Hiking in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

Located in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument a dozen miles west of Cortez, CO the Sand Canyon Trail accesses an array of small ruins deserted by the Ancestral Puebloans centuries ago. It’s a combined-use trail with hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders welcome. Color-coded diamonds mark the route and “You Are Here” signs display maps at trail junctions....

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Hong Kong’s hiking trails offer hidden gems beyond shopping and dining

Amid the weakening economy, the Hong Kong Tourism Board wants to position the city as a top destination for hiking, in a bid to diversify from the long-running image of a beacon for shopping and dining. A general manager from the board’s event and product development division, said there was no better time than now – the return of the hiking season between November and...

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National Park Service Commemorates Veterans Day with Special Programs and Free Admission on November 11

In honor of Veterans Day, many national parks across the country are hosting special events, displays, and ceremonies to commemorate the service and sacrifice of the U.S. Armed Forces. The National Park Service will waive entrance fees on November 11, 2016. “It’s a special responsibility to be the stewards of the memorials, battlefields, and historic sites that tell the...

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Welcome to West Virginia: The Birthplace of Rivers

One-thousand feet deep, Blackwater Canyon, in the heart of West Virginia includes public, state and private land. The canyon is home to the cheat mountain salamander and the West Virginia flying squirrel. Outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs follow the historic railroad grade through the canyon from Thomas to the Limerock trail, seven miles away and beyond. A lush...

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Adirondack Hiking Trails Show Their Age

When many of the High Peaks’ trails were cut more than a century ago, the work was done by guides and hired hands. Keene Valley’s Orson “Old Mountain” Phelps created the first trail up Mount Marcy in 1861; Verplanck Colvin’s survey workers cut routes up Algonquin and Dix in the late 1800s; and Henry Van Hoevenberg developed a trail system for the Adirondack Lodge (as it...

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park announces temporary ban of backcountry campfires

Due to extremely dry weather conditions and fresh leaves, Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced a temporary ban on campfires in the park’s backcountry. The fire ban applies to campers using the park’s backcountry sites and shelters. It does not affect campers at the park’s frontcountry campgrounds or people using fire grills at picnic...

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From Glacier to the Pacific, PNT is one rugged hike, albeit with amenities

You’re not alone if you haven’t heard of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail before. It, along with the 807-mile Arizona Trail and the 220-mile New England Trail, are the latest additions to America’s 11 national scenic trails as designated by Congress. The most famous of them all, certainly, is the 2,181-mile Appalachian Trail that runs from Maine to Georgia....

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Mountains to Sea Trail 40th Anniversary: Gathering of Friends

Pencil in the weekend of March 24th through 26th, 2017 to kick off the 40th Anniversary celebrations of the Mountains to Sea Trail with an expanded annual meeting, the Gathering of Friends, in Elkin, a friendly trail town between Stone and Pilot Mountain state parks that has enthusiastically embraced the MST. The weekend will officially begin Friday evening with a Hiking...

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Feds issue burn bans for Cherokee, Chattahoochee and Oconee national forests amid high fire danger

The U.S. Forest Service has implemented special fire restrictions due to extremely dry conditions, high fire danger and little chance of rain in the immediate forecast. The move comes days after similar restrictions were issued in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests in Georgia, and the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests in North Carolina. Very high wildfire...

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Haunted hikes in Maine for spooky fun this Halloween

The state of Maine has long been known as a place of ghost stories and otherworldly happenings. Perhaps it’s the landscape that inspires such tales. What makes the state beautiful — it’s jagged coastline, fog-socked harbors, mossy woods and old quaint towns — can also appear spooky and ethereal. Or maybe — just maybe — Maine truly is a hotspot for the supernatural....

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Black Mesa provides an exotic Oklahoma hiking destination

From trail’s end at 4,973 feet above sea level, resting hikers can view the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to the west in New Mexico and to the north in Colorado. The buttes, mesas and bristling cholla cacti provide scenery reminiscent of remote areas of the rugged West. Few would recognize this arid terrain as a part of Oklahoma, but exotic Black Mesa Summit in...

