Nature, a classroom setting

Doug Bassett doesn’t own a cellphone, and when it comes to studying birds, bugs and trees he’d much rather head outside and into a 14,000-acre classroom called Letchworth State Park than turn on a computer. “The Internet is wonderful, television is wonderful, communication at a touch of a button is wonderful,” said Bassett, 57, Letchworth’s...

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Why Knees Swell After Hiking

The sport of hiking is no walk in the park. You spend hours climbing and descending hills, which requires strength and endurance. However, even the fittest athletes can suffer swollen knees after hiking. The constant flexing of the knee is often too much for some parts of your body. The most common injuries fall into two categories. The iliotibial band stretches from...

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Hiking Jeju’s Oreum

Three-hundred and sixty-eight. Everyone invested in Jeju, S. Korea knows the significance of the number. It’s the amount of oreum, or volcanic cones, dotting the island’s landscape. Some oreum are lined with pristine hiking trails, others are overrun with cattle. Some have no real paths, others are manned with fire watchers. Some are closed temporarily, others are closed...

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After fire and floods, Bandelier officials reopen backcountry trails for hiking

After a summer of fire and floods, officials at Bandelier National Monument reopened the park’s backcountry trails to hikers on Thanksgiving Day. Visitors were welcomed to explore the northern New Mexico park, but Superintendent Jason Lott said they should be prepared for rough conditions. Flames from the largest blaze in the state’s recorded history passed...

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Wilson Canyon Nevada hiking trail now open to the public

The 3-mile hiking trail in the Wilson Canyon area near Reno, NV, planned since 2005, is now open to the public. The trail is on the south side of Wilson Canyon, southeast of the Walker River bridge. It begins at the trailhead situated at the parking area at the west end of the canyon, traverses over the ridge to the east, runs north back to the river and then along the...

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‘Throw yourself on the Universe’ and take a hike

When you hear Triple Crown most often horse racing comes to mind but in the case of Stephanie White, 1990 graduate of Medomak Valley High School in Maine, it means hiking the top three trails in the United States. A school trip with biology teacher Pam Ramsey to Mt. Katahdin when White was a sophomore in high school spurred her hiking adventures. Ramsey was telling the...

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Asheville area Adventure of the Week: Hike through Butter Gap

If you’re planning to load up on starches, sweets and buttery mashed potatoes this Thanksgiving, do yourself a favor and plan a big hike afterward to burn off the calories. And on Thanksgiving weekend, what is more appropriate than a hike through Butter Gap? The Carolina Mountain Club is conducting a guided hike in the area this weekend, but with some map perusing and...

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Staggeringly Tall and Mind-Blowingly Old: Some Incredible Examples of Trees

One of the great joys of hiking is spending time with the trees. In 1997, when 24-year-old Julia “Butterfly” Hill climbed a tree and didn’t come down for two years, many thought she was crazy. Julia resided near the top of the giant redwood she called “Luna” for 728 days, thus saving it – and a three acre protective area around the tree – from destruction. She also...

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Five Ladders Replaced on Grandfather’s Most Famous Trail

Hikers taking the trek across Grandfather Mountain’s NC ridgeline can now enjoy five new ladders on the Grandfather Trail. The new ladders on MacRae Cliff replace the old ones that had been up for decades on what many people consider to be one of the most exciting spots along the ridgeline hike. The five ladders are all in a row and transport hikers along a steep...

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The lure of West Virginia’s woodlands

Amid the hectic hassles of daily life – job pressures, commuter traffic, 24-hour news channels, endless politics, etc. – there’s a quiet escape: the pure simplicity of walking in the woods. It’s free. It’s serene. It restoreth the soul. Especially in West Virginia, the opportunity is all around us in jumbled hills, shady ravines, winding...

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Jennifer Pharr Davis releases new hiking guide book, “Five-Star Trails: Asheville”

As the only guide to focus solely on the Asheville area, Five-Star Trails: Asheville: Your Guide to the Area’s Most Beautiful Hikes presents trails for the hiker in all of us. Whether readers are novices, families, experienced hikers, or backpackers, this guide is sure to inspire them to hit the trails. Five-Star Trails: Asheville: Your Guide to the Area’s...

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Top 5 Winter Hiking Destinations

The thrill of summer is long gone. The warm air breaks for a cool breeze and the spirit for adventure breaks with it. Hiking boots get thrown to the back of the closet and camping gear gets a special corner in the back of the garage. It’s time to hide indoors for another winter. It’s no surprise people don’t hike as much in the off-season. Winter...

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Florence Nature Preserve, Hickory Nut Gorge

Donated to the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Florence in 1996, the Florence Nature Preserve is 600 acres on the slopes of Little Pisgah Mountain. With more than five miles of public hiking trails, much of them along a beautiful mountain stream, the preserve contains old growth forest, views of Hickory Nut Gorge, remnants of old cabins, and...

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Land preservation effort melds ecology, economy

The dramatic gorges, waterfalls and forests of the Southern Cumberland Plateau 80 miles southeast of Nashville have drawn Middle Tennessee residents for more than a century to enjoy cool mountain air and clean water. But with thousands of acres of privately owned timberland poised to be sold, the natural playground for sightseers, rock climbers, hikers and hunters is...

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Loving Laredo Mega Clean-Up of Chacon Hike & Bike Trail

Volunteers from throughout the community are needed this Sunday for a unique partnership that will involve nearly 60 soldiers from the National Guard unit, members of RGISC and Laredo, Tx city staff. Civilian volunteers and soldiers will haul off debris and trash from the Chacon Creek bed and trail route. The targeted area will be the stretch from Hwy 359 to S. Zapata...

