Anxious, depressed, distracted — what if the cure is just outside?

For two decades, Florence Williams could sit on her porch at night and watch the alpenglow on the Rocky Mountains. Then she moved from remote Colorado to Washington, D.C., and started noticing the changes. “I felt disoriented, overwhelmed, depressed,” she writes in her recent book, The Nature Fix. “My mind had trouble focusing. I couldn’t finish thoughts … and I wasn’t...

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Hiking under skyscraper-sized trees in South Carolina

Congaree National Park visitors not only look out across a flood plain swamp but up as well. Up into the forest canopy that rises to 160 feet high. The Congaree canopy, formed by towering old-growth trees, is taller than that of any forest in the East. The giant trees include a 167-foot-high loblolly pine. It’s the tallest tree in this wet-and-dry park, the biggest tree...

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Britain’s 25 best spring walks

The exuberance of spring is impossible to ignore. And for fair-weather walkers, brushing cobwebs off boots and searching out walking poles, it’s like a love affair renewed. Spring walking is a welcome assault on the senses – warmth, light and colour replacing the damp greys and browns of winter. Everyone has their favourite local walks, but these 25 circular routes have...

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Hikers to hit the trails in Allegheny 100 Hiking Challenge

The Allegheny National Forest chapter of the North Country Trail Association will hold its eighth annual Allegheny 100 Hiking Challenge (A-100) on June 9-11, 2017. The hike will take place throughout the Allegheny National Forest, and is billed as an endurance challenge of individual stamina, determination, and resilience. It is not a race. Hikers will traverse 100...

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Tune up your compass in the Smokies

Do you follow the North Star? For those sunny days when you’re hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where the night sky is unfortunately unavailable to assist you with navigation, make sure you’re on the right heading with proper adjustment to your compass. Did you know your compass needle doesn’t point directly to the north? The earths...

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How to get away from it all on Hong Kong’s longest country trail

Head to Lantau’s southeast to tackle the 18.5 km Chi Ma Wan Country Trail for secluded bays, sweeping panoramas and scattered hamlets along deserted paths. If you’re heading to Lantau Island for a wild outing, the chances are you’ll be bound for the central hills – to climb either Sunset or Lantau peak, or both – or aiming to stride along nearby stretches of the Lantau...

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Hiking in Mexico City: a peak experience beyond the tourist trail

Several mountains are within striking distance of Mexico City. Nevado de Toluca, Mexico’s fourth-highest mountain, rises to the southwest. To the east, climbers can try their luck on the Paso de Cortés, which cuts through the two towering volcanoes Hernán Cortés traveled through when he first saw the Valley of Mexico. Then there’s the closest of the bunch:...

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‘Widow makers’ close popular California trails

You see that big tree looming over you? Or over your house, your car? Or along the trail at your favorite park? It could be what we call a “widow maker.” That is, a big tree (or limb) about to fall. Saturated soil that can’t hold upright the weight of big trees has led to a stunning array of downed trees in parks, backyards, front yards… in other words, everywhere....

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Trekking the Sinai Trail: The new hardcore hiking route trying to save Egypt’s Bedouin heritage

The 220km-long Sinai Trail, or Darb Sina, is part of a Middle East-wide hiking network voted the number one new trail in the world by National Geographic. It’s neither the longest nor the hardest of the world’s long-distance routes, but hiking a landscape steeped in history, guided by Bedouin whose lives are intertwined with the same land, is definitely one...

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Get Fit on the Fells

Fell running has been around since the 1800s, necessity demanded that shepherds could navigate hilly and mountainous terrain quickly, in all weathers. Events began to be held where locals would pit their skills against each other, and the sport of Fell Running was created. The Lake District in the UK is the ideal place for Fell running, or even simple hiking, with a...

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Friends of Mountains to Sea Trail to Kick Off 40th Anniversary Celebration

The 40th anniversary celebration for North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail will kick-off March 24-26,2017 at a Friends of MST annual meeting in Elkin. On September 9, 1977 Howard Lee, then Secretary of Natural Resources and Community Development, proposed a “state trail from the mountains to the coast.” The annual meeting, called the Gathering of Friends, will be the...

