anna Keeton, the group braved the early-morning chill to learn how to use a compass and map to orient themselves in nature. Keeton, who used these techniques daily in her previous job as a resource management archaeologist, explained...

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Smokies Park Hosts Holiday Homecoming

On Saturday, December 21, Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host a Holiday Homecoming at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center where children and adults will have an opportunity to learn about and experience some of the traditions surrounding an Appalachian Christmas. Park staff and volunteers will provide hands-on traditional crafts and activities from 10 a.m. to 12...

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Oregon hiker prepares to walk the entire length of New Zealand

Mary Moynihan sits on a bar stool in her kitchen, surrounded by an organized mess of maps, trail notes and hiking gear. She has been researching and training for months, knowing that soon her immersion in information will pay dividends for her immersion in nature in one of the most awe-inspiring corners of the world. The 29-year-old Moynihan, a Bend resident for the past...

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Brain fatigue eased by outdoors, shows pioneering mobile EEG study

Once again scientists have confirmed what those who love nature have experienced time and time again. Not only does time outdoors make you smarter and more creative, but now research shows that it also provides an opportunity for your brain to recover from daily stress. Earlier this year, a study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed how brain states...

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‘Five Star Trails: Chattanooga’ details hiking opportunities

As climbing, paddling and other outdoor activities have grown more popular in the Chattanooga area, it’s sometimes easy to forget that this area’s hiking trails were one of the original outdoor attractions that brought visitors to Southeast Tennessee and helped residents appreciate the area’s natural beauty. Trails wind their way throughout the area,...

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1-Minute Hike series recaps second year of trails, 100-plus Maine adventures

Aislinn Sarnacki missed her anniversary. At the end of October, the 1-Minute Hike series officially turned two years old. Where was she? Busy hiking, probably. For those of you unfamiliar with the 1-Minute Hike series, here’s how it works. Each week, Aislinn visits a hiking trail somewhere in Maine. She records her experience with video, photos and writing, then drives...

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