Gorilla Trekking in Uganda: Up Close with Silverbacks

Only three countries in the world are home to mountain gorillas: Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). About 18,000 permits were given out in Uganda last year to see these gentle giants, with about 30,000 permits given in Rwanda. In total there are fewer than 900 gorillas in the wild—fewer than the white rhino (20,000), and fewer still than the...

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Man’s winter thru-hike a first for the Ice Age Trail

Mike Summers was in good company last week as he relaxed in a leather conference chair, munched on a supreme slice from Tano’s Pizza and sipped a Sprecher’s Hard Root Beer. At the end of the conference table was Tim Malzhan, 59, who thru-hiked the 1,200-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail more than 25 years ago. Across the table to his right was Luke Kloberdanz, 40, who...

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Tie Your Things with Perfect Knots

In our day to day life, knots plays a vital role. Starting from the shoe lace to camping and fishing, a perfect knot can be an essential requirement. There are several steps to tie knots perfectly for various purposes. For example, the square knot is useful for camping and hiking. A clove hitch knot is for securing rope around things. Fisherman’s knot is for...

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700 percent increase coming in cost of senior passes to national parks

Perhaps you are 62 or older and think you might want to visit a national park or two before you die. Let us offer you some advice: Get thee to a federal recreation site – be it a national park, national forest or Bureau of Land Management office – and buy a lifetime senior pass that gains you entrance to all federal lands that charge entrance fees, for as long as you...

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Hike highlights unknown soldier, stagecoach route

Trickling between Old Fort and Ridgecrest, Swannanoa Creek is a natural passageway into the Swannanoa Valley. Over the centuries, the storied tributary has led many travelers into Western North Carolina. The Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center will lead a moderate-to-difficult, mostly downhill, four-mile hike down this path on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, shedding...

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Hiking in a Forest Born Out of Mount Fuji’s Lava

A thick forest thrives on hardened lava that once flowed down Mount Fuji’s northwestern flank into lakes that reflect the volcano’s snow-capped cone like rippling mirrors. Within it, the roots of hemlock and cypress trees snake out over the ground through a blanket of moss, and trails lead to deep caverns filled with ice. The Aokigahara forest, as this tangle of woods is...

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Search and Rescue offers tips to avoid an emergency while hiking

Wherever a Search and Rescue (SAR) member goes; they are trained not to leave home without a 24-hour pack. The pack contains everything they need to stay out for 24 hours including water, flashlight, snacks, extra clothing and maps. Many of the searches conducted by SAR could have been prevented if the hikers had carried a map of the area; those venturing out need to...

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Impacts of the Party Rock Fire on Hickory Nut Gorge

Environmental experts will present information about the long-term effects of the Party Rock Fire on the natural environment in Hickory Nut Gorge on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 6 p.m. in the Community Hall at the Lake Lure Municipal Building. Experts include Clint Calhoun with the Town of Lake Lure, Marshall Ellis with NC State Parks, and Michael Cheek with the NC...

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Discover Chattanooga-area trails with local hiking groups

One of the major attractions of living in the Chattanooga, TN area is the abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities, which includes many miles of hiking trails close to town. As a new year gets underway, you may be thinking you’d like to get started or do more in the way of hiking some of those trails. Or you may already be an avid hiker who’s recently moved to...

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New world opens to public at Shady Dell

The public finally has the amazing opportunity of experiencing a section of California coastline that has been closed to the public for more than 100 years. Save the Redwoods League has opened their newly-constructed 2.3 mile trail, which cuts through 957 acres of forest known as the Shady Dell, and extends the Lost Coast Trail south, making it an even 60 miles in total...

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Smokies sets visitation record for 2016

Despite a late fall wildfire that shut down the park for nearly two weeks and scorched 11,000 acres, Great Smoky Mountains national park drew a record number of visitors last year. Park spokeswoman Jamie Sanders said more than 11.3 million people visited the Smokies in 2016, helping increase a healthy connection to the outdoors while boosting the economy. The visitation...

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How hiking with my autistic son reminded me of the best of WV

By Scott Finn It started out of desperation. Winter is a hard time for my son, Max. He has autism, which means he hates any break in routine — and winter has a knack for screwing up schedules. And not unlike most 10-year-old boys, Max is a tightly-wound ball of kinetic energy. He literally bounces off the walls during the winter. Sometimes, we get in the car and drive...

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Fonta Flora Trail links foothills, mountains near Asheville

It was a sleepy little town where farmers worked the rich land along the Linville River. The Burke County town of Fonta Flora was also once home to a post office, the Rhyne School and Old Sardis Church of 1838. But starting in 1916 the residents were dispersed and displaced to higher ground as the Catawba and Linville rivers and Paddy’s Creek were dammed to create Lake...

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N.H. woman becomes first to accomplish White Mountains hiking feat in single year

A New Hampshire woman has become the first known person to complete a vaunted White Mountains hiking challenge – which takes some hikers a lifetime – within a single year. Sue Johnston of Littleton, NH hiked each of the state’s 4,000-foot mountains in January, and then again in February, and in March, and so on, for a total of 576 peaks in 2016 – plus some...

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Happy trails lead to pristine beauty at 5 Hikes for 50 Years Challenge

Travel takes on lots of perspectives, depending on your mode of getting around. From high above in a plane, out the window of a moving car or train or perhaps from a bicycle perch, each grants its own scope of exploration. For an up close, intimate look at your surroundings, nothing beats hiking and connecting with your environment step by step. And nothing could be more...

