Fire in the landscape – still a burning question

An Editorial by Don Hendershot It will likely take awhile for the smoke to clear after the Table Rock Fire in Linville Gorge in the Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest either burns out or is suppressed. The fire was first spotted Tuesday, Nov. 12 — the very same day that prescribed burns were scheduled in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. Those...

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Winter Hiking at Purchase Knob, NC

What?! You didn’t know about winter hiking? If you think winter means it’s time to hang up your hiking boots, store the pack away, and hibernate until Spring, you are missing out. Winter can be one of the best times of the year to hike if you are willing to brave the cooler temperatures. Minimal crowds, little to no insects, and fantastic views due to less foliage are...

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Grants available to help Appalachian Trail

Have an idea for a project that will benefit the Appalachian Trail but have limited funds to make it happen? Apply for an Appalachian Trail Special License Tag Grant through the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The deadline is Jan. 10, 2014. The Appalachian Trail Special License Tag Grant program is funded by the sale and renewal of North Carolina Appalachian Trail license...

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Hike with CMLC at Turkeypen along the South Mills River Loop – Sunday, December 8th

Join Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy on Sunday, December 8th, to complete the most challenging hike of CMLC’s White Squirrel Hiking Challenge 2.0: the South Mills River Loop at Turkeypen in the Pisgah National Forest. Actively protecting both land and water in the Mills River watershed has been one of CMLC’s highest priorities since our very beginning. In 1994,...

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Hiking in your own backyard

You don’t need a car or a state Discover Pass to go for a great fall hike in Seattle. The City of Seattle has 60 parks with trails in them, totaling 120 miles of hiking in the city. Seattle Parks and Recreation trails coordinator Chukundi Salisbury said hiking was the No. 1 most-popular activity on a recent survey of activities in Seattle parks. The survey was done in...

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Land in Washington along Pacific Crest Trail made public

About a half mile of the Pacific Crest Trail running through private property has been transferred into public ownership after a deal brokered by The Trust For Public Land, according to a news release from the organization. The 480 acres owned by Plum Creek Timber Company will be managed by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie and...

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Poll: Shutdown revives love for national parks

You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. Joni Mitchell’s words ring true after the recent government shutdown with a new poll showing that an overwhelming number of Americans thought the closure of national parks was a good reminder of how important those treasured landscapes are for the country and for local communities. The closed signs at the Grand Canyon, the...

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Hiking Logan Peak in winter

Logan Peak easily tops the list of the most outstanding Cache Valley hikes — a list which can hold its own against any other in Utah. From the top of the 9,700 foot peak, one can see for nearly 100 miles in every direction — Northern Utah, Southern Idaho, Southwestern Wyoming, the Wasatch mountains and the Uinta Range are all visible from the summit. However, as with...

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Boulder, CO hikers flock to open space, trails, as flood recovery moves ahead of schedule

79 percent of Boulder, CO’s trail system is now accessible again to public. Chautauqua Park was abuzz with activity as hundreds of people seized the opportunity presented by another sunny, temperate November day and headed outside to enjoy some of Boulder’s open space and trails. Evidence of the damage done by September’s historic flooding and rains is...

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Pikeville, KY adding new hiking trail

Volunteers spent Saturday clearing the path for a new hiking trail at Bob Amos Park in Pikeville, KY. Officials say the project is another piece to the puzzle of their park system. The City of Pikeville currently has about 25 miles of trails for walking, running, biking, and horseback riding, but not a true hiking trail. Peter Sheesley says, “I love running and...

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Namesake: “Max Patch” on the Appalachian Trail

Looking back at how Max Patch got its name becomes a bit cloudy. Some websites recall a far-fetched story about a horse named Maximilian that always escaped and ran to his favorite patch to graze. That seems like a very unlikely animal tale based on the fact the name was not originally spelled Max. Early 19th century literature refers to the area as “Mac’s...

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Open House At Mesa Verde National Park Set For December 5

The soft glow of luminarias will guide visitors through some of the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park on December 5 when the park holds its Holiday Open House. The event will run from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Chapin Mesa headquarters area. Everyone is invited to join the park staff in this holiday celebration featuring special tours, luminarias, musical...

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Highlands Center extends hiking spree

The Highlands Center for Natural History has extended its 6th annual “Take a Hike!” fall hiking spree by two weeks so it now ends on Dec. 17. Organized in partnership with Prescott National Forest in Arizona, the Take a Hike! event encourages new hikers, avid hikers, families, and social groups to explore different areas of the forest by hiking on 12 trails...

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Take a Brother Wolf dog on a hike

Even though this takes place on a Wednesday, try to figure out a way to do this hike, and make a dog’s day. The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy and Brother Wolf Animal Rescue will hold a 3.5-mile hike along the Masters Park Trail in the Haw Creek area of Asheville, NC on Wednesday, Nov. 20. This is a beautiful hike that switchbacks though a forest full of...

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Firefighters Continue to Battle Wildfire in Linville Gorge

Approximately 40 U.S. Forest Service firefighters and others are working to contain the wildfire in the Linville Gorge Wilderness area of the Grandfather Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina. The wildfire grew from 40 acres to 100 acres overnight. The fire, known as the “Table Rock Fire,” is about one-quarter mile southwest of Table Rock...

