Changes in the works for congested Pisgah Forest entrance

Several modifications could be on the way to help alleviate traffic congestion at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest, improve the intersection of Highways 276 and 64, and bring more pedestrian access to the area. The N.C. Department of Transportation has submitted several projects for funding, one that would widen Highway 276 at the entrance to the forest, one to...

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Unable To Hike, Woman Carried 79 Miles On Appalachian Trail

Carden Wyckoff is unable to hike. But thanks to her brother and friends, she completed a 79-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail this fall. When Carden was nine-years-old, she learned she had a form of muscular dystrophy known as FSH (facioscapulohumeral). The disease causes weakening of the skeletal muscles. By 14, Carden was no longer able to run. Now 23, she has...

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Meet the 23-Year-Old Who’s Halfway Through a 9,500-Mile Coastal Walk For a Great Cause

23-year-old Alex Ellis Roswell from Kent, England has been walking the coastline of the United Kingdom and Ireland for the past two years and is still only halfway through his journey. He started the 9,500-mile-walk back on August 3, 2014 and has already raised £30,000 (almost $38K USD) for RNLI Lifeboats, a charity that’s dedicated to saving lives at sea. As he...

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Wicked Wild Waterfall Photography Weekend

Like waterfalls? Like photographing waterfalls? Kevin Adams photographed his first waterfall in the mid-1980s and has been leading waterfall photo tours since the early 1990s. If he has learned anything along the way, it’s that waterfalls are among the most popular photo subjects in the world. And the wild and wonderful waterfalls of western North Carolina attract more...

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New hiking route connects Los Angeles to 67 miles of backcountry bliss

One of the newest backcountry trails in the West skirts the busiest city in the country. The thoroughfare, dubbed the Backbone Trail, stretches about 67 miles through the Santa Monica Mountains that ring Los Angeles, and opened in June after more than 50 years in the making. The trail, which connects Point Mugu State Park in Malibu to Will Rogers State Historic Park in...

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Your National Park Guide to Hiking in the Winter

National parks in some parts of the country are already locked under snow and ice, and many more soon will be. Your chance to enjoy the outdoors doesn’t end with the arrival of cold weather, though. Winter offers a unique opportunity to experience your national parks, so consider this your national park guide to winter hiking. The landscapes of many national parks...

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Fire restrictions on Appalachian Trail lifted; ban remains in Smokies

The National Park Service and Appalachian Trail Conservancy on December 7, 2016 lifted fire restrictions on 27.7 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Virginia, from Newport Road (Va. 624) north to Mountain Pass Road (Va. 652). This section of the AT includes the popular viewpoints of McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs. Although fire hazard conditions have become...

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Hiking in Snowmass provides solitude and views that canʹt be beat

Hikers who are looking for a pleasant jaunt in the woods, a steady climb that alternates between patches of forest and open, flower-choked meadows and slogs through dark timber have it all in their backyard in Aspen’s Snowmass Village. The town has done a good job over the years of creating an extensive trail system that now boasts 26 miles of natural-surface...

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7 Essential Items in your Emergency Survival Kit

Whether you are a traveler, hiker, or someone who stays at home most of the time, you should be equipped with an emergency survival kit all the time. Why? Because a critical condition can knock on your door anytime, leaving you in a state of shock. It can be a natural calamity or a small accident in your house or workplace.   But, if you make sure to have these seven...

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Conservation Organizations Saving a National Treasure

The Blue Ridge Parkway is the nation’s longest parkway, stretching 469 miles to connect Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee. Created during the Great Depression, this national treasure spans 252 miles and 17 mountain counties in North Carolina. Lands along the Blue Ridge Parkway provide spectacular...

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Hopewell Lake provides historic setting for late fall hiking in Taos

Hillsides of bare aspen trees, with their alabaster trunks and rocky cliffs shining silent in the sun, mark the coming of late fall to Taos. With many sunny days ahead, this is a good time to visit the forest. Hopewell Lake Trail is located about an hour northwest of Taos past Tres Piedras in the Carson National Forest. In addition to being a beautiful trek through the...