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Residents embrace newly completed River Mountains Trail

Southern Nevadans who enjoy the outdoors are willing to endure summer’s stop-drop-and-roll heat because they know the sun will eventually retreat from the Mojave Desert and give way to perfect fall days. Those days have arrived, and that means bicyclists and hikers, joggers, dog walkers and picnickers are heading to the just-finished River Mountains Trail, a...

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Hiking the Redwoods with California’s ‘Squatchers’

Amateur researchers in the United States continue to eagerly search for the mysterious creature known as Bigfoot, staking out California’s redwood forests at night in their hunt for the elusive beast. Despite many claimed sightings, the existence of Sasquatch has never been proven. Yet that hasn’t stopped the obsessed from pursuing his giant footprints....

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World War One’s lasting legacy: A stroll through South Tyrol’s turbulent past

Incredible as it seems, the Col di Lana was not the only northern Italian mountain to lose its peak during the First World War. While historians always focus their attention on the flat fields of Flanders as the epicentre of fighting during the Great War, right here in South Tyrol, the Austrians and Italians spent two years slugging it out in a battle that yielded a...

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NPCA Enhances Website and Information Exchange

The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) updated their website design overnight, enhancing the attractiveness and overall ease of use. The color choices and large text are very easy to read and soothing. I didn’t have to reach for my reading glasses. The integration of outstanding landscape photography makes an appealing background. Navigation of the site...

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Hikers should be cautious after wind gusts toppled trees in Rocky Mountain National Park and Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests

Heavy snows in Rocky Mountain National Park have launched the snowshoeing season earlier than usual, and warm temperatures at lower elevations foster fall hiking. However, throughout the national parks and the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, recent high winds have blown down heavy, old trees on a scale not seen for nearly four decades. Two areas in Rocky Mountain...

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The challenges of hiking (and parenthood)

The documentary piqued our interest in hiking. I’ve always loved the mountains – the endless succession of ridge upon ridge, each a microcosm teeming with life, with near-instant weather changes and country folk set in their ways. I’m not like most urbanites; the word “hillbilly” doesn’t strike fear in my heart. My grandparents were...

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Recyling outdoor gear: first industry steps towards a greener future?

How green is your outdoor gear? No, not the color; do you ever consider the environmental consequences of the clothes and equipment you use, or the trips you make to the mountains and lakes to enjoy your outdoor pursuits? There are moves afoot to acknowledge the effects our outdoor activities have on the very surroundings we treasure and which are one of the main reasons...

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Hiking: It’s Not Just for Professionals

When many people think of hiking, they conjure up ideas of heavily backpacked men and women with a walking stick in one hand and Sherpas by their side. They see hikers as these supernatural athletes who can (and do) walk for days while barely breaking a sweat. But that is far from the truth. Hiking today is as simple as finding an “off road” trail and...

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Mount LeConte llama packer reaches end of the trail

Three days a week — Monday, Wednesday, and Friday — he leads the llama team to LeConte Lodge atop Mount LeConte, the third highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After delivering clean linens and fresh food, he repacks the panniers with dirty laundry and garbage and returns to the parking lot. Householder and the llamas hike 40 miles a week while the...

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Hike to an ancient world

Muscles aching, nose running and forehead covered in sweat, it’s a matter of forcing both legs to move. Ruins dot the landscape along 26 miles of stone steps — each one seemingly steeper than the last. The structures provided a respite for the weary traveler in ancient times — a place to cleanse the body and prepare the mind for the final destination: Machu Picchu. After...

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Friends of the Smokies to host guided holiday hike along Mingus Creek Trail

Add a little outdoor joy to the holiday season with a guided hike of the Mingus Creek Trail, followed by a trip to the new Oconaluftee Visitor Center for some Great Smoky Mountain history and holiday shopping. Friends of the Smokies members receive 15% percent off purchases. Tuesday, Dec. 6, hiking enthusiast and author Danny Bernstein (Hiking North Carolina’s Blue...

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Hunderds Of Hikers Expected To Protest Trail Closure

Hundreds of hikers are expected to protest the closure of the upper Bump and Grind Trail today by hiking into the closed area, but the California Department of Fish and Game will not likely enforce the barrier. The protest is set to begin at 10 a.m. at the Palm Desert start of the trail off Painters Path. “We understand why they are unhappy about this (closure), but...

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Made in America: New Report Finds National Parks at a Tipping Point

As Washington policymakers await action by the Congressional Super Committee, the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) released a new report titled “Made in America: Investing in National Parks for Our Heritage and Our Economy,” which details how national parks and visitors could be impacted if the Super Committee fails and mandatory across-the-board...

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Tracks project acquiring land for new trail sections in Orange County

Two segments will connect Arovista Park with the La Floresta development. Acquisition has been the focus lately for the city’s Tracks at Brea project, as land continues to be purchased to turn abandoned railroad tracks into multi-use hiking trails. The Brea City Council recently approved the purchase of two tracts of land for the planned trail, which will begin...

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Bored of the same old routine? Go take a hike

San Diegans often overlook the abundance of enjoyable hiking trails that are located near their beautiful city. Hiking is becoming more and more popular among young adults, because it is a great way to enjoy the scenery while getting a great workout. Its the perfect “green” activity and is very rewarding as well. Here are some spots in San Diego that are...

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