New book explores family-friendly hiking in Maine

Where should you hike with the kids next? That’s the question a new hiking guide by Bangor Daily News outdoors columnist Aislinn Sarnacki seeks to answer. The recently released book “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine” features 35 easy hikes from across the state. And if anyone knows hiking here in Maine, it’s Sarnacki. She estimates she’s hiked 250 trails in Maine since she...

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A Guide to Hiking SoCal’s San Gabriel Valley

In Southern California, you just can’t beat the mountain ranges. Whether you’ve got your eye on the peaks in the Santa Monica Mountains, the Santa Susanas, the San Bernardinos, the Sierras, the Verdugos or the San Gabriels … the Simi Hills or the San Rafael Hills … or the Temblor Range or the Coso Range (just to name a few) … these are some of the best (and the highest)...

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Best hikes of the Columbia River Gorge

Hiking season is underway in the Columbia River Gorge. While occasionally spectacular during the depths of winter, it’s the spring months of April, May and June when the Gorge reaches its scenic peak. Blooms of wildflowers, roaring waterfalls, panoramic viewpoints and mossy forest combine to offer singular hiking experiences up and down the national scenic area. To get...

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1,100 miles: Discovering Florida’s hidden trail

There’s a dirt trail that starts on the fringe of the Everglades and stretches the length of Florida. It’s a footpath, really, that runs under swamps and over roots, along rivers, and through the barren, still remains of wildfires. Dozens of hikers head to the trail’s start every year, a small plaque engraved in stone behind a visitor’s center on U.S. 41 halfway...

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Memorial Day Weekend Kicks Off Vermont’s Hiking Season

The holiday weekend is traditionally the start of the hiking season in Vermont. Hiking is one of the state’s top summer tourism draws and the Green Mountain Club (GMC) estimates 200,000 people visit The Long Trail each year. The official protectors and maintainers of the Long Trail, the 107-year-old Green Mountain Club is the premier Vermont hiking organization with...

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New ‘Hiking Alaska’ book offers more routes, more color — and more heft

Just in time for the start of another hiking season, the third edition of the venerable guidebook “Hiking Alaska” has hit the shelves. It’s easily the most comprehensive statewide resource for residents and visitors who are looking for the best places to put their feet to the ground. Author Mollie Foster has greatly expanded the book from previous...

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Francis Marion National Forest a great escape

Centered directly between South Carolina’s top two tourist destinations, Charleston and Myrtle Beach, the Francis Marion National Forest’s nearly 260,000 acres sprawl across Berkeley and Charleston counties and have enhanced the lives of visitors and residents for decades. Officially designated in 1936, the area is named in honor of the fabled American Revolutionary War...

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The Road Mistaken: 6 Common Mistakes New Hikers Make

Trying any sport or hobby for the first time can be nerve-wracking; adjusting to a new set of rules, lingo, setting, and even physical demands can stir up chaos in our already frazzled brains, making us reluctant to try new and exciting things. Hiking is an activity that continues to be a learning process. No matter how many summits you reach, you still find yourself...

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Hiking trail improvements are on track in NY

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $2 million in funding for projects to improve and expand State Park hiking trails and outdoor recreational access projects in State Parks across New York. The 2017-18 budget dedicates nearly $2 million to 12 projects to improve and expand State Park hiking trails and outdoor recreational access projects across New York. The trails...

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What Makes A Map Beautiful, According To A Parks Ranger

This national parks ranger and self-proclaimed cartomaniac shares favorites from his extensive map collection. Clambering in the back of a van or station wagon and driving with your folks to your nearest national park used to be a summer tradition. Certainly, it was for Matt Holly, who grew up to be a national park’s ranger. “I come from a family that loved visiting...

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7 of the Best Hiking Trails in New Jersey

For Dawn L. McClennen, there’s nothing like the feeling of being outside with just a pair of hiking shoes and a backpack. “You’re away from technology, out in the fresh air,” McClennen said. “There’s this sense of adventure. You’re exploring sights you haven’t seen before.” McClennen, 47, has been hiking for a little...

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The Top Four Hiking Trails Of South Florida

For many people, the ideal Florida vacation includes beach, sun, sand and a cold beverage. While the beaches of South Florida are certainly some of the best in the world, there is much more to the region than beaches, theme parks and crocodiles. Hiking in Florida might not be touted as the main tourist option, but if you get tired of sunbathing and Disney World isn’t...

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Vail Nature Center expands hiking schedule

Walking Mountains Science Center and the Vail Recreation District’s hiking schedule kicks off in June 2017 with added trails, more peaks and learning on public lands. The Backcountry Hiking program, centered out of the Vail Nature Center in Vail, Colorado, runs from the beginning of June through the end of October, catching the summer wildflower blooms along with...

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Cradle of Forestry Offers Walks to Beaver Wetland

The Cradle of Forestry invites the public to a program, “Bogs, Bugs and Beavers,” on Saturday, May 27, 2017. The program begins in the Forest Discovery Center at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. with an introduction about beavers’ adaptations to living in a watery world. Then naturalists will lead walks to elevated boardwalks along the Pink Beds Trail,...

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Smokies Park Reminds Visitors to be Bear Aware

As the busy summer season approaches, Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials want to remind visitors about precautions they can take while enjoying the park to keep themselves and bears safe. Bears are particularly active this time of year in search for spring foods. Visitors should be prepared in how to safely observe bears without disturbing them during this...

