Hawaii Struggles To Maintain Its Worn-Out Hiking Trails

By almost any standard, Hawaii’s hiking trails are a world-class recreational resource. The state’s trail system alone encompasses 855 miles of trails and access roads, from epic, remote routes like the Kalalau trail on Kauai’s Napali coast to easily accessible day hikes like the 2.5- mile Makiki loop trail. And that doesn’t count trails run by the counties or the...

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Here’s how hot your hometown will feel by mid-century

Residents of Harris County, Texas are no stranger to heat. The swampy Houston metro area averages nearly 40 days per year with temperatures in the 100 degrees F or higher range. But, according to a pair of papers published this week, if nothing is done about climate change, many more U.S. cities could be feeling a similar kind of heat. A new report released by the Union...

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He took down dams, freed wolves and preserved wildlands. Bruce Babbitt is still at work.

The rising sun was just starting to light up the tops of the sandstone cliffs when Bruce Babbitt arrived at an empty parking lot, ready to set out on a hike. He chose a trail he knows and loves, a canyon filled with childhood memories and one of his favorite wilderness areas — a fitting place to meet someone who has been immersed in decisions about preserving wilderness...

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Is a Green Future Worth Spoiling the Appalachian Trail?

  A proposed hydropower transmission line in Maine would impact the AT, wildlife, recreation, and tourism. Is it worth it? The proposed project, known as New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC), is a 145-mile transmission line winding down from the Canadian border through Maine’s forests, and would ferry hydroelectric energy from Canadian dams to the New...

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That Day Tropical Storm Barry Came to Visit the Blue Ridge Parkway – A Photo Essay

Cloudy and very windy. That’s what greeted me the morning of July 14, 2019 as I first stepped from my car at Pounding Mill Overlook (milepost 413). Those who know me also know that I’ve been picking up trash and otherwise maintaining this overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway for each of the last 10 years. As I walked around to survey the accumulated trash since...

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Walking the Walk

William O. Douglas was the longest-serving justice on the US Supreme Court. He’s also the only Supreme Court justice to lead a 185-mile hike through a national park. Whenever he needed to think deeply about a case before the Supreme Court, Associate Justice Douglas would take a long walk on the towpath of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. For Douglas, the C&O was...

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EPA restores broad use of pesticide opposed by beekeepers

The Environmental Protection Agency will allow farmers to resume broad use of a pesticide over objections from beekeepers, citing private chemical industry studies that the agency says show the product does only lower-level harm to bees and wildlife. The EPA announcement makes sulfoxaflor the latest bug and weed-killer allowed by the Trump administration despite lawsuits...

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Hiking with dogs: How to protect them from ticks, injuries and overheating

  If you love your dog and love being active and outside, taking your pup hiking is about as good as it gets. As summer gets into full swing you may be just as likely to meet a four-legged fellow hiker on the trail as another person. So what should you know first before hitting the trail? Know your dog, and know how prepared they are. The basic things to...

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Five tips to help you keep your cool while hiking on a hot summer day

Hiking during the summer can feel like walking across a hot griddle with a blow torch aimed at your face. That’s why park rangers, who encounter lots of park visitors suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration, want to share some tips to keep hikers safe during the hot summer months. 1. Drink plenty of water. Hydration makes it easier to tolerate heat. Carry extra...

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Havasupai Falls hike: 6 essential questions answered

The dry and barren trail through Havasu Canyon refuses to give up the secret of what waits just eight miles away: an oasis of tumbling waterfalls and lush greenery, with turquoise pools that would seem more at home in Hawaii than in a remote corner of Arizona. That’s precisely the draw of Havasupai Falls, a roughly four-mile gorge in the Grand Canyon carved over the eons...

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Day hikers are the most vulnerable in survival situations. Here’s why.

According to research, wandering off trail is the number one reason, ahead of injury and bad weather, that adult hikers require search and rescue. A study analyzed 100+ news reports over the past 25 years to identify the most common ways adults in North America got lost while hiking in national parks and wilderness, what they did to survive, and how they made it out...

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Projecting Climate Change Effects on Outdoor Recreation

Cool temperatures enjoyed by hikers might rise enough that people decide to stay inside instead. The culprit – climate change – will cause higher temperatures and uneven intensification of both drought and rainfall. As a result, outdoor recreation trends could change markedly. A study by the University of Georgia and the U.S. Forest Service examined this relationship....

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Hiking This Arctic Canyon Comes with a Spectacular Payoff

Consider brushing up on your Norse mythology before venturing to northern Norway for one of Europe’s most surprising hikes. “It’s like God himself took his ax and made a mark in the Earth.” That’s how adventurer Trygve Nygård prepares his guests for the views during walks to the rim of Northern Europe’s largest canyon, which stretches more than 7 miles in length. If...

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Restoring forests may be one of our most powerful weapons in fighting climate change

Allowing the earth’s forests to recover could cancel out a significant amount of humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research. The worldwide assessment of current and potential forestation estimates that letting saplings regrow on land where forests have been cleared would increase global forested area by one-third and remove 205 billion metric tons of...

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Science program goes statewide: ecoEXPLORE program for kids now available in N.C. State Parks

  A program that’s been getting Western North Carolina kids outside since 2016 is now a statewide offering, with a whirlwind tour of 10 North Carolina state parks over the next couple weeks celebrating ecoEXPLORE’s arrival at all 41 park units. “There’s a lot of benefits to being outdoors,” said Jonathan Marchal, youth education manager at the N.C. Arboretum in...

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These Apps Will Help Keep You From Getting Lost in the Outdoors

Ah, the great outdoors. The flora, the fauna, the welcome mystery of the open trail stretched before you. You’ve left it all behind (no cell service, no problems!) until … Wait. Where’s the map? Did you mean to turn left back there? What direction is the campsite anyway? Is it starting to get dark? Don’t lose yourself out there. Every outdoor explorer needs...

