A border fence from ancient times: Hadrian’s Wall in England

Hadrian’s Wall — named after the emperor who commissioned it — was begun in the second century, in the year 122. Soldiers toiled for a decade or so, piling stone upon stone until it stretched from coast to coast, across the very top of what’s now northern England: a distance of 118 kilometers (73 miles). It stood up to 4.6 meters high (15 feet) with walls 3 meters wide...

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10 Amazing Crowd-Free Trails

Humans were born to walk. As a species, we’ve evolved a curved and forgiving spine, a skull set straight and upright, an efficient metabolism—all uniquely suited to propel us long distances. But it wasn’t until the advent of the automobile that we began hiking long distances recreationally, says Robert Moor, author of On Trails: An Exploration. “Once the predominant form...

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5 of Europe’s Top Mountain Hikes

While the U.S. has plenty of awesome hiking routes, Europe certainly isn’t short of a few amazing hikes either. Right across the continent, there are mesmerizing walks with magnificent mountain scenery to enjoy. Don’t let the word mountain mislead you to think that you need Sherpas to help you along the way. There are plenty of hikes on high that are very manageable for...

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Everything Trump said about the Paris climate deal was a lie. His own EPA just confirmed it.

Everything President Trump has said about President Obama’s climate plan and why he had to pull the United States out of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord turns out to be a lie. That’s the inescapable conclusion from the EPA’s 289-page “Regulatory Impact Analysis,” (RIA) released by the administration on August 21, 2018 along with Trump’s new “Affordable Clean Energy Plan.”...

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The long, strange trip of Deer 255

Standing in a thick patch of pine and fir, mosquitoes swarming her face, Anna Ortega lifted a radio receiver into the air, angling it back and forth as she listened for the blip, blip, blip of a mule deer collar. A zoology graduate student at the University of Wyoming, Ortega was tracking Deer 255, a doe that had braved road crossings, fences, wolves and other hazards to...

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The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Hiking

There’s nothing as reinvigorating as a morning spent outdoors surrounded only by rocks, trees, and wildlife. The great thing about hiking is that it can be exactly as relaxing or as challenging as you make it. You can simply decide to wear your old sneakers and wander around a local forest, or you can go all-out and spend months at a time in the wilderness—or anywhere in...

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Big Brother–Style Tech Is Helping Hikers Avoid Crowds

When you head out for a hike this summer in many areas in the mountains just east of Seattle, a government-sanctioned program will be watching your Flickr photos and Instagram posts, noting where you’ve been and what you’ve been up to. While this sounds like creepy Big Brother invading your privacy, the researchers aren’t actually interested in you personally. Instead,...

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Hike Will Bridge Age Gap on Grandparents Day

Looking for a way to bridge the age gap on National Grandparents Day September 9? Take a hike on the NC Mountains-to-Sea Trail. (MST) “We have trail sections for all skills and ages from the Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks and in between,” said Jerry Barker, organizer of the MST Birthday Hike, which will be held that same weekend. He added, “Love of the outdoors is...

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Arctic’s strongest sea ice breaks up for first time on record

The oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic has started to break up, opening waters north of Greenland that are normally frozen, even in summer. This phenomenon – which has never been recorded before – has occurred twice this year due to warm winds and a climate-change driven heatwave in the northern hemisphere. One meteorologist described the loss of ice as “scary”....

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What is Preventative Search and Rescue?

You’ve probably heard of Search and Rescue before, but some national park rangers are involved with Preventive Search and Rescue. Basically their job is to help visitors avoid needing to be rescued by providing education about the hazards of hiking in the parks, and the time and equipment necessary to complete a planned hike. The PSAR program was started in 1997 at Grand...

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How to Enjoy a Ski Destination When It’s Not Ski Season

Just because the slopes are bare doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit a ski resort. From wildlife tours to stargazing, many have more to offer in the warm months than you may think. Vail, Colo., Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Park City, Utah, may all be mainstay skiing destinations, but trips to their resorts — or those in any other ski spot in the United States for that matter —...

