How to never get invited hiking again

Have you been invited on yet another hike to an incredible peak? Make this the last time that ever happens by following this handy guide. Your hiking party doesn’t know how lucky they are that they invited you along, so be sure to remind them whenever there’s a lull in the conversation. You spent an entire weekend on the Pacific Crest Trail back in 2002, and have since...

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Alaska man searching for long-lost national park art

He calls himself the “Ranger of the Lost Art.” Like Indiana Jones, the adventurous archaeologist who partially inspired the moniker, 69-year-old Doug Leen, of Kupreanof, Alaska, has an all-consuming passion for recovering lost history for the public. For the next 14 months the veteran national park ranger and amateur historian will travel the country on a mission to stir...

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Hiking the mountains in the “shoulder season”

As October shoulders its way into November, the cool sunny days can easily lull us into a sense of comfortable complacency. Hikers call this time of year the “shoulder season,” when the golden days of fall are gone, but full-blown winter isn’t quite here. Most people try to forget about the coming cold, snow, and wind, but the advance of seasons has...

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5 Hiking Etiquette Tips That Help You Fit In

Society is full of rules. As grownups, we all know not to talk with our mouths full and to always face forward in a crowded elevator. But there was a time when we were young and inexperienced and maybe a little unsure of how to behave. Let’s face it, we’ve all either been that kid (or shared space with that kid) who sneezed without covering his mouth or stared at someone...

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Almost Every Chemical-Based Sunscreen In The U.S. Linked To Coral Destruction

Coral reefs cannot seem to catch a break this year. Between a particularly strong El Niño, ocean acidification and increasing ocean temperatures, links between overfishing and reef collapses, and the declaration of a massive coral bleaching event expected to affect 95 percent of U.S. coral reefs by the end of the year, the current state of the global environment has been...

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AussieHikingTours.com: New online booking portal

AussieHikingTours.com is an online booking site for nature-based walking tours. Not just full pack-carry multi-day treks, but also more luxurious accommodated holidays with day-hikes most days, single day hikes, half-day hikes, vehicle tours with a significant nature walking element, and everything in between. There are even day tours where you’ll have the opportunity to...

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It’s easy to love llama trekking in Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains

Since 1985 Wallowa LLamas has led hikers into the rugged Wallowa Mountains, nicknamed the Oregon Alps, where one of the highest peaks (9,826 feet) is, in fact, called Matterhorn. A llama trek isn’t like a pack trip with horses, where some horses carry riders while others carry tents and stoves. You don’t ride llamas, you hike along with them. The advantage to a llama...

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Fall guide: Top 5 hiking trails in NYC

Nearly one-third of the New York City’s land is carved out for parks, playgrounds and recreation facilities — so there’s plenty of room to find fresh air. And for those who love the outdoors, there are plenty of trails to hike for peak fall foliage season, which spans a couple of weeks starting around mid-October. “Mark your calendars to hit the trails, burn...

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Legal challenges over Exxon Valdez sputter to an end

When the sun set just after 8 pm on March 23, 1989, nothing was amiss in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. The ocean lapped at rocky, seaweed-strewn beaches, boats dotted the horizon, and thousands of sea otters floated serenely on their backs. But all that changed the following morning, when the Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground and hemorrhaged 11 million gallons of crude...

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Tribes outline proposal for national monument in Utah

Tribal leaders in the Southwest have outlined a proposal to designate a section of southeastern Utah as a national monument, seeking to become partners with the federal government in managing their ancestral homeland. The proposed Bears Ears National Monument is named for twin buttes that overlook Cedar Mesa. The 1.9 million-acre area would be bordered to the south by...

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Twentymile Loop, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Located in the far southern region of the Smokies, near Fontana Village and the Little Tennessee River, Twentymile is an area of the national park that is a little less traveled. Primarily used by backpackers as a means of accessing remote park highlights like Gregory Bald or Shuckstack Fire Tower on the Appalachian Trail, Twentymile can also be enjoyed by day hikers or...

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Wanted: Volunteers to adopt sections of Maine Appalachian Trail

With a hiking pole in one hand and pruning shears in the other, Ron Dobra picked his way along the Appalachian Trail, snipping overhanging branches and making note of eroding soil. For the past 20 some odd years, he has helped maintain the popular hiking trail, which spans from Georgia to Maine and is seeing more foot traffic each year. “The entire length of the AT —...

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Discover Oklahoma: State’s trails are a hiker’s paradise

What is it about autumn weather that makes us stir about? Could it be something within all creatures that causes us to begin getting ready for the change of seasons? Squirrels store supplies for the winter, but we as humans desire possibly a little food for the soul, stocking up for the coming gray winter days that will keep us housebound too long. This seasonal burst of...

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It’s Worth the Trip: Land trusts provide great hiking sites

Land trusts are the underrated stars of Maine’s outdoor landscape. Nearly 90 nonprofit land trust organizations dot the state, from Kittery to Aroostook County. While state and national parks are much more visible and widely promoted, the network of land trusts holds some of Maine’s best hiking. This panoply of land trusts is aided greatly by the Maine Land Trust...

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Groups unite to improve Pisgah National Forest trail

An unusual collaboration between two trail user groups has resulted in an improved trail in Pisgah National Forest. Mountain bikers and members of Back Country Horsemen volunteered their time recently to complete work on a reroute of a section of the Lower Trace Ridge Trail near North Mills River campground. “It is no secret that trail user groups around the nation have...

