Crater Lake subject of new lidar map from Oregon Department of Geology

Oregon continues to lead the country in lidar mapping technology with the recent release by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries’ third in its series of geologic guides and recreation maps of iconic Oregon places. The Crater Lake Geologic Guide and Recreation Map, produced by cartographer Daniel E. Coe, is published on water and tear-resistant...

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National Parks losing revenue under shutdown

The government shutdown that started nearly three weeks ago has cost the National Park Service nearly half a million dollars in entrance fees and tens of millions of dollars in visitor spending each day, according to a group representing the agency’s retirees. The Coalition of National Park Service Retirees estimated that the park system has missed out on about 715,000...

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Hiking with hunters: Are you safe?

Autumn is considered by many to be one of the best seasons to enjoy the outdoors in Colorado. The mountains are especially popular this time of year, as the cool dry air provides the perfect atmosphere for those seeking a moderate workout unaccompanied by sweat-drenched clothes and high elevation sunburns. The quality of scenery throughout the state increases...

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Montana man plans to trek entire Continental Divide by snowshoe

Richard Layne probably won’t have any competition for tent space at Glacier National Park’s fabled Hole in the Wall campground when he gets there. With a tentative reservation for sometime in April 2016, he hopes to have that tip of the Rocky Mountains to himself. In fact, Layne plans to be plenty lonely for the next three winters as he travels Montana’s whole...

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Some Pacific Crest Trail hikers forced to use highways

Stormy politics and snowy weather are posing extra challenges for this year’s crop of through-hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail. If the snow doesn’t stop them, the government shutdown just might. The last of this year’s Pacific Crest Trail through-hikers face tough challenges as they try to finish their 2,600-mile trek from Mexico to Canada. Most were forced off the...

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New Siskiyou Crest hiking book calls for action

Luke Ruediger has penned a hiking book that’s also a call for action to support the proposed Siskiyou Crest National Monument. After eight years of work, Ruediger self-published “The Siskiyou Crest: Hikes, History & Ecology” this year. He walked all 76 hikes featured in the book — sometimes more than once. Ruediger, who lives in a remote area above...

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Trail would be cheaper than subsidizing rail, NY citizens say

In 1996, New York State allowed train advocates a five-year opportunity to develop rail services, through private investment, along an inactive 90-mile rail line through the Adirondacks from Old Forge to Lake Placid. Despite tens of millions of dollars of state money spent to rehabilitate and maintain it, most of that rail line is now essentially abandoned. A nine-mile...

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Feds to let states pay to open parks

The Obama administration said October 10 it will allow states to use their own money to reopen some national parks that have been closed because of the government shutdown. Governors in at least four states have asked for authority to reopen national parks within their borders because of the economic impacts caused by the park closures. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell...

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Hiking Trails Are “Open For Business” Outside The National Park In East Tennessee

The hiking options in East Tennessee are abundant, despite the closure of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From state parks to greenway trails to hidden gems in the middle of the city, there are trails to challenge experienced hikers and scenic views along meandering paths for novice explorers. “People can stay in the mountains and hike in the mountains outside...

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Alejandra “RocketLlama” Wilson’s first person account of 8-days in a snow storm on the PCT

The newspapers reported her dilemma: Search on for 3 hikers in trouble on Pacific Crest Trail in Wash. Rescuers were searching for four hikers Oct. 1 in remote parts of southwest Washington, including three people who walked all the way from Mexico on the Pacific Crest Trail only to run into early season snowfall on their trek to the Canadian border. Skamania County...

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After 8,000 miles, hiker earns rare Triple Crown

Months at a time, thousands of miles and alone – that’s how Huntington Beach, CA resident Joe Kisner likes to hike. Kisner, 47, is among a select group to claim he has hiked the nation’s most challenging and lengthy trails. He was recently awarded the Triple Crown by the American Long Distance Hiking Association. The award is given to hikers who have...

