Britain’s 25 best spring walks

The exuberance of spring is impossible to ignore. And for fair-weather walkers, brushing cobwebs off boots and searching out walking poles, it’s like a love affair renewed. Spring walking is a welcome assault on the senses – warmth, light and colour replacing the damp greys and browns of winter. Everyone has their favourite local walks, but these 25 circular routes have...

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Smokies Park Invites Public Comment on Cades Cove Solar Energy Project

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials invite the public to comment through March 20, 2017 on a proposed sustainable energy project. The National Park Service is proposing a solar power system to support the electrical power needs of the Cable Mill area in Cades Cove. This project would reduce usage of traditional fossil fuels and provide opportunities for park...

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Hikers to hit the trails in Allegheny 100 Hiking Challenge

The Allegheny National Forest chapter of the North Country Trail Association will hold its eighth annual Allegheny 100 Hiking Challenge (A-100) on June 9-11, 2017. The hike will take place throughout the Allegheny National Forest, and is billed as an endurance challenge of individual stamina, determination, and resilience. It is not a race. Hikers will traverse 100...

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Breathe Deep (and then thank the EPA that you can)

The postcard is almost 40 years old. Angelenos of a certain age will recognize it-a wide-angled, aerial shot of the downtown core of Los Angeles and its then, much-more modest skyline. Framed by the intersection of the Santa Monica and Harbor freeways, the whole scene is muffled in a brown smear of smog. Barely visible in the deep background, just poking above the thick...

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Tune up your compass in the Smokies

Do you follow the North Star? For those sunny days when you’re hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where the night sky is unfortunately unavailable to assist you with navigation, make sure you’re on the right heading with proper adjustment to your compass. Did you know your compass needle doesn’t point directly to the north? The earths...

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The Nomadik Outdoors Gear Subscription Boxes

You subscribe: to have outdoors gear delivered directly to your home. Nomadik curates: by seeking out high-end products and testing. Then delivers: every month Nomadik delivers the box to your doorstep. Subscription services are gaining popularity in the shopping world. Last month I told you about Trailfoody, monthly trail food kits. This month I introduce you to The...

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Spring in the Smokies

Spring has sprung in the Smokies. Daffodils have popped up, trees are budding, and grass is sprouting green but that’s not necessarily a good thing. For a lot of the country spring has arrived about 3 weeks too soon, a growing result of climate change according to a recent study shared by the US Geological Survey. Looking at data spanning the past 112 years, the...

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How to get away from it all on Hong Kong’s longest country trail

Head to Lantau’s southeast to tackle the 18.5 km Chi Ma Wan Country Trail for secluded bays, sweeping panoramas and scattered hamlets along deserted paths. If you’re heading to Lantau Island for a wild outing, the chances are you’ll be bound for the central hills – to climb either Sunset or Lantau peak, or both – or aiming to stride along nearby stretches of the Lantau...

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The great Greenland meltdown

From a helicopter clattering over Greenland’s interior on a bright July day, the ice sheet below tells a tale of disintegration. Long, roughly parallel cracks score the surface, formed by water and pressure; impossibly blue lakes of meltwater fill depressions; and veiny networks of azure streams meander west, flowing to the edge of the sheet and eventually out to...

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Hiking in Mexico City: a peak experience beyond the tourist trail

Several mountains are within striking distance of Mexico City. Nevado de Toluca, Mexico’s fourth-highest mountain, rises to the southwest. To the east, climbers can try their luck on the Paso de Cortés, which cuts through the two towering volcanoes Hernán Cortés traveled through when he first saw the Valley of Mexico. Then there’s the closest of the bunch:...

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Antarctica’s sea ice just hit the lowest level ever seen

Since it’s summertime there, sea ice cover is poised to drop even further. Sea ice can fluctuate from year to year, but over the past 20 years, Antarctica has lost 61,390 square miles of ice — a Florida-sized chunk. That’s Act I of the unfolding Antarctic drama. In Act II, the continent’s fourth-biggest ice shelf, Larsen C, sheds a Delaware-sized iceberg. It could break...

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Indian Creek and Juney Whank Loops at Deep Creek, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Deep Creek is one of many popular recreation areas found in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Camping and picnicking are in abundance, as well as plenty of waterways for fishing and tubing. The assorted hiking trails also make it a fun destination for you and me. This hike, a combination of two different small loop trails affords the opportunity to visit the three...

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‘Widow makers’ close popular California trails

You see that big tree looming over you? Or over your house, your car? Or along the trail at your favorite park? It could be what we call a “widow maker.” That is, a big tree (or limb) about to fall. Saturated soil that can’t hold upright the weight of big trees has led to a stunning array of downed trees in parks, backyards, front yards… in other words, everywhere....

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Trekking the Sinai Trail: The new hardcore hiking route trying to save Egypt’s Bedouin heritage

The 220km-long Sinai Trail, or Darb Sina, is part of a Middle East-wide hiking network voted the number one new trail in the world by National Geographic. It’s neither the longest nor the hardest of the world’s long-distance routes, but hiking a landscape steeped in history, guided by Bedouin whose lives are intertwined with the same land, is definitely one...

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China smashes solar energy records, as coal use and CO2 emissions fall once again

With millions of jobs up for grabs, China seizes clean tech leadership from United States. We are witnessing a historic passing of the baton of global leadership on technology and climate from the United States to China. The new U.S. administration has said it will abandon climate action, gut clean energy funding, and embrace coal and oil — the dirty energy sources of...

