Explorers to create new 1,000-mile hiking trail through Georgia and Armenia

Explorers are setting out to create a 1,000-mile hiking route across a little-visited mountain range in Georgia and Armenia called the Trans Caucasian Trail. The team will survey and hike off-road routes over the next six months to design the first long distance walking trail through the Lesser Caucasus mountains. The team’s leaders will use technology to gather...

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Spanish steps: family hiking in the Picos de Europa

The Picos de Europa range – which is inland from the Spain’s Atlantic coast – is in that select category of travel destinations where school summer holidays are actually the optimum time to visit. The weather on Spain’s “green coast” can change fast and it is important to have rain gear at the ready, and so August, the driest month of the year, represents the best time...

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Hike Nova Scotia to hold Hiking summit

Hike Nova Scotia is holding its fifth annual Hiking Summit, a celebration of the province’s hiking-walking-snowshoeing culture. It will include sharing best practices, stories and networking among attendees including avid hikers, hiking clubs, trail groups, the provincial government, municipalities and others. The Digby Area Recreation Commission and the Fundy Erratics...

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Black hikers break the ‘green ceiling’ and clear a path for nature enthusiasts

David McCullough often gets sideways glances while he is hiking near Philadelphia. There is nothing immediately startling about McCullough, a museum educator with a studious look and a neatly trimmed goatee. But as a black man in the great outdoors, McCullough is usually in a racial minority of one. “It’s conspicuous, you’re aware of it,” he says. “There are looks. You...

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AmeriCorps Project Conserve Seeking 2016-2017 Service Year Applications

AmeriCorps Project Conserve 2016-2017 position descriptions are up. This Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy program places members in service with one of 18 host site organizations working to protect the unique natural resources of the southern Blue Ridge Mountain region. Each member will serve 1,700 hours during an 11 month term, from September 1st through July 31st....

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George Masa and the birth of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

In 2015, more than 4 million non-local visitors flocked to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, reaffirming its place as the system’s most visited location. Yet how many of those visitors had ever heard of the diminutive but energetic Japanese immigrant whose remarkable photos and tireless exploration of the Smokies played a key role in the park’s creation? And how many...

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SAHC helps Rocky Fork State Park acquire tract for public access

Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy helped celebrate Earth Day with the closing of an exciting new project which will enable more people to learn about and enjoy the incredible Rocky Fork region. They worked with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to purchase a 1-acre tract to facilitate public access for Rocky Fork State Park. “This 1-acre...

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Schoolhouse Gap Trail to Whiteoak Sink, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Without a doubt one of the most popular wildflower hikes on the Tennessee side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Whiteoak Sink is a basin surrounded by steep hills. In April each year this natural botanical garden comes alive with more than 30 varieties of native wildflowers right alongside the trail for all to enjoy. The name “Sink” comes from the...

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National Park Visitor Spending Contributes $32 Billion to Economy

Spending by a record number of national park visitors in 2015 provided a $32 billion benefit to the nation’s economy and supported 295,000 jobs, according to a report released by NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “The big picture of national parks and their importance to the economy is clear,” Jarvis said of the $16.9 billion visitors spent in communities within 60 miles...

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Koch Brothers Help Fund Anti-Grand Canyon Monument, Pro-Uranium Mining Efforts in Arizona, Tax Documents Show

A string of dark-money organizations with ties to the billionaire Koch brothers is helping Arizona politicians and special-interest groups fight the popular Grand Canyon National Heritage Monument proposal, tax documents show. The money trail begins with a conservative political advocacy organization funded in part by Charles and David Koch and their vast donor network,...

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Congress to border brass: Let Pacific Crest Trail hikers come in from Canada

Hikers coming into the U.S. from Canada should be able to enjoy spectacular northern reaches of the Pacific Crest Trail and not face fine or arrest, 20 members of Congress have written to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “Unfortunately, hikers seeking to traverse the PCT from its northern most point on the Canadian side of the border are unable to legally do so...