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A 90-year journey: Appalachian Trail marks anniversary

To walk the entire Appalachian Trail is to spend five months or so sweating in, freezing in and soaking in the vistas presented by the forested, rocky ridges of the East. The journey will take you from Georgia to Maine — or vice-versa — right through New York’s Bear Mountain State Park, where the national scenic trail was essentially born 90 years ago. The trail...

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Hiketoberfest 2013: A Hiking, Nature And Music Festival Celebrating And Supporting The Cumberland Trail

The Friends of the Cumberland Trail will host the third annual Hiketoberfest on Sunday, Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Shackleford Ridge Park on Signal Mountain. The event aims to highlight the riches of the Cumberland Trail, a trail system that traverses 190 miles of the Cumberland Plateau, traveling through 11 counties in East Tennessee. The trail offers hikers...

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Pair earn ‘triple crown,’ get engaged on Continental Divide Trail

They met on the Pacific Crest Trail, and by the time they completed the trek from Mexico to Canada, they were a couple. Adam Bridges and Brittney Yolo of Occidental, CA found a mutual love in hiking that didn’t stop with the five-month, 2,660-plus-mile journey through California desert, over the heights of the Sierra Nevada and into the Cascade mountain ranges of...

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Keep tabs on how the government shutdown is affecting YOUR national parks

The federal government shutdown is now in its 2nd week and all 401 National Park System sites remain closed. More than 21,000 National Park Service employees have been furloughed, as many as 750,000 visitors will be turned away daily, and local gateway communities are losing as much as $30 million each day the national parks are closed. Whether it’s because of a...

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Criminals bust donation box, vandalize property in Smokies

Great Smoky Mountains National Park park rangers say criminals are taking advantage of the federal government shutdown. Rangers say they are dealing with trespassing, vandalism and theft attempts as most of the park remains closed. Chief Ranger Clay Jordan says two attempts to vandalize and steal donation boxes at the Newfound Gap parking lot were reported. The gates at...

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Towns, States Are Ponying Up to Keep National Parks Open

The Arizona town of Tusayan, on the southern rim of the Grand Canyon, has 558 residents and 1,000 hotel rooms. And by Saturday, it had $350,000 to reopen temporarily closed Grand Canyon National Park. “The reason we exist is the Grand Canyon National Park. This closure is devastating,” said Greg Bryan, Tusayan’s mayor and general manager of a Best...

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Hikers climb fence into Zion National Park in protest of gov’t shutdown

A heavy metal gate with a large “do not enter” sign was not enough to stop James Milligan from visiting Zion National Park on October 5th. “I wanted to go hiking today, and so I thought I’d invite some friends to come join me,” Milligan said before leading about a dozen protesters over the fence and into Zion. “The way I see it this is...

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Treasures of the Cinque Terre

A millennium ago, when pirates began marauding in the region, the Cinque Terre on the Ligurian coast of Italy had no beaches, and villagers hid high on the hills amid their vineyards and gardens. Eventually, they built watchtowers to look out for buccaneers. Those watchtowers still spike the coastline, darkly romantic mementos of an age of swords and bullion. Half a...

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With Shutdown, Questions About Visiting National Forests

While closing gates around a national park or monument is relatively simple, closing a forest is not. Newspapers and radio and television news operations around the country are reporting that while offices and facilities within the national forests have been closed, the land is still open to outdoor enthusiasts. Any activity requiring a permit, like hunting or camping,...

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Hiking the Trails of Dominica

Dominica has long been known as the Caribbean’s “Nature Island,” and it’s easy to see why. It is the most mountainous island in the region — but also one of its most sparsely populated, and there are myriad ways to explore this natural Caribbean treasure. Earlier this year, Dominica declared the Waitukubuli National Trail an Eco-Tourism site, and the 115-mile trail is...

