Tips when trekking UAE mountains

Experienced trekkers are warning United Arab Emirates residents to take appropriate safety precautions when trekking or hiking in the mountains of the UAE and neighbouring Oman. The issue of mountain safety was starkly highlighted on December 12, 2015 by the death of a 22-year old British national who perished on Jebel Jais, the UAE’s tallest mountain, in Ras Al...

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Omnibus Budget Boosts Funding for National Parks

Below is a statement by John Garder, Budget Director for the National Parks Conservation Association, on the fiscal year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill announced December 16, 2015 that includes significant increases in funding for national parks. “The deal released today clearly shows that congressional appropriators and leadership recognize that our national parks...

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Recruitment Hikes for the Lehigh Gap Section of the Appalachian Trail

The Keystone Trails Association (KTA), the statewide voice of Pennsylvania’s hikers is offering two winter hikes along the Appalachian Trail in the Palmerton area in January. Both hikes will start at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center. The Appalachian Trail is Pennsylvania’s most well-known trail. It stretches over 2100 miles from Georgia to Maine and is enjoyed by millions of...

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Five new studies that change our understanding of permafrost

On July 16, 2007, a rare bolt of lighting touched down on a remote, lake-studded expanse of tundra about 350 miles south of the Arctic Ocean. It had been a hot, dry summer, and the tundra ignited into what would eventually become its largest blaze in 5,000 years. Over the next three months, the Anaktuvuk River Fire scorched an area the size of Cape Cod. Its scar was...

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Chimney Rock State Park gets bigger

Chimney Rock State Park just got bigger. The Nature Conservancy recently transferred 536 acres to the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation, expanding the state park to 6,200 acres. By connecting existing parcels of state park land, the acquisitions will provide a land base for future trail development and protect high-quality natural areas, conservationists...

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Oregon Is The Latest Target Of Right-Wing Effort To Get Rid Of National Forests

A draft bill recently released by U.S. Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) proposes to dispose of hundreds of thousands of acres of national forest land in Oregon’s Klamath River Basin so that it can be clear-cut or auctioned off to the highest bidder. The proposal, which is the latest in a series of attempts by right-wing politicians to seize or sell-off national public...

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Thomas Cemetery Loop, DuPont State Forest

Beginning at the Guion Farm area of DuPont State Forest on Sky Valley Road you can make a nice hike on several roads that loop through a deep and dense pine woodland. This is a pine regrowth region that the N.C. Forest Service leases for controlled logging, so you may need to keep your eye out for large trucks, but you may also have the opportunity to see modern...

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How to Take Your Family on a Hike That Won’t Kill Them

Hiking with your family is a great way to spend time together outside. If you can walk, you can hike, which makes it an ideal activity for family members of all ages and ability levels. But when your idea of a fun hike is different from that of the rest of your family, you can run into some problems. Maybe you enjoy summit hikes that make you work hard for an outstanding...

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What the funding fight means for national parks

Conservatives and conservationists are clashing over the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a 50-year-old program that Congress let expire on September 30, 2015. The fund uses royalties from offshore oil drilling to help purchase and develop outdoor recreation areas. It’s led to the creation of tens of thousands of small projects like parks, beaches, trails, hunting...

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Beaver dams can last centuries, 1868 map shows

Beavers aren’t just busy — they’re swamped. But while building and maintaining a marsh can take time, it’s apparently worth the investment. The rodents’ ecosystem-shaping homes have long been known for their durability, and a recent study offers unique evidence that individual beaver dams can persist for centuries. That evidence comes via an 1868...

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Raven Cliff Falls Overlook, Mountain Bridge Wilderness

Matthews Creek plunges more than 350 feet over Raven Cliff Falls into the gorge it has carved below Raven Cliff Mountain. One of a myriad of landmarks along the Blue Ridge Escarpment in Caesars Head State Park, the rim of this gorge offers a gentle and rewarding hike. Part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area that also includes Jones Gap State Park, this is the most...

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Groups propose recreation areas on WNC national forests

The federal government should create two national recreation areas in Western North Carolina and designate nearly 110,000 acres of national forest land as wilderness, a coalition of more than 30 environmental and outdoor recreation groups says. The groups released a joint position statement this week calling for the designations to be part of the long-range plan for...

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Hiking Hueco Tanks

Near the northwestern tip of the Texas Trans-Pecos, some 30 miles east of El Paso, four massive hills of jumbled boulders rise above the desert floor. No doubt this prominent and oddly compelling landmark has had many different names through time. Today it is known as Hueco Tanks. Characterized as an island in the desert, a natural oasis, a spiritual sanctuary, the site...

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Trekking across Arabia’s Empty Quarter in 50 days

A team of hikers set off on a 50-day trek from Oman on December 10, 2015 that will take them across the Empty Quarter – the world’s largest sand desert in the southern Arabian Peninsula. Led by British explorer Mark Evans, the three-man team will retrace the 1,300-kilometre route taken by a British civil servant, Bertram Thomas, in 1930, from Salalah in southern Oman,...

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A Summer at Grand Teton National Park

This past summer, Christina Adele Warburg landed her dream job: Park ranger at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Christina lived and worked at Grand Teton’s Moose Entrance Station, welcoming people to the park. Now she’s sharing her experience and some great insider travel tips for anyone looking to plan a trip to Grand Teton. Unless you have lived it, it can be hard...

