Castle Crags’ spectacular little seen world

With one short jog from Interstate 5 in Northern California, you can discover the state park that is hidden in plain sight. The turnoff is at Castella, bound for Castle Crags State Park. Drivers on I-5 get eye-popping views of the granite spires, pyramids and a missile-shaped dome that poke 6,000-foot holes in the sky. Each hour, about 2,000 vehicles pass by Castle...

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Transcaucasian Trail: Mapping Eurasia’s forgotten hiking routes

Blame it on the region’s tricky geopolitics or the former Soviet Union, but the mountains of the Caucasus – a high and sheer rocky spine soaring between southwestern Russia and Iran – still for the most part lie untouched and undiscovered. That’s all about to change thanks to 34-year-old Tom Allen, who has seen the potential of these peaks and is...

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The Top 5: Avoiding Hiking Injuries and Accidents and What to Do

Unlike many other outdoor activities that require extensive training, a hefty investment in equipment, and oftentimes a superior level of fitness, hiking is a fairly accessible and affordable way to get out and get active for mostly everyone. With that said, seeing a hiker get injured is a good reminder of how quickly a leisurely hike can turn into a dangerous and...

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Accessible only by hiking, Georgia’s Len Foote Hike Inn

The Len Foote Hike Inn is nestled in an exceptionally beautiful stretch of the southern Appalachians. It’s an environmentally sustainable backcountry lodge that’s accessible only by hike, clad in beautiful rustic/modern architecture and a comfortable and welcoming spirit, and dishing fresh and delicious cuisine on a mountaintop with incredible vistas. It’s only...

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Mud Season Hiking Do’s and Don’ts

Mud season can be a challenge for hikers and trail maintainers alike. So if you want to hike in the spring, knowing how to safely enjoy soggy trails without destroying them is an essential outdoor skill. “More and more people are hiking year-round, and while it is wonderful to have people enjoying the trails, [hikers] are also having an impact,” says Alex DeLucia, the...

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Cradle of Forestry 2018 Season Kicks Off April 7

The Cradle of Forestry in America Heritage Site will begin the 2018 season on April 7 with a living history event, “Old Time Plowing and Folkways.” David and Diane Burnette from Haywood County will demonstrate how their Percheron draft horses work the land the old way. Weather permitting, they will plow the Cradle’s vegetable garden along the Biltmore...

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Grants awarded for Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail

Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail is the longest state-designated trail in the nation, encompassing more than 2,000 miles of hiking and biking routes, allowing users to explore pristine forests and cool rivers while connecting big cities to smaller and diverse towns. The trail extends from Belle Isle in Detroit to Ironwood in Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula. It is slated to...

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Tres Piedras Ranger District: Mosaic Rock

One of the wonders of northern New Mexico is the variety of landscapes in every direction. One day you can ski or snowshoe in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the next be walking on the desert mesa above the Rio Grande. One of the less visited areas is the Tres Piedras Ranger District of the Carson National Forest, northwest of Taos about 30 miles. The area has stands...

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Up the Great Divide

Stretching between the Canadian and Mexican borders, the Continental Divide Trail connects five states, 25 national forests, 21 wilderness areas, three national parks, eight Bureau of Land Management resource areas, and a national monument. Its many miles are maintained through the collaboration of every land management agency and by an army of volunteers — including...

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Pisgah Ranger District seeks public input on proposed recreation project

The Pisgah National Forest will be holding an open house on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 from 5-7 p.m. at the Pisgah Ranger Station to discuss a proposed project to increase the sustainability of recreation. “The project is not intended to address all possible improvements on the Pisgah Ranger District, but includes timely projects that consider the social, ecological,...

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Blue Ridge Parkway announces 2018 opening dates

Cold but dreamy snowfalls punctuated by balmy, hurry-up-and-hike days made for an unpredictable winter on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but according to the calendar, it’s officially spring. Soon campgrounds, visitor centers, picnic areas, and historical sites will be ready for the influx of travelers. In 2017, more than 16 million came to experience the mountains and the...

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Petrified Forest National Park: 10 tips for your visit

One of the largest concentrations of petrified wood in the world is found at Petrified Forest National Park in eastern Arizona, about 110 miles east of Flagstaff and 210 miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Scientific studies show that the petrified trees found within the park date back 211 to 218 million years. Add to that dramatic, colorful geological formations and...

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Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge, a former nuclear weapons plant, prepares to open hiking trails this summer

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to open the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge in Colorado to the public this summer despite attempts to block developing the refuge, which circles a shuttered nuclear weapons production facility. Private tours have already started, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge manager David Lucas said. No hard date exists yet for the full...

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Tragically lost in Joshua Tree’s wild interior

In June 2010, Bill Ewasko traveled alone from his home in suburban Atlanta to Joshua Tree National Park, where he planned to hike for several days. Ewasko, 66, was an avid jogger, a Vietnam vet and a longtime fan of the desert West. A family photo of Ewasko standing at the summit of Mount San Jacinto, another popular hiking destination in Southern California, shows a...

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Tips for staying safe while hiking in Arizona

Thanks to amazing weather and topography, southern Arizona can be a hiker’s dream. That dream can become a nightmare if you don’t take basic precautions or plan ahead, especially when the temperatures soar. When the heat comes, hiking or other outdoor activities should be limited to early morning hours and be completed no later than 10 a.m. Anyone planning on...

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Hiking: What to wear in the great outdoors

There’s that saying, “you can never be too overdressed for any occasion,” while that saying is commonly referred to dates, dinners, events and other entertainment type activities it’s also 100 percent applicable for hiking but for a different reason. When it comes to hiking clothes, you should think about where you are going and how challenging...

