It’s Almost Time for Mountains to Sea Trail In a Day

There will be boots and boats on all 1,175 miles of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail on September 9, 2017, from Clingmans Dome atop the Smokies to Jockeys Ridge on the coast. What a great way to celebrate the day 40 years ago when Howard Lee, N.C. Secretary of Natural Resources at the time, first proposed the idea of a statewide trail. As time neared filling all 300 legs of...

Learn More

Down with the Glen Canyon Dam?

In 1963, Glen Canyon was pronounced dead. Glen Canyon Dam had submerged its fabled grottoes, Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings and slickrock chutes beneath the stagnant water of Lake Powell, and forever altered the ecology of the Grand Canyon just downstream. For wilderness lovers, the 710-foot-tall concrete wall stuck out of the Colorado River like a middle finger — an...

Learn More

Looking Back at the History of Hiking in America

“Why would anyone enjoy deliberately walking around in nature?” is an initial question. As a longtime junior high school teacher, it was a challenge to bring 14-year-olds to a mental place where they could appreciate “just walking” around in the backcountry. At first, many wanted to keep riding in cars, skateboarding or at least biking — hiking was rather stupid. Hiking,...

Learn More

Stewards needed to keep hiking trails clear after monsoon storms

Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation needs help maintaining hiking trails near Tucson. Monsoon 2017 has let up for now, but just weeks ago storms dumped lots of rain on southern Arizona. All that rain caused weeds and other plants to grow out of control. County officials are looking for trail stewards to make sure these trails continue looking good....

Learn More

Night hiking: Beating the heat in Grand Canyon

Below the Tapeats on the South Kaibab Trail is a great place to stop and rest called “Big Shady.” When it is hot, this spot is nice and cool. But folks are here huddled up above the trail in the shelter of a slight overhang in the cliff, trying to stay dry and wishing that there weren’t so many clouds in the sky. Rather odd given that it is the middle of August. But it...

Learn More

10 Exercises That Will Get You Ready For Any Hike

Preparing your body for a hike is often overshadowed by other hiking preparations, such as what gear to bring, which trail to take, and whether you have the right hiking shoes. As important as these preparations are, it is equally important to prepare your body for hiking by strengthening your muscles, increasing your cardiovascular capacity, and improving flexibility....

Learn More

Greece Beyond the Beaches: The Undiscovered Epirus

Epirus is on the northwest side of the Greek mainland. Multicolored concrete culture in Athens switches into green-blue stone villages, ancient arched bridges, ramshackle castles, quiet mountains topped with snow, and clear river gorges. It’s pretty rugged and was not easily accessible for many years (even now, the only way to reach it is by bus or car.) In Epirus you’ll...

Learn More

7 reasons to be alarmed by record-setting levels of CO2

There was a 2009 analysis in Science that found when CO2 levels were sustained in the 400 to 500 ppm range some 15 to 20 million years ago, it was 5°F to 10°F warmer globally, and seas were also 75 to 120 feet higher. Despite the best efforts of the Trump administration to ignore or contradict scientific reality, carbon dioxide levels continue to soar far outside the...

Learn More

Canada’s ‘Great Trail’ Is Finally Connected

In 1992, three Canadians, inspired by their country’s 125th birthday celebration, thought up a crazy plan. What if they could connect all of Canada’s hiking trails, footpaths, rail trails, and boardwalks into one giant mega-trail that snaked from coast to coast? It’s now 2017. Canada has celebrated its 150th birthday. And on August 26th, those three dreamers—along with...

Learn More

Yosemite fires shut Glacier Point Road, road to park entrance and popular hiking trails

Should you be traveling to Yosemite National Park for the Labor Day weekend, be prepared for smoky conditions and trail and road closures. Separate fires have shut Glacier Point Road, California Highway 41 leading from Oakhurst to the southern entrance into the park, a campground and popular hiking trails. Yosemite’s website warns visitors about smoke conditions in...

Learn More

The 650-Mile Alabama Trail: Coming Soon to a Town Near You

In 2001, a small group of avid hikers met at the Open Pond Campground in Conecuh National Forest near Andalusia, Alabama. They had with them a state roadmap that they had picked up at an aging rest area along an interstate. Using an orange magic marker, they began to carefully draw a line on the map. The line started in Florence, near the Tennessee state line, then...

Learn More

Report: Great Smoky Mountains National Park Staff Not Negligent In Battling Deadly Chimney Tops 2 Fire

The deadly fire fed by kindling-dry forests and whipped out of control by hurricane-force winds at Great Smoky Mountains National Park “overwhelmed” the park staff’s ability to fight it, according to an independent review of the blaze that killed 14 in neighboring communities in November, 2016. Extreme drought conditions and heavy ground fuels –...

Learn More

AT Crushed: ‘Stringbean’ Sets Both Speed Records

Joe ‘Stringbean’ McConaughy, a well-known speed hiker, set a new record on the Appalachian Trail today. He hiked the 2,190-mile route in an unofficial fastest known time (FKT) of 45 days, 12 hours, 15 minutes. McConaughy’s hike began the trail on July 17th at 6:31 a.m. EST, in Georgia (South to North). If verified by community-recognized officials who manage FKTs (and it...

Learn More

Park Service group to feds: ‘Pendulum is swinging too far to the side of development’

Retired National Park Service employees spoke about the impacts of oil and gas development on some national parks—particularly from adjacent lands overseen by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks sent a letter to U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, expressing concern over the “alarming” number of...

Learn More

Volunteers are Vital Component to Rainbow Falls Trail Rehabilitation Project

Earlier this summer, Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials recruited for volunteers to assist the Trails Forever trail crew with a rehabilitation project on the Rainbow Falls Trail. Citizens from across the region responded and their volunteer effort has significantly helped in moving the project forward these past few months. In order to maintain the momentum,...

