Take a hike on Japan’s most scenic and inspiring trails

Japan offers hikers a wide array of trails, from routes up active volcanoes to vibrant treks to historic temples. Japan’s vast terrain provides trail enthusiasts with hikes up the nation’s tallest mountain to short trails around scenic, small towns. This article reveals some of the top trails and hikes that draw outdoor tourists to Japan. From epic climbs up...

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Dominica Wants to Attract Tourists With a Brand New Long Trail

Dominica is not to be confused with the Dominican Republic. That country produces fine cigars (like Cuba, its neighbor). Dominica, a much smaller country in the Windward Islands 280 miles east of St. Croix, exports nothing of consequence. The steepness of its mountains thwarted logging, its banana industry collapsed after losing battles with fungal blights and bigger...

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Featured National Recreation Trail: Danny On Trail, Montana

Danny On National Recreation Trail located in Whitefish, Montana on the Tally Lake Ranger District of the Flathead National Forest. It is by far the most popular trail on our national forest with approximately 15,000 people hiking the trail per year. Despite its popularity, it offers an aesthetically rewarding hiking experience. The Danny On Trail extends 3.8 miles one...

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Cougar: Ghost of Appalachia

A phantom haunts Appalachia. Blurry trail camera pictures and occasional eerie screams in the forest keep the debate about the Eastern cougar’s existence alive among scientists and lay people, even after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the elusive ghost cat extinct in 2011. The Eastern cougar, Puma concolor cougar — also known as ghost cat, catamount, puma,...

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NC Wildlife Federation Launches Butterfly Highway Campaign

The North Carolina Wildlife Federation has launched the Butterfly Highway – a statewide conservation initiative to help restore native pollinator habitats to areas impacted by urbanization, land use change and agriculture. The goal of the initiative is to create a network of native pollinator plants to support butterflies, bees, birds and other pollen and nectar...

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100 best hikes in America’s national parks revealed in new book from Backpacker magazine

Three great things about hiking in a national park: fresh air and your own two feet. Now a new book from Backpacker magazine can guide you to finding the best trails. “Backpacker: The National Parks Coast to Coast: 100 Best Hikes,” a new book by Ted Alvarez, the magazine’s Northwest editor, offers park-specific visiting tips and detailed hike profiles. The book also...

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House Moves On Bills That Would Allow States To Seize Millions Of Acres Of Public Lands

Less than two weeks after the arrest of Cliven Bundy and the armed militants who were occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, the U.S. House of Representatives will consider three bills that would dispose of vast stretches of national forests and other public lands across the country. The bills, which will be heard in a meeting of the House Natural...

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Uniting the Bay: Trails Are Creating Healthy Communities in California

Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area have long supported development of trails and greenways throughout the immense and influential nine-county region. This local, grassroots activism has led to creation of some of the best regional trails in the country and positioned the Bay Area as a leader in the trails movement. Despite the tremendous popularity of trails, there...

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Help the hellbenders: Don’t move the rocks

Even though spring is a month away, any warm ray of winter sunshine will get people out and about in the woods and streams, skipping stones and kicking up rocks. But the U.S. Forest Service in Asheville is advising visitors to enjoy the river resources, just leave them as you find them – especially the rocks. Rocks aren’t in rivers just for looking pretty or...

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Looting shuts down parts of Joshua Tree National Park

Two areas of Joshua Tree National Park noted for their mining artifacts have been closed indefinitely because of looting, according to the park’s superintendent. The areas include Carey’s Castle and El Sid Mine, in the Eagle Mountains range in the southeast area of the park. The areas will be closed “at least for a month” until cultural artifact...

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Thomas Divide Trail to Sunkota Ridge Junction, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Thomas Divide is one of those ridge hikes that splits the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains Range. It is also one of the longer trails in the national park at near 14 miles, but you can do as much or as little as you wish for a day hike. The trail passes through a rich forest of Eastern hemlock, beech, birch and multiple varieties of maple. The crest also enjoys the...

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Trekking Bali’s three peaks proves the paradise island has more to offer than just beaches

Bali’s trekking trails have long played second fiddle to the island’s renowned beaches and surf breaks, but they’re slowly starting to wrestle a share of tourist attention. Located on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, Bali is home to several dormant and active volcanoes, many of which can be scaled on day hikes; particularly energetic visitors can opt to combine two or more,...

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AmeriCorps team discovers pleasure and peril building trails at Casa Grande Mountain

They’ve encountered scorpions, lizards and the perils of navigating around the abundant cacti that dot Arizona’s Casa Grande Mountain landscape, but a team of 11 AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps volunteers say they’re enjoying building a new trail in the city’s most popular hiking park. “Every time we take a break, we sit down and stare across the...

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Full-moon hike in Charlestown, KY park February 20

Once a month Jeremy Beavin leads Kentucky hikers along one of Charlestown State Park’s six trails by the light of the full moon – and maybe a red-tinted flashlight. The hikes have become more popular over the four years the park has offered them. “On average we’ll have about 30 people on each one,” said Beavin, an interpretive naturalist at the state park. “I’ve...

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Here’s Some Other Big News From Apple You Probably Missed

Amid the hullabaloo surrounding Apple’s decision to oppose a court order to help the FBI glean data from iPhones belonging to the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorists, you may have missed another big announcement from the company. Apple issued a package of bonds worth $1.5 billion for projects related to clean energy, the largest “green bond” ever issued...

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Solar power from big box store roofs could power seven million homes

Sometimes the answers to big problems are staring you right in the face. Solar energy is expanding rapidly across the United States – increasing more than 100-fold over the past decade. But, there are still many untapped opportunities to harness the nation’s nearly limitless solar potential. The United States has the technical potential to produce more than 100 times as...

