On the Longest Hiking Trails, a Woman Finds Equal Footing

It was a busy summer on the Appalachian Trail. The movie “A Walk in the Woods” made its debut, the path received national attention for a perceived party culture and the well-known endurance athlete Scott Jurek set an overall record on the trail. Then, quietly and relatively unnoticed, a woman named Heather Anderson hiked the trail by herself, averaging more than 40...

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Pilot Mountain’s newest trail circles the landmark’s lower slopes

Pilot Mountain State Park’s newest trail – a 4.5-mile loop near the base of the mountain – was inspired by a firebreak hastily constructed with a bulldozer in 2012 and recently completed by park staff and volunteers from Friends of Sauratown Mountains. The Mountain Trail rambles around the slopes at about 1,500 feet elevation, at one point connecting with the Grindstone...

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Patagonia’s controversial new national park

The creation of the Parque Patagonia conservation area – the brainchild of a billionaire US couple – is a step to creating one of the world’s largest national parks. But what’s the hiking like? “Pain?” asks Jorge Molina, my hiking guide. Yes, there is a little pain, but it’s too late for cold feet. Or, more accurately, it’s too late not to get cold feet, because we’re...

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Park Asks Visitors to View Bears Responsibly

Great Smoky Mountains National Park wildlife biologists remind the public to allow bears to forage undisturbed on natural foods during this critical feeding period before winter hibernation. Bears depend on Fall foods such as acorns and grapes to store fat reserves that enable them to survive winter. This year, these foods in the park are extremely rare leading bears to...

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Man In Norway Finds 1,265-Year-Old Viking Sword While Hiking

Here’s a good reason to go outdoors this weekend. Earlier this month, Goran Olsen was on a hike in the Norwegian village of Haukeli when he caught sight of a 30-inch object under some rocks. It turned out to be a 1,265-year-old, wrought iron Viking sword. The artifact is believed to be from A.D. 750, Norway’s Hordaland County Office said. It’s in...

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A walk on the wild side: Bob Marshall’s trek retraced

Bob Marshall hiked 288 miles over eight days through the northwestern Montana wilderness in 1928. Marshall would average 36 miles a day during the epic hike, and The Bob Marshall Wilderness would officially be created 36 years later, after Marshall. “Averaged,” says Chris Peterson of Marshall’s daily walks. “I averaged 10, and I didn’t bag...

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Mapping Greece’s trails with Google technology

An interactive, innovative documentary where Greece’s countryside, hiking trails and culture meet Google technology is on the way, according to Stelios Mavrodontis, production manager and head of the four-member team E4. Two years ago, Google launched its Trekker loan program, which enables explorers to borrow a special backpack mounted kit which includes the same camera...

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Featured Recreational Trails Program: The Rivanna Trail – Charlottesville, Virginia

The Rivanna Trail is bounded by the Rivanna River, two of its tributaries (Meadow and Moore’s Creeks), and a small undeveloped mountain called Observatory Hill. The twenty-mile rustic footpath meanders through the natural greenbelt that surrounds the City of Charlottesville. The area provides a scenic opportunity for hiking, and residents and visitors alike can...

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REI closing on Black Friday for 1st time in push to #OptOutside

Outdoor gear and sporting goods retailer REI is canceling Black Friday this year. No promotions, no hourly sales, no doorbusters, no waiting in line. In an unprecedented move for the modern-day holiday shopping season, REI’s 143 stores will be closed the day after Thanksgiving. The co-op business plans to launch a campaign Tuesday encouraging people to forgo...

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Trekking With the Gorillas of Rwanda

One second you are bushwhacking through thickets of bamboo in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, pulling yourself up a steep lava slope, toehold to toehold. The next, you turn a corner and sunlight streams through the canopy to illuminate a matted clump of black against a curtain of rain forest green. You’ve known this was coming and still you gasp. Seated perhaps 30 feet...