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FMST supports dual routes to connect Smokies to Blue Ridge Parkway

For 30 years, the ultimate route of the Mountains to Sea Trail (MST) from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GSMNP) to the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) in North Carolina has been uncertain. The original vision was a trail route that would roughly parallel the Blue Ridge Parkway from its southern end just outside the entrance to the GSMNP, but a precise route that would...

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MILE… MILE & A HALF is now available on DVD/BluRay, iTunes and other VOD platforms

Just 250 miles from Los Angeles and fewer than 200 from San Francisco, the John Muir Trail (JMT) stretches 211 miles through some of the most beautiful and pristine wilderness in the world. In July of 2011, five friends and artisans set out on an epic 25-day journey on the JMT from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney to document the sights and sounds of the Sierra Nevada high...

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Hiking during hunting season: How to stay safe

If you’re like me, when you were a kid your parents warned you not to play in the woods in the fall and winter. “Hunting season,” they said. The prospect of being mistaken for a deer didn’t always deter us kids (sorry, Mom and Dad!), nor should it deter hikers looking to take advantage of the cool weather and fall colors. If you take the proper...

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Teamwork can help to protect wildland

This is the time of year when Montanans shoulder their backpacks or saddle their horses and head for the hills. From snow melt to the end of hunting season, Montana’s wilderness and backcountry beckon, calling with opportunities to reconnect with nature and rebalance Life through solitude, adventure and recreation. Every year, people from all over America and the world...

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Camp Hale Efforts Focus on Restoring the Headwaters of the Eagle River

Just below the Continental Divide in the high Rockies of Colorado lies a truly iconic landscape. To most, this flat valley surrounded by majestic peaks is simply a high-elevation recreation mecca. Visitors use Camp Hale for convenient car camping, to start a hike on the Colorado Trail or Continental Divide Trail, to launch a multi-day ski hut tour, to hone their rock...

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How to stay safe around wildlife while hiking

From black bears to mice, it’s almost a certainty hikers and backpackers will eventually encounter wildlife during their travels. Depending on how prepared you are, these animals can either spoil your trip or make it a little more memorable. Here’s what you should know: The big beasts such as bears might sound scary, but the animals most likely to give you...

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Getting your tree legs at British Columbia’s Greenheart Canopy walkway

Carol Pucci NBC News contributor I can’t say I’m ready for a romp through the treetops of an Amazon jungle, but after crossing the second of 10 foot bridges suspended above a Vancouver, B.C. rain forest, I’m paying less attention to the swaying and more to the sounds and smells of nature. “Eventually, you get your tree legs,” promises my...

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Today is National Public Lands Day

Today, September 28, 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of National Public Lands Day. Join in and celebrate with volunteers in your community at parks and additional public lands, including community gardens, schools, refuges, rivers and many more. More than 170,000 volunteers are expected at more than 2,100 sites across the country to take part in the 20th anniversary of...

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Our national parks won’t have clean air for another 300 years

On a clear day in Yellowstone National Park, you could theoretically see for miles. But according to EPA calculations, about 53 of the miles are obscured by haze, which, along with blocking visibility, puts ecosystems and human health at risk. At our current rate of cleaning up air pollution, the park won’t be back to “natural” air quality until the year 2163. A new...

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Hiking through Pennsylvania’s fall splendor

Any trail at the right point in autumn will lead to some spectacular fall foliage, but some offer something extra that enhances the hiking and leaf-peeping experience. Here are 10 of those trails. The Falls Trail at Ricketts Glen State Park near Benton has plenty of difficult spots along its 7.2 miles, including some gorge wall-hugging, steep sets of steps, but it also...

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Help Erase Graffiti In Arches National Park On Public Lands Day

You can be part of the solution in the battle against graffiti in national parks on National Public Lands Day, September 28, by helping to erase graffiti at Arches National Park. National Public Lands Day is an annual event intended to improve the health of public lands and encourage shared stewardship through volunteer service. This year marks the 20th anniversary of...

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