Appalachian Trail film to premiere Friday

Kori Feener, a documentary filmmaker, will debut her film “Hard Way Home,” chronicling her attempt to “thru-hike” the Appalachian Trail, on Friday, November 8th at the Virginia Film Festival. The 87-minute movie about her solo, 2,180-mile hike from Georgia to Maine was financed through a campaign on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter, where she raised $7,000 for the...

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Bighorn Trail, Eagles Nest Wilderness

Beginning on Columbine Dr. in East Vail, CO, the Bighorn Trail climbs steeply out of the Vail Valley, then more gradually climbs up through stands of aspen and pine. The trail passes beaver ponds and the remains of old mining camps as well as Bighorn Creek. Near the halfway point, be sure to turn around because the views of Vail and Bighorn drainage behind you are...

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Hiking trail languishes behind locked gate

A storm last year washed out a section of the Crystal Springs Regional Trail, prompting the county Parks Department to block that portion from public access. The roughly half-mile stretch hasn’t reopened. While the closed-off stretch isn’t the most spectacular part of the Crystal Springs Trail – it runs near the freeway, and views of the surrounding...

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Waynesboro, Va. Hiking Shelter Now Equipped With Solar Power

Waynesboro is getting greener. The hiker shelter off Arch Street now has solar power. Many hikers stop at the shelter while walking the Appalachian Trail. Now, the hiking shelter includes a charging station for them. Waynesboro Parks & Recreation and Sigora Solar handled the project. With the solar panel, hikers can now charge their cellphones, mp3 players and other...

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Traversing the Dragon’s Teeth

New Zealand’s Kahurangi National Park is the second largest national park in the country, covering the north-western end of South Island. It is unusual for a New Zealand park in that there are no glaciers or active volcanoes. It has been reserved mainly for its geology and botany, and the mountain ranges are similar to south-east Australia, rising just above the...

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Parts of Graveyard Fields Loop Trail Closed for Improvements

The U.S. Forest Service has announced that portions of the Graveyard Fields Loop Trail at milepost 418 on the Blue Ridge Parkway are closed for upgrades. The agency expects to complete the work by late December. The Forest Service will construct a board walk on the east end of the trail, which will be closed. Users can access the Upper and Second Falls via the...

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DuPont Forest model shows waterfalls

DuPont State Recreational Forest, NC is installing a three-dimensional scale model of its major waterfalls in the Aleen Steinberg Center. An event to commemorate the installation will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at the visitor center at 89 Buck Forest Road. Designed and constructed by Apply Valley Model Railroad Club, the exhibit focuses on the main stem of the...

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Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards Blaze Today’s Conservation Trail

Twenty-four-year-old Brenna Irrer admits it openly: she just loves using a crosscut saw. “There is nothing that compares with getting through a big tree,” says Brenna. “When you use a crosscut saw, you’ve really got to pick the right spot to cut. It takes a lot of planning.” Brenna is the education and volunteer engagement coordinator for Southern Appalachian Wilderness...

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Big Valley Vista perfect hike for Thanksgiving

Central Pennsylvania is blessed with many natural wonders and a great network of trails for exploring those special wild places. If you want to see such a place and burn off a few Thanksgiving calories, then the hike to Big Valley Vista is perfect for you. Accessible only from the westbound lanes of U.S. Route 322 as it crests the Seven Mountains region, the Seven...

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Interior Secretary Jewell Calls On Congress To Step Up For Conservation

Washington politics are infuriating, disappointing, enlightening, and entertaining. They rarely are dull. That is obvious based on what has transpired since October 1, when the federal government ran out of money. * We saw a 16-day closure of the National Park System initially spurred by House Republicans…who then castigated National Park Service Director Jon...

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Fall hiking calls for proper preparation, care in clothing

These are the days when hunter orange is the height of fashion in the woods. But more important than fashion, is the fact that this bright orange hue can enhance one’s visibility and safety during hunting season. Hunters wear hunter orange clothing to be seen, and hikers should do the same. Canine companions should be outfitted with hunter orange as well. While in...