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Walking the Pisgah Ridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway – A Photo Essay

Walking the Blue Ridge Parkway in winter is a great way to get a slow-motion view of the wonderful vistas that whiz by at 45 mph in your car. The Parkway is closed so you don’t have to worry about traffic. The only concern really is perhaps slipping on snow or ice. This latest in the Photo Essay series looks at a 4-mile stretch of the BRP between mileposts 412 and...

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Arizona hike: Y Bar is a strenuous challenge

Although tame in comparison to some other notoriously arduous Arizona hiking trails, Y Bar has several opportunities to pause for thought. The trail is steep, rocky and requires traversing of talus slopes and narrow, cliff-clinging turns with deep drop-offs. On days when it’s clear of obstacles, this challenging trail in the Mazatzal Wilderness is achievable by...

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National Park Service Certifies 2015 Visitation at 307 Million

President Theodore Roosevelt was reelected in 1904, the same year rangers started counting national park visitors. There were more than 120,000 visits to America’s 11 national parks in the first year of counting. This week, the National Park Service (NPS) certified 2015 national park visitation at more than 307 million. It also released its popular Top 10 list of the...

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8 Life Lessons You Can Learn After Taking Up Hiking

by Kaitlin Wylde Growing up in a woodsy suburb, I always felt like I was more of an indoor kid. I wasn’t particularly athletic, I was scared of the woods, allergic to most plants, and sneezed in the sun. While the other kids were trekking through the forests, playing hide and seek, collecting pet rocks, skinning their knees and looking for Big Foot, I was inside. I...

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Walking and talking in Nova Scotia, a small province with sweeping vistas and welcoming locals

When you tell people you’re going to Nova Scotia to hike, many seemed mystified. The province is not very big, and their mental picture may be of a placid landscape on a peninsula better known for high tides than high hills. Mental pictures may come from a vibrant art exhibit by a Canadian cohort of painters known as the Group of Seven, whose works featured...

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Fiery Gizzard reroute continues, volunteers needed

Despite the wet, cold weather, work is steadily moving forward to reroute the Fiery Gizzard Trail on the Cumberland Plateau, but crews need some helping hands. The Friends of South Cumberland State Park just received a $2,000 Tennessee Trails Association grant that will pay for a heaving-lifting system. Park rangers will use the system to move large rocks, bridge lumber...

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Flat Rock and Plantation Trails, DuPont State Forest

Working on a little project to tick off all the trails within DuPont State Forest, I visited two short ones that are close to each other in the northeast corner off Sky Valley Road. Each is little more than a mile round trip. Flat Rock Trail passes through a boulder field and past a recent logging operation to a dead end at the confluence of Jim Creek with Grassy Creek....

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Hiking near the waterfalls of Marin County’s Cataract Trail

The sound of rushing water floods your ears even before Cataract Creek is fully in view, descending the northern flank of Mount Tamalpais, California amid a riot of boulders, lush moss, graceful ferns and arching trees. Prepare to be amazed by this magical place, where each step along the trail reveals some new variation on the blend of rocks and water responsible for a...

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Loving the Wilderness to Death

Now a research biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, stationed at Virginia Tech, Jeff Marion’s specialty is Recreation Ecology, meaning he studies visitor impact to protected natural areas and consults with land managers to make visitation sustainable. By his account, he is one of four such scientists actively conducting research in the U.S., and he has mentored...

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The Pattiz Brothers are at it again – This time in Zion

Two brothers spent more than three weeks in Zion National Park to put together a 4-minute video that shows some of the park’s many vistas. Filmmakers Jim and Will Pattiz, who are from outside Atlanta, spent 24 days in the park and shot footage at 16 different sites. The stunning video is part of a project they started called More Than Just Parks, an attempt to draw...

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Pacolet Area Conservancy fund raising walk and trail run

Celebrate Earth Day, April 23, 2016 with these two “feel-good” Springtime Fundraising Events at Tryon Estates that will help Pacolet Area Conservancy preserve more of our mountains, farms, forests, waterways & greenspaces! 5K PACRun begins at 8:00 a.m., 7 – 7:45 a.m. Onsite Registration, or pre-register online at: strictlyrunning.com PACWalk, suitable for everyone...

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Obama designates new national monuments in the California desert

President Obama has set aside more of America’s lands and waters for conservation protection than any of his predecessors, and he is preparing to do even more before he leaves office next year. The result may be one of the most expansive environmental and historic-preservation legacies in presidential history. On Friday, February 12, 2016 Obama designated more than 1.8...

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Road to recovery begins in Porter Ranch as gas leak is halted at last

Nearly four months of environmental contamination and civic disruption in Porter Ranch, California came close to an end February 11, 2016 when work crews pierced the underground casing of the damaged Aliso Canyon gas well and started injecting it with a mud-like compound. “The well is no longer leaking,” said Jimmie Cho, senior vice president of gas...

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Historical Trails, Cherokees, and the Civil War

At Wild South, a large part of the Cultural Heritage department’s work is focused on researching and mapping historical trails on public lands. These trails tie us to the past, illustrating how ways of life have changed over time. Many trails and roads are directly connected to the history of the United States. For example, travel ways leading from western North Carolina...

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The Koch Brothers Are Now Funding The Bundy Land Seizure Agenda

The political network of the conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch signaled last week that it is expanding its financial and organizational support for a coalition of anti-government activists and militants who are working to seize and sell America’s national forests, monuments, and other public lands. The disclosure, made through emails sent by the American...

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Vistas of NC: Who Owns the View?

On an average morning thousands of North Carolinians wake up to the sight of a dusting of snow on area mountaintops. And while individuals can own much of the land, the state’s 25 land conservancies are working to protect the views for everyone to enjoy. They’re guided by the principle advocated by Ralph Waldo Emerson who wrote “None of us owns the...

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