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National Park Service: Worst rockfalls, landslides in Zion National Park

A large rockfall recently closed state Route 9 in Zion National Park, prompting a look back at the worst rockfalls and landslides in the park’s history. The most recent rockfall occurred Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 and closed state Route 9 near the Pine Creek Bridge on a switchback near the Mount Carmel Tunnel, according to Zion National Park officials. The largest...

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High times trekking in steps of Incas

The Urubamba River rattles and hums like the sound of its own name as we begin the four-day hike. With porters to carry the heavier gear on the mountainous 43km track, our group spreads out along the trail, ducking through forests and crossing alpine pastures. Above us, the 5860m peak of La Veronica keeps watch like a silent, snow-veiled nun. Quechua Indians skim past,...

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How to never get invited hiking again

Have you been invited on yet another hike to an incredible peak? Make this the last time that ever happens by following this handy guide. Your hiking party doesn’t know how lucky they are that they invited you along, so be sure to remind them whenever there’s a lull in the conversation. You spent an entire weekend on the Pacific Crest Trail back in 2002, and have since...

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Hiking the mountains in the “shoulder season”

As October shoulders its way into November, the cool sunny days can easily lull us into a sense of comfortable complacency. Hikers call this time of year the “shoulder season,” when the golden days of fall are gone, but full-blown winter isn’t quite here. Most people try to forget about the coming cold, snow, and wind, but the advance of seasons has...

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5 Hiking Etiquette Tips That Help You Fit In

Society is full of rules. As grownups, we all know not to talk with our mouths full and to always face forward in a crowded elevator. But there was a time when we were young and inexperienced and maybe a little unsure of how to behave. Let’s face it, we’ve all either been that kid (or shared space with that kid) who sneezed without covering his mouth or stared at someone...

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AussieHikingTours.com: New online booking portal

AussieHikingTours.com is an online booking site for nature-based walking tours. Not just full pack-carry multi-day treks, but also more luxurious accommodated holidays with day-hikes most days, single day hikes, half-day hikes, vehicle tours with a significant nature walking element, and everything in between. There are even day tours where you’ll have the opportunity to...

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It’s easy to love llama trekking in Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains

Since 1985 Wallowa LLamas has led hikers into the rugged Wallowa Mountains, nicknamed the Oregon Alps, where one of the highest peaks (9,826 feet) is, in fact, called Matterhorn. A llama trek isn’t like a pack trip with horses, where some horses carry riders while others carry tents and stoves. You don’t ride llamas, you hike along with them. The advantage to a llama...

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Fall guide: Top 5 hiking trails in NYC

Nearly one-third of the New York City’s land is carved out for parks, playgrounds and recreation facilities — so there’s plenty of room to find fresh air. And for those who love the outdoors, there are plenty of trails to hike for peak fall foliage season, which spans a couple of weeks starting around mid-October. “Mark your calendars to hit the trails, burn...

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Wanted: Volunteers to adopt sections of Maine Appalachian Trail

With a hiking pole in one hand and pruning shears in the other, Ron Dobra picked his way along the Appalachian Trail, snipping overhanging branches and making note of eroding soil. For the past 20 some odd years, he has helped maintain the popular hiking trail, which spans from Georgia to Maine and is seeing more foot traffic each year. “The entire length of the AT —...

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Discover Oklahoma: State’s trails are a hiker’s paradise

What is it about autumn weather that makes us stir about? Could it be something within all creatures that causes us to begin getting ready for the change of seasons? Squirrels store supplies for the winter, but we as humans desire possibly a little food for the soul, stocking up for the coming gray winter days that will keep us housebound too long. This seasonal burst of...

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It’s Worth the Trip: Land trusts provide great hiking sites

Land trusts are the underrated stars of Maine’s outdoor landscape. Nearly 90 nonprofit land trust organizations dot the state, from Kittery to Aroostook County. While state and national parks are much more visible and widely promoted, the network of land trusts holds some of Maine’s best hiking. This panoply of land trusts is aided greatly by the Maine Land Trust...

