Popular Lost Valley hiking area near Buffalo River closing for major makeover

One of the Buffalo National River’s most popular hiking destinations will be closed for 10 weeks for a major makeover. The Lost Valley day-use area and trail near Ponca, Arkansas, will be closed beginning Dec. 10, with an expected reopening in late February. According to the National Park Service, Lost Valley draws about 77,000 visitors a year but has suffered...

Learn More

Western North Carolina to get millions for land and stream protection, recreation

Western North Carolina will see more hiking trails, added land for the Blue Ridge Parkway and state natural areas and better water quality thanks to $20.7 million in grants awarded recently through the state’s Clean Water Management Trust Fund. The grants awarded to municipalities, state agencies and conservation groups will fund 54 projects relating to land...

Learn More

Monumental Disaster at the Department of the Interior

This is a tough time to be a federal scientist—or any civil servant in the federal government. The Trump administration is clamping down on science, denying dangerous climate change and hollowing out the workforces of the agencies charged with protecting American health, safety and natural resources. At the Department of the Interior (DOI), with its mission to conserve...

Learn More

Memory lanes: the ramblers trying to save 10,000 lost footpaths

England and Wales have about 140,000 miles of footpaths, but there are an estimated 10,000 more that have been lost from current maps. Even that figure looks like a huge underestimate: a recent survey in Cornwall alone identified 3,000 possible paths that had fallen out of use and needed to be checked. That work of rediscovery is being done by volunteers, people such as...

Learn More

Smokies Park Hosts Annual Festival of Christmas Past Program

Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host the annual Festival of Christmas Past celebration on Saturday, December 8, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Sugarlands Visitor Center. The event, sponsored in cooperation with Great Smoky Mountains Association, is free to the public. The festival will include mountain music, traditional shape note singing, mountain craft...

Learn More

No better time than winter for hiking in and around Palm Springs

You can only play so much tennis or golf. And hanging around the pool? It can get really boring. So when visiting the Palm Springs area, head into the hills for some hiking. There are plenty of trails, from easy to strenuous, in this corner of the Sonoran Desert. Trails covering more than 1,250 miles lie within a 60-mile radius of Palm Springs, said Nancy Bone, a member...

Learn More

19 of 20 World Leaders Just Pledged to Fight Climate Change. Trump Was the Lone Holdout.

It is telling that on two of the most contentious topics at the Buenos Aires Group of 20 meeting, the United States eventually joined 19 other world leaders on trade, but when it comes to climate change, President Donald Trump remained firmly alone in his belief that it is a hoax. Trump was the only holdout. While the communiqué affirms support for the Paris climate...

Learn More

Traveling To Asia? Add Hiking In Hong Kong To Your Itinerary

Hong Kong’s New Territories is one of the best off-the-beaten path destinations. Only 25% of Hong Kong is developed, with a staggering 40% officially reserved for nature preserves and county parks that are managed by the Government Park Authority. Trails are easily accessible, marked and although very beautiful, not high density. Given that in most metropolises...

Learn More

What climate change will do to America, region by region

Look, at this point, even the most stubborn among us know that climate change is coming for us. We really don’t have much time until the climate plagues we’re already getting previews of — mega-wildfires, rising sea-levels, superstorm after superstorm — start increasing in frequency. The 4th National Climate Assessment says all that and much more is on its way. Here’s...

Learn More

Plan calls for Route 66 to become National Historic Trail

There’s a new proposal moving through Congress seeking to designate Route 66, the highway that connected Chicago to Los Angeles and was once an economic driver for small towns across a post-World War II United States, as a National Historic Trail. U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Jim Inhofe announced this week the introduction of a bipartisan bill that would amend the...

Learn More

Climate report details deep hits to the Southwest

Climate change is here. It’s human-caused. And it’s going to deliver a blow to American prosperity. Already hard-hit by drought, wildfires and declining water supplies, the southwestern United States will continue to face those challenges — and new ones. That’s the message from a federal report released over the holiday weekend about climate change and its impact on the...

