South Carolina Upstate hiking trails closed

Caesars Head and Jones Gap State Park have closed all or parts of several trails. Rangers are working to clear debris and reroute high water. TRAIL CLOSURES: Please see the following list for closures: Raven Cliff Suspension Bridge – Open route of Gum Gap to Naturaland, the rest of Naturaland closed Cold Spring – Trail closed until water recedes. Dismal Loop...

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Hiking with Chimps in Uganda

One of the best places in Africa to hang with our closest relatives is Uganda’s Kibale Forest National Park, home to more than 1,400 chimpanzees and the continent’s highest diversity and density of primates. Most safari travelers opt for one of the twice-daily, ranger-guided, three-hour chimpanzee hikes. But as rewarding as this experience is, you are limited...

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Pedro Point Headlands Workday and Native Plant Hike

There are two opportunities in August to enjoy, give back, and learn about the Pedro Point Headlands and all are welcome. There will be a Habitat Restoration workday and/or a Native Plant hike on Sunday, Aug. 25, for anyone up for hiking and working on the rugged steep hilled property with spectacular vistas and breathtaking incline and declines. To pitch in and help...

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Thoughts on recent JMT and PCT speed records

Andrew Skurka is an accomplished adventure athlete, speaker, guide, and writer. The 31-year-old is most well known for his solo long-distance backpacking trips, notably the 4,700-mile 6-month Alaska-Yukon Expedition, the 6,875-mile 7-month Great Western Loop, and the 7,775-mile 11-month Sea-to-Sea Route. New Fastest Known Times (FKT’s) were recently set on both the John...

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Mount Fuji, So Popular It Hurts

The words printed on the buses that drive through Kawaguchiko, a scenic town in the foothills of Japan’s tallest and most sacred mountain, were as reassuring as they were disconcerting: “Preserve the Nature of Mt. Fuji.” The message was a reminder that despite years of effort, the millions who visit the mountain and nearby towns each year and the plethora of businesses...

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Earn college credit for hiking Appalachian Trail

Kasi Quinn did it. So did J.B. “Jason” Hibbitts. They thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. Both also came back to Emory, Va., and reported on their hikes – even earning college credit – through a program called Semester-A-Trail at Emory & Henry College. Jim Harrison, the college’s director of outdoor programming, calls this “a special studies...

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Gordons Pond Trail trekking toward start

The Gordons Pond Trail project will create 2.7 miles of improved trail connecting Gordons Pond to Herring Point in Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware. The Junction & Breakwater Trail and Gordons Pond Trail will be linked, becoming a major segment of a 15.5-mile loop forming a regional trail system connecting Rehoboth Beach and Lewes. The trail is aligned and...

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A major Maine — and national — mystery

Geraldine Largay, 66, an experienced hiker on the Appalachian Trail, left the Poplar Ridge Lean-to shelter near Rangeley, Maine on Monday, July 22, a beautiful, sunny day. She checked in with her husband via text message as she headed toward the Spaulding Mountain Lean-to, eight miles north. She had already hiked from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, almost 1000 miles, with...

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Breaking the cycle of poverty starts on the Appalachian Trail

Cierra Schell, an incoming junior at Philadelphia’s High School of the Future, finished her ninth day of backpacking limping down the Appalachian Trail. She was in misery but so proud of it. “This is ridiculous,” she said. “I feel dirty. My feet got blisters all over. But it was worth it. I reached my breaking point yesterday. I fell. I...

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Your Own Private Idaho

The “Entering Stanley, Idaho” sign seems more like a friendly warning than a welcome. “Population 63,” it reads, as if to say: Congratulations, you’ve made it to the middle of nowhere. Stanley is the entry point to the Sawtooth Valley, a time warp of a place with four saloons, five mountain ranges and not much else. Established by Congress in 1972 and managed by the...

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Hikers adding Prince Edward Island to International Appalachian Trail

Ed Talone started his hiking journey from Key West, Fla., in 2011. Nine months and 6,500 kilometres later, he landed in Bangor, Me. At the same time, Julie King was doing some hiking through the International Appalachian Trail. Their paths crossed and the rest is history. “The hike started as a continuation, we left from Baxter Park and so far we’ve hiked over 2,100 km,”...

