Shenandoah: The hemlock’s last stand

Shenandoah is haunted by ghosts. Just 15 years ago, the eastern hemlock tree, the mighty Redwood of the East, was a scenic highlight of Virginia’s Skyline Drive, creating the shady groves that put Shenandoah National Park on the conservation map. Now 95% of them are dead, rotting on the forest floor or still standing above the canopy as gray ghosts, with a few...

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German village offers hiking trails and great castle ruins

At a glance, Stamsried seems a lot like any other town in Bavaria. It has the same narrow, winding streets and the usual assortment of bakeries, butcher shops and bars. It’s home to no particularly famous individual or great cultural landmark. What it does have is a fantastic set of hiking paths and Burgruine Kurnberg, one of the better set of castle ruins you’ll find in...

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The Appalachian Ranger District Will Hold a Public Meeting to Discuss The “Twelve Mile” Project

The Appalachian Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest will hold a public meeting on July 14 from 2-5 p.m. at the North Carolina Arboretum to learn the public interests and issues related to a developing proposal for the “Twelve Mile” project. The proposed area for the project is the southwestern most part of the Appalachian Ranger District adjacent to...

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One Of The Fastest Women To Hike The Appalachian Trail Shares How She Did It and What She Learned

A couple of years back, Liz “Snorkel” Thomas walked from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail. At the time, she became the fastest woman to do this without a support team—and she did it completely solo. The 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail cover the highest mountains on the East Coast. She hiked through fields of boulders, forded powerful rivers, and...

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Mountains to Sea Trail Near Old Bald, Nantahala National Forest

Love the high country in summer. It’s like getting an extra month of spring. For much of its length through the Western North Carolina mountains, the Mountains to Sea Trail parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is an area near mile marker 434 on the Parkway, beneath Old Bald, where the MST winds through mixed forest and high mountain meadows teeming with...

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Google Earth Just Got Even More Powerful. Here’s How It Can Help You Plan Your Next Adventure.

For the first time since 2013, Google has updated its satellite imagery of planet earth. The new images have more detail and truer colors, giving civilians more data than has ever been available. Google Earth works by analyzing trillions of pixels worth of satellite images, selecting the clearest, cloud-free ones, then stitching them all together into one seamless image...

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The Otherworldly Beauty of Badlands National Park

The land is big and mostly flat. There are endless fields of corn, wheat and soybeans. Colors of green and gold paint the earth for miles. But as you travel west, the farmland gives way to wild grasses. It grows tall here under a huge blue sky. Farther on, however, the grass becomes much shorter. A strong dry wind blows continuously from the west. Suddenly, the land is...

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Hiking through a Hawaiian lava tube

Picture a volcano spewing a river of molten lava burning so hot that it burrows its way through the Earth, moving so fast that a human couldn’t outrun it. That’s what happened on the Big Island of Hawaii at what is now Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The lava flow from the Kilauea volcano left behind massive lava tubes as evidence of its destructive path,...

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Historic Victory: 4 Teenagers Win in Massachusetts Climate Change Lawsuit

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found in favor of four youth plaintiffs in a critical climate change case. In 2012, hundreds of youth petitioned the DEP asking the agency to comply with the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) and adopt rules reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, but that petition was denied. As a result of DEP’s reluctance...

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Survival Tips When Lost in the Wilderness

Just the thought of being alone in the wilderness gives most people a panic attack. And while it is good to be aware of all the dangers of the wilderness, it is more crucial to think with a clear head so that you can survive any situation, such as getting lost. Wilderness survival is a lesson that you need to think about and learn before you leave your home. You need to...

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Jordan Lake Hike with CTNC and NCYCC

Join Conservation Trust for North Carolina and the Youth Conservation Corps for a hike at Jordan Lake near Apex, NC on Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 10:30 AM. You will meet up with a NC Youth Conservation Corps (NCYCC) crew that has been working around the lake. See the work these amazing young people have done to improve, restore, and preserve trails at Jordan Lake. CTNC...

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Amanda Trail is a beautiful hike with a dark history on the Oregon coast

As you leave the city of Yachats behind, cross Highway 101 and climb into the sprawling forest of Sitka spruce alongside the rugged and beautiful Oregon coast, a question lingers at the back of your mind: Who is Amanda? This scenic 3.7-mile stretch of the Oregon Coast Trail, running from Yachats up to the top of Cape Perpetua, is officially known as the Amanda Trail...

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A Step by Step Guide to Using a Handheld GPS

Are you into hiking technology but you still have no idea how to use a handheld GPS? Then, this is for you. A hiking GPS is not quite the same as Google Maps on your phone or the navigation system you use in your car. It’s a little more complex than that. Most GPSes or hiking watches have many features you can utilize to help you not only pinpoint where you are and where...

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Piles of Dirty Secrets Behind a Model ‘Clean Coal’ Project

The fortress of steel and concrete towering above the pine forest here is a first-of-its-kind power plant that was supposed to prove that “clean coal” was not an oxymoron — that it was possible to produce electricity from coal in a way that emits far less pollution, and to turn a profit while doing so. The plant was supposed to be a model for future power plants to help...

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Help wanted: Volunteers spend free time fixing the Bob Marshall

Just getting to the edge of Rocky Mountain Front guarding the third-largest wilderness area in the continental United States requires miles of driving on rocky roads and through creek beds to find isolated trailheads. Those passing beyond the boundary must leave all motors and wheels behind. And yet, for two decades, thousands of people have hiked into this daunting...