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Getting Out in the Ozarks: Hiking

The hills and forests of the Ozarks in Arkansas offer a multitude of opportunities to get out and explore. What better way to soak in the scenery while the leaves are changing than a sweet, simple walk? That’s how Kevin Cheri and Caven Clark feel. They are park rangers at Buffalo River National Park. The brisk morning air and a cool layer of fog over the Buffalo National...

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Dream fulfilled: hiking Mount Hood’s 40-mile loop

The Forest Service notice stapled to the wooden signpost was tattered and weatherbeaten, but its meaning was unmistakable: The path ahead was washed out, wiped off the map by a flood, and going forward was not an option. Two days into my four-day solo trek on Mount Hood’s fabled Timberline Trail, I was going to have to turn around. I had known this decision point...

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Urban students find learning outside, hiking Cascades trail

None of the 10 students or their instructors fell on their faces while hiking through the leaf-covered Cascades trail, and for that, they said, the trip was a great success. The picturesque hike on the trail, located near Tatnuck Square, was a new experience for the students from Youth Opportunities Upheld Inc.’s Education for Employment program. While some said...

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North Carolina waterfalls will plunge you headlong into a reverie

As waterfalls go, Bridal Veil Falls are fairly small and easy to find. They cascade above Highway 64 just a couple of miles north of the town of Highlands in the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina. The fun fact about Bridal Veil Falls is that, if your car is small enough, you can drive under the 120-foot “veil” of water. Our 10-year old Mini Cooper, whose...

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Fees Waived at Popular NC National Forest Sites on Veterans Day Weekend

The U.S. Forest Service announced that day-use fees will be waived at three popular sites in western North Carolina during Veterans Day Weekend. “We wholeheartedly salute the men and women who represent the nearly 22 million American veterans who have served their country in the military,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “As we do throughout...

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Floridians don’t need hills to know thrills of hiking

Would you like a cool way to raise your metabolism? Take up hiking. Summer in Florida is too hot and humid for long walks in the woods. But we’re now coming into the best season of the year to explore the state’s many nature trails. We know that regular exercise increases the body’s calorie-burning capacity. We also know that adding muscle increases...

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Bowman’s Shortcut Trail, White River National Forest

Bowman’s Shortcut is an easy-to-get-to trail that tops a ridge that enables views of three different mountain ranges — Sawatch, Gore, and Tenmile. You’ll start out climbing through a pine forest with occasional glimpses of the distant peaks through the trees, then reach the bald ridge and the magnificent views of some of Colorado’s highest...

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Conservancy buys 250 acres and a peak

Blackrock Mountain summit, a 5,700 foot peak that overlooks the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, has been purchased by the Southern Applachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC). The Conservancy purchased the summit and more than 250 surrounding acres in the Plott Balsam Mountains of Jackson County to hold and manage as a nature preserve until it can eventually be...

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Oakland hills activist saves hiking trail from closure

Joaquin Miller Park’s Palos Colorados trail has escaped permanent closure because of erosion, thanks to the efforts of Stan Dodson, community activist and board member of Friends of Joaquin Miller Park. The Palos Colorados trail is a wooded trail that runs parallel to the Palo Seco Creek, from Mountain Boulevard winding north through Joaquin Miller Park. The trail...

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Growing Chestnut Trees and Hope in Western North Carolina

Working with others, the U.S. Forest Service may be one step closer to restoring the American chestnut tree to the mountains of western North Carolina. Beginning in 2009, agency researchers and partners planted close to 1,000 potentially blight-resistant American chestnut trees in the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina, as well as in national forests in...

