Honor 100 years of National Park Service with WV hiking challenge

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service by hiking 100 miles or more on trails in the New River Gorge National River and Bluestone National Scenic River in 2016. The 100 Mile Challenge is the first of many local events during 2016 to celebrate this landmark anniversary, according to the National Park Service. All challenge participants that hike 100...

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Teddi Boston: ‘Pacific Crest Trails Firsts’

On Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016 the San Gorgonio Chapter of the Sierra Club will have its monthly meeting at the San Bernardino County Museum, in Redlands, CA at 7:30 p.m. Guests are invited to visit the club as Teddi Boston, the first female thru-hiker to complete the Pacific Crest Trail, presents a program of stories and photographs titled: “Pacific Crest Trail Firsts.” In...

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Blue Ridge Parkway visits surpass last year

The Blue Ridge Parkway attracted more visitors through November, 2015 than it did in all of 2014. The parkway has logged more than 14.1 million visits in 2015, according to National Park Service estimates. That figure eclipses 2014’s full-year total of 13.9 million visits. This year’s total is the highest since 2012, when the parkway recorded 15.2 million...

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Outdoors Writer Talks Hiking Ice Age Trail

The warm weather might be throwing a wrench in some people’s holiday plans to go skiing, but while the snow stays at bay, exploring Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail might not a bad second choice. The trail stands at a total of 1,200 miles across southern and central Wisconsin and is still growing. It runs through towns across the region, connecting communities with the...

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Trekking the Untamed, Secluded Beauty of Hawaii’s Waipio Valley

The hiking is a workout, but Hawaii’s Muliwai Trail—a 19 mile, three-day trek along the Big Island’s northern coast—rewards the effort with black-sand beaches, waterfalls and wilderness to call your own. The payoff comes quickly. Within four minutes of starting an ascent of the steep path at the north end of the Big Island’s Waipio Valley, its mile-long black-sand beach...

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Record numbers hike the AT

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy visitor center in 2015 recorded a record-breaking number of hikers passing through its visitor center in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Since the release of the movie “A Walk in the Woods” on Sept. 2, the number of visitors at the center has increased more than 50 percent. While the center is considered the psychological midpoint of the...

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National parks in Arkansas to kick off Ranger Challenge

January 1, 2016 marks the beginning of the National Park Service (NPS) Centennial celebration, and the seven National Park Service sites in Arkansas will kick off the celebration by launching the Centennial Iron Ranger Challenge. This is a year-long program that encourages visitors to “Find Your Park” and improve their health and fitness by completing 100...

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Landslide closes popular Scotts Bluff monument hiking trail

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, December 15, 2015, a rock slide occurred on the southwest facing side of Scotts Bluff National Monument in western Nebraska. It is estimated that 25,000 – 30,000 tons of rock fell on Saddle Rock Trail, covering it up to six feet deep. Additionally, the slide occurred directly under a portion of an upper section of trail, leaving it...

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Rebuilding The Trails Of Grand Teton National Park

Heavy lifting and craftsmanship from a previous era combined to generate significant headway in the restoration of weary trails above Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park this year, work that should make the trails more resilient to hundreds of thousands of feet and weather vagaries of the Rockies. The ongoing project, funded in large part through the Grand Teton...

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An adventurous slog through a portion of the rainiest place on earth

A primitive plank boardwalk, across water redder than rust, is not something to inspire confidence in a hiker, especially an exhausted one. After 3 miles of climbing clay embankments on muddy handholds, descending scores of hand-hewn steps covered with chicken wire for traction and brushing aside the gnarled branches of ohi’a trees on level ground, you scramble to find...

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Winter hiking at Tsali

Tsali Recreation Area in the Nantahala National Forest is well-known for its mountain biking and equestrian trails, but it can also be a great off-season hiking destination. Four loop trails totaling nearly 40 miles occupy an area along the shores of Fontana Lake, which forms part of the southern boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The area (pronounced...

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New travel guide details top national park sights

There is a new travel guidebook describing more than 200 day hiking trails to the must-see wonders of America’s national parks. “Best Sights to See at America’s National Parks,” by Rob Bignell, covers sights at the 54 most accessible national parks. It was released in early December, 2015. “Whenever anyone goes to a national park, the first question invariably is ‘What...

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NC’s Elk Knob State Park creates ‘art trail’ on its summit

Along with the beech trees, mountain wildflowers and ferns on the TRACK Trail at North Carolina’s Elk Knob State Park, visitors will soon discover carefully placed artwork by Appalachian State University students and local artists. The mile-long art-and-nature experience will be inaugurated during First Day Hikes on Jan. 1, 2016. The artwork was created on sections...

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Take a hike during whale-spotting week on Oregon Coast

Whale-watch week, Dec. 27-31, is prime time to spot migrating leviathans while stretching your legs on a beautiful shore. One of the greatest privileges of being in the Pacific Northwest is the knowledge that whales, those largest and most magnificent of mammals, are often seen off the coast. And while winter and spring can bring their share of headaches, those seasons...

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SPARtool Outdoor and Survival Multitool

SPARtool is a lightweight multi-tool for camping and general outdoor use. The SPARtool combines the functions of a shovel, axe, saw, hammer, pick, pry bar, and bottle opener. It is 100% manufactured in the USA, and its solid construction from spring tempered 1075 carbon steel and shatterproof Zytel polymer gives it the advantage in simplicity and durability compared to...