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What you need to know before hiking the John Muir Trail

The John Muir Trail passes through what many backpackers say is the finest mountain scenery in the United States. This is a land of 13,000-foot and 14,000-foot peaks, of lakes in the thousands, and of canyons and granite cliffs. The John Muir Trail is also a land blessed with the mildest, sunniest climate of any major mountain range in the world. The trail is 211 miles...

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Ticks that carry Lyme disease found in Eastern US national parks

Lyme disease has been spreading across the United States over the past several decades, and a new study has confirmed that ticks carrying the disease are present in eastern national parks. According to the study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Park Service (NPS)...

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Blairstown named N.J.’s 1st Appalachian Trail community

The first Appalachian Trail Community in New Jersey is here. The Greater Blairstown Area is now an official community along the 2,180-mile Appalachian Trail. That puts Blairstown on trail guidebooks, hiking maps and on the trail’s website. Eventually, the designation could have a financial benefit for the town, Warren County’s Public Information Director Art...

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Utah’s Zion National Park so popular that even ‘offseason’ has gridlock

Even by Utah standards, few things are as beautiful as snow on redrock, especially in Zion Canyon where visitors can take in this lovely sight this week in the stillness of winter — if they can get there. It may be the middle of the “offseason,” but the canyon, the centerpiece of Zion National Park, has been so packed since Christmas that park officials have...

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Book offers guide to Ozarks hiking trails

Jim Warnock, principal at Arkansas’ Alma Intermediate School, wrote “Five-Star Trails: The Ozarks – 43 Spectacular Hikes in Arkansas and Missouri,” which was published in August. Warnock’s guide offers hiking advice, detailed trail descriptions, GPS coordinates, driving directions and topographical maps. A “recommended hikes”...

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Pulpit Rock: Hiking to the most spectacular cliff in Norway

If you’ve heard about one hiking trip in Norway, likely it was Pulpit Rock. With its jaw dropping cliff it is no wonder this is one of Norway’s most popular hikes — more than 270,000 hikers complete the trip every year. You will ascend about 330 meters [1,080 feet], but that will all be forgotten once you get to the edge of Lysefjorden and the 604 meter...

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Anza-Borrego Foundation has helped protect the California desert for 50 years

Dropping into Southern California’s Anza-Borrego State Park from a twisting ride down Montezuma Valley Road, you get the sense Anza-Borrego is a world unto itself. A world of ancient fossils and mysterious mirages, lush palm oases and hidden waterfalls, ocotillo forests, remote hiking trails and captivating wildlife from tarantulas and chuckwalla lizards to golden...

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Continental Divide Trail Coalition announces its 2017 Trail Days & Kick-Off

The Continental Divide Trail Coalition will hold its third annual Trail Days & Kick-Off throughout the weekend of April 28 through 30, 2017, in Silver City, NM to celebrate the launch of the 2017 hiking season on the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, and Silver City as the trail’s first Gateway Community. Continental Divide Trail Days will feature seminars,...

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New trail will link Tennessee Riverwalk to Cloudland Canyon State Park

The Chickamauga Dam and Cloudland Canyon State Park are just 2.9 miles of new trail away from being connected for ambitious hikers and mountain bikers. Lula Lake Land Trust crews are planning to begin work in January, 2017 on the Chattanooga Connector Trail that will link the land trust to Covenant College and provide the missing stretch in a network of trails between...

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How Can I Avoid Being Struck by Lightning?

Every thru-hiker will tell you there is a little voice in their head constantly nagging them to move forward. Thru-hikers are always concerned with making continuous progress on towards their goal, be it the Canadian border or the next resupply town. Yet traveling in lightning country often requires thru-hikers to be flexible with their schedule and hiking style because...

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Exploring Lake Clark National Park in Alaska

Lake Clark is one of the National Park System’s true gems—a large sliver of all of the best parts of Alaska rolled into one easy-to-get-to place. It is almost as if Mother Nature created it with explorers in mind, offering diverse environments for mountaineers, backpackers, paddlers, big-game fisherman, hikers, and photographers to play in. The lake that bares the park’s...

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North Carolina State Parks to Host First Day Hikes

For those looking to release pent-up energy from the holiday season, Pilot Mountain State Park officials have a suggestion: take a hike. A First Day Hike at the park that is, which will be helping to perpetuate a statewide New Year’s Day tradition. Every year on January 1 since 2011, parks across North Carolina have hosted First Day Hikes and encouraged the public to...

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Huts with History: 10 Australian Alpine Huts You Should Visit

There are around 200 huts scattered throughout Australia’s alpine regions. Though some of them are much newer, others date back as far as the 1860’s. For over 150 years, they’ve given shelter to cattlemen and women, gold miners, foresters, hydro-workers, fishermen, miners, skiers, and bushwalkers. Unquestionably, they’re an icon of European Australia. Unlike in other...

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Adventure Arkansas: Devil’s Den Hiking

There’s a place in Arkansas that runs the whole gambit of geologic features. From waterfalls, to sand stone structures to caves, there’s so much to explore, for free, at Devil’s Den State Park. Connecting with the earth and disconnecting from electronics is a positive trend that a park guide, Terry Elder, said she has been noticing among hikers. “They actually...

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Pacific Crest Trail hikers should know about Valley Fever

When it comes to Valley fever, awareness is key. Unfortunately, too few people know much of anything about it. A fungus that lives in the soil throughout the Southwest causes this terrible lung infection. The Pacific Crest Trail likely passes through areas where this fungus exists. According to doctors at U.C. Davis, Valley fever is on the rise in California. While the...

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