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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Loowit Falls awesome payoff for hiking Mount St. Helens

You might think tourists would crowd a trail that leads to a hot waterfall in the mouth of a recently active volcano. Strangely, they don’t. Mount St. Helens hasn’t erupted spectacularly for a few years, so most of the National Forest Service visitor centers are shuttered and the huge parking lots are quiet. Only three trails are at all busy — and they are...

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Cottonwood Canyon opens as Oregon’s second-largest state park

Unique and bold approach to running a land conservation trust pays dividends this week when Oregon dedicates the state’s second largest state park, located on the lower John Day River. Cottonwood Canyon State Park encompasses 8,000 acres, from the river bottom up 1,250-foot canyon walls to wheat fields and wind turbines on the rim. The desert park in Sherman and...

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Appalachian Trail Conservancy Celebrates 3rd Annual Family Hiking Day

On Saturday, September 28 at 4 East First Street, Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), invites families to venture out on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) for the 3rd Annual Family Hiking Day. Held on National Public Lands Day, Family Hiking Day is an initiative developed by the ATC to introduce families to the A.T. and the benefits that...

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Seeking PCT volunteers for September 27-29 in Washington

What’s the best way to enjoy a crisp, early-autumn weekend? Out on the Pacific Crest Trail, of course! Join the Sasquatch crew in the Indian Heaven Wilderness, Washington for the weekend of September 27-29 to help with their last project of the season. They will be camping near Blue Lake to do some tread work on the trail near Berry Mountain and enjoy the changing...

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Chimney Rock State Park, NC earns recognition as environmentally friendly destination

Chimney Rock State Park has earned recognition for its environmentally friendly practices, according to officials with the state’s NC GreenTravel Initiative. “We’re proud of all the great North Carolina tourist spots that have earned recognition as NC GreenTravel destinations,” said John Skvarla, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, or...

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As Adirondack Reserve Grows, Asking How Wild It Should Stay

A 250-foot waterfall, one of the tallest in the Northeast, tumbles over giant slabs of marble. A chain of 13 crystalline lakes and ponds teems with bass and lake trout. A 10-mile stretch of the Hudson River gorge winds through dense stands of hemlock, white pine and red maple. These natural features make up the more than 21,000 acres of the Adirondacks that were recently...

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TAAN unveils three new trekking trails in Nepal

Trekking Agencies´ Association of Nepal (TAAN) has unveiled three trekking routes – Humla-Rara, Rara-Khaptad and Jaljala Trek – in mid and far western development regions. Sushil Ghimire, secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), launched maps and promotional DVDs of the new trails during the 35th annual general meeting of...

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Draft Assessment Report Available Online

The U.S. Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina has made the draft Assessment Report, prepared as part of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forest management plan revision process, available online at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/nprevision. Over the last year, the Forest Service has gathered information and compiled it into a draft Assessment Report. The...

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StrongVolt 7W Portable Solar Charger and PowerBank Mini Portable Battery Pack

StongVolt Solar Chargers work with your phones, tablets, GPS or any USB chargeable devices wherever you go. You can keep your phone or USB device fully charged anywhere there is sun. StrongVolt Solar Chargers are a must for emergencies, natural disasters, or on any outdoor adventure. For hikers like us, keeping your phone charged in case of emergencies is essential to...

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Missoula duo completes 3,100-mile border-to-border trek on CDT

On Friday the 13th, Leland Earls and Rachel Renne ran out of trail. They also ran out of Continental Divide in the United States. It took 150 days to walk the spine of the nation, from the Mexican border to Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada. “The Pintlars, the Wind River Range, the San Juans, the Bob Marshall — it seems every big-name wilderness, we got to walk...

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High Windy Trail, YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly

Nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains near Asheville, North Carolina, YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly is a full-service conference center situated on 1,200 acres of woodland beautified by mountain streams, wildflowers, ridges, valleys and spectacular views. What is little known about the property is the extensive hiking trail system. Primary among these is the High...

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Three Idaho hikes to find autumn colors

No bugs. Impressive color. Mild temperatures. Falling leaves. Empty trails. How can you not love the serenity of fall hiking? Most people associate Labor Day with the end of mountain play, but veteran hikers know this is the most spectacular time of the year to enjoy the woods. Depending on where your fall itinerary takes you, here are three excellent hikes in Idaho...

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New guides available for local day hikes on Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Hikers hoping to explore a portion of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in North Carolina without lugging an overnight pack now can consult a detailed series of online day hike guides. The new guides focus on three sections of the 1,000-mile trail, including the 60-mile Falls Lake Trail. The guide for Falls Lake features 18 day hikes that range from shorter than one mile to...