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Smokies park plans solar eclipse viewing at Clingmans Dome

Where will you be on August 21, 2017 when the solar eclipse casts its shadow across the United States? At Great Smoky Mountains National Park, officials are planning a party to help you both view and understand the science of the eclipse. The park is offering an opportunity to experience the total eclipse through a special, ticketed event at Clingmans Dome as well as...

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Thru-Hikers in the Blast Zone: Pipelines Will Intersect the Appalachian Trail

Two pipelines are planned to intersect the Appalachian Trail. The 300-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline will cut across the A.T. near Virginia’s Peters Mountain Wilderness Area. The 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline pipeline also is planned to cross the Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia’s Augusta and Nelson Counties. Both pipelines will require clearing...

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Hiking initiative in Bavarian Alps aims to integrate refugees

A new initiative in Bavaria hopes to improve integration among newly-arrived refugees by introducing them to the “alpine” way of life. Locals volunteer as guides on the mountaineering tour. Many refugees who arrive in Germany have never seen snow in their life. A trip to the Bavarian Alps is therefore an unprecedented experience. But it’s not only the...

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How bad will allergy season be this spring?

Suffer from seasonal allergies? Depending on where you live, you may already be sneezing, sniffling and rubbing your itchy eyes. And you may be in for a whopper of a spring. The first pollen culprit each year is typically trees. If rainfall was good the year before, resulting in solid tree growth, that typically means healthy trees. Combine that with relatively warm...

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Allegheny endurance hiking challenge is set for June

The eighth annual Allegheny 100 Hiking Challenge (A-100) is set for June 9-11, 2017. according to a news release from the Allegheny National Forest Chapter of the North Country Trail Association. The A-100 challenges hikers to traverse 100 miles, 75 miles, 50 miles or 25 miles in a 50-hour time period. This challenge is for anyone, regardless of skill level, who wants to...

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Hiking Romania: where you might meet bears

Romania is developing its range of offers for tourists. Organizers are increasingly relying on tourism that’s close to nature, such as guided hikes in the Carpathian Mountains – with encounters with brown bears. The snow is deep at an altitude of 1,700 meters (5,577 feet) in the Carpathian Mountains. There is no sign of a hiking path, but Radu Zaharie knows...

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‘Grounds Keepers’ To Clean Litter From Major Trails Nationwide

Minnesota-based Granite Gear announced this month it will sponsor a crew of 15 dedicated “Leave No Trace” thru-hikers to clean up America’s hiking trails. The brand selected its Grounds Keepers team to build on the success of the 2015 and 2016 Packing It Out (PIO) initiatives, which removed more than 1,700 pounds of trash from the Appalachian and Pacific Crest trails....

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Missing mailbox replaced on Washington’s Mailbox Peak

Eric Piggott of Washington hiked to the top of Mailbox Peak for his birthday this week – to replace a missing, legendary mailbox with a new, donated one. “The last time I saw the previous box was three weeks ago on my last hike there,” Piggott said. “In my talks with various people, I’ve learned that there have been as many as eight other mailboxes over the...

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Friends of South Cumberland State Park kicks off 2017 hiking challenge

For the past several years, Friends of South Cumberland has presented a hiking challenge each year, designed to encourage visitors to explore South Cumberland State Park’s over 25,500 acres scattered across four counties. Last year’s challenge was called Hike Into History and focused on historical aspects of the park. This year’s challenge, Hiking in Mack’s Tracks, is...

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Things to consider before hiking in deep snow

Hiking through deep snow, especially in remote locations where trails haven’t been packed down, is a great workout, but it can be frustrating. Let’s start with the obvious. You’re going to sink down into the snow. There’s no avoiding that. But if you wear snowshoes, you won’t sink down quite as far as you would if you were just wearing boots. Snowshoes come in all shapes...