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A Himalayan journey – trekking to Shangri-La

At the top of the Miyar Valley in the high Himalayas, a chain of seven tiny turquoise pools nestle below the snout of a formidable glacier. Each one looks deceptively inviting. Plunge in and your shouts, as you brave the icy water, echo off walls of rock into empty air; there is no one but your group around to hear. For miles in every direction there are only mountains;...

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Fracking is destroying U.S. water supply, warns shocking new study

An alarming new study reveals fracking is quite simply destroying America’s water supply. That means we are losing potable water forever in many semi-arid regions of the country, while simultaneously producing more carbon pollution that in turn is driving ever-worsening droughts in those same regions. The game-changing study from Duke University found that “from 2011 to...

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The Florida National Scenic Trail is one of the most underrated treks in the country

Florida is renowned for many things — sandy beaches, amusement parks, traffic lights that change inexorably slowly, Cuban food, etc. Trekking through pristine national wilderness? Not so much. But the Sunshine State is actually home to one of the country’s most underrated treks — the Florida National Scenic Trail. The 1,300-mile trek from Big Cypress National Preserve in...

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5 great hikes within 60 minutes of Washington, D.C.

In the course of writing the newest edition of “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Washington, D.C.,” Rachel Cooper and Renee Sklarew scrambled across boulders and bushwhacked through thorny underbrush — but mostly, they logged their total of 252 miles taking peaceful walks through the woods. Along the way, they learned that the D.C. area offers a wide variety of hikes. “We have...

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US poised to allow more mining on land Trump removed from monuments

US officials have announced plans to allow increased mining on land that once belonged to two national monuments Donald Trump shrank, and to sell off some of the land despite pledges not to do so. The two monuments, now significantly smaller in size, are both in Utah. The draft management plan for Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument includes a 98-page minerals...

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Gabes Mountain Trail to Hen Wallow Falls, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Cosby section of the Smokies park is mostly known for its long, arduous treks to high country destinations like Mt. Cammerer and Inadu Knob. But there is another trail there that is more moderate in difficulty. A good day hike on Gabes Mountain Trail is the 4-mile round trip to Hen Wallow Falls, a 90-foot, multi-tiered cascade. This is cool, dense forest, some of it...

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An army of deer ticks carrying Lyme disease is advancing. It will only get worse.

Across the United States, tick- and mosquito-borne diseases, some potentially lethal, are emerging in places and volumes not previously seen. Climate change almost certainly is to blame, according to a 2016 report by 13 federal agencies that warned of intensifying heat, storms, air pollution and infectious diseases. Last year, a coalition of 24 academic and government...

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Glacier National Park is on fire — and yes, warming is making things worse

This summer has felt like a global warming turning point. Now, another milestone: Saturday, August 11, 2018 was the hottest day in the history of Glacier National Park, and its first recorded time reaching 100 degrees F. On the same day, lightning started three fires in the Montana park, which has since been partly evacuated and closed. On Sunday, hot and dry winds...

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The Newest Long Trails Crossing America

ARIZONA TRAIL Designated in 2009 The Arizona Trail begins in the Huachuca Mountains on the Mexican border and then bisects the state lengthwise for 807 miles until reaching the Vermillion Cliffs on the Utah border. The route traverses arid mountains, deserts, scablands and the Grand Canyon, before entering the deep pine forests of the Mogollon Rim. Much of the trail...

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10 healthy snacks to pack for your next summer hike

Alexandra Inman is a Registered Dietitian based in Vancouver. She is passionate about sharing science-based nutrition information to help you reach your health and wellness goals. If you’re heading into nature this season, you might be wondering what to pack to stay hydrated and energized during your summer hike. What food and drinks you should take depends on a variety...