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New ‘Celtic Camino’ spurs second coming for Irish pilgrim trails

Did you know pilgrims don’t have to start their ‘Camino’ in Spain? That a ‘Celtic Camino’ allows you to kick off the route in Ireland? For just over a year now, walkers who complete a ‘Celtic Camino’ – by walking at least 25km of a pilgrim trail in Ireland – can collect a special certificate issued by the Camino...

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Tanglefoot National Recreation Trail – Mississippi

The Tanglefoot Trail is Mississippi’s longest rails-to-trails conversion, a ten-foot wide asphalt multi-use trail that runs 43.5 miles through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area. Visitors will experience a bit of local history as they pass through fields, forests, meadows, and wetlands along the path of the...

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Kolob Canyons at Zion to Close for Construction Projects

Access to portions of the Kolob Canyons District of Zion National Park will be restricted due to a construction project beginning May 1, 2018. The project involves reconstructing sections of the road, repaving the entire road, and adding accessible parking, sidewalk, and toilet facilities. All of Kolob Canyons Road, the Visitor Center, and parking lot off of Interstate...

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Smokies Park Recruits Trail Volunteers

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced several volunteer workdays beginning April 5 through April 28, 2018 along heavily-used trails and nature loops as the park prepares for the busy summer season. These opportunities are ideal for people interested in learning more about the park and the trails program through hands-on service alongside experienced...

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7 great Middle Tennessee trails for Spring Hike Day

With spring officially here, shake off those winter blahs with one of Tennessee State Parks’ “Happy Spring” hikes, where all 56 of our state parks will offer at least one ranger-led hike on March 24, 2018. Whether you are up for a strenuous all-day outing or a leisurely walk outdoors, or something in between, Tennessee parks have some great options. And...

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Ozark Trail Association Taum-A-Hawk Hiking Race 2018

The Ozark Trail Association is proud to announce the 2nd annual Taum-A-Hawk Hiking Race, a one-day event open to the public, to take place on Saturday, June 9th, 2018 along thirteen miles of the Ozark Trail Taum Sauk Section from Taum Sauk Mountain State Park to Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park located in Iron County, Missouri. Traversing through the most scenic and...

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Maine trio completes Appalachian Trail’s remote 100-Mile Wilderness in winter

At the end of February, three Maine men set out on snowshoes to hike the 100-Mile Wilderness, the most remote section of the Appalachian Trail stretching about 100 miles from Monson to Baxter State Park. They completed the arduous journey, over mountains and across half-frozen streams, in nine days, a feat very few hikers accomplish in the winter. For February, the...

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Massachusetts-New Hampshire hiking loop nears completion

  If the array of trails in Massachusetts’ North Quabbin region, including those along the Millers and Tully rivers, could be connected to the network of trails up near Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire, New England would have a world-class hiking jewel of its own. The North Quabbin Trail Association, in partnering with municipalities, naturalists and...

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11 tips for trekking in the Himalayas

The good news is you don’t need to be Sir Edmund Hillary to experience the Himalaya Mountains. In fact whatever your age, abilities or experience almost everyone can hike the Himalaya. As the highest mountain range on the planet, the Himalaya have long been a draw for explorers heading to Nepal, India, Bhutan, Tibet, and Pakistan. Furthermore, the countries the Himalayas...

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Cog Railway closure could impact recreation on Pikes Peak

In an unexpected turn earlier this week, the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, which had stopped operating for the winter for maintenance work, announced that it would not resume operations in the spring, and may not operate for several years — or ever again. Other than a yet-to-be-seen impact to local tourism, both in visitor numbers and revenue, the closure of the railroad may...

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Celebrate 50 years of hiking with Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association

April 21-22, 2018 weekend will see the kickoff of a season of celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association, Inc. (GHTA), an association of nine member clubs stewarding a 500 km trail stretching from Port Hope (Lake Ontario) at the southern terminus, to Devil’s Glen near Glen Huron, (just south of Blue Mountains) at the western terminus....

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Trail Days in Silver City will celebrate the 40th birthday of the Continental Divide Trail

The 40th birthday of the Continental Divide Trail will be celebrated during Silver City Trail Days. The event takes place April 27-29, 2018 and is the fourth annual Trail Days festival. It not only celebrates the Continental Divide, but also the outdoor culture of New Mexico and Silver City being a gateway community. “Trail Days brings people from all over the...

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23 Ways Hiking Makes You Healthier

Hiking outdoors offers lots of perks like fresh air, nice views, together with the sounds and smells of nature. So next time when somebody suggest you join a hike, thank them for taking care of your health. There is research that has proven that spending quality time outdoors will boost creative problem-solving talents and attention spans by around 50%. Hiking offers...

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How Long Do Hiking Boots Last?

Few pieces of gear are as beloved as a favorite pair of boots. Not only do they accompany you on your most scenic adventures; most of the time they bring you there. So it’s understandable you wouldn’t want to part with them – even if they’re ratty, ragged, and smell like a wet barn. Well, there’s good news: Your boots can live a longer, happier life. And you can...

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Hiking the authentic Great Wall of China, without the crush

The “Great Wall” is a bit of a misnomer, as there was never one single structure that spanned modern-day China. Rather, a number of large defensive walls were built by various rulers from as early as the Fifth Century B.C. through the mid-17th century, often hundreds of miles apart and with little relationship to one another. Yet one of those sections, the “Ming Wall,”...

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Parts of national forest closed for Mountain Valley Pipeline construction

The U.S. Forest Service says it is closing parts of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in Virginia and West Virginia as construction begins on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The department issued an emergency closure order affecting land in Giles County and Montgomery County in Virginia, and Monroe County in West Virginia. According to a release from the...

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