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Outdoor Retailer convention leaving Utah

After an unproductive meeting between Gov. Gary Herbert and outdoor recreation business representatives, industry leaders say they hope to find a new location for the Outdoor Retailer shows “as soon as possible.” “Unfortunately, what we heard from Governor Herbert was more of the same,” according to a written statement by the Outdoor Industry...

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Roan Mountain State Park named Tennessee ‘Park of the Year’

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) recognized Roan Mountain State Park, located off TN Hwy. 143, as the 2016 Park of the Year for its demonstrated excellence in innovation, sustainability, interpretation, resource management and fiscal responsibility. “All 56 Tennessee State Parks strive and succeed in achieving our mission to preserve and...

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In this ‘weird, lost corner of America,’ the beach of your dreams awaits in the remotest national park

National Park of American Samoa, 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, is spread over parts of Tutuila, Ta’u and Ofu. It attracted 13,892 visitors last year, about what Yosemite gets in a summer day. Probably fewer than 300 of them found their way to the park’s greatest asset, a beach on Ofu with creamy sands, volcanic boulders, serrated mountain ridges and turquoise...

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The most scenic stretch of the Oregon coast: Boardman State Park

It’s hard to pin down a specific stretch of coastline as the most scenic – isn’t the whole thing beautiful? – but then again, it’s hard to argue against Boardman State Park for the honor. Officially the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, the 12-mile stretch of coastline runs along the southernmost part of the Oregon coast,...

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7 Ways To Get Fit For Your Weekend Hike

Alright, so you’ve decided you want to go hike a mountain. Even the most fit person needs to be sure they’re prepared to start hiking — as climbing that big hill takes a lot more endurance than your average gym session. Your first hike requires you to not only be physically fit, but also mentally fit and prepared. What if one of your friends comes up and says “I did it —...

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From mountains to sea: North Carolina woman relives six months spent hiking the state

  If you’d polled Kimberley Brookshire’s friends a couple years ago, they’d likely have said the chances were slim to none that the Charlotte resident would ever think seriously about leaving it all behind to hike more than 2,000 miles through North Carolina. “I wasn’t much of an outdoors person,” said Brookshire, 32. But she is now. Last fall, Brookshire...

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The Ozark Trail Could Make Missouri a Hiking Destination. Why Isn’t It Finished?

Forty years ago this week, state and federal officials in Missouri issued a dry document to announce a grand ambition. In a 43-page proposal dated February 7, 1977, they stated their aim to blaze a footpath through the Ozarks, the rugged highlands that roll across southern Missouri. It wouldn’t be easy. The native flora, fauna, terrain and certain human occupants...

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7 of the Grandest Adventures in the Southwest

Adventures in the American Southwest are trips of a lifetime that will challenge you physically and engross you spiritually, leaving an unforgettable and enduring impression of the richest wild places on the planet. The Southwest contains literally thousands of amazing hikes. Therefore, Southwest Discoveries decided to separate the wheat from the chaff and give you the...

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Hiking Patagonia With National Geographic

  It took the world a long time to discover Patagonia, the trendy adventure area shared by both southern Chile and Argentina. While other mountaineers had been hiking and climbing the Alps and Rockies for over a century, Patagonia wasn’t explored much until the 1980s. In fact, the recreational area didn’t become mainstream until the 21st century, when more...

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Anatomy of a good hike leader

From lowering blood pressure and decreasing anxiety to reducing the risk of a heart disease diagnosis or reversing the course of diabetes, the benefits of hiking are numerous. The American Hiking Society also includes weight loss, stabilizing cholesterol levels and reversing the effects of osteoporosis among the many benefits. Hiking can be more than a good time — it can...

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Pacolet Area Conservancy Kicks off its Spring Hiking Series February 17th

Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) for five Friday hikes offered to the public, free of charge, this spring. The community is invited to enjoy the beauty of our Carolinas with PAC. Come see what the work of many conservation organizations have done for the preservation of area natural resources and take in the beauty of the arrival of spring. Starting February 17,...

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