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Tenacious, mysterious and maybe endangered — a wolverine roams the West

Four days before Christmas in 2008, a blur of brown fur scrambled along the snowy Continental Divide in Wyoming. The terrain and the conditions were brutal, food scarce. The bait a biologist placed in a wooden trap proved irresistible. As soon as the creature crawled in, a signal alerted researchers miles away. They rode a snowmobile deep into the mountains, near...

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A Magical Mycology Tapestry

Mushrooms weave a network of ecology, medicine, food, and farming. Encountering a mushroom in the forest provides a glimpse to a web that is largely unseen, underground. The mushroom is a fruiting body that emerges from a network of branching mycelium, a cellular structure interwoven in soil. This mass thrives by connecting to other organisms, especially the roots of...

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The Cactus Smuggler: Are Desert Plants Being Loved to Extinction?

The smugglers carried their tiny prizes tucked away in suitcases of jalapenos and dirty laundry. The spicy fruit was supposed to deflect inspections. Perhaps they thought the dirty laundry would do the same. Another rare item sat nestled in a new box of Uncle Ben’s Rice. Russians had a hard time finding Uncle Ben’s Rice back home, says Nicholas Chavez, Special Agent in...

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Overlooked Wildlife Experiences in Our National Parks

Think of wildlife in U.S. national parks, and certain images pop to mind: Bears. Bison. Elk. Wolves. All spectacular critters, to be sure. But the National Park Service protects a wide range of wildlife, large and small. Some of these species are cryptic or elusive. But other smaller denizens offer fascinating viewing opportunities. For example, Great Smoky Mountains...

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JOBY PowerBand Lightning for iPhone

JOBY energizes smartphones on the go with the JOBY PowerBand for Apple® or Android® smartphones. The JOBY PowerBand’s slim and compact design frees consumers from relying on affixed power sources and works with many smartphone sizes including the Apple iPhone 6, 6S, SE, 6 Plus, and 6S Plus, as well as Android models such as LG G4, Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Samsung Galaxy...

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The incredible technology that’s helping this paralyzed woman hike the Appalachian Trail

Most people would have given up years ago. She is not most people. 41-year-old Medina, Ohio, resident Stacey Kozel has undertaken an enormous task: hiking the entire 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail. For most, that would be a mighty feat unto itself, but Kozel has an additional obstacle, to put it lightly: her legs are paralyzed. Kozel was diagnosed with lupus when...

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Green Mountain Club Trail Angels on the Move

Did you know there is a network of willing volunteers stationed across Vermont, working together to provide hiking knowledge, recommendations for the best places to get water or stay for the night, and transport to and from trailheads? And that they are motivated simply by a shared love of the trail and a desire to see others make that connection? Volunteers like this...

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A Proposed Hiking Ban in Phoenix Draws Outrage

When the temperature hits the triple digits in Phoenix, AZ, hikers continue to hike. They snake their way up Camelback Mountain, which has a 2,680-foot summit with spectacular views of the city. They pack the picturesque mile-long trail up Piestewa Peak. They traverse the towering cactus dotting South Mountain Park. And some of them find themselves lost, parched, in...

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New North Carolina Bill Allows Duke Energy To Dodge Coal Ash Cleanup Again

While residents and environmentalists urge Duke Energy to clean up its coal ash pits, North Carolina’s biggest utility — and the governor’s former workplace — just got another pass from the legislature. Duke will likely not have to clean up seven of its unlined coal ash pits, where the byproduct of coal-fired power plants is stored. Instead, the company can opt to simply...

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Our Wild

The Wilderness Society’s mission is to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. They contribute to better protection, stewardship and restoration of our public lands, preserving our rich natural legacy for current and future generations. They are a leading American conservation organization working to protect our nation’s shared...

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National Parks Are Worth $92 Billion to Americans

A day at a national park with your family and friends might be priceless to you, but these natural treasures have a quantifiable value to the U.S. government: $92 billion, according to a new report from the National Park Foundation. To put that in perspective, that’s greater than the annual GDP of Ukraine or Sri Lanka, which are $90.52 billion and $82.1 billion,...

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10 miles of hiking trails at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

In 1872, Dr. Charles M. Hitchcock bought a thousand acres of Rancho Carne Humana and built a country home along Ritchey Creek. He called it “Lonely.” Nearly 150 years later the beautiful trails along the creek remain as California’s Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. But you won’t be lonely there anymore. Bothe-Napa Valley State Park is one of the most-frequented hiking...

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Phoenix proposes hiking ban during hot temperatures

Phoenix may close hiking trails in its more than 40,000 acres of desert preserves during intense heat that statewide already has claimed several lives this summer. Temperatures reaching 110 degrees would prompt the closure of city trails for people, through a policy under consideration this week. Dogs would be stopped from hiking when the mercury hits 100 degrees. The...

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Join CMLC for a ‘Bearwallow by Moonlight’ Hike – Sunday, July 17, 2016

Join Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy for a celestial show atop CMLC-conserved Bearwallow Mountain on Sunday, July 17, 2016. Hike to the summit about 90 minutes before sunset in time to watch the full moon rise, then hike back down the gravel road about 60 minutes after sunset. At 4,232 ft. above sea level, Bearwallow Mountain stands as the highest peak in the...

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This 21-Year-Old May Have Found The Way To Clean Up The Plastic In Our Oceans

Boyan Slat was just 16 when he realized he wanted to rid the oceans of plastic. It all happened after he dove into the problem in the most literal way while snorkeling in Greece and finding more drifting plastic than fish swimming. “I thought, that’s a real problem. How can we come up with a solution for that?” Slat recalled. Indeed, the problem is real and large. Around...

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