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Close-up Mount St. Helens crater view is worth the hike

The final few yards of climbing to the crater view are the toughest, with hikers digging their boots into soft sandy pumice, taking care not to dislodge rocks. But the view is worth the sweat-inducing slog. The route — which is scheduled to open to the public next year — leads to a spectacular view into the crater of Mount St. Helens. The scenery includes the heavily...

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WNC hiker Matt Kirk breaks AT unsupported record

Perhaps you were out hiking the Appalachian Trail this summer and thought you saw something really tall and skinny whiz by – it most likely wasn’t a misplaced giraffe. Chances are it was Matt Kirk, who on Wednesday night, August 7, broke the unsupported speed record for a thru-hike of the AT. What that means, exactly, is that Kirk, 32, a schoolteacher who most recently...

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National Park Service offers free admission on 97th birthday, Aug. 25

Admission will be free to America’s national parks on Sunday, Aug. 25, in honor of the 97th anniversary of the National Park Service. Special festivities will take place at parks coast to coast. “National parks belong to all Americans, and we invite everyone to join us and celebrate this special day,” said National Park Service director Jonathan B. Jarvis, in a...

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Pacific Crest Trail taking a beating from vegan hikers

Barring a broken leg, lightning strike or some other catastrophe, a 30-year-old California man is on track to set a record today by completing a supported through-hike of the 2,655-mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada in just 59 days. Josh Garrett has averaged 44 miles a day since leaving the Mexico border on June 10, and about 50 miles a day through Oregon and...

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How to pack food for long backpacking trips

On multi-day trips, the weight and bulk of food becomes significant, especially as your appetite rises, usually after a couple of weeks. This means that calorie-rich, dense dried foods are best. Long distance hikers are the ones in supermarkets searching out the highest calorie foods. Careful selection and a few additions can make dried meals quite tasty. Overall, around...

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Biking and hiking made easy at Whistler

Summertime, and the biking and hiking are easy at Whistler. The British Columbia resort, known for its world-class skiing, has also turned itself into a popular summer resort. Visitors can ride lifts that swoop up to more than 7,000 feet, giving spectacular mountain views and easy access to high-country hiking trails. Down in the valley, the 24-mile paved Valley Trail...

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Popular White Mountain National Forest trail closing for repairs

One of the most heavily used entrance trails at the Southwest corner of the White Mountain National Forest is closing on weekdays for extensive repairs. Colleen Mainville, spokesman for the forest, said the 2.9-mile Lincoln Woods Trail will close due to the damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. The trail is a main route into the headwaters of the East Branch of...

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Group works to create national monument in Monongahela forest

Several organizations are working to establish a national monument in the Monongahela National Forest of West Virginia aimed at preserving about 123,000 acres. The proposed Birthplace of Rivers National Monument in and around the Cranberry Wilderness would include the headwaters of the Cranberry, Williams, Cherry, Greenbrier, Gauley and Elk rivers. Groups working on the...

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Hikers explore New England Trail online

The New England Trail launched an online interactive map thanks to recent federal funding, giving nature lovers and hikers the chance to explore the 215-mile-long trail that runs through central Connecticut from home before heading out for a hike. Clare Cain, trail stewardship director for the Connecticut Forest & Park Association, said the map is meant to give...

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DNR closes western Maryland hiking trail as Sandy’s effects linger

Maryland Forest Service officials have decided to close the popular, 17-mile Big Savage Hiking Trail after six lost hikers had to be rescued. The culprit, according to Steven W. Koehn, director, was tropical storm Sandy that struck Garrett County in October and toppled uncountable trees. “(This year) some folks from Outward Bound reported that there were obstructions,...

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Falcon Fledging Over, Precipice Back Open At Acadia National Park

With another successful nesting season in the Precipice Cliff area of Acadia National Park, the area’s trails have reopened to the public. The Precipice Cliff area, the Precipice Trail, and the Orange and Black Path on Champlain Mountain in the park reopened to the public on August 2nd. The peregrine falcons that have occupied this nesting territory since March...