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Couple hikes through scenic Ice Age Trail

When glacial ice flowed through the area that is now Wisconsin, more than 12,000 years ago, it sculpted a variety of features into the landscape. Those features — some of which are in the state’s most beautiful natural areas — are highlighted along a 1,000-mile foot path called the Ice Age National Scenic Trail which extends from Door County in the east, south to...

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Senator Coburn Blames Congress, Bloated National Park Service, For State Of National Park System

Our National Park System has become a bloated, underfunded, kowtowing shadow of the ideal for which it was created, according to U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, who lays out his case in a report that casts a withering portrait of Congress as a poor overseer. In that 208-page report, Parked! How Congress’ Misplaced Priorities Are Trashing Our National Treasures, the...

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Law enforcement 
is down in national 
forest, records show

It turns out that the White River National Forest over the last four years has been a relatively safe place to break the law. A nearly four-year shortage of law enforcement officers in the nation’s most visited national forest, combined with the distraction of competing priorities like wildfire mitigation, has led to a 76 percent decline in the number of citations issued...

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Clubs promote Louisiana hiking trails

Being closer to nature, relishing the wonders of the woods or simply getting away from it all are easy goals to achieve when on a good hiking trail. As hikers and backpackers who frequent Louisiana’s abundant trekking paths attest, the state is full of interesting places to hike. But five hikes have been singled out as the best by members of the Bayou Chapter of...

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Hiking made easy: Weekly Chattanooga Hiking Meetup events do it all for you

Hitting the trails is one of the best ways to explore the natural landscape of the Chattanooga area, and getting out with others can make the experience even more enjoyable. A number of hiking clubs in the Chattanooga area make it easy to get out and hike by providing outings, trip leaders and hiking companions—all you have to do is show up. For three years now, the...

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Jeffersonian dinner helps plot trail’s future

The Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) took a page from history to plot a path forward by holding a “Jeffersonian dinner” at Millstone Farm, Connecticut. Jeffersonian dinners, as they are called, are a way to pull together people with a common interest for the purpose of furthering a goal. In this case, the focus of conversation was the Norwalk River Valley Trail, its...

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New trails on Blue Ridge Parkway are labor of love

The path alongside Rose Creek naturally follows its rocky bank and gentle contours as it approaches the Eastern Continental Divide in North Carolina. For centuries this wild and lush land served as prime buffalo and elk hunting grounds for Native American tribes. And about 230 years ago, chestnut and massive oak trees dwarfed Revolutionary War patriots who traveled this...

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Divide trail users poach signs for hiking momentos

Directional signs along the Continental Divide Trail in Colorado have been disappearing, according to Maura McKnight, executive director of Headwaters Trails Alliance. It is the assumption that people have been obtaining the signs, which feature the Continental Divide Trail logo, to serve as mementos. But the missing signs have been causing some hikers to get turned...

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Wilderness designation sought for Scotchman Peaks

Wilderness policy is an often-divisive arena. In this arena, the Scotchman Peaks straddle many boundaries. The scenic mountain range between the Clark Fork and Bull rivers has more geopolitical lines dotting its map than a United Nations seating chart. About 20,000 of Scotchman’s 88,000 roadless acres lie in the Panhandle National Forest on the Idaho side of the border....

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Neva “Chipmunk” Warren Becomes Youngest to Solo Thru-Hike the Appalachian Trail

It seems only fitting that this hike should end the same way it began, on a cold rainy day in October. A year ago, during a family camping trip at Shenandoah National Park, she joined her father and me on a short hike that included a section of the Appalachian Trail. When we returned to the Big Meadows Lodge to warm up, she said “I’d like to hike the whole...

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Hiking in South Korea: trails and tribulations on the Baekdu Daegan

Daniel Adamson, The Guardian The climb from the monastery had taken two days, a steady, breath-by-breath progression up through the woods under full packs. Suddenly, the path broke from the trees and we were on the exposed granite summit of mainland South Korea’s highest peak, Cheonwangbong. To the north we could see the crooked spine of the Baekdu Daegan, a...

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