Building the Blue Ridge Parkway

Early in the 20th Century, there were very few National Parks in the eastern portion of the United States. Forward-thinking dreamers in the government purchased the lands for Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the late 1920’s, and that led to the idea of a plan for a scenic motor road that would connect the two parks and their...

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Tellico Wild: Explore Cherokee National Forest on land and in the water

Great Smoky Mountains National Park may have wider name recognition, but at 655,598 acres, the Cherokee National Forest is Tennessee’s largest tract of public land. The forest is split into two sections along the Tennessee-North Carolina line north and south of the Smokies. When organizers of this weekend’s Wilderness Weekend began brainstorming ways to...

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High in the N.C. mountains, prominent hikers bridge political differences

The politically odd couple striding up a rocky trail in the Roan highlands came to celebrate a conservation landmark, and to plot its rebirth. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Sen. Richard Burr, the conservative North Carolina Republican, are unlikely partners in promoting the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. The fund turns 50 in September and, to survive,...

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Hiker says opera scared off mountain lion

Kyra Kopestonsky had a close encounter with a mountain lion in Down Valley Park, Colorado, and singing might have saved her life. The Ohio native moved to Placerville a year and a half ago because she enjoyed hiking area trails. “I thought it was really beautiful,” Kopestonsky said in an interview with 9NEWS. “I [had] never seen a mountain lion.”...

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Benefits of hiking: There’s science behind the feel-good workout

With all of the trendy workout classes and pricey boutique fitness studios out there, you might feel the need to get back to basics. But don’t worry, simple activities can still get you in awesome shape: A recent study in the American Heart Association’s journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology found that moderate exercise, like walking, and...

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Black Balsam Road to Close Sept. 2, 2014 for Improvement Project

The Black Balsam Road (FR 816) and Black Balsam Trailhead resurfacing project will begin Sept. 2, 2014. The road and trailhead will be closed until early October. “We’ve received a number of complaints regarding the condition of the road. This project will address the numerous potholes and greatly improve visitor experience,” said a spokesman. “To...

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Vermont hiking trails near peregrine falcon nests reopened

The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife says hiking trails near peregrine falcon nesting sites on cliffs across the state have been reopened. That’s because the young falcons that were hatched and raised in the nests are now flying. Audubon biologist Margaret Fowle says 41 peregrine pairs were spotted on cliffs this spring, 37 pairs nested, and 27 pairs...

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Trading a classroom for the Australian wilderness

Simeon Heier decided to do something different his senior year of high school. He’d spent most of his time at Lincoln High in Nebraska going class to class, jumping hurdles, shooting baskets. By his senior year, he was looking for a new challenge. He found it along the rivers and trails of the Australian Outback, where he traded a backpack filled with textbooks and...

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Hiking in Vail: Shrine Mountain Trail

If you’re looking for a hike with incredible wildflowers, go to Shrine Mountain on Vail Pass, Colorado in late July/early August. The wildflowers are incredible. There are fields and fields of flowers. The hike starts on Shrine Pass, about 2.3 miles from Interstate 70 and the Vail Pass rest area. At the trailhead, you’ll find a large parking lot and...

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The last leg of the Long Trail

The Long Trail is the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the country, according to the Green Mountain Club, which built the trail from 1910 to 1930 and maintains it to this day. The LT runs up the spine of Vermont’s Green Mountains, stretching from Massachusetts to Canada. While some hikers tackle the trail’s 273 miles all at once, taking three weeks to a...

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Go Take a Hike!

By Nicholas Kristof for the NY Times Escaping a grim world of war abroad and inequality at home, I fled with my teenage daughter to the mountains of Oregon to hike the Pacific Crest Trail and commune with more humane creatures. Like bears and cougars. The wilderness is healing, a therapy for the soul. We hiked 145 miles, and it was typical backpacking bliss: We were...

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USFS may reroute Pacific Northwest Trail

In the same ranks as the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, the Pacific Northwest (NW) National Scenic Trail was officially recognized by Congress in 2009. More than 1,200 miles long, the Pacific NW Trail originates near the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park and traverses roads, trails and unmarked countryside through Montana, Idaho and Washington...

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Nevada hiking trails closed due to heat danger

The National Park Service is closing several hiking trails at Lake Mead National Recreation Area after a rash of heat-related medical emergencies and deaths. The temporary closure order includes the Goldstrike Canyon and White Rock Canyon trails on both sides of the Colorado River downstream from Hoover Dam. In 2013, the Park Service logged 17 incidents on those trails...

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Youthful trail crew builds trail in Hickory Nut Gorge

High above the Hickory Nut Gorge, a crew of college kids was roughing out a mountain trail through thick rhododendron Wednesday when they disturbed a yellow jacket nest under a boulder. Tools were cast aside as the students scattered from the swarm. Several were stung, but the eight-person crew just let the bees settle down and kept working, moving boulders with steel...

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New Earl Shaffer biography published by Appalachian Trail Museum

Appalachian Trail legend Earl Shaffer is the subject of a new biography, “A Grip on the Mane of Life,” by thru-hiker David Donaldson and Maurice J. Forrester, a long-time activist in the Pennsylvania hiking community. Shaffer, a native of York, became the first person to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in a single season in 1948. His feat was featured the...