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Update on the Appalachian Trail and the Southeastern Fires

From the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Over the last few weeks, fires have raged across the southern Appalachian Mountains and the Appalachian Trail from Georgia up to central Virginia, and many major fires are still burning. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the many people dealing with the loss of life, homes, businesses and other property. We also want to thank the...

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What Do Wild Animals Do in a Wildfire?

Note: this article was originally posted in 2014 but is just as applicable to the Southeast wildfires occurring now. Many animals and other organisms have evolved to cope with—and even thrive in the wake of—the flames. “Wildlife have a long-standing relationship with fire,” says ecosystem ecologist Mazeika Sullivan of Ohio State University, Columbus....

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Manitou Incline: After 3 months of repairs, one of Colorado’s favorite hiking spots reopens

The Manitou Incline, the heart-pounding mile of steps near Colorado Springs, will reopen Friday, December 2, 2016, after three months of repairs. Hikers can return to the challenging workout that has made Manitou Springs a destination for local, national and international visitors, but now they can climb a trail that’s been updated to fend off erosion. “It is by far the...

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Gatlinburg And Smokies Area Fire Update: 10 Fatalities and 700 Structures Lost

As reported by Incident Information System (InciWeb) Incident Summary: The Chimney Tops 2 Fire was reported in Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg, TN on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at approximately 5:20 p.m. The wildfire began burning in a remote location (Chimney Tops) of the park in steep terrain with vertical cliffs and narrow rocky ridges making...

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Billy Goat’s Never-Ending Thru-Hike

Perhaps the most venerated hiker in PCT history is standing beside the large wooden sign that welcomes visitors to Rainy Pass trailhead. George “Billy Goat” Woodard, a retired railroad conductor from Maine, has hiked the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail eight times and most of the route two additional times. He is 77 years old and, ever since retiring...

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Party Rock Fire officially 100-percent contained

Some good news for a change! The Party Rock Fire is now 100% contained. The much-needed rain over the region serves as a cool and refreshing sendoff for most of the departing fire crews. Crews came from far and wide to help contain the blaze. Oregon’s incident management team will return control of the fire back to the local North Carolina Forest Service district...

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Congress passes bill to improve trail maintenance and preservation

Congress sent a bill to President Obama that would improve access to America’s National Forests through better trail maintenance and preservation. The National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act would make better use of existing resources within the Forest Service to significantly increase the role of volunteers and partners in maintaining the usability and...

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Missouri’s Huckleberry Ridge offers ‘knock-the-cobs-out’ hiking

Huckleberry Ridge Conservation Area along Route K, 5 miles east of Pineville, Missouri, offers get-the-blood-pumping hiking up rocky ridges, down steep hollows, along dry creek beds and over fallen trees. It’s an area of dense forest with only vague trail markers, where you must keep your sense of direction and your wits. Occasionally, a compass comes in handy. The...

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Hiking the metal mountains of Scott Mountain Crest

The lovely forested peaks of the Scott Mountain Crest in Siskiyou County, California, are most frequently enjoyed from two vantage points — the popular Kangaroo Lake Campground on the north side of the crest, and from the Pacific Crest Trail on the south side of the mountainous ridge. Both of these viewpoints offer ample scenery, and with a little effort one can enjoy...

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Volunteers key to making Appalachian Trail a success

The millions of people who enjoy the Appalachian Trail each year might not realize just what it takes to make its incredible recreational opportunities available to them. Though it features countless wonders of nature, the trail itself did not come about naturally. It took years of effort to achieve its completion, and in the nearly 80 years since then, it’s...

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Hoosier National Forest mules retire

Two of the Hoosier National Forest’s hardest-working employees, Ruth and Jack, are retiring after a combined 40 years of service. Ruth and Jack are mules, two of the team of four mules that assist Indiana’s Hoosier NF in maintaining trails in the Charles C. Deam Wilderness. Without the ability to use vehicles or power tools in wilderness areas, the team of mules...

