Smokies vacation haven still thriving in wake of wildfires

It’s a spectacular drive northward along Highway 441 from the small town of Cherokee on the North Carolina side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Gatlinburg on the Tennessee side. In the lower elevations, the spring wildflowers of mid-March, mostly trillium, pop from the ground offering bits of color that soon disappear the higher you climb toward...

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Nearly 80 hikers rescued from Phoenix trails so far in 2017

Phoenix, AZ police, fire and parks officials met at Piestewa Peak this week to promote hiker safety. Seventy-seven hikers have been rescued from Phoenix trails this year through March 20. Last year, there were 279 rescues within Phoenix. Fire Capt. Jake Van Hook said calls for rescue have steadily increased over the past five years. “We train together, we work...

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Dartmouth College Sells Parcel Of Land To Be Added To Appalachian Trail

Dartmouth College and The Trust for Public Land entered into a land deal that promises to protect an old farm estate that offers birding and hiking opportunities just 3 miles from Hanover, New Hampshire’s Main Street. Immediately after purchasing the 175-acre Hudson Farm from Dartmouth, the trust gave it away to the National Park Service so that it could be added...

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The top hiking spots in New Jersey

There’s nothing like the feeling of being outside with just a pair of hiking shoes and a backpack. You’re away from technology, out in the fresh air.” There’s this sense of adventure. You’re exploring sights you haven’t seen before. Dawn McClennen, 47, of Middlesex County, has been hiking for a little more than 20 years. She is the...

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Franklin Trail Days welcomes A.T. hikers

Franklin Trail Days is here for 2017 in Macon County, North Carolina with a lineup of activities on tap to rejuvenate tired Appalachian Trail thru-hikers and entertain local trail enthusiasts. • The First Baptist Church of Franklin is offering its annual free hiker breakfast seven days per week through April 9. All-you-can-eat pancakes and bacon are on the menu with van...

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Hiker on journey to set Appalachian Trail record, promote inspiration

Hikers are making their way along the Appalachian Trail in Western North Carolina right now. But one of them is trying to set a special record. The oldest thru-hiker on the AT was 81. Dale Sanders, who will turn 82 at the half way point of his 2,200-mile trek from Georgia to Maine, hopes to capture the title for oldest thru-hiker when he finishes later this year. During...

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Forest Service seeks input on trail maintenance priorities

The U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region is inviting the public to help identify trails that will be part of an effort with partners and volunteers to increase the pace of trail maintenance. Nationwide, the Forest Service will select nine to 15 priority areas among its nine regions where a backlog in trail maintenance contributed to reduced access, potential harm...

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Guide to Hiking Shoes Infographic

Tips for choosing your next trail shoes   Here are a few reasons why hiking shoes have more advantages over boots. Shoes are lighter and feel more comfortable than full boots. Because of additional weight, boots can lead to quicker fatigue. Next, shoes are preferred in hot weather. They cover less of your foot area. Moreover, many hiking shoes have mesh uppers...

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Labor of love in the wilderness

Hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians who frequent the forests and mountain trails outside of Albuquerque and Santa Fe perform a vital role as guardians of these recreational areas. Each year, groups from local clubs put in thousands of volunteer hours to keep the trails clear of vegetation, repair weather- and fire-caused damage or create new routes to enhance the...

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Driven by heat and high winds, wildfires are 10 times worse so far this year than average

Wildfire season, or the period between spring and late fall when dry weather, heat, and ignition sources make wildfires more likely, is already off to a devastating start, with fires already burning through a combined 2 million acres across the country — ten times the average for mid-March. Record-high temperatures combined with low humidity and high wind have created...

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Free guided hiking program returns across North Carolina

Blue Cross and North Carolina State Parks have announced the return of Hike NC, a free hiking program that makes it easy to hike and enjoy nature. As part of BCBSNC’s mission to improve the health and well-being of North Carolinians, they have partnered with the North Carolina State Parks system and others to offer Hike NC: dozens of guided hikes ready to be explored and...