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Hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail

Lake Tahoe is 122,200 acres of cobalt blue water and reflections of the Sierra. The best way to really get to know it: The Tahoe Rim Trail. The meandering loop is a great long trail for beginners, or a laid-back walk in the woods for seasoned thru-hikers. Plus, you’d be hard-pressed to find this diversity of scenery on such a modest adventure: In less than 200 miles, the...

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Trekking through fire and ice on Greenland’s 102-mile Arctic Circle Trail

Late on the fourth day hiking the 102-mile Arctic Circle Trail in western Greenland, there was smoke rising from the ground. White tendrils, sometimes columns, rose in all directions from charred soil and wisped out from an 800-foot-tall hummocky, granitic hillside to my left. To the right was the 14-mile-long, string-bean-shaped Lake Amitsorsuaq, the biggest of the...

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New Land Protection at Yellow Spot in Roan Highlands

This summer Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy purchased 234 acres in the Highlands of Roan, securing high elevation wildlife habitat and permanently protecting a corridor linking Tompkins Preserve with Pisgah National Forest in Mitchell County. This acquisition at Yellow Spot protects rare plant and animal habitat, wildlife corridors, scenic views, and sources...

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The Best Way to Get to Petra Is on One of World’s Best Hikes

The rugged Jordan Trail was recently named by National Geographic Traveler as one of the best hikes in the world. Divided into eight sections, the long-distance route winds through 52 villages and communities, offering a deep immersion in Jordan’s ancient history, culture and untouched natural beauty. It’s no wonder. The genesis of the trail is steeped in tradition...

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This art exhibition in the Swiss Alps is designed to surprise hikers

As if the magnificent rolling hills and outstanding views of a bucolic wonderland weren’t enough, now, visitors to the Safien Valley in the Swiss Alps have even more reason to be excited, with the opening of a unique art exhibition that sees installations inspired by nature set in place across the area. Unveiled as part of the Art Safiental Biennale 2018, the...

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Water Tables and Wetlands

Some wetlands won’t stay wet, according to new research that blends long-term observations and climate projections. “By end of the 21st century, all five of the wetland sites studied are predicted to become much drier,” says USDA Forest Service research hydrologist Ge Sun. The five wetlands are long-term research sites located throughout the southeastern U.S. They...

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Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Study Area

With its muted colors and striking geology, this unusual landscape feels like a martian planet. Pale, mushroom-shaped hoodoos loom above the rocky earth like enormous alien trees. Petrified tree stumps and ancient bones speckle the badlands like prehistoric markers of its long-gone inhabitants. Located in the arid San Juan Basin of northwest New Mexico, the...

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A Day with the Azaleas at Andrews Bald – A Photo Essay

Andrews Bald is the highest bald in the Smokies, standing just under 6,000 feet. Every year in the month of June, the flame azalea and rhododendron show arrives for all those willing to hike a couple miles to see. You start at Clingmans Dome and take the Forney Ridge Trail to reach Andrews Bald. Here is a complete trail report that describes the hike. In addition to the...

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10 Wilderness Backpacking Trips

There’s something about striking out from a trailhead with your food and overnight gear strapped to your back – nothing more. Traveling light, the anticipation of the hike is exciting and step-by-step, you slowly find yourself becoming part of the wilderness landscape around you. Overnight backpacking is an activity that should be done by accomplished hikers, familiar...

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Suspect in Yellowstone bison incident arrested at Glacier National Park

August 2, 2018 at approximately 10:45 p.m., Glacier National Park rangers apprehended Raymond Reinke, age 55, from Pendleton, Oregon. Reinke was wanted following an incident earlier this week at Yellowstone National Park when he was captured on video harassing a bison. Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk said, “We appreciate the collaboration of our fellow...

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The ultimate guide to hiking the St. Olav Ways

In 2016, 278,232 people made the pilgrimage across Spain and Portugal to Santiago de Compostela. At least, that’s how many actually received their certificates at the end. The same year, a mere 1,045 people made the pilgrimage to Nidaros Cathedral on the St. Olav Ways in Norway. In historical terms, the two are pretty equal. Both the Camino de Santiago and the St. Olav...

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