Arizona Girl Scout troop teaching Hiking 101 class

Last year, more than 350 hikers required rescue in Arizona parks and preserves and at least 10 died. These are statistics that Ahwatukee Girl Scout Troop 1395 passionately hopes to reduce. And while helping hikers learn safety through education, the troop’s eight members are working toward their Silver Award – the highest honor at the Cadette level. The scout’s...

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How to backpack in popular national parks

Cons: There are reservations, permits, people, shuttles and mandatory bear cans. Pros: What you give up in convenience is usually more than repaid in access to jaw-dropping scenery that just can’t be matched on any old footpath through the woods. And it’s really helpful to have that kind of distraction when you’re carrying a 30-pound load. If...

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Lake District

England’s Lake District is famous for its lakes, mountains and breath-taking scenery, with each region having its own appearance and character. From William Wordsworth’s poetry to Alfred Wainwright’s walking guides, the area has long inspired people to visit and experience its peaceful, rugged beauty for themselves. The Lake District is, however, full of surprises!...

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Nine Easy Tips to Stay Safe While Hiking

For every trip into nature, you need to be prepared. Whether it is a one-mile hike with the family or a solo trip where you cover more than 20 miles in a day, being prepared is the difference between a great day and a really bad one. Experienced hikers will say to always bring the 10 essentials, and for long treks you should do this. However, for extremely short day...

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Jennifer Pharr Davis hits the trail

Jennifer Pharr Davis and her whole crew – husband Brew, daughter Charley, and son Gus – are starting the first steps down Clingmans Dome to begin an epic three-month journey across NC on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail today. The whole family will hike 4 miles, likely with a few M&Ms dispensed to nudge the children along (well, and maybe the grown-ups, too)....

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Fleeing to the Mountains

In contrast to many advanced countries, the United States has a vast and spectacular publicly owned wilderness, mostly free and available to all. In an age of inequality, the affluent have gated neighborhoods, private schools, backup generators and greater influence on elected officials. But our most awe-inspiring wild places have remained largely a public good to be...

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National parks brace for eclipse crowds

The U.S. National Park Service is gearing up for some historically large crowds August 21, 2017 when a total solar eclipse will occur over a swath across the nation from Oregon to South Carolina, crossing over 21 national park units and seven trails. If you haven’t planned ahead, be aware that lodging and camping is full around most of the parks, the NPS site warns, and...

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Leader of the pack: Former attorney creates doggy hiking club

Russ Smith and his canine friends just want to haven fun! Six mornings a week, the Tiverton, Rhode Island entrepreneur and several dogs of various shapes, sizes and ages, pile into a large van to enjoy a three-hour-long outdoor trek in the country to enjoy some fresh air, exercise and what the critters do best – play and have a lot of fun. “I pick them up – door to door...

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Arizona Trail to get new management plan

The 800-mile-long Arizona Trail that spans the length of the state is getting a new level of management. It will come in the form of a comprehensive plan aimed at better protecting and preserving the trail’s resources, whether they are located on federal, state, county, municipal or private land. Federal agencies released an initial draft of the plan earlier this month...

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Bear country hiking tips from a big game biologist

Hikers in many parts of the West, especially northwest Wyoming, are in carnivore country and should think ahead to what they would do in a close encounter with a bear, wolf or mountain lion, says a wildlife biologist. Annemarie Prince, a hiker as well as a biologist who works with big game and carnivores for the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department recently offered...

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6 ways to get the best workout of your life 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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Great Plains Trail could put western Nebraska’s premier scenic attractions in national spotlight

Walking from Texas to Canada might be a bigger hike than you ever imagined. In 2016, as an energetic 25-year-old, Luke “Strider” Jordan entered Guadalupe Mountains National Park in West Texas, taking his first step on a 2,100-mile journey that ended three months later in the North Dakota ghost town of Northgate, near Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge. He was the first...

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Trekking Through the Rocky Mountains of Iceland

In Iceland’s central highlands the landscapes are often bare, with little more than rocks, snow and distant mountains. Small alpine flowering plants that manage to survive in these harsh surroundings offer a tiny splash of color. It is an area where few people live and that, for most of the year, is closed to vehicles because it would be impossible for them to get...

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Best Hikes on the Oregon Coast

The Oregon Coast is the most visited region in the state, and the reasons are legion. Tempestuous spring and winter months are perfect for watching waves and weather churn together over dramatic cliffs and headlands; summer and fall can bring mild temperatures that are ideal for beach exploration and a terrific relief from scorching inland weather. Protected lands such...

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The Appalachian Trail turns 80

There’s something about the Appalachian Trail – or, A.T., as it’s affectionally known by enthusiasts – that draws people to it, from day-hikers, to section-hikers who spend days, weeks, or even months traversing its sections’ ups and downs, to “thru-hikers” who hike the entire trail, from start to finish. “The A.T. is a place that balances me; it grounds me,”...

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Hiking Project app/website helps you head for the hills

Sometimes it’s nice to escape the swelter of the city and head for the hills. A shady hike beside a cool mountain stream beats a steamy stroll down the city streets any day. If you don’t know any good hiking trails or are just bored of your usual ones, Hiking Project is a useful app (for iOS and Android) and website that can make suggestions where to go. Best of all,...

