Hiking race between Missouri state parks coming in June

The Ozark Trail Association has an upcoming event that hiking enthusiasts may want to join. The association has recently announced its inaugural Taum-A-Hawk Hiking Race set for June 10, 2017. A one-day event open to the public, hikers will traverse the 13 miles of the Ozark Trail from Taum Sauk Mountain State Park to Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park located in Iron County,...

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Idaho’s Black Butte is otherworldly destination

Instead of an actual trail, jumbled volcanic rock dictates that you meander through its obstacle course. Each turn brings you closer to the summit that tops out just up the road from the Shoshone Ice Caves, but progress was slow. The immense stone garden that is traversed continually changes. Early on, the ground surface contains enough soil interspersed between rocks to...

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Experts warn of increases in tick-borne Powassan virus

Summer is nearly here, and it’s bringing fears of a rare tick-borne disease called Powassan. This potentially life-threatening virus is carried and transmitted by three types of ticks, including the deer tick that transmits Lyme disease. Over the past decade, 75 cases have been reported in the northeastern states and the Great Lakes region, according to the US...

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Reported Snake Bites Nearly Quadruple in North Carolina

The Carolinas Poison Center, which offers assistance to venomous snake bite victims and the doctors who treat them, has reported a near quadrupling in North Carolina snake bite incidents compared to this time last year. According to a report filed by WLOS, the center received 71 calls throughout the month of April 2017. Compare that to the 19 calls the center received in...

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Rainbow Falls Trail Rehabilitation Begins May 8, 2017

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that a 2-year trail rehabilitation project will begin next week on the popular Rainbow Falls Trail. The trail will be closed May 8, 2017 through November 16, 2017 on Monday mornings at 7:00 a.m. through Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m. weekly. Due to the construction process on the narrow trail, a full closure is...

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2017 National Trails Day is June 3rd. Thousands of Events. One Shared Experience.

Fill up your water bottle and lace up your hiking shoes—National Trails Day is right around the corner. National Trails Day is the only nationally coordinated event designed to unite all muscle-powered trail activities with the goal of connecting more people to trails. Every trail beckons adventure and has a story to share with any person willing to discover it, and...

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Festival to celebrate new relationship between Appalachian Trail and Roan Mountain

The public is invited to visit the Roan Mountain community in Carter County, Tennessee for the debut of a new festival on Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 10 a.m. designed to celebrate the mountain town’s relationship with the Appalachian Trail and its enthusiasts. “This is a celebration of several community events in Roan Mountain,” a trail ambassador said. “It’s to celebrate...

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Dreams by Cliff Williams of Argyle Multimedia

On a recent visit to Little Bradley Falls, I happened to meet and chat with Cliff Williams of the local video production company Argyle Multimedia. As Cliff demonstrated to me that day, he is quite adept at operating camera drones, just one more means of achieving priceless photography of the great outdoors. Cliff just put together a compilation video that includes some...

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How to hike Costa Rica’s pristine Osa Peninsula

Situated on the Pacific coast, close to Costa Rica’s border with Panama, the Osa Peninsula should be on every nature lover’s bucket list. Touted as the most biologically intense place on Earth, it crams an astounding 2.5 per cent of the planet’s biodiversity into an area roughly twice the size of Hong Kong. More than three-quarters of it is protected, mostly by the...

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Six ways to stay safe on mountain hiking trails

There was sad news this week for the Los Angeles hiking community. The body of Seuk “Sam” Doo Kim, famous for climbing Mount Baldy nearly 800 times, was found on the mountain after a few days missing. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department was in charge of the search. Its spokesperson said that to lose such an experienced hiker was rare....

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Help Hike 1,175 Miles in One Day

On September 9, 2017, Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail need you to collaborate with hundreds of others across North Carolina to hike and paddle the entire 1,175 miles of the MST in one day. Registration is now open for all legs – follow the instructions on mstinaday.org to sign up. MST in a Day commemorates a speech on September 9, 1977 by Howard Lee, then the...

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park Announces Synchronous Firefly Viewing Dates

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have announced the 2017 dates for firefly viewing in Elkmont. Shuttle service to the viewing area will be provided on Tuesday, May 30 through Tuesday, June 6. All visitors wishing to view the synchronous fireflies at Elkmont must have a parking pass distributed through the lottery system at www.recreation.gov. Every year in...

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Centuries-old Medicine Wheel draws many to national forest in Wyoming

For centuries, the Medicine Wheel in the Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming has been used for prayer and vision quests by the Crow Tribe and other Native people. Visitors come from all over the world to hike up Medicine Mountain to the wheel, a National Historical Site managed by the Bighorn National Forest with guidance from the Medicine Wheel Alliance. The Medicine...

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On the trail of John Muir: Hiking in the naturalist’s footsteps around Northern California

John Muir had a passion for the outdoors that’s legendary and his extensive writings include accounts of his California adventures, ascending Mount Shasta in a snowstorm, walking all the way from San Francisco to Yosemite, and simply sauntering around Mount Wanda with his two daughters near his Martinez Ranch. Muir first arrived in San Francisco from New York by...

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Why Hiking Matters

Nature Deficit Disorder noun 1. The human cost of alienation from nature. Okay, it’s not actually in the dictionary… yet. The term was coined by journalist Richard Louv in his modern classic study Last Child in the Woods to describe the negative effects of a steep, one-generation slide in children’s exposure to the natural world. Louv points to the obvious reasons:...