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Can Grasslands, The Ecosystem Underdog, Play an Underground Role in Climate Solutions?

Globally, grasslands are one of the most converted and least protected ecosystems. The rich soil of Earth’s grasslands plays an important role in feeding the world and because of this much of our grassland has been converted to row-crop agriculture. Loss of grasslands is a big problem for two reasons: The continual conversion of native grassland puts all grassland...

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Get Fit on the Fells

Fell running has been around since the 1800s, necessity demanded that shepherds could navigate hilly and mountainous terrain quickly, in all weathers. Events began to be held where locals would pit their skills against each other, and the sport of Fell Running was created. The Lake District in the UK is the ideal place for Fell running, or even simple hiking, with a...

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Friends of Mountains to Sea Trail to Kick Off 40th Anniversary Celebration

The 40th anniversary celebration for North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail will kick-off March 24-26,2017 at a Friends of MST annual meeting in Elkin. On September 9, 1977 Howard Lee, then Secretary of Natural Resources and Community Development, proposed a “state trail from the mountains to the coast.” The annual meeting, called the Gathering of Friends, will be the...

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Scientists sound the alarm on impending ‘major extinction event’

In June of 2016, a group of scientists reported that a tiny rodent found only on a single island off the coast of Australia had officially gone extinct — the first mammalian causality, according to the scientists, of man-made climate change. The tiny mammals might have been the first to go extinct due to man-made climate change, but it’s unlikely they’ll be the last. One...

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Smokies park plans solar eclipse viewing at Clingmans Dome

Where will you be on August 21, 2017 when the solar eclipse casts its shadow across the United States? At Great Smoky Mountains National Park, officials are planning a party to help you both view and understand the science of the eclipse. The park is offering an opportunity to experience the total eclipse through a special, ticketed event at Clingmans Dome as well as...

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Thru-Hikers in the Blast Zone: Pipelines Will Intersect the Appalachian Trail

Two pipelines are planned to intersect the Appalachian Trail. The 300-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline will cut across the A.T. near Virginia’s Peters Mountain Wilderness Area. The 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline pipeline also is planned to cross the Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia’s Augusta and Nelson Counties. Both pipelines will require clearing...

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Picture the Past: Forest History Society Repeat Photography Project

The Forest History Society has recently launched a web resource showcasing sets of repeat photographs for scientific study and education in the domain of forest and land management in support of the Society’s mission. Repeat photography is the practice of taking photographs of a specific location at two or more different times. It is a powerful visual resource for...

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Hiking initiative in Bavarian Alps aims to integrate refugees

A new initiative in Bavaria hopes to improve integration among newly-arrived refugees by introducing them to the “alpine” way of life. Locals volunteer as guides on the mountaineering tour. Many refugees who arrive in Germany have never seen snow in their life. A trip to the Bavarian Alps is therefore an unprecedented experience. But it’s not only the...

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Could Grizzlies Make Good Neighbors?

For 20,000 years, grizzly bears padded over Washington’s North Cascades, foraging for berries and plants, hunting small prey, and fishing for salmon in frigid streams. Then a few centuries ago, white settlers showed up and starting shooting, and driving the bears out. Today only a handful of grizzlies remain in these mountains. Documentaries and fictional films, from...

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Is It Okay to Enjoy the Warm Winters of Climate Change?

This is not how February is supposed to feel. From D.C. to Denver, from Charlotte to Chicago, towns and cities across the United States have posted strings of record-breaking summery days in what is normally the final month of winter. Wednesday was only the third time since 1880 that Green Bay, Wisconsin, cracked 60 degrees Fahrenheit in February. Ice on the Great Lakes...

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How bad will allergy season be this spring?

Suffer from seasonal allergies? Depending on where you live, you may already be sneezing, sniffling and rubbing your itchy eyes. And you may be in for a whopper of a spring. The first pollen culprit each year is typically trees. If rainfall was good the year before, resulting in solid tree growth, that typically means healthy trees. Combine that with relatively warm...

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Canadian National Parks News: Update on Infrastructure Work

With an influx of visitors expected to visit Canadian National Parks in 2017 Parks Canada has spent the past several months getting some of its most popular visitor attractions ready for Canadians who want to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation by visiting national parks and national historic sites. Parks Canada will continue to upgrade its infrastructure...

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37% of Norway’s new cars are electric. They expect it to be 100% in just 8 years.

The global electric vehicle (EV) revolution reached another milestone last month as EVs made up 37 percent share of Norway’s car market. Norway understands the future of ground transport is electric and has been pushing EVs harder than almost any other country in the world with incentives such as an exemption from the 25 percent value added tax for new cars. In December,...

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Massive camera trapping project goes statewide in NC

Do you ever wonder what animals lurk in the wildest parts of the state? Or in your own backyard? With spring just around the corner, now is a great time for North Carolina residents, particularly those in the central and western parts of the state, to help uncover the secrets of local wildlife. By participating in “NC’s Candid Critters,” a new research project of the...

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Allegheny endurance hiking challenge is set for June

The eighth annual Allegheny 100 Hiking Challenge (A-100) is set for June 9-11, 2017. according to a news release from the Allegheny National Forest Chapter of the North Country Trail Association. The A-100 challenges hikers to traverse 100 miles, 75 miles, 50 miles or 25 miles in a 50-hour time period. This challenge is for anyone, regardless of skill level, who wants to...

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