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Search & rescue team gives Multnomah Falls some much needed TLC

At 620 feet, Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in Oregon. It’s awe-inspiring, making it one of the most popular destinations in the Pacific Northwest. Each year, 2 million people visit the dramatic, two-tiered falls, taking pictures from all angles, but very few get to see it suspended on a rappel rope, from below the footbridge. Tony Hobkirk and his search...

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Shenandoah wildfire grows to 3,000 acres, shuts down 12 trails and Skyline Drive

Shenandoah National Park is on fire and the blaze is growing. The National Park Service said that 3,000 acres have been charred since the fire started on April 16, 2016. Officials don’t know what sparked the fire, but they think it was likely human-caused. The smoke from the confusingly-named “Rocky Mount” fire could be seen on visible satellite imagery. Photos show...

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Fees proposed for North Carolina’s DuPont State Forest to help manage growth

DuPont State Recreational Forest’s popularity has been increasing rapidly, and forest leaders say that growth is putting a strain on their ability to accommodate visitors. At the annual meeting of Friends of DuPont State Forest, members heard about a fee proposal that would bring in revenue for more amenities to help shoulder the growing load of visitors. The...

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How Hiking 500 Miles Changed the Way I Relate to My Mind And Body

By Xo Jane for In Style Magazine Long before I understood the word “anxiety,” I knew I was an anxious child. I was a worrier — worried that the world would end, worried I would spontaneously get sick, and worried about everyone around me. I was constantly told that I was a worrier, and so of course, I worried about worrying. I was also a huge fan of labels. I...

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Alps Mountaineering Featherlite Air Mat

The ALPS Mountaineering Featherlite sleeping pad is one of a series of ultra-lite pads coming from this small company located in rural east central Missouri. ALPS offers performance-oriented packs, tents, sleeping bags, furniture, air pads, and air beds — a good start for those backpacker/campers who love the adventurous life. Since the ALPS Mountaineering...

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Coalition Forms New Non-profit to Support Pisgah District

Representatives of a variety of Pisgah user groups, in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, announced the formation of a North Carolina non-profit corporation called The Pisgah Conservancy. The new organization’s mission is to preserve the natural resources and scenic beauty of the Pisgah Ranger District and to enhance the experience of all visitors to Pisgah....

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Fire Danger High Across North Carolina

The U.S. Forest Service and the North Carolina Forest Service are warning the public of high fire danger across North Carolina. Fire danger is high across the state due to lack of rainfall in recent weeks and low humidity. Conditions across North Carolina are forecasted to remain dry for the next couple weeks. April typically marks the height of wildfire season in North...

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Volunteer work day at the Blue Ridge Music Center

We’re at the beginning of another Blue Ridge Parkway season, and it’s time to start preparing the Blue Ridge Music Center area for visitors. The Fisher Peak Chapter of FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway is planning a workday on Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 10 a.m. til noon with a hot dog cookout immediately following the work activities. FRIENDS will be...

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5 state parks that should go national

For nearly 40 years, Craig Pugsley has worked at Custer State Park in South Dakota’s magnificent Black Hills, greeting guests and answering their many questions as they enter the visitors center. Other than asking about the bathrooms, one of the most common comments is, “I can’t believe this isn’t a national park.” “People are struck by the size, the diversity of...

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Plan a long-distance trek on Minnesota’s Superior Hiking Trail

Hugging the ridgelines above Lake Superior along northeastern Minnesota’s North Shore, the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) is the hottest long-distance footpath in the cool Northwoods. The SHT links two state forests, eight state parks and a national forest, plus it offers some 296 miles of continuous trail from Jay Cooke State Park near Duluth, Minn., to the Canadian...