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Tips when trekking UAE mountains

Experienced trekkers are warning United Arab Emirates residents to take appropriate safety precautions when trekking or hiking in the mountains of the UAE and neighbouring Oman. The issue of mountain safety was starkly highlighted on December 12, 2015 by the death of a 22-year old British national who perished on Jebel Jais, the UAE’s tallest mountain, in Ras Al...

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Recruitment Hikes for the Lehigh Gap Section of the Appalachian Trail

The Keystone Trails Association (KTA), the statewide voice of Pennsylvania’s hikers is offering two winter hikes along the Appalachian Trail in the Palmerton area in January. Both hikes will start at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center. The Appalachian Trail is Pennsylvania’s most well-known trail. It stretches over 2100 miles from Georgia to Maine and is enjoyed by millions of...

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Chimney Rock State Park gets bigger

Chimney Rock State Park just got bigger. The Nature Conservancy recently transferred 536 acres to the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation, expanding the state park to 6,200 acres. By connecting existing parcels of state park land, the acquisitions will provide a land base for future trail development and protect high-quality natural areas, conservationists...

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How to Take Your Family on a Hike That Won’t Kill Them

Hiking with your family is a great way to spend time together outside. If you can walk, you can hike, which makes it an ideal activity for family members of all ages and ability levels. But when your idea of a fun hike is different from that of the rest of your family, you can run into some problems. Maybe you enjoy summit hikes that make you work hard for an outstanding...

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Groups propose recreation areas on WNC national forests

The federal government should create two national recreation areas in Western North Carolina and designate nearly 110,000 acres of national forest land as wilderness, a coalition of more than 30 environmental and outdoor recreation groups says. The groups released a joint position statement this week calling for the designations to be part of the long-range plan for...

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Hiking Hueco Tanks

Near the northwestern tip of the Texas Trans-Pecos, some 30 miles east of El Paso, four massive hills of jumbled boulders rise above the desert floor. No doubt this prominent and oddly compelling landmark has had many different names through time. Today it is known as Hueco Tanks. Characterized as an island in the desert, a natural oasis, a spiritual sanctuary, the site...

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Trekking across Arabia’s Empty Quarter in 50 days

A team of hikers set off on a 50-day trek from Oman on December 10, 2015 that will take them across the Empty Quarter – the world’s largest sand desert in the southern Arabian Peninsula. Led by British explorer Mark Evans, the three-man team will retrace the 1,300-kilometre route taken by a British civil servant, Bertram Thomas, in 1930, from Salalah in southern Oman,...

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15 Benefits of Hiking

Are you finding it difficult to get motivated about exercise? Does sweating at the gym seem less than appealing? Then hiking is your solution. People who hike on a regular basis enjoy better overall health, markedly less stress and are more energetic in general. If you maintain a regular hiking program you’ll not only feel great when you hit the trail but you’ll enjoy...

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Whistle-stopping the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail platform on the Metro-North Rail Line is merely a whistle-stop in Pawling, NY but it is from here that hikers from the metropolitan New York region are able to directly step onto the Appalachian Trail. And while New York has the only whistle-stop on the entire Appalachian Trail, it is testimony to Metro-North’s commitment to hikers that it offers...

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Spend Winter in Olympic’s Quinault Rainforest

There are few truly Pacific Northwest events that can compare to watching winter arrive in the rainforest. While many avoid the region due to the strong winds, constant downpours and occasional snow showers, there is something amazing and unique about spending time out in the wilderness of the Olympic Peninsula. Tucked away deep in Grays Harbor’s Quinault Rainforest, one...

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Age 19, Trekking 250 Miles Unsupported Across Iceland

What were you doing at 19-years-old? This week, four young British men set out in what they tout as the first mid-winter, unsupported crossing of the frozen island of Iceland. They are all 20 and under. The 250 mile journey will be documented and shared with the world online as well as made into a feature film in 2016. The expedition is dubbed “The Coldest Crossing.”...

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Hiking changes coming to the Grand Canyon?

The Grand Canyon wants to change the way backcountry areas are managed as more outdoor enthusiasts take to the park’s open spaces, with proposals that would require hikers using the most popular inner-canyon trails to spend a few dollars on a permit. Millions of people visit the Grand Canyon each year, taking in the sweeping views from developed areas where they...

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Kauai’s Na Pali Coast: land of many cliffs

The Na Pali Coast is a 17-mile stretch on the island of Kauai’s northwest corner. You can explore it by most means possible — by foot, boat and helicopter. By car is not an option: The terrain is too rugged for a road. Kauai is the fourth largest of the seven inhabited Hawaiian islands — more than 500 square miles — with dozens and dozens and dozens of beaches....

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December hiking can be delightful

Don’t discount the beauty and serenity of spending off-season moments hiking through the woods. The words ring in your ears each year as fall ends and you hunker down, preparing for winter. Perhaps you’re simply not ready for another long, cold winter. Maybe you simply crave solo walks in the otherwise bustling woods. Most people hike through regional parks...

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#SinaiisSafe: Trekking, hiking with Bedouin tribes

Tourists, central to the livelihood of tribesmen in the Sinai desert, have stopped traveling to the area due to unrest and terror. Sinai is Safe, an Egyptian NGO, is running a grassroots hiking campaign that aims to change the image of Sinai-specifically South Sinai-as a danger zone it is often made out to be. It aims to revive tourism that is so important to its local...

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