Learn More

Raven Cliff Falls and Gum Gap Trails, Mountain Bridge Wilderness

The air is nearly always cool at Caesars Head State Park in upstate South Carolina. It sits right on the edge of the Blue Ridge escarpment where refreshing breezes from the piedmont waft up and over the massive walls of rock. This hike is a casual stroll through hardwood forest on a sand and clay pathway to the Matthews Creek gorge and a suspension bridge over the...

Learn More

CO2 is changing the jet stream in ways that will create more Harveys

Climate science predicted a weaker jet stream, and Harvey stalled because of a weakened jet stream. A 2012 study led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) concluded global warming was driving changes in extreme weather in North America. “Our research reveals a change in the summer Arctic wind pattern over the past six years,” lead author James...

Learn More

The grim side of long-distance hiking

Thru-hiking conjures imagery of a retreat to Mother Nature, to return feeling fresh and invigorated. For trail neophytes, it’s romanticized with visions of rosy cheeked hikers bounding across grassy knolls and the scent of wild lavender wafting around lean, muscled figures. However, the reality is a little rougher than the Instagram pictures paint it. Sure, you’ll be in...

Learn More

As Finland celebrates a century since independence, a new national park is giving the country something to shout about

The Finnish are not ones to brag about their culture. Reserved and stoical, with an appreciation of dry humor, they prefer to keep things discreet. This year, however, the country will break away from its default shy-and-retiring position as it celebrates 100 years since Finnish independence, marking the occasion when the country claimed sovereignty from Russia, during...

Learn More

Your 1 Million Acres: The Future of the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest Belongs to You

Your property includes cascading waterfalls, ancient forests, and the highest mountains in the East. You can go anywhere you like on your property. You can hike hundreds of miles of trails and paddle, fish, and swim in its pristine streams. You share ownership equally with every other American, and you pay your staff—the U.S. Forest Service—to manage the property. They...

Learn More

Protecting mountain gold: Balsam uses dye to thwart ginseng poachers

Brian McMahan and Johnny Nicholson can both remember boyhood days spent in the mountains, hunting the elusive ginseng plant. Coveted for its myriad medicinal uses, ginseng root harvest is an Appalachian tradition stretching back through generations. McMahan and Nicholson were both taught to dig it in such a way that its numbers would stay strong for generations more —...

Learn More

Interior Secretary Zinke outlines future of National Park Service while visiting BRP

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke came to the mountains of Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina on August 25, 2017 to celebrate the 101st birthday of the National Park Service and also lay out the department’s future. Zinke said the country’s national parks are facing an $11.5 billion maintenance backlog that he wants to close in five years. This comes on the...

Learn More

Trail work in Arizona’s Rim Country

Trails are complicated things. It doesn’t always take the easiest route and sometimes isn’t clear, dwindling into a wash and then sneaking out to the lowlands and zigzagging erratically up a steep slope. For trail builders, forging a path with flow is everything. The way a trail bobs and weaves around trees and rocks should be effortless. It should curve to hide what is...

Learn More

Here’s a better vision for the US-Mexico border: Make the Rio Grande grand again

The United States and Mexico have shared their current international border for nearly 170 years. Today they cooperate at multiple levels on issues that affect the border region, although you would not know it from the divisive rhetoric that we hear in both countries. President Trump’s focus on building a border wall threatens to undermine many bi-national initiatives,...

Learn More

Celebrating the completion of Trekking Catalina

Catalina Island Conservancy is celebrating the recent completion of Trekking Catalina, a new master trails system that includes 27 miles of new and enhanced hiking trails and is the biggest addition to the Catalina trails system since the completion of the Trans-Catalina Trail in 2009. With the completion of Trekking Catalina, the Conservancy now offers 165 miles of...

Learn More

Lightning strike blasts clothes off Sierra hiker

An Austrian man hiking 9,000 feet up in the Sierra Nevada was on a peak taking a photo when he was struck by a lightning bolt that blasted away his clothes, burned a hole in one of his shoes and left him with severe burns. Mathias Steinhuber, who was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with his girlfriend and friend Carla Elvidge had an entry wound on his hand and an exit...

Learn More

Clingmans Dome Tower Rehabilitation Project Begins

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that the Clingmans Dome Observation Tower will be closed beginning Wednesday, August 23 through the remainder of the 2017 season to complete rehabilitation work thanks to funding received from a Partners in Preservation (PIP) grant. The $250,000 grant was awarded last summer to Friends of the Smokies on behalf of...

Learn More

The Highest and Lowest Elevation Points of 20 Countries Around the World

Our home planet is amazing. It’s easy to get wowed by ever-improving pictures of our neighbour planets, but Earth really has it all. Every region has its own astonishing range of terrains at all altitudes. From the depths of dried-out lakes and swamps to the peaks of our highest mountains, how much do you really know about these dramatic extremes? For example, most...

Learn More

Exxon Dared Critics to Prove It Misled the Public. These Researchers Just Called the Company’s Bluff.

Two years ago, Inside Climate News and Los Angeles Times investigations found that while Exxon Mobil internally acknowledged that climate change is man-made and serious, it publicly manufactured doubt about the science. Exxon has been trying unsuccessfully to smother this slow-burning PR crisis ever since, arguing the findings were “deliberately cherry picked...

Learn More

The National Parks Like You’ve Never Experienced Them Before

Veteran travelers of national parks may think they’ve done it all, but not so fast: There are 417 sites managed by the National Park Service, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy each of them. Non-profit friends groups and NPS officials compilde a short list of National Park activities and spots that are a bit off the beaten path, and just plain cool. Lookout Point...

Learn More
Page 2 of 1581232040Last »