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We Just Crushed The Global Record For Hottest Start Of Any Year

NASA reports that this was the hottest three-month start (January to March) of any year on record. It beat the previous record — just set in 2015 — by a stunning 0.7°F (0.39°C). Normally, such multi-month records are measured in the hundredths of a degree. Last month was the hottest March and February the hottest on record by far. It followed the hottest January on...

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Joshua Tree popularity promotes launch of new hiking site

When you eventually reach the top of Queen Mountain in Joshua Tree National Park, there is little more up there than a U.S. Geological Survey marker and a Boys Scout log book kept inside a black, plastic water-tight box. That, and the sort of quiet, breezy views of the vast high desert, this perch at 5,687 feet will most surely offer, all under the careful watch of a...

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Greenland is melting way ahead of schedule

To say the 2016 Greenland melt season is off to the races is an understatement. Warm, wet conditions rapidly kicked off the melt season this weekend, more than a month-and-a-half ahead of schedule. It has easily set a record for earliest melt season onset, and marks the first time it’s begun in April. Little to no melt through winter is the norm as sub-zero temperatures...

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Desert Solitaire: Hiking the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness in Northern New Mexico

Until very recently, the Bisti and De-Na-Zin Wilderness areas of northwest New Mexico were a locals’ secret. They were miles from anywhere, and you were more likely to see cow than a person when hiking around the 45,000 acres of dramatic and desolate desert. Over the last few years, a few high profile dinosaur finds, some effective marketing, and the internet have come...

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Black Bears in Graveyard Fields and Shining Rock Wilderness Vicinity

The Pisgah National Forest is encouraging visitors to Graveyard Fields, Black Balsam, or the Shining Rock Wilderness areas of the Pisgah Ranger District to be on the look-out for black bears. The large number of bear sightings and encounters in the past few years has led to required use of bear-proof canisters in these specific areas and a camping closure in Graveyard...

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Fracking’s Total Environmental Impact Is Staggering, Report Finds

The body of evidence is growing that fracking is not only bad for the global climate, it is also dangerous for local communities. And affected communities are growing in number. A new report details the sheer amount of water contamination, air pollution, climate impacts, and chemical use in fracking in the United States. “For the past decade, fracking has been a...

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18 short walks in Australia

One favorite way to explore any destination is on foot and during an 18-month road trip around OZ this family on a mission to discover some of the best short walks in Australia. They love walking as a family activity and getting out in nature, even if it means their toddler ends up riding on shoulders – which tends to happen on some of their longer walks. Walking is a...

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The Goat Whisperers of Roan Mountain

With the help of human herders, some hungry goats are saving the sensitive balds of Roan Mountain. Sixteen goats have gone missing, lost in one of the hardwood forests lining Roan Mountain’s southern Appalachian balds. Treeless and naturally occurring, the balds straddle two national forests: the Cherokee in Tennessee and the Pisgah in North Carolina. The balds existed...

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How Nature Can Make You Kinder, Happier, and More Creative

Scientists are beginning to find evidence that being in nature has a profound impact on our brains and our behavior, helping us to reduce anxiety, brooding, and stress, and increase our attention capacity, creativity, and our ability to connect with other people. “People have been discussing their profound experiences in nature for the last several 100 years—from Thoreau...

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AccuWeather Launches Exclusive Day By Day 90-Day Forecast

AccuWeather today announced its launch of the Day By Day 90-Day Forecast now available on AccuWeather.com desktop and mobile websites, providing users with the most advanced notice and detailed information on local weather conditions. AccuWeather’s new tools provide 90 days of daily forecasts, a valuable means for planning further in advance, including activities like...

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Following in Cherokee footsteps across WNC

Crossing the green field and climbing the hill, Lamar Marshall stops and unfolds his topo map from his backpack. This wind-whipped summit overlooking a bend of the Little Tennessee River is not a natural feature, but a mound made by the land’s ancient inhabitants in a town once called Cowee. Standing where the Cherokee council house once held a sacred fire, Marshall can...

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