Pitch Pine, Three Lakes and Bridal Overlook Trails, DuPont State Forest

Located in the heart of DuPont State Forest, Three Lakes Trail does exactly what its name implies… it takes you to a trio of very picturesque lakes near Conservation Road. Lake Dense is an ideal stop for a family picnic. Lake Alford, really more of a pond, may be the most vivid and charming of all. The largest, Lake Julia, is breathtaking from every angle. Add to...

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A Hiking Map That’s Got Heart

Some lovers write their names in the sand at the beach, capping the eternal gesture with a giant heart drawn around both monikers. (“Eternal” in spirit, of course; when the tide arrives those names will become one with the sea.) Some lovers make heart patterns on grassy hillsides, symbolic gestures writ large courtesy of autumn leaves or the petals of...

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Hiking the Ghostly Tracks of Forgotten Trains

Los Angeles used to be covered in train tracks. Their phantom switches, markers, rails, and ties tell stories of travel and transport, history and happenings, and the growth of Southern California, outwards and upwards. But in this age of adaptive reuse, we’re increasingly converting land once dedicated to industrial purposes into parks, bike paths, and hiking...

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Duke Energy Fined $6.6 Million For Massive Coal Waste Spill

North Carolina environmental regulators fined Duke Energy $6.6 million this week for the company’s role in a 2014 coal ash spill that sent millions of gallons of contaminated water into the state’s Dan River. If you ask me, that isn’t nearly enough when you consider one study from 2015 estimated the ecological, recreational, aesthetic, and human health damages from...

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Project to improve access to highest peak in Shenandoah National Park

The highest peak in Shenandoah National Park is on track for some springtime TLC as part of a nationwide flurry of projects marking a centennial celebration. The summit at Hawksbill Mountain – and its panoramic views of the Shenandoah Valley – is among the park’s most popular attractions. The National Park Service and a local philanthropic partner will invest...

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Artist-in-Residence at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Artists have long had an impact on our perceptions of national parks. Dramatic photographs, paintings, and essays helped stimulate the establishment of many park sites and continue to foster an appreciation of them today. Artists interpret the American landscape using traditional and contemporary approaches. They share the national park experience in ways that bring...

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200-year-old AT landmark falls in Michaux forest

A landmark on the Appalachian Trail has crumbled. The stone wall of a barn built around 1800 came down last week, according to Roy Brubaker, district forester of Michaux State Forest. Known, probably incorrectly, as the “Hessian barn” – the three-story wall was a well-known curiosity for hikers on the Maine-to-Georgia trail. The site is located on Michaux Road in...

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25 New Projects Getting More Kids & Adults Active In National Parks

More than two dozen new projects at national parks across the country will give kids and adults the opportunity to participate in recreation and exercise programs thanks to 25 Active Trails grants from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. “From Zumba and yoga, to paddling along the seashore, to guided hikes for...

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Trekking through Grenada’s paradise island

The people of Grenada all seem to have spirited gifts. Maybe it stems from the love they feel for their country and the relaxed laid-back lifestyles they share. The paradisiacal island is located in the Eastern Caribbean, just 100 miles north of Venezuela. It boasts 440 picturesque square kilometres, one sixth of which is preserved as parks and natural wildlife...

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North Dakota’s Contributions to Our National Parks’ 2016 Centennial

I needn’t tell you North Dakota is not the first place people consider when asked about national parks. Far from it. Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon—these are the places most people picture when questioned by friends and coworkers about memorable places and bucket list destinations. Who could fault them? Americans and people worldwide are flooded with photographs...

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Hiking community fights to save popular North Sound trail from logging

Near Seattle, WA, one of the North Sound’s most popular and scenic hiking trails is in danger of being logged. Unless the state can allocate $7.5 million, the 100-year-old trees that cover Oyster Dome — between Mount Vernon and Bellingham – will be cut down by the Department of Natural Resources. Craig Romano tackles the popular hike off Highway 11 on a...

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Investing in Our Public Lands: The President’s Proposal to Fully Fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Over 50 years ago, a visionary Congress established an innovative program to bring communities together to invest in open spaces and recreational opportunities that are an essential part of our nation’s heritage and economy. Since then, the highly successful Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped to protect working forests and ranches, preserve our public lands...

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While the media focuses on the water quality in Flint, the Navajo water supply has been under attack since the 1950’s

The news out of Flint, Michigan brought the issue of contaminated drinking water into sharp focus, as it was revealed that officials at every level—local, state and federal—knew about lead-poisoned water for months but did nothing to address the problem. Under state-run systems like utilities and roads, poorer communities are the last to receive attention from government...

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Roan Mountain property slated for development will be conserved

The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy recently acquired 48 acres in the Roan Highlands near the Carter County border in North Carolina that was slated for development. The Broad Branch Tract is less than 2 miles from the Appalachian Trail and the Cloudland Rhododendron Gardens. The tract adjoins Pisgah National Forest and contains a broad mix of habitat. The...

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Why Is Thomas Gathman Hiking the Appalachian Trail in Winter?

Before sunrise one morning in mid-December, two weeks into his winter attempt to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, Thomas Gathman marched toward two of Mount Bigelow’s craggy peaks in western Maine as a snowstorm descended. By the time he’d bagged the first one, 4,088-foot Avery Peak, he was trudging through a foot of new fallen snow. As Gathman stumbled across the...