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Black Friday Hiking At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers are suggesting you take a break from spending on Black Friday and take a hike with them instead. The hikes will be offered near Smokemont Campground and Sugarlands Visitor Center and provide an outstanding opportunity for people of all ages to #OptOutside and enjoy the park, a park release said. “The Thanksgiving holiday...

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A Modern Day Threat to the AT: The Proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a proposed high pressure natural gas pipeline that would run from Wetzel county, West Virginia to a processing station in Pittsylvania County, Virginia spanning 301 miles of public and private land. Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC has been contracted to do this work for various energy companies including EQT Midstream Partners, NextEra US...

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Continuing wild family hiking experiences on Vermont’s Long Trail

Backpacking into the wild may seem an odd way to spend your vacation. Rehydrating food, rationing toilet paper and sleeping with a T-shirt over your head to ward off mice isn’t exactly the stuff of dreams. But, in a sense, it is exactly what we need to re-energize and break from the anxiety, stress and overstimulation of our modern work life. It is the chance to focus...

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Hiking to the birthplace of the Rogue

Boundary Springs, the headwaters of the Rogue, is where the river begins its 215-mile rumble to the Pacific Ocean. On its way west, it passes through a series of Oregon’s Jackson County communities — Union Creek, Prospect, Trail, Shady Cove, Gold Hill and Rogue River — before slicing past Grants Pass, Galice, Agness and Gold Beach. The river’s flow increases from...

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Appalachian Trail issues emergency closures

Nearly 40 miles of the Appalachian Trail are now closed from Dicks Creek Gap/U.S. 76 in Georgia (mile 69.9) to the Nantahala River/U.S. 19/U.S. 74 in North Carolina (mile 137.1), according to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, due to the wildfires burning throughout these areas. Thru-hikers are asked to respect the closures for ​your own safety as well as the safety of...

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Fire burns in Tellico Plains area; Trail of Tears a concern

A fire in the Tellico Plains, TN area near Cherohala Skyway is threatening structures as well as a part of the historic Trail of Tears, said Nathan Waters, assistant district forester with the state Division of Forestry. Terry McDonald with the U.S. Forest Service said the fire was reported around 2 a.m. and was covering 30 acres but would likely grow before it is...

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The High Risk Financing Behind the Dakota Access Pipeline

Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has sparked considerable public controversy, bringing national attention to issues that include tribal sovereignty and risks to drinking water. Less publicized are the project’s financial weaknesses, and the fact that DAPL may represent a substantial overbuilding of the Bakken region’s oil-transport infrastructure. DAPL...

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Hiking 500 Miles in the Smokies

The first time I went to Great Smoky Mountains National Park more than 15 years ago I knew it was someplace special. But it took me nearly 10 more years before I ever set foot on one of her trails. Work kept me busy and I had different recreational interests, but when I got serious about hiking around 2008, you couldn’t hold me back. Most of my early hikes were...

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County in Washington approves trail plan for new 8,844-acre Lake Whatcom parkland

Building the first 27 miles of proposed trails in new Whatcom County parkland that straddles Lake Whatcom will cost about $2.3 million. That’s one of the details in the recreational trail plan for the parkland, which was created by the transfer of 8,844 acres of forest land around Lake Whatcom from the state to the county in 2014. The County Council approved the plan,...

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Hualapai Mountain Park a great destination for hiking, cycling, picnicking and even camping

Hualapai Mountain Park is a 2,300-acre preserve located just outside of Kingman, Ariz. Often overlooked in favor of larger and better-known parks, it is a gem hidden in the pines with elevations ranging from 4,984 feet to 8,417 feet at Hualapai Peak. The park is named for the native Hualapai Indians. Their name comes from the landscape, meaning “Pine Tree Folk” or...

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