Adam’s Peak: Trekking Sri Lanka’s most sacred mountain

“‘Every second, new colours,” said the guide, Dharme, as the sky turned from crimson to gold. As the sun rose, the landscape below took shape – distant peaks soared above valleys which dipped beneath a canopy of mist. Waterfalls plunged, white stupas peeked out from the jungle, and coloured flags were illuminated in the early light. It was 6am on the...

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After 22 years as volunteer, Howard hangs up hazel hoe

The agony and angst endured by those who hike for months over the rugged National Scenic Trails are painfully palpable. But they, and the millions of hikers who self-impose these hiking challenges, really have it easy. Think how hard it would be to hike all those miles without trail markers, or without a trail. That’s where the real trail angels come in –...

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Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation gets nearly $1 million for kids

An ambitious project that began on the Blue Ridge Parkway to connect children with the great outdoors is getting bigger. Kids in Parks, a signature program of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, has been awarded $921,000 from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation to continue its work helping kids and families reconnect with nature through TRACK...

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Connecticut’s “The Sky’s the limit” hiking challenge includes fun and prizes

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) recently announced a great opportunity to win prizes for hiking Connecticut’s high peaks as part of a new program – “The Sky’s the Limit” 2015 Hiking Challenge, designed to promote hiking in Connecticut’s state parks and forests throughout 2015. “What a great way to spending time outdoors hiking...

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How to Walk

Yes, there’s a better way to put one foot in front of the other. Improve your stride, trek farther, and end leg and back pain with this guide to the new science of healthy hiking. “Backpacking used to be a necessary part of survival,” notes author and back-pain specialist Esther Gokhale, who has studied healthy sitting, standing, and walking postures in native...

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Join CMLC for a Hike to Pretty Place from Green River Preserve – February 21

Green River Preserve (GRP) is Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy’s largest conservation easement and one of the largest in all of western NC. It contains a plethora of natural treasures and abundance of unspoiled mountain slopes making it one of the biggest and most biologically-diverse private wildlife preserves in western North Carolina. More than 2,600 acres of...

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Warrior Hike puts veterans on the trail to find their way back

Warrior Hike is a walk back to civilization, back to a life left behind and back through history. Sean Gobin, a combat U.S. Marine Corps veteran, started the nonprofit organization after he returned from multiple deployments to the Middle East, undertook a four-month through hike of the Appalachian Trail, and realized this could provide the ideal way for soldiers...

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Pennsylvania considering all-out hiking ban on state game lands during hunting seasons

Fall foliage season is a popular time for hiking in Pennsylvania. But fall hiking on state game lands might be prohibited if a new regulation under consideration by the Pennsylvania Game Commission is approved. The commission is scheduled to consider a new rule Jan. 27, 2015 that would forbid hiking and other non-hunting activities on state game lands during fall and...

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New Official Appalachian Trail Mileage Is 2,189.2 Miles

Re-measurements and relocations of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) have brought the total mileage of the footpath to 2,189.2 miles, an increase of 3.9 miles from last year’s mileage of 2,185.3. This mileage is carefully documented in the Trail’s official guidebooks, which include the Appalachian Trail Data Book and the Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Companion. Both books...

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Cold and snow no excuse to stop hiking Tahoe Basin

One of the highlights of winter hiking in the Sierra Nevada is the surreal calm of the forest under a blanket of snow. There are very few leaves to rustle and, when the snow is powdery, not even footsteps make a noise. That’s why the sudden burst of birdsong on a recent trip to Chickadee Ridge was such a pleasant surprise. One moment a group of Tahoe Rim Trail...

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Hiking Mt. Olympus

Mount Olympus is worthy of its association to the gods in Greek mythology for numerous reasons. First, it is Greece’s highest mountain, and, naturally, the gods wouldn’t live on a puny little hill. Second, it is the second highest mountain in the Balkan Range. Finally, it beckons thousands of people each year to tackle its hiking trails and reach its summit. Mythology...

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Great Eastern Day Hikes

While the West—with its high altitudes, rugged peaks and chill, outdoorsy vibe—has quietly claimed the mantle of quintessential hiking paradise, don’t write off everything east of the Mississippi. After all, seemingly endless wilderness stretches along the Ozark Highland, North Country Scenic and Appalachian Trails, so missing out on the chance to climb a 14er...

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The Geology Of Canyonlands National Park

Baked by time like some multi-layer geologic tort, Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah features a landscape cut by canyons, rumpled by upthrusts, dimpled by grabens, and even pockmarked, some believe, by ancient asteroids. Just outside of Moab rises a kaleidoscope of tilted and carved geology laid down over the eons. There’s the red and white Cedar Mesa...

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The spirits of Shenandoah National Park

For much of the year, Shenandoah National Park is a gorgeously overgrown place. The underbrush sneaks over the trails, threatening to erase them. Off-trail, the views are densely wooded in every direction, tangled in Virginia creeper and prickly greenbrier. This is why you come in December, to search for things that are obscured when the park’s hollows and hillsides are...

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Places to Go in 2015

Enjoy this stunning graphical presentation from the NY Times to aid in choosing your 2015 vacation. Untrammeled oases beckon, once-avoided destinations become must-sees and familiar cities offer new reasons to visit. Go here…...

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Adventure ideas for 2015: Montana has so much to offer

From the temperate rainforests of Kootenai National Forest to the badlands around Fort Peck, every page of the Montana atlas offers something to explore. Each Forest Service road and tiny blue line on the map represents the possibility of great things, all within the broad and diverse bounds of the Montana landscape. The Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act, which passed...