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Celebrate hiking on National Trails Day June 3, 2017

The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and REI invite nature lovers and adventure seekers to an open house at trail conference headquarters on Saturday, June 3, in celebration of National Trails Day. The event includes tours of the headquarters at Darlington Schoolhouse, guided hikes through Ramapo Valley County Reservation, and stewardship opportunities to help make a...

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Author publishes a beginner’s guide to mindful hiking in Sonoma County

Paula Phillips Marks was almost 50 when she took her first real hike, and she remembers it vividly. A friend took her on what was supposed to be a short stroll in Annadel State Park. They didn’t have a map and got lost. Seven hours and 11 miles later they limped back to the car. For many, a first hike of this sort might also have been their last, but not for Marks, who...

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Harmon Den Timber Harvesting Project Resumes

The USFS has resumed a project that includes timber harvesting in the Harmon Den area of the Appalachian Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest, approximately 25 miles northwest of Asheville, North Carolina. Benefits of the timber harvesting include improved wildlife habitat for species including elk, deer, grouse and other species that benefit from areas of young...

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6 ways to get the best workout while hiking

Modern workout machines, like treadmills, offer flat and predictable workout surfaces. Although you can adjust the incline slightly, it does not offer a consistent challenge. In fact, most people fail to see expected results after months of using their treadmill. Hiking engages the entire body as it requires the use of hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, abdominals, calves,...

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Oregon club using hand tools to clear wilderness trail

The sharp teeth of the cross-cut saw carve like a file through the thick fir log to the rhythm of Jason Middleton and Aaron Babcock pushing and pulling this antique tool of the backwoods. “We’d already be through it but we hit a knot,” Babcock says. The knot proves to be no match for the seasoned saw, and the split log sloughs into the Middle Fork...

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Officials stress preparation for hikers, warn of tricky trail conditions

Law enforcement and search and rescue personnel encourage adventurers to plan ahead, use the buddy system and tell loved ones where they’re headed as they venture into the Columbia River Gorge or the Northwest’s other wonders as the weather warms. Trails can be tricky this time of year, a Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said, citing slick...

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For Palestinian Hikers In West Bank, A Chance To Enjoy Nature And Escape Tensions

The hikers pile out of minivans on the side of a serpentine highway, climb a dusty hill, pass a Bedouin woman preparing morning bread in a tent, then turn the corner and find themselves embraced by the desert hills — a world apart. Outdoor exploration is a weekly Friday morning ritual for the group, which calls itself Shat’ha, or “Picnic” in Arabic –...

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Navigating the Ups and Downs While Hiking the Condor Trail

The Condor Trail is a wilderness route through the mountains in the Santa Barbara, California backcountry running more than 400 miles from Lake Piru in the south to Bottcher’s Gap in the mountains above Big Sur near Carmel. It goes through seven wilderness areas in the Los Padres National Forest. It is not an easy trail — in parts, there is no trail. Inspired by trails...

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Make Hiking Rugged Again

Leave your hydration monitor, bluetooth speaker, and autonomous drone at home. On the trail, you’ll only need your brawn, smarts, and a smattering of old-school gear for this sort of hiking trip. Hiking trails these days are overcrowded, sissified dirt highways of giant-backpack-wearing, ill-prepared softies. Did the great explorers of pioneer days need zinc on their...

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Boise’s hiking Grand Slam

Tom Lopez created the Grand Slam peaks of the Boise, Idaho, area as a four-step training regimen for his summer climbs. Others have latched onto the concept as a goal unto itself, or a circuit worth completing against the clock. “When I redid the website a couple of years ago, the Grand Slam peaks page disappeared,” said Lopez, a retired attorney, mountain climber and...

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Trail photographers provide an eye into Oregon’s wilderness

Ever wonder what nature looks like when you aren’t watching it? If a critter scurries through the forest and there’s no one there to see it, is it still adorable? The answer is yes. We know this through the efforts of trail photographers who operate remote trail cameras that capture nature as it looks when no humans are there to disturb it. There is a part of...

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Vermont’s Green Mountain Club looks to the future

The Green Mountain Club, based in Waterbury, Vermont, is a membership based nonprofit organization that is responsible for the maintenance of the Long Trail system, including the 272-mile footpath through the wilderness, 185 miles of side trails and 70 backcountry campsites. The GMC also participates in maintenance and protection of Vermont’s 100-mile portion of the...

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Healing from cancer, inside and out, with hiking

After being diagnosed with an invasive, aggressive, triple-positive Stage I breast cancer in the fall of 2012, Patti McCarthy wasn’t sure she’d be able to continue her beloved hiking. And she’d had plans: She and her husband spent the previous months preparing to hike the whole Pacific Crest Trail, all 2,650 miles of it from Mexico to Canada. “After the diagnosis, I had...

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Tips for Hiking New Zealand’s 2,000-Mile Te Araroa

Thirty people attempted a thru-hike its inaugural year. The 2016-17 season saw more than 500 people try it. With the number of hikers on one of the world’s newest long-distance trails more than doubling year after year, chances are you will begin hearing more about Te Araroa. Even though it may be impossible not to fall in love with New Zealand, Te Araroa is challenging...

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Life returns slowly to Shortoff Mountain after fire

Topping out at just over 3,000 feet, its height alone does not make Shortoff Mountain one of the most famous peaks in all of Western North Carolina. It is also a destination for hikers, rock climbers, campers and lovers of wilderness adventure. Instead, Shortoff draws its fame from two outstanding physical features. One is its location at the southern end of Linville...

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