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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Calumet Trail offers 9 miles of adventure

Research shows walking benefits both the body and the mind, and the Northwest Indiana region is full of parks, trails and nature preserves that highlight the beauty and diverse landscape of the area. As one of the region’s longest single walkways, the Calumet Trail is the perfect place for walkers who enjoy trekking a variety of distances. It’s also one of...

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Introducing Gear Up for Geocaching: More Treasure Than August Can Handle

Calling all geocachers, both expert and new! Geocaching HQ is celebrating “31 Days of Geocaching” this August and awarding a new Geocaching digital souvenir for each day during the month that you find a geocache. To help geocachers get out and log their finds during the month of August, Geocaching is sponsoring a new promotion called Gear Up for Geocaching. Three lucky...

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Young hiker walking from North Dakota to New York on North Country Trail

John D Rockefeller, the American industrialist once said: “I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” He might have been talking about 23-year-old Luke “Strider” Jordan, the good-natured Minnesota hiker now walking the entire 4,600 mile North Country...

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Hiking history: Kansas City man marches through Saratoga along historic Knox Trail

A Kansas City man recently traveled to upstate New York to begin walking the historic Knox Trail that passes through Saratoga County. Dave Fagerberg hiked all the way from Ticonderoga to Mechanicville, following the route Col. Henry Knox used in winter 1775-76 to deliver cannon to Gen. George Washington in Boston, which forced the evacuation of British troops and ships...

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Britain’s National Parks: As nature intended

Great Britain has 15 diverse national parks, from the New Forest’s pony-grazed heath and woodland to the high mountain plateau of the Cairngorms. They are spectacular landscapes, and according to a 2012 survey, nine out of 10 English people say national parks are important to them. The parks are also lived in and welcoming. And this is never more true than during...

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Teens aim to open hiking trails along Fort River to people with disabilities

Thirteen teens chose to forgo a summer job with air conditioning, instead braving the heat and fighting off mosquitoes to assemble a universally accessible hiking trail along the Fort River in Massachussetts. “It’s really inspiring to see these kids give up a summer to do manual labor outdoors. That’s saying a lot for them,” said Heather Furman, 27, an AmeriCorps member...

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New Zealander Hopes to Hike North and South Korea

Roger Shepherd, a former police officer from New Zealand, holds the unusual record of being the first foreigner to set foot in many of the remotest mountains of North Korea since at least the 1950-53 Korean War. Now, he is chasing a dream that looks even more daunting, something no one in living memory has attempted. He wants to walk the entire Baekdudaegan, the mountain...

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Trails to Turkish history and culture

Turkey is dense with both history and natural beauty, and much of it remains undiscovered or under-appreciated. The task of bringing these treasures back to the world’s consciousness is often left to enthusiasts, writers, or individual tour operators who have found a love of this region and its people. However, tourism in the country is often concentrated around the...

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With help from Boeing, the Palmetto Trail may finally be finished

Back in 1994, the Palmetto Conservation Foundation (PCF) decided the state of South Carolina needed a greenway. Connecting the sea to the mountains, it would be a sort of interstate highway for hikers and mountain bikers. In those days, South Carolina had a much different kind of state government. Then-governor Carroll Campbell allocated the first funding for what has...

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NC National Forest Swimming Discouraged Due to High Water Levels

FOREST SERVICE ALERT The U.S. Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina is urging visitors to the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests to avoid swimming in the creeks, rivers and streams until water levels recede. Water levels are more than a foot above normal in some waterways. High water levels and strong currents pose a safety risk to visitors. Three...

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World Ranger Day Coming This Week

“World Ranger Day,” one day out of the year to show your appreciation for national park rangers the world over, arrives this week. The International Ranger Federation (IRF) was founded to support the work of rangers as the key protectors of the world’s protected areas. In 2006, at the World Ranger Congress in Scotland, IRF delegates decided that July 31...

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Section of White River National Forest trail to close for repairs

Part of a popular trail in the White Mountain National Forest will be closed next month for repairs to damage done during Tropical Storm Irene. The closure affects part of the Lincoln Woods Trail located off the Kancamagus Highway in Lincoln, New Hampshire. The U.S. Forest Service said it was able to stabilize the trail for short-term use, but a section of it requires...

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Jockey’s Ridge offers dune, hiking trails

Going to the North Carolina Outer Banks? Take time for a climb to the top of Jockey’s Ridge, an 80- to 100-foot sand dune at Nags Head. Nature has provided a gigantic “sandbox” for children and adults to enjoy. Jockey’s Ridge, the tallest sand dune system in the eastern United States, was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1974. The following year, the N.C....

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