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Earthquake Swarm Rattling Yellowstone National Park

More than 100 earthquakes have shaken Yellowstone National Park since last Tuesday, with the strongest, a tremblor of 3.6 magnitude, felt Sunday, according to the University of Utah Semisograph Stations. The quake occurred at 9:53:02 a.m. Sunday; the epicenter of the shock was located in Yellowstone’s Lower Geyser Basin area, 8 miles north of Old Faithful, and 15...

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Encounter solitude on solo hikes

Of all the really good backpacking safety advice, there’s one tip worth disregarding from time to time: Don’t hike alone. When Karen Povey tells people she spent a week by herself in the summer of 2012 hiking 93 miles around Mount Rainier, she’s sometimes treated like a daredevil. And it makes her laugh. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” said the 50-year-old...

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Veterans on Warrior Hike finish Appalachian Trail in Maine; aids transition to civilian life

After six months, four U.S. military veterans have completed their hike of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, ending with a celebration at the summit of Mount Katahdin. The 2,185-mile Warrior Hike, called “Walk Off The War,” gives veterans a chance to process their wartime experiences while hiking with others who have been through the same thing. It is designed...

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Rocky Mountain National Park Closed By Ongoing Storms

An unrelenting storm system Friday, September 13th forced the closure of Rocky Mountain National Park, where rangers were escorting visitors out of the park. Rangers were working to escort what few remaining visitors were left in the park in the wake of major rainfall in the park and flooding in neighboring Estes Park, Superintendent Vaughn Baker said. They likely...

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Groups interested in preserving Mount Major hiking trails

Each year, thousands of people hike the four trails leading up to Mount Major in New Hampshire to enjoy the stunning view. “You can see from the top, Lake Winnipesaukee,” said hiker Jenaya Paradise. “It’s really a wonderful view.” The lush landscape, the waterfalls and the trails of Mount Major are all part of an outdoor experience...

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A vision for trails overlooking the Golden Gate

A comprehensive trails and bikeways plan was developed for the Presidio, a former military base which has been transferred to the National Park Service to become part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco. The Presidio Trails and Bikeways Master Plan will provide park visitors, neighbors, and Presidio residents with an interconnected, safe, and...

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Volunteers add 80 Miles to the iconic Colorado Trai

The U.S. Forest Service had a need, the Colorado Trail Foundation (CTF) saw an opportunity, and trail users are the winners. Last year, the CTF, with Forest Service blessing, added 80 miles of tread to The Colorado Trail, an increasingly popular long-distance track spanning nearly 500 miles of spectacular Colorado high country between Denver and Durango. The “new 80”...

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Monsoon damage keeps Kaibab hiking trail closed

Hiking trails in Grand Canyon National Park experienced heavy rain damage from recent monsoons, and one remains closed to visitors. The South Kaibab Trail, just below Cedar Ridge, was temporarily closed until crews cleared debris from the area. The North Kaibab Trail below Supai Tunnel remains closed off until trail work is complete, which officials say will be early...

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Chestnut trees highlight of hike

Take a walk along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The National Park Service will take hikers on a journey to explore the mighty chestnut tree and its future in Western North Carolina. Parkway rangers will lead the easy-to-moderate hike at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 13 along two miles of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Participants will learn about the chestnut trees once-critical role in...

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park To Mark 80th Anniversary Of Civilian Conservation Corps

Saturday, September 14 at Great Smoky Mountains National Park a look back at the Civilian Conservation Corps is planned for the 80th anniversary of the workers’ program. The day’s events will take place in and around the Sugarlands Visitor Center from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. All the activities are free to the public. The activities will include an interpretive...

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Family-friendly hiking trails in Maryland

It was pretty much a given that Joe Vogelpohl’s kids would love hiking. As a ranger at Patapsco Valley State Park, Vogelpohl spends most of his days on trails and often takes his children, Isaac, 4, and Cecelia, 1, along on weekends. Cecilia is usually strapped to Vogelpohl’s back, while Isaac can hike four miles, walking most of the way and being carried...

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Bridges & Structures for Trails: A Tribute to Carroll Vogel

If, as trailbuilders and advocates, we believe that trails form a critical piece of our green infrastructure, an essential component in the fabric of American life, then suspension bridges make a unique contribution to that fabric and infrastructure. They carry us over rivers, valleys and through treetops. They link together important destinations and communities. They...

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Fall is prime time to view new stretch of Superior Hiking Trail

Working alongside geologists and ecologists to complete the last two segments of the Superior Hiking Trail taught volunteer Leon Pitzen to see the 296-mile-long footpath along the North Shore ridgeline in a new light. “Most people come up and run from one vista to the next,” said Pitzen, a former St. Cloud resident who retired to Two Harbors. He’s learned to appreciate...

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