Hiking Costa Rica’s wildest coastal trail

There is something magical about where forest meets the sea. The 11-kilometer coastal trail from Drake Bay to Corcovado, on southwestern Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, passes by towering giants surrounding rocky points pounded by Pacific waves. Broken only by wild beaches of all sizes, two small rivers and countless small streams, the trail is completely free of roads and...

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War in the Pacific Historical Park to host hikes and educational events in February

War in the Pacific National Historical Park, Guam will host a series of events in February providing information on Park resources, the people honored by War in the Pacific, and how events of the past still have influence today. Park Rangers will lead special guided tours of park sites and share personal stories of those who fought in the Pacific War. All events are free...

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The Family That Hikes Together

Parenting outside is easier than parenting inside. When things start to get too crazy, our mantra is “go outside!” And sometimes that means us, the parents, as well. Outside, the noise level is definitely less of an issue. If there is food being eaten, there is no sweeping to be done, and cleaning up the table means merely brushing the crumbs off. Outside, there is no...

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West Virginia’s Best State Parks for Winter Hiking

Many of West Virginia’s state parks are open daily year-round and afford visitors a plethora of winter hiking trails to choose from. Plus, admission at the majority of the parks is gratis. If the snow flies, most of the winter hiking trails double as cross country and snowshoeing trails. Here’s a list: Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park Blackwater Falls...

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Following in the footsteps of Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau had it right. “This was a cold, clear lake with scarcely a plant in it, of perhaps half an acre, and from a low ridge east of it was a fine view up the ravine,” he wrote. That came from his journal of July 9, 1858, a year when Thoreau hiked Mounts Washington, Lafayette and Monadnock. Many have followed in his footsteps, barebooting it...

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Partners lead acquisition of mountain for Cumberland Trail in Tennessee

The partnership for the Graysville Mountain Acquisition worked together for over two years to achieve this milestone that helps complete the 300-mile Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail, which starts in Cumberland Gap National Park on the Kentucky/Virginia/Tennessee border and stretches south to the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park just outside Chattanooga,...

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Butterfly pins available at Peninsula State Park, WI

A flock of colorful monarch butterfly pins has landed at Peninsula State Park. The monarch pins are available through Peninsula’s Like to Hike program. First established in 2001, Like to Hike promotes silent sports such as hiking, which enhances health and resource appreciation. Over the past decade, Like to Hike pins have featured the pelican, the pileated...

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Forest Service restoring popular trail in Sequoia National Forest with boardwalk

It has taken almost half a year, but the National Forest Service has decided to use a boardwalk to restore a popular path taken out of commission by the fall of two giant sequoia trees last September. The Forest Service went through a lengthy public consultation process to determine what to do about the ruined portion of about 100 feet of trail within the Trail of 100...

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American Hiking Society’s Volunteer Vacations build effective trail workers

Thousands of dedicated volunteers have sharpened their skills on trail stewardship projects hosted by American Hiking Society’s Volunteer Vacations. Volunteer crews provide their sweat equity to assist understaffed and underfunded federal, state, and local land agencies and organizations to keep America’s trails safe and accessible. Our nation’s trails...

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Two Memphis area greenways set to link up in summer

The Wolf River Greenway in Memphis will connect to the Germantown Greenway this summer – making it the first time two cities will be joined in Shelby County with an off-road paved trail for joggers, walkers and bicyclists. Once the two projects meet and are open, residents will be able to travel close to five miles along the Wolf River and then continue on the...

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Building the Iron Goat

The Iron Goat Trail is a rail-to-trial conversion along the old Great Northern Railway grade within the Stevens Pass Historic District in Washington State. Since 1990 volunteers have transformed this abandoned railway bed into a 10-mile hiking trail. Families, tourists, organized groups, rail fans and hikers of all abilities tread through lovely forests of ferns, alders...

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Guided geology hike explores footprints in the Ka‘u Desert

January 2012 marks the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s 3rd annual Volcano Awareness Month and its 100 year anniversary. In honor of Volcano Awareness Month, the Hawai‘i Volcanoes Institute presents “Footprints Trail to Mauna Iki,” a guided geological hike in the Ka‘u Desert. The event takes place in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Sunday, January 29 from 8:30 a.m. to...

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Santa Fe Trail Association emphasizes education and preservation

In 1821, the Santa Fe Trail became America’s first great international commercial highway, and for nearly sixty years thereafter was one of the nation’s great routes of adventure and western expansion. Mindful of this, the Santa Fe Trail Association (SFTA), a non-profit association with a 501 (c)(3) status, was created in 1986 to help protect and preserve it....

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First Nationwide Park Rating System

ParkVisitor.com, an attractive new online portal for outdoor enthusiasts and experts, made its debut at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market show sponsored by the Outdoor Industry Association. Built and powered by those who know and love the parks best – outdoor enthusiasts and experts – the website features valuable, free information about nearly 5,000 U.S....

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Maricopa regional trails system offers miles of trails

Maricopa County, AZ is home to one of the largest regional park systems in the United States. Ten parks in the system circle the Phoenix metropolitan area, preserving approximately 120,000 acres. For many Maricopa County residents, the cooler temperatures bring about a desire to get outside and reconnect with nature. This year, outdoor enthusiasts have access to...