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Groups unite to improve Pisgah National Forest trail

An unusual collaboration between two trail user groups has resulted in an improved trail in Pisgah National Forest. Mountain bikers and members of Back Country Horsemen volunteered their time recently to complete work on a reroute of a section of the Lower Trace Ridge Trail near North Mills River campground. “It is no secret that trail user groups around the nation have...

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See the Chimney at night

A nocturnal, kid-friendly Halloween event will give visitors a rare glimpse of North Carolina’s Chimney Rock State Park at night, 7:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. Park in the Dark will feature campfire stories, a nocturnal creature program, stargazing with the Asheville Astronomy Club and self-guided night hikes to Chimney Rock, where costumed creatures...

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Scotland’s Newest Hiking Trail: Beginner-Friendly With Killer Views

On a sidewalk in the old Scottish seaport of Dunbar is a statue of a skinny rag of a boy rough-hewed in bronze. He stands in tattered clothes, right arm raised toward a halo of flying birds. Most Americans need no introduction to the shaggy-bearded man he would become. This study of youthful freedom is John Muir, pre-eminent naturalist, author and father of America’s...

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Safety Tips for Non-hunters visiting National Forests

Be Aware. Outside of developed recreation areas, hunting is permitted throughout the National Forests in North Carolina. Hunters must have the proper licenses, or permits needed to hunt. Hunting is a seasonal activity and state regulations for seasons, dates and licensing apply on national forest land. For information about specific dates and times, please visit:...

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Fear on The Colorado Trail, real and imagined

Until a few nights ago, I hadn’t thought about mountain lions much as I walked The Colorado Trail. I’m always looking for signs left by my forest neighbors — tracks and scat in the trail and around watering places. I’m always listening and looking for what the squirrels and jays are gossiping about, but usually it’s about me. I’ve seen one...

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Going trekking? Don’t forget to pack beetroot

Next time you go trekking in the mountains, carry beet juice with you, as researchers have found for the first time that drinking beet juice can help the body cope with low levels of oxygen at high altitudes. Mountain climbers have always struggled with a basic problem – altitude sickness, caused by lower air pressures which affect the ability of our bodies to take...

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Canyonlands and Arches: Two visions for national parks in one town

“Let the people walk,” reads the quote on a sign at Arches National Park, taken from Ed Abbey’s classic of nature writing, “Desert Solitaire,” about his two seasons as a ranger there. Despite Abbey’s connection to the park, the quote is an odd choice: Arches and its location of Moab, Utah, have become virtually everything “Cactus Ed” hated. The road he opposed turned...

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88-year-old woman recalls 40 years of ‘Trail magic’ hiking the Appalachian Trail

North Carolina native Nancy Weaver has always loved the outdoors, so camping and hiking seemed natural to her. In more than forty years of hiking sections of the Appalachian Trail, Weaver, now 88, has learned a few things: be prepared for rain and the occasional bear, pack lightly, and expect kindness from strangers. “Trail Magic,” they call it, and it comes...

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Late Fall Hiking Safety Tips

As October gives way to November, winter begins to arrive in the high country. The fall color fades and the trees shed their leaves. The summits and peaks get their first serious dusting of snow, and dirt trails vanish under a white or leafy blanket. As a result, hiking in the mountains changes. Backcountry exploration in late fall can present dangers that far exceed...

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Train for the trails to make most of hiking season

Fall is a great time to hit the trails. Colorful scenery, cooler temperatures, less bugs and lower humidity all contribute to make a very pleasant experience. But, are you ready to take to the trails? Hiking, particularly in mountainous regions, may lead you to strenuous climbs that will require some serious integration of muscle activity. These muscles include, but are...

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Dominica announces status of hiking trails

Discover Dominica Authority, in collaboration with the Forestry Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, has announced that a number of Dominica’s hiking trails are open. Seven segments of the Waitukubuli National Trail, the Caribbean’s longest walking trail, are ready to welcome the adventurous hiker. Some trails were closed after the passage of Tropical...

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