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White hot stuff – Hiking Alkali Flats with Trail Snails

This feels like walking in soft marshmallows,” murmured Carolyn Dullum.There’s nothing like slow motion squish-walking down a gypsum dune. Trail Snails, a local hiking group, trek a most unusual hike into the gypsum dunes of White Sands National Monument, about an hour and a half from Ruidoso, New Mexico. “I’ve hiked Alkali Flats many times,” said Barbara Willard,...

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British national park bosses plead with walkers to stop building cairns

National park wardens in Great Britain are pleading with walkers to stop making cairns on the mountains. Snowdonia staff say footpaths and the fragile upland environment are being damaged by the custom of picking up stones and piling them up to mark routes. The problem has become so severe that a demolition day is planned for cairns on the Cadair Idris in the South of...

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A Three-Day Trek in the Highlands of Myanmar

This is a three-day hike in the southwestern part of Shan State, Myanmar — farming country known mostly for narrow, silvery Inle Lake, a popular destination for travelers. Bountiful and ethnically diverse, southern Shan is a patchwork of villages and farms growing sesame, wheat, potatoes, rice and chiles in a stunning highland landscape. Dirt paths and quiet roads...

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‘Girl In The Woods’: Healing through hiking

Nature and the wilderness is often portrayed as a place of peace and isolation, but any illusion that the wilderness of the Pacific Crest Trail is isolated and peaceful is proven false in Wild Child’s experiences along the trail. The Pacific Crest Trail hiking line is a male-dominated environment, peopled with strange men and women, and offers very little protection from...

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Hiking club continues legacy of conservation, enjoying the outdoors

More than 600 UT students belong to a club that began with a hike between two YMCA leaders over 80 years ago. In October of 1924, Marshall Wilson and George Barber, YMCA leaders of a boys’ camp in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, decided to go on a hike. While hiking, the pair came to an agreement that they should start a club and begin leading trips to the Smokies for whoever was...

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Archaeologists Dig Up An 800-Year-Old Native American Pot. What They Found Inside Is Changing History

In 2008, on a dig on the First Nation’s Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin, archaeologists made a small but stunning discovery: a tiny clay pot. Though it might not have seemed very impressive at first glimpse, this little piece of pottery was determined to be about 800 years old. And inside that pot? Something that changes how we’re looking at extinction, preservation,...

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Trekking Through the Aravaipa Canyon, Arizona

Aravaipa Canyon is extremely narrow—at many points, probably no more than a quarter of a mile from rim to rim—which means that to explore the canyon you often hike right through the stream bed. Traverse the entire twelve-mile length of the canyon and you’ll cross the creek at least forty times, sometimes in water that’s knee deep. Aravaipa Creek is a rarity in the...

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What’s The Best Way To Keep Mosquitoes From Biting?

Don’t get bitten by mosquitoes. That’s the advice offered to the public in virtually every article on the rapidly-spreading, mosquito-borne Zika virus. But if you love the outdoors and are a regular hiker, what can you do? There’s no arguing with the advice. Zika, once considered a relatively mild flu-like illness, has now been linked to a surge in...

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Beyond the Oregon Protests: The Search for Common Ground

The standoff with militant extremists at an Oregon wildlife refuge, which erupted into violence and arrests this week, stands in stark contrast to the new sense of collaboration between local residents and public land managers in the West. The militants claimed that the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge symbolized federal tyranny over public lands. But for many locals the...

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Winter hiking in Taos: Pescado Trail

Now is the time for hiking in solitude and snowy silence at Wild Rivers, just north of Taos, New Mexico. One of the less-traveled paths is the Pescado Trail that connects the Red River Fish Hatchery with the Wild Rivers Visitor Center. This trail gains about 800 feet over two miles and is considered a moderate trail in the summer months. Add a foot or two of snow and the...

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How the oil & gas industry squats on public land without paying royalties

For decades, the oil and gas industry has squatted on large tracts of public lands without paying royalties or allowing Americans access, but now is the time for reforms, according to a new report. The report from The Wilderness Society explains how the oil and gas industry routinely exploits leasing loopholes known as “suspensions,” to stockpile leases that would...

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National Park Service Announces Centennial Challenge Projects

This week, the National Park Service (NPS) announced nearly $48 million of Centennial Challenge projects to help parks across the country improve visitor services and support outreach to new audiences. The projects, many of which tackle deferred maintenance, come as the NPS kicks off its second century of service. Congress provided $15 million for the projects which will...

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DuPont State Recreational Forest Temporary Trail Closures due to wet conditions

North Carolina Forest Service officials have determined that the recent snow event has made DuPont’s trails extremely susceptible to damage from trail users because of soft, wet conditions. There will be temporary closures of all of the DuPont single track trails. Forest roads and two-track trails such as Triple Falls, High Falls, and Hooker Falls trails will remain...

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And it spreads: Laurel wilt moving across Eastern North Carolina

Laurel wilt is a devastating non-native disease of redbay trees and other plants in the laurel family in the southeastern U.S. Native to Southeast Asia, it was first detected near Savannah, Ga., in the early 2000s and has since spread to eight additional Southern states. It has already killed an estimated half a billion trees since its introduction to the U.S. Laurel...

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Timberline Trail is being reconnected, opening 40-mile trek around Mt. Hood

The Timberline Trail has always been one of very best hikes in the Pacific Northwest. A nearly 40-mile trek around the peak of Mt. Hood, the trail offers stunning angles of the mountain as well as views of the other giants of the Cascade Range: Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson and the Three Sisters. But for the last decade that loop has been...

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