Learn More

National Forest Foundation Plants a Record 2.6 Million Trees in 2018

In 2018, the largest number of trees were planted in a single year by the National Forest Foundation. The NFF works with the U.S. Forest Service to restore priority sites on America’s 193-million-acres of National Forests and engages Americans across the country in stewarding and enjoying these landscapes. The NFF announced a campaign to plant 50 million trees on...

Learn More

Next Smokies trail project announced

  A two-year effort to rehabilitate Rainbow Falls Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now complete, and the next Trails Forever project has been announced — Trillium Gap Trail, a 6.6-mile path that intersects with the Rainbow Falls Trail at Mount LeConte. The rehabilitation of Trillium Gap Trail will take two years, beginning in May 2019, and...

Learn More

These Columbia River Gorge hikes reopened on ‘Green Friday’

For the first time since the Eagle Creek Fire, six miles of the Historic Columbia River Highway and several popular trails near Multnomah Falls have reopened, including Angels Rest, Wahkeena Falls, Horsetail Falls and Larch Mountain trails east of Portland. The reopening includes the full 7-mile Multnomah Falls to Wahkeena Falls loop. A short half-mile hike from...

Learn More

Government climate report warns of worsening US disasters

As California’s catastrophic wildfires recede and people rebuild after two hurricanes, a massive new federal report warns that these types of extreme weather disasters are worsening in the United States. The White House report quietly issued the Friday after Thanksgiving also frequently contradicts President Donald Trump. The National Climate Assessment was written long...

Learn More

Climate change: Warming gas concentrations at new record high

Concentrations of key gases in the atmosphere that are driving up global temperatures reached a new high in 2017. In their annual greenhouse gas bulletin, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says there is no sign of reversal in this rising trend. Carbon dioxide levels reached 405 parts per million (ppm) in 2017, a level not seen in 3-5 million years. Researchers...

Learn More

Heather Anderson Completed a Calendar-Year Triple Crown

The Triple Crown is often considered the pinnacle of the thru-hiking world. To complete the feat, a person must hike the 2,190-mile Appalachian, 2,650-mile Pacific Crest, and 3,100-mile Continental Divide trails—a task that typically takes at least three years, with five or six months dedicated to each effort. But for a select few, there is an even more impressive Triple...

Learn More

Coast Guard orders cleanup of massive 14-year oil spill in Gulf of Mexico

The federal government issued an ultimatum to an energy company to stop an oil spill that has been leaking thousands of gallons into the Gulf of Mexico every day for more than 14 years. In an order issued by the U.S. Coast Guard, Taylor Energy Co. was told to “institute a … system to capture, contain, or remove oil” from the site or face a $40,000 per day fine for...

Learn More

It’s now cheaper to build a new wind farm than to keep a coal plant running

Inflation dictates that the cost of living will continue to rise — except, it seems, when it comes to renewable energy. The cost of building a new utility-scale solar or wind farm has now dropped below the cost of operating an existing coal plant, according to an analysis by the investment bank Lazard. Accounting for government tax credits and other energy incentives...

Learn More

Duke Energy Begins Final Phase of Mt. Sterling Solar Project

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that Duke Energy will remove utility poles and overhead powerline along a 3.5-mile utility corridor that extends from the park boundary at Mt. Sterling Road (Hwy NC284) to the Mt. Sterling Fire Lookout Tower beginning Monday, November 19, 2018 through Friday, November 30. Work will not occur on weekends or the...

Learn More

How to Survive a Forest Fire while Hiking or Camping

Extensive studies and research have proven that wildfires are occurring five times more often in the recent decades; such forest fires also burn six times the land area when compared to past occurrences and also tend to last much longer. According to scientific research, climate change and global warming are the two main culprits to be blamed for the sudden increase in...

