Marathon man: runner will log 26.2 miles in each of 59 national parks

Bill Sycalik loves to run, and he has a fondness for America’s national parks. Sycalik, 45, is combining those two interests in a unique — and some might say a little crazy — plan to run the length of a standard marathon in each of the nation’s 59 national parks. Sycalik came one step closer to accomplishing this feat when he checked park No. 8 off his list...

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Planned 400-mile U.S.-Canada Hiking Trail Inspired by Wandering Moose

The 400-mile trek of a radio-collared moose named Alice is the inspiration for a proposed hiking trail from Ontario’s forested Algonquin Park to the heart of New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Planners of the A2A — Algonquin to Adirondack — Trail liken it to Spain’s famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, with the added benefit of preserving an important wildlife...

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Peaceful hiking trails lie just outside bustling Hong Kong

Green spaces just beyond the busy metropolis of Hong Kong offer various trails for all levels of hikers, along with tranquility and awesome views. One of the first things you notice is the silence. Minutes from Hong Kong’s frenetic core, yet seemingly a world away, lush landscapes, walking trails and scenic vistas overlook the vertical metropolis below. There is so much...

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Author Releases Memoir On Romantic Hiking Adventure

Not many people can say they met and married their spouse within 30 days of beginning to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. But that’s exactly what happened to 25-year-old Claire Henley Miller. Mile 445 is the inspiring—and romantic—true story of how Miller left corporate life behind to embark on a 2,650-mile hike from Mexico to Canada. She is doing it alone, and the only...

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Foggy Morning on the Blue Ridge Parkway – A Photo Essay

Every couple weeks or so during the green seasons I travel up to milepost 413 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Friends of the BRP has a volunteer program called Adopt-an-Overlook that I have participated in for six years. I am responsible for keeping Pounding Mill Overlook clean and green, trash free, and desirable for the tourists. Saturday, August 13, 2016 was one of those...

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Key tract protected near Pisgah National Forest and Blue Ridge Parkway

For many visitors heading to the Blue Ridge Parkway via the twisting, mountainous ribbon of road known as N.C. 80, the rippling ride and scenic views might satisfy their appetite before ever reaching the national park. But the land surrounding the switchbacks of N.C. 80 have all been privately owned, leaving it vulnerable to development or timbering, and diminished...

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Hiking dog about to climb 46th Adirondack High Peak

Ariel, a husky-golden retriever-Labrador mix has just one of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks remaining to climb with her owner, Amber Pitcher of East Berne, NY. At 11 years old, most dogs start to slow down — but not Ariel. The husky-golden retriever-Labrador mix has spent the past three years hiking the 46 Adirondack High Peaks with Pitcher. The two are scheduled to climb...

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Hiking a hundred miles for kids

Emily’s Miles for Smiles is Emily Beehler’s mission to hike one hundred miles while raising money for the Colorado Mountain Club’s (CMC) Youth Education Program. “Everybody wants to do good and everybody wants to give back somehow,” Beehler says. “A lot of people can’t, either physically, time-wise, something. So they’re more than happy to give money because that’s how...

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Interior Announces Fastest Successful Recovery of an Endangered Species Act-Listed Mammal

Representing the fastest successful recovery for any Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed mammal in the United States, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today announced the final de-listing of three subspecies of island fox native to California’s Channel Islands. The removal of the San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Island fox subspecies from the List of...

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Knoxville’s $45 million plan calls for 13 new greenway links

Knoxville, TN officials will publicly unveil a long-term $45 million plan to build 24 miles of greenways that would connect the city’s existing trail system. The city’s existing 90 miles of trails have been used largely as recreation, but the 13 planned corridors would help runners, walkers and cyclists to use the greenways to reach downtown, parks and other...

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Colorado’s Mount Audubon Trail

Thanks to its position east of the Continental Divide, this gentle thirteener has incredible vistas of snow-capped peaks rising above wildflower-filled tundra. Colorado’s fourteeners get a lot of acclaim. But hikers shouldn’t overlook the state’s gorgeous (yet still strenuous) 13,000-foot peaks. Take the easily accessible, 13,223-foot Mount Audubon,...

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Hiking in Phoenix – A Southwestern Hiking Series

Many regions of the United States are extraordinary for their diverse climate and topography. California comes to mind, as well as the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest. But many people don’t consider the Southwest region as being more than desert. Yet, Arizona displays varied scenery, wide-ranging climate and awesome beauty, rivaling if not exceeding any other...

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New Jersey has a hiking trail lined with handmade fairy houses

A list of unusual things you might stumble upon during a walk in the woods of New Jersey: rare Piebald deer; curious geological formations; an extinct volcano; the ruins of an old ironworks; a telephone pole farm; a terrifying, kangaroo-like beast with wings, hooves and a forked tail. And then there are the handmade fairy habitats that line the Rahway Trail, an...

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Forest Service Founder Gifford Pinchot’s story

The life in which U.S. Forest Service founder Gifford Pinchot was born into wasn’t much different than what millions of Downton Abbey fans have come to know through that popular PBS period drama: huge homes, servants and vast expanses of lands were the accoutrements of many in Pinchot’s class. On Aug. 11, 1865, the infant named Gifford, born at the Pinchot family’s...