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Lebanon’s 275 Mile Mountain Trail is a World Class Hiking Destination

A few years ago, John Keyrouz fled the fast lane in Los Angeles and returned to Lebanon. When he ventured into the mountains to relive fond childhood hiking memories, he was astounded to discover a world class trail system that transects 75 towns and villages and 275 miles of breathtaking mountain scenery. Besieged with a desire to uplift the country’s rural poor through...

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Couple on 5,000-mile hike to document human kindness

The shoes of Kirk and Cindy Sinclair have tasted the deserts of Utah and Nevada, the Garden of the Gods wilderness and the trails of the Appalachians. Now they are sampling the alluvial soils of Southwestern Indiana. The Norfolk, Conn., couple set out on May 25, 2011, from Point Reyes, Calif., on a more than 5,000-mile journey and mission to spread awareness of...

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Fight between local hikers, feds escalates

As hiker displeasure with the closure of a portion of the popular Bump and Grind trail continues to simmer, another trail closure controversy has erupted in the mountains above Palm Desert, California. The federal Bureau of Land Management last week installed a sign prohibiting dogs on the uppermost half-mile of the Hopalong Cassidy trail to where a well-known landmark,...

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Great free hiking apps for iPhone/Android

You don’t need a fancy GPS device to help you go “Hittin’ the Trails”. If you have a cell phone, there are some free apps for that! Here’s a few of the best hiking apps for iPhone and Android. AlpineQuest for Android is an app that features detailed topographic maps, which you can load up whether you have service or not. It also has a nice...

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BLM offers bald eagle hikes at Cache Creek, CA

The Bureau of Land Management will host free guided hikes to look for wintering bald eagles in the Cache Creek Natural Area in Lake County on Saturdays in January and February. Hikes will be held, Jan. 21 and 28, and Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25. Hikes will be canceled in rainy weather. Those interested in participating should reserve space for a specific date by calling the...

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Hocking Hills’ 47th annual famed Winter Hike

January 21 is the date for 2012 Annual Winter Hike. The six-mile trek from Old Man’s Cave to Ash Cave draws thousands of hikers each year to experience southeast Ohio’s most spectacular scenery. The hike features continuous starts from 9-11 a.m. Hot bean soup is served midway at Cedar Falls for a donation and a shuttle bus will return hikers from Ash Cave to...

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Coastal California’s hidden hikes

It’s not the Golden Gate Bridge or the golf course at the Ritz-Carlton; it’s not Pebble Beach or the Monterey Bay Aquarium. When it comes to the sweetest attractions in coastal northern California, try getting off the beaten path for some under-the-radar hiking on trails that are truly spectacular. These three hikes lie along the ever-popular Pacific Coast...

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Duke Energy to retire some coal-fired plants

Duke Energy agreed in a legal settlement to retire more than 1,600 megawatts of old coal-fired power plants, making enforceable the shutdown plans Duke had previously revealed. The settlement removes the last legal challenges to Duke’s newest N.C. coal-fired unit, at the Cliffside plant in Rutherford County about 60 miles west of Charlotte. The Environmental...

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Tennessee State Parks kick off 75th anniversary

The Tennessee State Parks system is celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2012. The Tennessee State Parks system was established through legislation in 1937, and those laws – with modifications and additions over the years – remain the framework for park operations today. As in most states, it was state cooperation with federal programs that instigated...

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Third edition of Canadian Rockies hiking book released

In celebration of a 20 year milestone since he published his first book, author and photographer, Graeme Pole, has announced the release of the third, fully revised edition of his book, Walks & Easy Hikes in the Canadian Rockies. Boasting 151 walks and hikes and written for the “causal walker and hiker,” Pole describes the many trails of the Rockies accompanied by...

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Jones Gap Trail and Coldspring Branch Trail Loop, Jones Gap State Park, SC

Jones Gap State Park sits on the Blue Ridge Escarpment in northwestern South Carolina very near the state line with its neighbor to the north. Along with Caesars Head State Park, these two share an area known as Mountain Bridge Wilderness. The Jones Gap Trail follows the Saluda River along an old interstate road built by Solomon Jones in the 1850s. In this backcountry...

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Candy Mountain, WA trail proposed

Thousands of hikers who trek up Badger Mountain in the Tricities area of Washington might have a new, nearby hill to climb. Two private property owners plan to create a public trail for hikers and horseback riders on the peak next to Badger Mountain. Two developers are working on a plan that would include a cluster development of 40 homes on the east shoulder of the...

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Trekking poles won’t be flying in carry-on baggage

It’s on the TSA no-no list, but it may fit in checked bags, or hikers can buy a stick in their destination country. Question: We are planning a walking holiday in Ireland along the Dingle Way. Are we permitted to bring our hiking poles as carry-on items along with our day packs on our flights, or must they be checked? If they are to be checked, any recommendations...

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Senior hikers hit their stride, at their own pace

Rejecting the idea that they have to “keep up” is an attitude shift that many hikers are making as they move into their 60s, 70s and 80s, and they are heading out onto hiking trails in increasing numbers. In the past seven years, the Portland, OR Parks & Recreation Senior Recreation program has more than doubled the number of weekly hiking trips it...

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Hikers voices wanted: National forests ask trail users to step up and join the conversation

More than 5 million people hit the trails in the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests last year — a number that continues to grow not only as more people move to the mountains but also as outdoor recreation increases in popularity. The use of trails is at an all-time high, but the money to maintain them is shrinking. The Catch-22 has prompted the forest service to...

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