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When and where to spot the best Autumn scenery in our national parks

Fall color isn’t always where you expect to find it. Quick story: The assignment, years ago, was to do a story on fall color at Yosemite National Park. Got there, and everything Yosemite was supposed to have was present that day in mid-October: Half Dome, El Capitan, waterfalls, all of it. And from Glacier Point, one of the world’s great overlooks and the...

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Hiking a 110-Mile Jungle Trail — Entirely Within Rio

Brazil’s longest hiking trail is 110 miles through Atlantic rainforest along the coast, stopping off at white sand beaches, waterfalls and panoramic viewpoints, where monkeys, toucans and parrots abound. Where is this tropical hiker’s paradise? It’s 100 percent within Rio de Janeiro city limits — a metropolis with more than 7 million people. The newly inaugurated...

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Here are the most effective stretches to prepare you for the hiking trail

Even what seems like the most benign hiking trail can result in a twisted ankle, pulled muscle, or worse if you don’t prepare properly. The most effective method of readying your body for the rigors of the trail is consistent stretching. It is important to stretch all of the main muscle groups used in hiking, but also pay attention to your particular needs, and...

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Taking the Measure of Solitude in the Wilderness

People are drawn to wilderness areas for many reasons, hiking, bird watching, or camping, but another attraction is solitude. If you’re hiking in southwest Virginia’s Mountain Lake Robbie Harris you may meet a ranger who is actually measuring the amount of solitude out there. David Seisel, who goes by the name ‘Skip’ is a ranger on the eastern divide ranger...

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Backpacking Essentials Infographic

Forgetting travel items is a pain. When you are heading to a big city it’s usually okay if you forget an item or two as you can always grab it at the hotel or a nearby store. But what do you do if you are headed to the middle of nowhere for your next big hiking or backpacking excursion? Chances are you are severely out of luck. That’s a reason you may find...

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At Berryessa National Monument, Wildflowers and Rebirth

The fields give way to darkly arching oaks, tree tunnels shading a narrow country road outside Winters, Calif. The early-hour brightness indicates the nearness of summer. Here, an hour and a half northeast of San Francisco, the dense press of civilization lifts, and the open wilderness weaves itself into the landscape. The light is somehow ventilated, given more space....

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New Ulster hiking trail will link to 750-mile NY system

Neil Bettez said he saw the future of New Paltz, NY after a recent Town Board meeting. The town supervisor and his deputy, Daniel Torres, were walking along one of the few complete portions of New Paltz’s future River-to-Ridge Trail, which isn’t yet open to the public. It was sunset. The sunlight warmed their faces as the corn stalks bordering the trail stood sentry over...

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New trail coming to Lemolo Lake, Oregon

Soon, outdoor enthusiasts will be hiking and mountain biking down a new trail through the shade-covered Umpqua National Forest, catching glimpses of Lemolo Lake between the evergreens. A trails enterprise team through the U.S. Forest Service started constructing 4.5 miles of new trail in the Diamond Lake Ranger District on July 19, 2017, connecting the freshly cleared...

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Nantahala-Pisgah National Forests Designated as Treasured Landscape by National Forest Foundation

Since the establishment of eastern National Forests at the beginning of the 20th century, the forests of western North Carolina have been recognized and valued for their importance to scenic outdoor experiences and directly connected to the health of the region. The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests in particular cover a remarkable and unique landscape, spanning the...

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Easier mountain hikes in Maine

You don’t always have to huff and puff for miles to reach a great view from the top of a mountain. In Maine, there are plenty of short hikes up small mountains and hills to vistas that may take you by surprise. There are all sorts of reasons you might be drawn to these shorter mountain hikes. Maybe you’re trying to introduce a kid to hiking. Maybe you’re just a beginner...

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5 Michigan Trails with a Twist

The experience many hikers, bicyclists and afternoon strollers seek is simply being on the trail and enjoying their companions and surroundings. There are plenty of others, though, whose time on the trail is best topped off with a special reward—a unique experience, a breathtaking view, an intriguing discovery and Michigan trails can provide that. Nationally known as...

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Middle Emerald Pools Trail at Zion National Park To Be Restored Thanks to $1 Million Grant

The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation has awarded the National Park Foundation a $1 million grant – the largest private contribution ever awarded to the foundation to enhance the national parks in Utah. The grant, part of the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, is earmarked not only for extensive critical...

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Manhunt for armed, dangerous suspect shuts down part of Pisgah National Forest

Law enforcement shut down access to part of Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, NC on July 23, 2017 during a manhunt for a dangerous suspect. Phillip Michael Stroupe II, 38, of Weaverville, NC is considered armed and dangerous by authorities. He has outstanding warrants in Buncombe County for kidnapping and has pending charges in Yancey County, according to the...

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Hiking is growing more popular, and Oklahoma offers plenty of trails

Fall hiking in the Ouachita National Forest in southeast Oklahoma is a well-loved tradition. “The scenic drive is beautiful, and the mountains make you seriously question if you are still in Oklahoma.” Newcomers might make the assumption that Oklahoma’s landscape is dry, flat and uninteresting. But Oklahoma natives and seasoned transplants know it offers diverse...

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