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Meet the new Chimney Rock State Park

Amid the 100th anniversary celebration of the private park established by the Morse Family in 1916, along with the centennial of the North Carolina State Park System, it’s fitting that the park and its visitors are growing and stretching into a new century with new ideas and new outdoor activities. James Ledgerwood, Chimney Rock State Park superintendent since 2011, and...

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At national parks 90 years ago, ‘Don’t feed the bears’ was not the prevailing wisdom

On August 25th, take a moment to say “happy birthday” to the National Parks Service. It’s turning 100 years old. And my, how some things have changed in that century. Take, for example, how the parks deal with bears. Today, the Park Service characterizes the possibility of seeing live bears – black, grizzly or polar in dozens of parks across the...

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The Secrets of the Wood Wide Web

Epping Forest is a heavily regulated place. First designated as a royal hunting ground by Henry II in the twelfth century, with severe penalties imposed on commoners for poaching, it has since 1878 been managed by the City of London Corporation, which governs behavior within its bounds using forty-eight bylaws. The forest is today almost completely contained within the...

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Americans are proud of their national parks and are willing to pay more to preserve them

Researchers from Harvard and Colorado State have found that Americans would be willing to pay 30 times more than the current annual appropriation in order to preserve and maintain the US National Park system. According to the study, the US public would pay more than $90 billion a year to sustain and protect America’s iconic places. Yet the US National Park system...

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Russia spills two Deepwater Horizons of oil each year

The Komi Republic in northern Russia is renowned for its many lakes, but sites contaminated by oil are almost just as easy to find in the Usinsk oilfields. From pumps dripping oil and huge ponds of black sludge to dying trees and undergrowth — a likely sign of an underground pipeline leak — these spills are relatively small and rarely garner media attention. But they add...

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Do Oil Companies Really Need $4 Billion Per Year of Taxpayers’ Money?

What would happen if the federal government ended its subsidies to companies that drill for oil and gas? The American oil and gas industry has argued that such a move would leave the United States more dependent on foreign energy. Many environmental activists counter that ending subsidies could move the United States toward a future free of fossil fuels — helping it...

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Temporary Closure of Ramsey Cascades Trail @ GSMNP

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced the temporary closure of the Ramsey Cascades Trail due to a damaged foot log caused by a fallen tree that is blocking access along the route. The foot log spans a section of Ramsey Prong which is too swift and deep to allow hikers to safely rock-hop across river. The popular, four-mile trail is located in the...

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Booby traps found on popular NJ hiking trail

Hikers and bikers beware. Police officials say there’s a sicko out there who is setting booby traps trying to injure people in a popular Northern New Jersey park. Wayne Police are asking everyone to look very closely at the more than 11 miles of trails in High Mountain Park Preserve because someone has been placing booby traps in the dirt path, specifically barbed...

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Smoky Mountains National Park releases new biodiversity web application

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has partnered with the University of Tennessee to create a new web application that locates more than 1,800 plant and animal species according to their suitable habitats. Everyone from park managers to school groups are expected to benefit from the new biodiversity web application. The “Species Mapper” uses locations...

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Roanoke club helping with foot-by-foot survey of Appalachian Trail

With cicadas buzzing above their heads and a splash of a nearby stream providing the metronome to their march, two men document the details of a section of the Appalachian Trail in Craig County, VA in hopes of earning the recognition they say it deserves. They wake up early, prepare for a long day of hiking through the woods and traipse through a different stretch of the...

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LED Lighting Miracle: ‘One Of The Fastest Technology Shifts In Human History’

“The rapid adoption of LEDs in lighting marks one of the fastest technology shifts in human history,” Goldman Sachs stated in a new report. The accelerated deployment of light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs is on track to save U.S. consumers and businesses $20 billion a year in electricity costs within a decade, which would lower U.S. CO2 emissions by some 100 million metric...

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AmeriCorps is Accepting Applications

Conservation Trust for North Carolina is the host organization for AmeriCorps, a ten-month national service program in environmental education and outreach. The program is currently accepting applications for the 2017 service year, which will start on October 4, 2016 and end on July 21, 2017. AmeriCorps members will be stationed at host organizations around the state....

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NC Toxicologist: Water Near Duke’s Dumps Not Safe to Drink

North Carolina’s top public health official acted unethically and possibly illegally by telling residents living near Duke Energy coal ash pits that their well water is safe to drink when it’s contaminated with a chemical known to cause cancer, a state toxicologist said in sworn testimony. The Associated Press obtained a full copy of the 220-page deposition...

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Tips for Bringing Your Dog into the Wilderness

Dogs are awesome. Dogs that can hang in the mountains are somehow even more awesome. Behind each of our favorite mountain pups is a loving and supportive owner making sure their quadrapedal compadre is happy and healthy. Unfortunately, so many outdoorsy dog owners don’t take the time to properly prepare and train their animal, resulting in campsite chaos, unnecessary...

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Life In The Park: Finding Meaning In Park Service Work

There’s a popular refrain among National Park Service employees, one that doubles as a reminder, of sorts, after a long, wearisome day: “We get paid in sunrises and sunsets.” For many park employees, the pay is seasonal and not great. The hours are long. The question is usually the same (“Where’s the bathroom?”). And no matter how many...

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Feds cancel energy leases in White River National Forest

A much-anticipated Bureau of Land Management decision to move forward with plans to cancel 25 previously issued but never-developed oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide region met with the usual praise from conservation groups and industry criticism. The BLM formally released its final environmental impact statement for its review of 65 existing leases on the White...

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