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The Best Hiking Sandals for Women

Summer means sandal time, even on the trails. Swap out your hiking boots for a pair of sturdy hiking sandals to allow for significantly more breathability than closed shoes and faster drying times when you’re fording a stream or getting splashed by rapids. Look for a pair that not only matches your aesthetic but also offers sufficient sole traction and arch support — and...

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The 15 most iconic hikes on the Oregon coast

In a lot of other states, warm sunny days mean lazy afternoons spent lounging on the beach. Leave it to Oregonians to pack hiking shoes with their bathing suits. From towering Neahkahnie Mountain to the chasms of Cape Perpetua, there are hiking trails that run up and down the gorgeous coastline, exploring the forests, dunes, tide pools and beaches that make it up. The...

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Forest Service might limit public comments

Under President Donald Trump, federal agencies have chipped away at the reviews and permitting required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), one of the nation’s bedrock environmental laws. Earlier this month, the Forest Service proposed a significant overhaul of the NEPA process for logging and development on millions of acres of federal forest and...

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The complete guide to hiking the Cliffs Of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher is Ireland’s top tourist attraction, drawing nearly 1.5 million per year. But while the majority of visitors take in these stunning bluffs overlooking the wild waters of the North Atlantic in one of two common ways, there is a third, less traveled route you can take. This hike is the highlight of the Wild Atlantic Way and among the most stunningly...

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Tips to stay Bear Aware when camping and hiking

With warmer weather and melting snowpack, outdoor enthusiasts are enjoying camping and hiking trips in Colorado’s many scenic locations. Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff are frequently asked what someone should do if they encounter a bear while out camping or hiking. Whether you are visiting Colorado for a vacation or are a long-time resident, it’s important to be aware...

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Pisgah View Ranch, west of Asheville, looks poised to become newest NC state park

State Sen. Chuck Edwards, R-Henderson, introduced Senate Bill 535 in April, 2019 that authorizes the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to add Pisgah View State Park to the North Carolina State Parks System. It was passed unanimously by the Senate and referred to the House on June 24, where it is processing through appropriate committees. “It’s been in our...

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Park and DLiA Host Smokies Species Day

Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the non-profit partner Discover Life in America (DLiA) are celebrating the diversity of life in the park by hosting “Smokies Species Day” at Sugarlands Visitor Center on Saturday, June 29, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Attendees can learn about fungi, slime molds, beetles, moths, butterflies, and other creatures of the Smokies...

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Best National Parks and Hiking in New Zealand

It’s undeniable that New Zealand has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, much of which is found in its 13 national parks that span over 11,000 square miles. Any of these parks will have you recharging your camera battery at the end of a full day. If you’re a fan of the landscapes featured in any of the Lord of the Rings films, Fiordland National Park will...

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Best Dog-Friendly Public Lands

Don’t worry about finding a dog sitter when you head out for an outdoor adventure. You can bring your furry companion along for all kinds of fun on America’s public lands. Service dogs are permitted on all public lands, while most national parks allow pets in developed areas. Other locations – such as national wildlife refuges, national forests, and wild and scenic...

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Red-cheeked Salamanders Are Great Smoky Mountain National Park Superheroes

The Red-cheeked Salamanders of Great Smoky Mountains National Park are superheroes. Found only in this unique park, research has revealed that the salamanders can secrete a special, toxic substance to keep predators away. Ranging from 3.5 to 5 inches long, the Red-cheeked Salamanders are generally dark gray in color, making their red cheeks and/or red legs really pop....

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Appalachian Trail Finishers Share 99 Tips for Aspiring Thru-Hikers

  If you’re thinking about hiking the Appalachian Trail, you probably have a lot of questions. Who better to answer them than the people who have already been there and done that? Experienced thru-hikers were surveyed to get their best advice about hiking the Appalachian Trail. It can be difficult to get friends and family on board, but reassure them the best...

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Your Guide to Summer Hiking

Many of us hike all the time, and so going out for an afternoon jaunt is not cause for long, detailed preparation. We take a water bottle and hit the trails. However, for beginners and those planning hiking trips in new locations, it’s important to put safety first. “Depending on where you hike, if you’re not digging the trip because of weather or you feel tired,...

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Himalayan glacier melting doubled since 2000, spy satellites show

The melting of Himalayan glaciers has doubled since the turn of the century, with more than a quarter of all ice lost over the last four decades, scientists have revealed. The accelerating losses indicate a “devastating” future for the region, upon which a billion people depend for regular water. The scientists combined declassified US spy satellite images from the...

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Trump’s EPA just replaced Obama’s signature climate policy with a much weaker rule

The Environmental Protection Agency killed President Obama’s signature climate change policy, the Clean Power Plan. It’s one of the few definitive wins in the Trump administration’s full-court press to undo and weaken environmental regulations. With the release of a replacement plan before an audience that included coal miners wearing reflective shirts and hard hats, EPA...

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New hiking trails in Korean DMZ offer rare access to forbidden areas

For most South Koreans, a chance to enter the demilitarized zone, the heavily fortified buffer that has divided the peninsula since the end of the Korean War in 1953, has been rare. However, a series of newly opened DMZ Peace Trails is allowing curious civilians to get a closer glimpse of North Korea. On a recent guided tour at the first Peace Trail to open, in Goseong,...

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Be a Saturday Volunteer at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Smokies Service Days begin on June 29th, 2019. Individuals and families are invited to work alongside staff to care for park trails, picnic areas, campgrounds, and historic sites. Make new friends, earn service hours, and gain invaluable experience as you help keep our National Park clean and green. A segment of each Service Saturday is dedicated to insider-enrichment...

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