Hiking the Hayduke: Welcome to the Wild, Wild (South)West

The idea of the Hayduke Trail (HDT) was conceived in 1998 and is in fact not a trail at all, but an 800-ish mile route. It was designed by two adventurers who wanted to showcase the rugged, unspoiled beauty of the American Southwest by exploring the many national parks on the Colorado Plateau in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona, as well as the seldom seen but equally...

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Five Ways to Make the Outdoors More Inclusive

After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, Henry X. Finney came home to Virginia to sort out his future. He didn’t know what he would do, or how he would support his young family—until one day he saw a uniformed park ranger. Instantly, the next chapter of his life unfurled before him. He would be a ranger, and spend his career in the outdoors. “He said,...

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This Is What Happens to Your Body on a Thru-Hike

The secret to ultimate fitness isn’t all that complicated—just spend a month outside, hiking eight hours per day. Kyle Boelte breaks down how his body evolved into an efficient, fat-burning, testosterone-fueled machine over 29 days on the Colorado Trail. This summer, my wife and I hiked the Colorado Trail, a 486-mile, high-altitude trek from Denver to Durango....

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A Year Stronger: Appalachian Trail Successes in 2018

2018 was a big year for the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Despite several major weather events and three partial government shutdowns, 2018 was filled with multiple Trail milestones and the long-awaited completion of several ongoing projects. Thanks to the hard work of conservancy staff, volunteers, members, communities and supporters of the A.T., the Trail will enter 2019...

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It’s Time for First Day Hikes Once Again

What better way to kick off the New Year than by getting a jump start burning off those extra holiday calories in the great outdoors? On New Year’s Day, America’s State Parks have all 50 states offering free, guided First Day Hike Programs. These hikes provide a means for individuals and families to welcome the coming year in the outdoors, exercising and connecting with...

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Winter hiking offers a new perspective

There are plenty of reasons to embrace hiking in the colder months — among them the fact that there are no biting insects buzzing around, and the heat and humidity of summer are gone. A completely unscientific poll of other hikers yielded three top reasons for hitting the trail in winter: solitude, smoother trekking, and fantastic views. “When it isn’t windy, it’s...

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Explorer completes historic Antarctic trek

American Colin O’Brady has completed the first-ever solo, unsupported, unaided crossing of Antarctica. According to his website, which has been tracking his GPS signal since he departed November 3, 2018, he has arrived at the Ross Ice Shelf on the Pacific Ocean. Using solely his own muscle power, O’Brady skied 932 miles pulling a 300-pound sled over 54 frigid days across...

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Hiking is for everyone, but not everyone feels welcome to hike

Sirena Rana Dufault has hiked Mount Lemmon, outside Tucson, more times than she can say. But she still has a sense of wonder, noticing little things, including a dust-colored lizard skittering past. Dufault, 44, appears at home here, in a pine forest, on a trail. “I want other people to experience this,” she said. “And I want other people to feel like they’re welcome to...

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Alberta photographer takes shelter dogs on hikes to help them find forever homes

An Alberta, Canada photographer is taking shelter dogs on adventures to show off their personalities and help them find loving families that are a good fit. Rachael Rodgers, of Canmore, has worked with seven or eight local shelters over the past year to photograph around 80 dogs. She’s tried to take out at least one dog every week and sometimes more. “My goal...

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Volunteer group earns national recognition for trail sign project, other accomplishments

Placing a trail sign may sound like a simple endeavor, but there’s more to it than might be expected. While the cheapest signs might only cost $50, larger ones can be several hundred and a big sign the group bought for the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest cost $1,500. Shipping, posts and theft-resistant hardware also ran up the costs. Signs posted on federal lands must...

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Sun City resident is an Arizona Trail yo-yo

Sun City resident Art Huseonica got into the record books Dec. 12, 2018 when he completed a second leg of hiking the 800-mile Arizona Trail. The feat made him the oldest person to yo-yo hike the trail, meaning he has made the trek from south to north, then again from north to south. At 67, he is the oldest hiker to complete the 1,600-mile journey. Only two other hikers...

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Crews make improvements to section of Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail

Just in time for your New Year’s resolution to spend more time outside, a section of Tennessee’s Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail in Williamson and Maury counties has received some needed restoration. Twenty-five miles of the Highland Rim section of the trail, roughly from mile marker 405 to mile marker 430, just north of Garrison Creek, were improved by...

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Hikers, bikers, riders, get good news for Santa Susana Mountains trail network

Another step in a plan to add miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails throughout the Santa Susana Mountains in unincorporated northwest Los Angeles County has moved forward after years in the works. Phase II of the Santa Susana Mountains Trails Master Plan was unanimously approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. It adds 58 miles of trails to the...

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Quoting ‘The Lorax,’ court tosses permit for pipeline to cross Appalachian Trail

  A permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross two national forests, including parts of the Appalachian Trail, was thrown out Thursday by a federal appeals court that harshly criticized regulators for approving the proposal. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond blasted the U.S. Forest Service for granting a special-use...

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Hiking Providence Canyon State Park, Georgia’s ‘Little Grand Canyon’

Reminiscent of a southwestern US landscape, Providence Canyon State Park’s colorful, sculpted canyon walls carve deep through a sandy, stream-filled landscape near Columbus, Georgia. Soft-bedded, sandy hiking trails wind and weave through vibrantly-colored carved canyons, exploring an ever-evolving landscape of loose sandstone and trickling water. The park’s unusually...

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How Stone Stacking Wreaks Havoc on National Parks

The stacks look like small shrines to mountain solitude, carefully balanced at the edge of a precipice. But when Zion National Park posted the photo, in September, the social-media coördinators for the park included a plea: “Please, enjoy the park but leave rocks and all natural objects in place.” The post noted the “curious but destructive practice” of building small...

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It’s Nearly Time for First Day Hikes Once Again

What better way to kick off the New Year than by getting a jump start burning off those extra holiday calories in the great outdoors? On New Year’s Day, America’s State Parks have all 50 states offering free, guided First Day Hike Programs. These hikes provide a means for individuals and families to welcome the coming year in the outdoors, exercising and connecting with...

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On 50th anniversary of Pacific Crest Trail, volunteers have opportunity to make their mark

For the last 50 years, the Pacific Crest Trail has been a testament to the natural beauty of the western United States. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the trail, the Bakersfield, CA office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management will host a friendly “work weekend” at a portion of the trail near Ridgecrest to allow the public to help maintain the path in that area....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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