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New iPhone app showcases Seattle’s hiking trails

Want to go for a hike in the Seattle area, but not sure where to go? There’s now an app for that. Seattle Parks boasts nearly a hundred miles of hiking trails. But, with that many options, it can be hard finding the right one for you. “We have destination parks with tons of trails, but we also have lots of neighborhood parks with trails,” said Seattle...

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Arches, narrows and waterfalls: Canyoneering and extreme hiking in Moab

Moab, Utah, surrounded by Arches National Park to the north, Canyonlands National Park to the southwest and the La Sal Mountains to the east, is a hub for desert adventures from rafting to mountain biking and so much more. For some visitors, the act of squeezing through narrow canyons, rappelling into open pools and clawing through loose dirt and bushes — canyoneering —...

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A Guide to the National Parks of Florida

Bill Reynolds has been with the national parks service for a decade, and has visited a ton of them—particularly in Florida. It’s fair to say the spokesman is a super-fan. Of the famed Everglades, he crows, “If the National Parks are America’s crown jewels, the Everglades are some of the shiniest!” But it’s not the only gem in the Sunshine State. Florida’s...

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Hike NC! will help North Carolinians explore state’s parks

Even as the changing fall scenery gives us picture-perfect views, many North Carolinians are still reluctant to explore the outdoors. Some people don’t venture out to North Carolina’s parks, forests and trails because they don’t know about all that the state has to offer. Others are worried they aren’t in good enough shape to take on nature, or that they might get lost...

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A legendary journey: calendar year triple crown

When it was all over, Jeff Garmire couldn’t quite believe he had actually done it. Around 5 p.m. on Oct. 15, 2016, the 25-year-old Oregon State University graduate found himself standing at the Mexican border somewhere southeast of Lordsburg, New Mexico, where a concrete monument marks the southern terminus of the Continental Divide Trail. Running along the spine of the...

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Paralyzed hiker completes Appalachian Trail

At first glance, Stacey Kozel looks like any other serious hiker: strong and completely in her element in nature. The 41 year old from outside Cleveland is both of those things but she’s also incredibly determined. Because unlike most hikers, Stacey is paralyzed from the waist down but has, amazingly, accomplished what many able bodied people don’t even...

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Catawba Falls Trail closed October 24-28, 2016

The Catawba Falls trail and parking lot in McDowell County will be temporarily closed beginning Monday, October 24, and is expected to reopen Saturday, October 29, 2016. A contractor will be delivering and placing a new trail bridge across Chestnut Branch. The Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest has been working to improve access to Catawba Falls...

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More trails to blaze with Kids in Parks

With its cooler days and colorful foliage, fall is an ideal time to hike one of the Kids in Parks TRACK Trails. Now there are even more to explore. Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation just added trails at Mount Mitchell State Park (off the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 355), Shenandoah National Park, and Prairie Ridge EcoStation in Raleigh, North Carolina. At Mount Mitchell,...

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Building Bridges Together

Join the celebration for the opening of the Boone Fork Bridge on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in the popular Price Lake Picnic Area, milepost 297 Blue Ridge Parkway, this Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 10 a.m. This 80-foot pedestrian span allows hikers to avoid wading across Boone Fork as they trek from the Boone Fork Trail to Shulls Mill Road, where the path continues to...

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Florida’s national hiking trail is at crossroads

Carving out the Florida National Scenic Trail began in 1966, and now the hiking path from the Everglades to the western Panhandle visits springs, manatees, wetlands, alligators, white beach, turquoise ocean and bird life not seen in more famous wilderness walks. But the 1,300-mile adventure also has 300 miles of gaps, where hikers are now routed away from nature to trek...