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Connecting the 367-mile ‘unfinished gem’ of the Oregon Coast

Few pathways conjure up more conflicting emotions than the Oregon Coast Trail. One moment you’re hiking to the top of a rocky headland and looking upon a vast sweep of ocean. The next you’re risking life and limb on the shoulder of Highway 101 as cars and trucks scream past a few feet away. The 367-mile trail, which stretches from the California state line to Astoria,...

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Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club (RATC) seeks volunteer Ridgerunners

The Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club (RATC) created a McAfee Knob Task Force in the Spring of 2015 to focus on resource protection and management challenges around the region’s most beloved and iconic A.T. landmark, McAfee Knob. Rapidly increasing visitation, 76,000 people in 2016, has led to an increase in avoidable environmental impacts like litter, graffiti, trail...

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Volunteers needed for hiking trails near Fort Leavenworth

Partnering with the city of Leavenworth Parks and Recreation Department, a nonprofit organization is helping to provide a new mission for military veterans transitioning back into civilian life. Military veterans are invited to join forces with community members in cleaning and creating trails and camp sites in Leavenworth, Kansas. The trail creation and restoration work...

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Grant Will Help Friends of the Desert Mountains Upgrade Hiking Trails

Blooming desert wildflowers served as the perfect backdrop for Friends of the Desert Mountains to receive the $25,000 Coachella Valley Spotlight grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. Each year more than 20,000 valley residents and visitors enjoy the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center, off Highway 74, and hiking...

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Exploring new heights trekking in India

With the mighty Himalayas and several other locations throughout the country offering trekking choices, India makes for an ideal destination for adventure lovers. Starting from short day trips to longer duration intensive routes, people of various fitness levels can find suitable options. Star gazing, pilgrimage and expeditions to see flowers in bloom are among many of...

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Hiker set to finish all Smokies trails in record time

Maybe it’s the beard. “I really enjoy having my beard full of ice,” Benny Braden, 44, said on coming out of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park after another long hike. “It was that way today – just getting covered head to toe in ice.” Braden, from Harriman, TN has been in the park a lot since Jan. 1. He’s on his way to setting a record March 18th for hiking all of...

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Tenderfoot Trail offers unbeatable views of Tenmile Range

The view atop Tenderfoot Mountain in Summit County, Colorado is so expansive it can barely be captured in a camera lens. On the far left is Keystone Resort and glimpses of 13ers Mount Guyot and Bald Mountain. Also on the left, the Tenmile Range and Breckenridge Ski Resort unfold with unobstructed clarity. All the way down the line, I count the 10 peaks. The town of...

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Hiking Through Grief

When people grieve, they often need to do something physical to help them along. Some folks build things. Another option is hiking. Set a goal each day to reach a scenic viewpoint, but also try to find a place along the way where you connect to something solid and real. In the months following a loved one’s death, home is an unending flurry of details, doubts and...

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Hiking With Geeks lures nerds into the great outdoors

Geeks love nature, too. Mendel Kurland, a self-professed geek, figured that out in a hurry after hiking with a co-worker last year. The two talked about the fun of spending time outdoors, and on a whim afterward, he snapped up the domain name hikingwithgeeks.com. Then, last October, he started a Hiking With Geeks meetup group, hoping to lure a few nerds from their...

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Spectacular bloom expected at Anza Borrego Desert State Park

  A spectacular bloom of wildflowers is underway at Anza Borrego Desert State Park in California, and by the middle of March, it’s expected to just get better and better, according to park officials. The area has been deluged with rain this season and the Borrego Desert is full of green with flowers in stages of both bud and blooms, a press release issued by...

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Hiking Spain’s Oldest Trail: Camino De Santiago

One place to start the Camino de Santiage is along “The French Way,” the branch of the Camino that unites various routes through France and across Spain. It is one of the oldest and most-walked trails in the world, dating back by most estimates to the 9th Century. The Camino de Santiago is said to have begun when the bones of the apostle St. James were discovered by a...

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13 beautiful trails to hike in Alabama this spring

Thankfully, spring is almost here. It’s a great time to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer. One of the best ways to get your exercise and see wonderful natural surroundings is hiking and riding a bike. Here is a collection of 13 amazing trails in Alabama State Parks. Hiking these trails offers a chance to see waterfalls, expansive vistas and...

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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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