Learn More

Going for the three-peat: Franklin outdoor store opens two new locations in 2018

When Rob Gasbarro and Cory McCall met in 2008, their friendship formed around hiking and biking the mountains surrounding Franklin, NC, their weekdays filled by burgeoning careers in civil structural engineering and real estate, respectively. Then came the recession. Things got bad and then worse. By 2010, the careers that they’d planned to retire in, provide for...

Learn More

New permit system will limit hiking in Oregon’s Mount Jefferson, Three Sisters wilderness in 2020

Hiking and camping in three of Oregon’s most popular wilderness areas will be restricted starting in 2020, an attempt by outdoor officials to limit damage from growing crowds of visitors. The U.S. Forest Service announced a decision to install a permit system limiting the number of people in the Mount Jefferson, Three Sisters and Mount Washington Wilderness areas....

Learn More

Exploring Arizona’s Vermilion Cliffs

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is only a few hours north of the state’s most famous attraction, the Grand Canyon, but most people have never heard of the stunning wilderness area, much less visited its swirling, colorful sandstone. There’s a reason for that—getting to know the monument isn’t easy. While the stunning 2,000- to 3,000-foot namesake cliffs run for...

Learn More

In stunning loss, 83% of Santa Monica Mountains federal parkland burned in Woolsey fire

The Woolsey fire burned about 83% of national park land in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, a stunning loss of a cherished open space area for Southern California. The Santa Monica Mountains, which stretch from Hollywood Hills to Point Mugu in Ventura County, have long offered Southern Californians a respite from the city below with the range’s array...

Learn More

What made this father/daughter hike in Yosemite work? Respect, reliance on each other and appreciating what it means to be young

The first night camping set the pattern for our trip. We slipped into roles without asking each other who was going to do what. We just did what needed doing. On our hike, Alanna set a moderate pace. The Vogelsang High Sierra Camp became our point of no return. If we kept going now, we had to continue all the way. I knew how much it meant to her, and I too wanted to know...

Learn More

First responders train for wilderness rescues at DuPont Forest

More then 200 emergency personnel from across the United States gathered in DuPont State Recreational Forest this past weekend for the 13th annual DuPont Rescue Experience. The training exercise, which began Friday and concluded Sunday, was divided into four 12-hour operational periods and managed using the National Incident Management System. This year the theme of the...

Learn More

Effect of Recreational Trails on Forest Birds: Human Presence Matters

Recreational activities in nature have increased enormously in the last decades. This trend is raising concerns of researchers and conservationists about the potential impact of human recreation on wild animals. Humans are often perceived as potential predators by wildlife. Thus, when exposed to human presence, animals may react with important changes in their behavior...

Learn More

Hit the dirt and say happy birthday to the Continental Divide Trail

This weekend, one of America’s most prestigious trails, and one that winds through Colorado, turns 40 years old. The Continental Divide Trail, which runs 3,100 miles from Canada to Mexico, was officially founded in 1978, marking 2018 its 40th year serving as a beloved part of Colorado’s outdoor recreation. Hikers, horseback riders, runners, cross-country skiers,...

Learn More

Making tracks: Kids trails program earns recognition after decade of growth

In 2008, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation launched a new program aiming to get kids and families out exploring the high-elevation corridor. Ever since, the Kids in Parks program has mushroomed into a national endeavor with designated trails from San Diego, California, to Nags Head, North Carolina. Kids in Parks was recognized for its decade of accomplishments when it...

Learn More

First International Agreement Protecting Newly Opened Arctic High Seas

The Pew Charitable Trusts today praised the signing of an international agreement that prevents unregulated fishing in the high seas of the Central Arctic Ocean for at least 16 years unless science-based measures are agreed upon and established. Delegations from nine nations and the European Union met near Greenland’s Ilulissat Ice Fjord to finalize the accord, the first...

Learn More

Veterans Day Is Fee Free at Our National Parks

Many national parks have direct connections to the American military—there are dozens of battlefields, military parks, and historic sites that commemorate and honor the service of American veterans. In addition, every national park is part of our collective identity that defines who we are and where we came from as a nation. They are tactile reminders of the values, the...

Learn More