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Tips for Scoring a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit

by Michael Lanza - The Big Outside The first time I backpacked in Yosemite National Park, more than 25 years ago, I applied months in advance for a permit to start at the park’s most popular trailhead, Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley—and I got it. I had no idea at the time how lucky I was. I’ve since been shot down trying to get permits for popular hikes in parks like...

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Groundbreaking for final phase of ‘missing link’ of Foothills Parkway

It’s the beginning of the end for the “missing link” of the Foothills Parkway. While crews still are completing the bridges along the 1.65-mile “missing link,” the paving of the entire 16-mile stretch of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley is scheduled to get underway this spring, with a groundbreaking ceremony featuring U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander,...

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How to Prevent Injuries While Hiking

Hiking is great fun for all ages and sizes. Like any other person who has the zeal and passion for amazing views and high alpine trails, sometimes you forget that the activity is strenuous and has several potential dangers. If you have been hiking for some time, chances are you have had a taste of what it is to get one of more of the following injuries. An injury from...

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A new kind of green: Developers trade golf courses for hiking trails, gardens to draw buyers

A few decades ago, the go-to centerpiece for many master-planned communities was a golf course, with buyers clamoring for homes that backed up to the green whether they were avid players or not. Today, golf courses have faded from favor in new communities, giving way to more inclusive amenities, such as extensive trail networks, education centers and shared gardens that...

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Walking the Garden of Ireland: Wicklow Way

The Wicklow Way is Ireland’s oldest way-marked long-distance walk. The 128 km long walk takes you through the incredible Wicklow Mountains and through County Wicklow, known as the Garden of Ireland. Wicklow Way passes through Wicklow Mountains National Park and through Glenmalure, the longest glacial valley in Ireland. You’ll also walk past Glendalough, a 6th century...

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High Country Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway Chapter – Clean-up of Tanawha Trail, April 23, 2017

The High Country Chapter of FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian State Chapter, will host a clean up of the Tanawha Trail, Sunday, April 23, 2017 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The Tanawha Trail, stretching 13.5 miles from Julian Price Park to Beacon Heights, parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway on Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Tanawha, the Cherokee word for...

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What Gear Do I Need For Hiking?

Hikers in general are an eclectic lot. If you asked 15 different hikers what kind of hiking gear you need for a comfortable day hike, chances are that you will get 15 different answers. Of course, some of these answers will have a few items in common. You know, things like don’t go hiking in your flip flops. So preferably, the first piece of gear you will need will be...

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Public Library Card in Colorado Offers Hiking Perks

When it comes to Colorado’s great outdoors, the Mesa County Public Libraries are here to help connect you to local scenic hiking trails at no cost. Bob Kretschman, Public Information Manager of the Mesa County Public Libraries said, “With a library card you can do a lot more than just check out books. This parks pass program lets you actually get out and...

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National Parks are Fee Free the Next Two Weekends

The National Park Service has long encouraged visitors to avoid peak crowds by planning their trips in the spring. And to give you even more impetus, here’s another good reason to visit this month: free admission. For four days in April, 2017 — April 15, 16, 22 and 23 — the National Park Service will waive entrance fees at the 118 national parks that normally charge...

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How to Be Mindful on a Hike

“Hiking in nature provides an opportunity to tune in — both to our own experience and to the world around us. While it can be easy to get lost in thought or daydreams while hiking, the simple practices of mindfulness can draw us more closely into our experience of the natural world.” — Khalila Archer, program director at Inward Bound Mindfulness Education. Start by...

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Trekking the Danakil in Ethiopia

After a three-hour hike, you crest the ridge. Before you is the glowing caldera, filled with dancing fountains of lava. Ethiopia is increasingly making its mark on global tourism. Once just the province of dedicated Peace Corps workers and intrepid backpackers, newly built roads and new hotels are opening it up to the broader tourist market. But even for the most veteran...

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Helping You Find Uncrowded National Park Trails

The road less traveled—it’s an old adage, sure, but also advice worth taking when it comes to exploring U.S. national parks. After all, our beloved parks are crowded: Last year, they had a banner year, with 325 million visitors enjoying (sometimes free) time in the great outdoors. Particular park trails, though, are more crowded than others, and in 2016, 24 million...

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What to do if you encounter a mountain lion while hiking

“You never know what you can encounter [while hiking],” said Mike Keckler with Idaho Department of Fish & Game. “That’s one of the things that makes [wilderness] so special.” While we may want to stop and snap a couple of pictures, Keckler says we should be aware of potential dangers – especially when it comes to mountain lions....

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An Argument for Caution in the Wild

BY MARJORIE WOODRUFF HIGH COUNTRY NEWS Taking a hard look at the soft line between acceptable risks and ‘what-were-they-thinking’ risks. Six: That is the number of times I’ve frantically dashed out of a slot canyon because it started to rain. Once that happened when I was leading a well-advertised Sierra Club hike to promote wilderness with a capital W. We had hiked in...

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North Carolina regulators approve solar microgrid in Smokies

Duke Energy got the official go-ahead for a renewable energy project that’s drawing praise from some of its most frequent critics. The “microgrid” system, atop Mount Sterling in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, represents Duke’s latest, small foray into linking solar energy to battery storage – a combination that experts say is key for the expansion of renewable...

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