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Hiking Norway’s Trolltunga is otherworldly

If trolls really did exist, this would undoubtedly be their domain; massive boulders littered the scrubby vegetation, extensive glaciers sucked in the feet of unsuspecting intruders and a gaping canyon make limbs tingle. This is Earth, at the very least, though nothing about the situation seems realistic. Especially this destination, whose landscape defies expectations....

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Volunteers Donate More than 200,000 Hours in 2014 to Maintaining the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has announced that for fiscal year 2014, 5,617 volunteers reported 241,936 hours to maintaining and protecting the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) for hikers to use. Since the ATC began collecting reports in 1983, individuals have contributed more than 5 million hours to the A.T., resulting in a volunteer network that is recognized...

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Traction devices for your boots make winter trekking easier

Up on the mountain this week, one of those “moments of clarity” hit people across snow country. What they saw was like looking into a crystal ball and seeing their future. With clear weather, plenty of snow and a firm snow surface, all of the stellar trailheads were popular destinations with snowshoers. For many, the exhilaration was pure ecstasy: their first snowshoe...

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Top Dog Breeds for Hiking

Who is the one per­son you can always count on to go for a hike when­ever you feel like it? Well, it’s not a per­son. It’s man’s best friend: your dog. A fit, healthy dog will likely be more excited to hit the trail than you. Most dog breeds will enjoy a jaunt in the woods, but some dogs have back­coun­try sur­vival in their blood. If you’re a hiker of the avid vari­ety,...

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Hike with CMLC at Camp High Rocks to Rich Mountain – Saturday, January 17th

Join Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at Camp High Rocks to hike to the summit of Rich Mountain. With a stop at Cathedral Rocks en route, this hike is a beautiful upward trek to a scenic mountain top. Hikers will have a choice of stopping at Cathedral Rock or continuing up to the top of Rich Mountain. Camp High Rocks is a summer camp for...

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25th Wilderness Wildlife Week

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the world’s most beautiful places to take in everything the great outdoors has to offer. During the annual Wilderness Wildlife Week events in Pigeon Forge, you’ll have a chance to learn about the fauna, flora and folks who call this rustic region home. This year’s 25th Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week takes place January 24...

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Guide to Hiking Long Island’s Greenbelt Trail System

If you want to go out and get working on that New Year’s resolution of getting fit and getting outside, consider exploring Long Island’s major hiking trail system – the Greenbelt. Long Island’s Greenbelt Trail is a 31.8-mile hiking trail that was completed in 1982 and extends from Sunken Meadow State Park on the Long Island Sound to Heckscher State Park on the Great...

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In My Shoes: Sharing and caring abound on the Appalachian Trail

After listening to my sister’s stories about her Georgia-to-Maine adventure on the Appalachian Trail, I’m thinking it might be a good idea for us all to spend some time on foot in the deep woods. Life on the trail, from what Pat tells me, while hugely demanding physically and emotionally, seems a lot like life ought to be here in “civilization.” On the trail, everyone is...

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EVTA on the move

The Elkin Valley Trails Association (EVTA) is bringing hiking — and much more — to Elkin, North Carolina and much of the surrounding area. Trial hikes along portions of the trail between Stone Mountain and Elkin have already taken place. The EVTA trail is part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail that will stretch, when completed, from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer...

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Trekking to a mountain desert in Nepal is like visiting ancient Tibet

The “lost and forbidden” kingdom of Upper Mustang, tucked away in northern Nepal, is an arid and ancient land, like a flashback to the Tibet of the 1950s, when the Dalai Lama still reigned in Lhasa. Virtually untouched by modern civilization and isolated by rugged mountain terrain, the old way of life of the Lobas (people of Mustang) still exists, while its ancient...

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Ghost Town Hiking and Extreme Driving on an Epic Death Valley Camping Trip

It takes a certain masochism to experience Death Valley National Park as it’s meant to be seen. But torture yourself just a little, take a few extra steps, and you’ll be rewarded with a combination of natural and historical wonders that no place on Earth can match: gorgeous sand dunes sculpted by wind; a dried-up lakebed named the Racetrack for its power to move rocks;...

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Cultural concepts that may be different to you

From the end of October through the New Year and onto Valentine’s Day, it’s easy to forget that the holidays we celebrate are simply cultural constructs that we can choose to engage in — or not. The concepts and ideas we celebrate — like our spiritual beliefs and daily habits — are a choice, though sometimes it feels like we “have” to celebrate...

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A failed Soviet irrigation project brings eco-apocalypse to SE Ukraine

In 1976, it looked like a good idea: to divert the waters of the Danube into a salt-water lagoon on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, and irrigate millions of hectares of arid steppe land. But the result has been human and environmental disaster on an epic scale. Some environmental disasters happen in the blink of an eye, much too quickly for anyone to react: an oil...

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8 ways to hike more in 2015

If you’re like most people, all of your good intentions, inspired by the illusion of some cosmic do-over that comes with the new year, are already well on their way to oblivion. In one year and out the other, as the saying about resolutions goes. The problem with many resolutions is that they’re simply too vague. So maybe you’ve made a resolution to hike more in 2015....

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“Hike Death Valley” And Gain A Decal For Your Death Valley National Park Memorabilia Collection

Death Valley is an imposing place to go for a hike, though the staff at the national park is encouraging visitors to experience the park on a hiking trail through a new program that debuts in January. The Hike Death Valley program offers a list of hikes for visitors to take. Each hike has a point value assigned to it. For instance, hike the half-mile to Scotty’s...

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Veteran hikes the Appalachian Trail, canoes the Mississippi

His job wasn’t difficult, but it wore on him all the same. He craved adventure. He had to do something. That something, it turned out, was hiking the venerable Appalachian Trail in an unbroken streak from Georgia to Maine and, that not being enough, paddling a green canoe from the headwaters of the Mississippi River all the way to Baton Rouge, La. Jared McCallum...

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