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7th annual Pacific Crest Trail Days

From September 6-8, 2013 the 7th annual Pacific Crest Trail Days will take place in Cascade Locks, Oregon. PCT DAYS 2013 is a great time for people to check out the latest outdoor products and gear, participate in classes and activities, visit with old and new friends, listen to music & watch movies, and celebrate the past, present and future of the Pacific Crest...

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The Badlands: The national park’s terrain offers otherworldly experience

Where much of the drive to the Badlands is filled with billboards for kitschy tourist attractions, from the corny Corn Palace to the 1880 Town, the Badlands feel like they haven’t been spoiled by human hands. Rather, they’ve been shaped by years of geological events. Ebbing and flowing of waters and harsh winds have created these towers, ridges and pinnacles...

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Hiking Mount Rainier’s Wonderland Trail

For an hour we stared at Mount Rainier. Four tired hikers at the end of a long day, settling in at Klapatche Park with our freeze-dried dinners, and watching nature’s version of television. First, Mount Rainier spun a lenticular cloud and donned it like a hat. Then, slowly, the entire scene turned orange before the alpenglow faded to black. The Wonderland Trail in Mount...

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Will ‘Commoners’ Insist on Open Access to Yosemite?

The earliest efforts to preserve Yosemite and California’s other natural treasures were based on the noble idea that people need to spend more time enjoying nature and that we should all form a deeper connection with the mountains and forests. These days, many who champion environmental causes often want to keep out human beings, who they view mainly as despoilers. This...

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Hikers celebrate Margaret Stevenson’s 101st birthday with special hike to Mt. LeConte

The sun shone on high spirits at the top of Mt. LeConte in Great Smoky Mountains National Park as 68 hikers gathered at LeConte Lodge on July 17 to celebrate what would have been Margaret Stevenson’s 101st birthday. Margaret, one of the legendary figures of Mt. LeConte, hiked to Mt. LeConte 718 times, and was the first woman to complete all 900 miles of trails within the...

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Cooperative cajoling on the trail

Written by Jennifer Borch As I sat in the local pizza joint in Gorham, New Hampshire, contemplatively chewing the “house special,” Maple and Bacon pizza, I wondered aloud what I should write about this month. My daughter rolled her eyes and said, “Why don’t you write about how we ALWAYS humor you by going hiking?” I made a concerted effort not to roll my eyes back....

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Shi Shi: Hike to a pristine Washington beach

First there’s a drive through windy seaside and tree-lined roads. Then there’s a peek at the farthest northwest point in the lower 48 states. Finally, after a 2-mile hike along a wilderness trail with a descent down a 150-foot bluff, the reward is one of the most pristine spots on the coastline of Olympic National Park: Shi Shi Beach. Curved conifers stand...

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Trekking in Tasmania is a wet and wild adventure

As appealing as it may sound to get away from the over-connected predictabilities of 21st century life and travel to a place such as Tasmania, the downside is that, at times, unpredictability can feel a lot like misery. Indeed, one moment you’ll be hiking through a tangle of snow peppermints on a sunshine-dappled ridge, glacial lakes glittering beneath you,...

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First aid for snakebite could come in a nasal spray, researcher says

Treating a paralyzing snakebite could one day be as easy as sniffing a nasal spray, according to a California researcher who hopes to curb bite-related deaths that claim as many as 125,000 people worldwide each year. Dr. Matt Lewin, an expedition medicine expert with the University of California, San Francisco, says he has hit on a way to produce a cheap, portable...

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Big Bald Mountain on Appalachian Trail, Cherokee National Forest

Northeast of Mars Hill, NC, the Big Bald Range straddles the Tennesssee/North Carolina border and marks the boundary between Pisgah and Cherokee National Forests. The Appalachian Trail (AT) follows the state line, as it does for nearly all its length between these two states. The destination for this hike is 5,516 foot Big Bald Mountain, another of the grassy balds that...

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