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Coming Soon to a Forest Near You

In August, 2016, another 689.67 acres was added to North Carolina’s Headwaters State Forest. Projected to open in 2018, the forest contains the East Fork of the French Broad River Headwaters (for which it is named), making it an important area to protect fresh, clean water. Land acquisition for the forest began in 2009, when landowner and former congressman Charles...

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Trekking across Colorado’s fragmented wildernesses

The Colorado Trail Foundation boasts that it’s the state’s “premier long-distance trail. Stretching from Denver to Durango … it travels through the spectacular Colorado Rocky Mountains among peaks with lakes, creeks and diverse ecosystems. Trail users experience six wilderness areas and eight mountain ranges topping out at 13,271 feet, just below Coney Summit at 13,334...

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New hiking trails at Buckeye, Arizona’s Skyline Regional Park

Attention hikers: Be on the lookout for new trails in the coming weeks. The Phoenix West Valley’s newest hiking destination is rolling out fresh dirt just in time for fall hiking season. As of the end of September, Skyline Regional Park in Buckeye will have added five new trails for a total of 17 miles of non-motorized routes. Since it opened in January, the...

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Health Benefits of Walking in the Forest

There’s no better time to go for a hike than during autumn when the weather starts to cool down and the trees start to change color. Aside from being able to appreciate the beauty that nature has to offer, there are many health benefits that one could gain from a simple stroll among the trees. The following infographic outlines four health benefits that have been...

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Nearly 27 miles of new trails coming to Catalina Island

The latest, and likely last, major expansion of trails on Catalina Island will give visitors plenty of options to cut a path through the island’s oft-neglected backcountry. The expansion began Oct. 14 with the start of Trekking Catalina, a plan to add nearly 27 miles of new trails throughout the island’s backcountry. The new pathways will be scattered along the island’s...

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Fire Danger Increasing in Western North Carolina

The U.S. Forest Service and the North Carolina Forest Service are warning the public of increasing fire danger in western North Carolina. Last weekend’s rainfall was not widespread and not enough to alleviate the dry conditions and persistent drought that has resulted from low rainfall in the past few months. Fuels in the forest will readily burn if ignited. Fire...

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The Three Best Exercises to Get in Shape for Hiking

Hiking seems easy—after all it’s just walking for a while—but it can be a big challenge. From varying and sometimes difficult terrain to the fact that you use different muscles for longer periods of time than normal, a good hike takes working up to. Here are three exercises you can do to make sure you’re in hiking shape. Besides being able to hike hilly terrain without...

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80-year-old error in land records wipes out popular Minnesota trail

An 80-year-old clerical error has wiped out minnesota’s ownership of a popular area used for hiking, cross-country skiing and boat access to Rainy Lake near International Falls. When the Polar Polers, a local ski club, recently began planning to enhance the Tilson Bay recreational area by building a boardwalk across a tamarack bog, they found a surprise when they checked...

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Italian Riviera finding new ways to manage tourism impact on historic hiking trails

It’s part of 120 miles of undulating trails that flit through pine-scented forests, flirt with postcard panoramas of the blue Ligurian Sea, and snake alongside terraced vineyards as they crisscross the Cinque Terre National Park. The park, which was established in 1999 and is a UNESCO reserve, encompasses more than 9,500 acres and connects five of the Italian...

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Shelters on the Ouachita National Recreation Trail

The Ouachita National Recreation Trail (pronounced as wosh-i-taw) is a 223-mile backcountry trail, running east and west the length of the Ouachita Mountains. It lies primarily within the Ouachita National Forest, with 177 miles of the trail in Arkansas and 46 miles extending into Oklahoma. Both ends of the trail are in State parks. The eastern terminus is in Pinnacle...

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Mark your Calendars: 2017 is the MST’s 40th Anniversary!

On September 9, 1977, Howard N. Lee, then Secretary of Natural Resources and Community Development, made an audacious speech to a National Trails Symposium at Lake Junaluska which has fired the imaginations and energy of NC trail enthusiasts ever since. In that speech, Lee recommended that North Carolina build a “trail from the mountains to the coast, a trail...

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