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Accessible hiking trail, Long Island’s second, to open in Kings Park

New York State crews are building a new accessible hiking trail in Kings Park that officials said will accommodate wheelchairs, scooters and strollers, and help deter damaging all-terrain vehicles or people dumping trash. The trail, to open in mid-August, begins off Meadow Road, south of the Long Island Rail Road tracks and west of Lawrence Road on state land known as...

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Day Hikes Along California Highway 108

Few books are more specifically titled than, “Day Hikes Along The Highway 108 Corridor”. There is no question as to what this book is about. This is Kathi Joye’s first book that she has both written and published. Though seemingly self-explanatory, the book covers a total of seventy-six hiking trails from Knights Ferry to the east side of Sonora Pass in California. Joye...

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A hike up to paradise: Colombia’s Iguaque Natl Park

The native Muiscas of the Cundinamarca-Boyaca Plateau consider their home to be the origin of all life. After a long hike to the top of the mountain, it’s easy to see why. The Laguna de Iguaque, situated in the Paramo de Iguaque in the Iguaque National Park, Columbia is among the calmest places in the world. After a fairly bumpy car ride up a mountain next to the...

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Hikers and runners are trying to cover the country’s longest, most iconic trails, faster than anyone ever has before

At the end of June, outside the tiny California town of Warner Springs, Joe McConaughy took his first shower in days. The state might be suffering from a severe drought, but on the baseball diamond, the sprinklers were going. He wanted to jump in. He had been on the storied Pacific Crest Trail for just three days, but he had already covered more than 100 miles in the...

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Grand History Trail would connect Pennsylvania, Maryland and D.C. Will it ever exist?

The goal is a biking and hiking trail that would take you to major cities in the Mid-Atlantic and allow you to explore more than 250 years of American history. You could ride through York and see the reconstructed Colonial Court House, where the Continental Congress met and adopted the Articles of Confederation. You could meander through the Gettysburg battlefield, the...

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Hiking In The Ozone, And Learning About It Too

On a warm afternoon in Boulder, Colorado a small group of residents and scientists walked alongside South Boulder Creek. “Today, we are here to talk about our regional air quality,” said Jennelle Freeston, the volunteer coordinator for Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks. The group had gathered as part of an educational effort to teach area...

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In South Korea, hiking has become almost a national identity

South Koreans are weekend warriors. The sport of choice? Hiking. Mountains are everywhere, and most can be climbed in a day. You need only the following prerequisites: a love of nature, multi-course meals packed into Tupperware, several bottles of rice wine and high-end gear. Hiking has long been a South Korean pastime, but it has become more like a national identity. In...

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Need splendid isolation? Scottish wilderness walking might get you there

The views are barely believable: hundreds of miles of uninhabited landscape, unspoilt by humans, but home to an uneven terrain of sheer cliff faces, deep reservoirs and dense forests hiding rarely seen creatures. It’s as if everything as far as the eye can see has been created by set designers whose brief is to create an environment so otherworldly, vast and overwhelming...

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Pathogens aplenty in seemingly pure water

You’re out in the woods, miles from the nearest road on a day hike or perhaps a multiday backpacking excursion. You stop at a gurgling stream or the shore of a lovely pond to refill your water bottles. The water is crystal clear and clean looking, so you dip your bottle in and take a long, much-needed drink. The water tastes just fine so you fill your bottles or bladder...

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Hiking is fun, but be careful out there

Otero County, New Mexico offers a multitude of places to hike, everywhere from the sand dunes of White Sands National Monument to the Lincoln National Forest and the foothills of the Sacramento Mountains. Hiking can be a fun way to spend a day with friends and family and get some exercise. But it behooves one to know his or her limits and be safe. “Definitely know...

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Hiking With Purpose: The Colorado 54

Hiking a fourteener isn’t easy. But if you tackle the Colorado bucket-list item on Saturday, August 2, 2014 you and your buddies may be inspired enough to make it to the final steps of the summit. Why? Because hundreds of fellow thrill-seekers will be taking part in The Colorado 54, a fund-raising endeavor in which participants will collectively attempt to summit...

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17 and solo, she set out to hike the 2,650 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail

Laina Rose climbs a steep, shale-strewn trail just outside Sierra City. It’s before noon on a mid-June day and warm enough for her to remove her light jacket. Fellow hikers in town warned her that this stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail was a tough uphill, but to Rose, it’s just another stroll on a months-long journey. Her light brown braided pigtails have been bleached...

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Trail Building (And Other Interesting Facts)

There is an endless tug of war game being played between trail workers and hikers (the two groups often wear each other’s labels). Hikers erode the trail as they hike, causing it to literally move downhill. This is known as ‘tread creep’ in the business. The trail sinks and the slight leaning angle of it (which is actually an intentional design to keep water off of the...

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Arizona Man Busted For Organizing 300-Hiker Rim-to-Rim Crossing Of Grand Canyon National Park

Three-hundred hikers. Well, not quite 300, but almost, according to Grand Canyon National Park rangers. And they all descended on the park last October 19 in a bid to hike from the North Rim to the South Rim. In one day. Behind the hike-in was Scott Beck, a Phoenix man who tried to convince rangers that even though he chartered five buses, and even though he told the...

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Wilson’s Creek trails tell story of Civil War battle

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, just a mile or so south of Republic High School, Missouri, where a network of walking trails takes you more than 150 years into the past. It’s here that 537 Union and Confederate soldiers killed each other and thousands were wounded over the course of two hot days in August 1861. Both sides hoped the fight would determine...

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