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National Park Service to update Oil and Gas Regulations

The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing to modernize regulations for non-federal oil and gas rights exercised in national parks. The proposal would update current regulations that are now 36-years-old. The proposed updates will provide greater clarity and certainty to industry while improving the National Park Service’s ability to protect park resources and the...

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Enviros take NC settlement over Duke Energy coal ash pollution to court

The Southern Environmental Law Center filed a legal action this week on behalf of conservation groups seeking to overturn a controversial $7 million settlement between Duke Energy and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality over the utility’s extensive coal ash pollution in the state. The settlement came after Duke appealed a groundwater pollution penalty at...

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See the Chimney at night

A nocturnal, kid-friendly Halloween event will give visitors a rare glimpse of North Carolina’s Chimney Rock State Park at night, 7:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. Park in the Dark will feature campfire stories, a nocturnal creature program, stargazing with the Asheville Astronomy Club and self-guided night hikes to Chimney Rock, where costumed creatures...

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Scotland’s Newest Hiking Trail: Beginner-Friendly With Killer Views

On a sidewalk in the old Scottish seaport of Dunbar is a statue of a skinny rag of a boy rough-hewed in bronze. He stands in tattered clothes, right arm raised toward a halo of flying birds. Most Americans need no introduction to the shaggy-bearded man he would become. This study of youthful freedom is John Muir, pre-eminent naturalist, author and father of America’s...

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NiteIze Inova STS Headlamp

The INOVA STS Headlamp from NiteIze makes hands free illumination simple, versatile and comfortable. It features an innovative Swipe-To-Shine™ interface that allows for simple access to multiple modes – all with a swipe of your finger. Its lightweight body, high quality woven head strap and waterproof construction makes the INOVA STS Headlamp an indispensable...

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Safety Tips for Non-hunters visiting National Forests

Be Aware. Outside of developed recreation areas, hunting is permitted throughout the National Forests in North Carolina. Hunters must have the proper licenses, or permits needed to hunt. Hunting is a seasonal activity and state regulations for seasons, dates and licensing apply on national forest land. For information about specific dates and times, please visit:...

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Fear on The Colorado Trail, real and imagined

Until a few nights ago, I hadn’t thought about mountain lions much as I walked The Colorado Trail. I’m always looking for signs left by my forest neighbors — tracks and scat in the trail and around watering places. I’m always listening and looking for what the squirrels and jays are gossiping about, but usually it’s about me. I’ve seen one...

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Going trekking? Don’t forget to pack beetroot

Next time you go trekking in the mountains, carry beet juice with you, as researchers have found for the first time that drinking beet juice can help the body cope with low levels of oxygen at high altitudes. Mountain climbers have always struggled with a basic problem – altitude sickness, caused by lower air pressures which affect the ability of our bodies to take...

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Cataloochee Divide Trail from Cove Creek Gap to Purchase Knob, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

M eanderthals has hiked the middle section of the Cataloochee Divide Trail several times, so we thought we should check out the northern end of the Divide. And I’m delighted we did. The forest is beautiful. Starting at Cove Creek Gap, high above Cataloochee Valley, the Divide trail follows the ridge for 4.5 miles past occasional views of the Smokies and Blue Ridge...

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Valles Caldera transition to National Park Service celebrated

This sprawling parcel of land in northern New Mexico that’s home to vast grasslands and one of North America’s few super volcanoes became part of the National Park Service this past weekend. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, members of the state’s congressional delegation, tribal leaders and others gathered at Valles Caldera National Preserve for a celebration to...

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Canyonlands and Arches: Two visions for national parks in one town

“Let the people walk,” reads the quote on a sign at Arches National Park, taken from Ed Abbey’s classic of nature writing, “Desert Solitaire,” about his two seasons as a ranger there. Despite Abbey’s connection to the park, the quote is an odd choice: Arches and its location of Moab, Utah, have become virtually everything “Cactus Ed” hated. The road he opposed turned...

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Exxon’s Climate Concealment

Millions of Americans once wanted to smoke. Then they came to understand how deadly tobacco products were. Tragically, that understanding was long delayed because the tobacco industry worked for decades to hide the truth, promoting a message of scientific uncertainty instead. The same thing has happened with climate change, as Inside Climate News, a nonprofit news...

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How the U.S. Army Saved Our National Parks

When Capt. Moses Harris and his troops from Company M, First Cavalry marched into Yellowstone in August 1886, the world’s first national park was in chaos. Fourteen years of corrupt or incompetent management by political appointees threatened its existence. There had been little protection of the park’s natural wonders. Congressional funding was an afterthought....

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88-year-old woman recalls 40 years of ‘Trail magic’ hiking the Appalachian Trail

North Carolina native Nancy Weaver has always loved the outdoors, so camping and hiking seemed natural to her. In more than forty years of hiking sections of the Appalachian Trail, Weaver, now 88, has learned a few things: be prepared for rain and the occasional bear, pack lightly, and expect kindness from strangers. “Trail Magic,” they call it, and it comes...

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Massive Coral Bleaching Event Is Sweeping Across The World’s Oceans

For the third time in recorded history, a massive coral bleaching event is unfolding throughout the world’s oceans, stretching from Hawaii to the Indian Ocean. A group of ocean scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed this bleaching event is being brought on by a combination of a strong El Niño pattern, a warm water mass in the...

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