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Scientists Reveal ‘Leapfrog’ Migration in Golden Eagles

A bird with the wingspan of an NBA player seems like it’d be pretty hard to miss. Yet the iconic Golden Eagle has proved so elusive in eastern North America that scientists are only now defining its range and coming up with population stats in the region. Todd Katzner, a research wildlife biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, says there are a few thousand Golden...

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15 Benefits of Hiking

Are you finding it difficult to get motivated about exercise? Does sweating at the gym seem less than appealing? Then hiking is your solution. People who hike on a regular basis enjoy better overall health, markedly less stress and are more energetic in general. If you maintain a regular hiking program you’ll not only feel great when you hit the trail but you’ll enjoy...

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Whistle-stopping the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail platform on the Metro-North Rail Line is merely a whistle-stop in Pawling, NY but it is from here that hikers from the metropolitan New York region are able to directly step onto the Appalachian Trail. And while New York has the only whistle-stop on the entire Appalachian Trail, it is testimony to Metro-North’s commitment to hikers that it offers...

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Spend Winter in Olympic’s Quinault Rainforest

There are few truly Pacific Northwest events that can compare to watching winter arrive in the rainforest. While many avoid the region due to the strong winds, constant downpours and occasional snow showers, there is something amazing and unique about spending time out in the wilderness of the Olympic Peninsula. Tucked away deep in Grays Harbor’s Quinault Rainforest, one...

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Olympic National Park Can’t Possibly Afford Its Visitor, Infrastructure Needs

More and more people are visiting national parks, media channels are flooding consumer publications with features on the parks, congressional interest seems higher than ususal, and yet parks are struggling to get by, according to the National Parks Conservation Association. The parks advocacy group points to Olympic National Park as just one example of the funding...

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Adventures of a Trail Stooge by Chris Quinn

This journal follows Chris Quinn, aka The Esteemed Stooge, Sir Charles Guilons on his thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2013. Starting atop Springer Mountain in Georgia, Sir Stooge makes his way over more than 2,100 miles of earth to summit the beautifully lonesome Mount Katahdin in Maine. Along the way, he meets some great friends: from Tangy and Munchies in Georgia...

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Most Americans Want A Global Agreement On Climate

As Republican leaders herald Congress’ power to hinder a global climate deal, most Americans say the U.S. should join an international treaty requiring America to reduce emissions, according to a new poll. The New York Times and CBS poll released this week also notes that 63 percent of Americans favor limits on carbon emissions. The poll comes as delegates from nearly...

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Life after Hemlock: Restoring Riparian Forests in the Southern Appalachians

In the last decade, the hemlock woolly adelgid, a tiny sap-sucking insect native to Japan, has swept through southern Appalachian forests, leaving dead hemlocks in its wake. Hemlock branches no longer shade streams or tower over shrubs, and their loss has affected streamside, or riparian, forests. “Without hemlock, more sunlight reaches the forest floor,” says U.S....

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Age 19, Trekking 250 Miles Unsupported Across Iceland

What were you doing at 19-years-old? This week, four young British men set out in what they tout as the first mid-winter, unsupported crossing of the frozen island of Iceland. They are all 20 and under. The 250 mile journey will be documented and shared with the world online as well as made into a feature film in 2016. The expedition is dubbed “The Coldest Crossing.”...

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Hiking changes coming to the Grand Canyon?

The Grand Canyon wants to change the way backcountry areas are managed as more outdoor enthusiasts take to the park’s open spaces, with proposals that would require hikers using the most popular inner-canyon trails to spend a few dollars on a permit. Millions of people visit the Grand Canyon each year, taking in the sweeping views from developed areas where they...

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Kauai’s Na Pali Coast: land of many cliffs

The Na Pali Coast is a 17-mile stretch on the island of Kauai’s northwest corner. You can explore it by most means possible — by foot, boat and helicopter. By car is not an option: The terrain is too rugged for a road. Kauai is the fourth largest of the seven inhabited Hawaiian islands — more than 500 square miles — with dozens and dozens and dozens of beaches....

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December hiking can be delightful

Don’t discount the beauty and serenity of spending off-season moments hiking through the woods. The words ring in your ears each year as fall ends and you hunker down, preparing for winter. Perhaps you’re simply not ready for another long, cold winter. Maybe you simply crave solo walks in the otherwise bustling woods. Most people hike through regional parks...

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#SinaiisSafe: Trekking, hiking with Bedouin tribes

Tourists, central to the livelihood of tribesmen in the Sinai desert, have stopped traveling to the area due to unrest and terror. Sinai is Safe, an Egyptian NGO, is running a grassroots hiking campaign that aims to change the image of Sinai-specifically South Sinai-as a danger zone it is often made out to be. It aims to revive tourism that is so important to its local...

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National parks set 16 free-entry days in 2016

ll national parks will offer free admission on 16 days next year to celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th birthday. “We added extra fee-free days so that everyone has a chance to join the party,” park service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said in a news release. The 16 free-entry days for 2016 will be: Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day April 16-24, National Park...

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Grant awarded to expand Pisgah National Forest, enhance water quality

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy today was awarded $100,000 for its Sitton Creek Protection and Restoration project, which will enhance water quality in the Mills River watershed and expand public access by adding 178 acres to Pisgah National Forest. CMLC was one of Duke Energy’s Water Resources Fund grant recipients. Duke Energy today announced grant awards...

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