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Join CMLC on a Public Hike to Alexander’s Ford

Join Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy this Saturday, November 16th, on a guided hike to Bradley Nature Preserve at Alexander’s Ford along the original path marched by the Overmountain Men in 1780. During the hike, hear stories and history as you take a leisurely walk to the Green River. The property hosts almost two miles of the Overmountain Victory National...

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Discover glacier’s gifts on Ice Age Trail

The Ice Age Trail stretches from St. Croix Falls in the west, dips to Janesville and reaches back to Sturgeon Bay creating a giant S-shape through Wisconsin. Maintained by volunteers, the footpath traces the southern edge of the last glacier that bulldozed through the state about 10,000 years ago. About 600 miles of trail consist of official segments, marked by yellow...

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Growing a Tree Army: Historic Photos of Michigan’s USFS Nurseries

A significant amount of Michigan’s public forests today owe their existence to the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s. Known as “Roosevelt’s Tree Army,” CCC enrollees played a crucial role in reforestation efforts throughout the country during the Great Depression, and nowhere was the impact of their work more significant than in Michigan. Between...

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Winter Schedule in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park has announced its winter operating schedule. As cooler weather approaches and visitation decreases, various facilities will close, including campgrounds and picnic areas, and operating hours for some visitor services will be reduced. All dates are subject to minor changes depending on weather conditions over the winter season. Get the...

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Giant sequoia planted by John Muir is cloned

Horticulturists announced they have successfully cloned a genetic replica of an ailing 130-year-old giant sequoia planted by conservationist John Muir in the 1880s on his ranch in Martinez, Calif. And many more are apparently on the way, they say. If all goes according to plan, the first clone nurtured in a Michigan laboratory will be shipped within a year to California...

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MCCD offers after-dark hiking, skiing

The McHenry County Conservation District in Illinois reminds residents that they can get out to enjoy some fresh air and exercise every night after dark. The district has two sites open late for hiking or cross country skiing when the conditions are right. Now through March 9, residents can hike or ski until 9 p.m. every evening on the Solar Lit Trails at Pleasant...

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Forest Service acquires 10 more acres for Pisgah National Forest

Hikers to Catawba Falls and anglers along the Catawba River in North Carolina have 10 more acres of Pisgah National Forest to call their own. Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina, a regional land trust, has sold and transferred the private in-holding property to the U.S. Forest Service for $105,200. The land shelters views and pristine trout waters along the way to...

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Bridge of the Gods trail a scenic getaway on Columbia River

Such a grandiose name for a bridge. But the Bridge of the Gods over the Columbia River between Cascade Locks and Stevenson, Wash., has a more colorful history than most similar structures. The enormous Bonneville landslide nearly 1,000 years ago dammed the river, which eventually broke through the dam to create a land bridge. Native Americans used this natural bridge...

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Youngs Mountain near Lake Lure, NC conserved

Deciding, ultimately, that pretty mountains and sparkling lake views are best enjoyed by bunches of people, rather than a few, a Rutherford County, NC family sold nearly 100 acres of prime real estate for eventual inclusion in a long-distance trail system and county park in one of the region’s most scenic spots. Tommy and Julie Hartzog, who live near the property, worked...

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Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests release flood damage assessment

A draft report detailing damage done in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests in Colorado during September’s flooding was released November 8th. The report covers approximately 609,000 acres that were surveyed by an assessment team both on the ground and in the air. Initial findings indicate a total of 232 roads, covering 382 miles; 70 trails, covering 236...

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Top 10 Survival Tips Every Hiker Should Know

If you’re planning on going hiking sometime soon, that’s terrific — it’s a great way to get exercise, push your limits, and connect with the natural world. But like any outdoor activity, it comes with its share of dangers: weather, wild animals, poisonous plants, and so on. So if you want to get into the great outdoors and make it home again, brush up on these 10 hiking...

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Himalaya girl power: Treks ‘by women, for women’

When sisters Lucky, Dicky and Nicky Chhetri began guiding trekkers through Nepal’s challenging mountain routes in 1994, disbelief came from many angles. “At first, people thought we were doing sex tourism, not trekking – going into the mountains with foreigners for weeks,” says Lucky. Surrounded by skeptics in an industry dominated by men – of 452 Nepalis who...

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Appalachian Trail film to premiere Friday

Kori Feener, a documentary filmmaker, will debut her film “Hard Way Home,” chronicling her attempt to “thru-hike” the Appalachian Trail, on Friday, November 8th at the Virginia Film Festival. The 87-minute movie about her solo, 2,180-mile hike from Georgia to Maine was financed through a campaign on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter, where she raised $7,000 for the...

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Hiking trail languishes behind locked gate

A storm last year washed out a section of the Crystal Springs Regional Trail, prompting the county Parks Department to block that portion from public access. The roughly half-mile stretch hasn’t reopened. While the closed-off stretch isn’t the most spectacular part of the Crystal Springs Trail – it runs near the freeway, and views of the surrounding...

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Waynesboro, Va. Hiking Shelter Now Equipped With Solar Power

Waynesboro is getting greener. The hiker shelter off Arch Street now has solar power. Many hikers stop at the shelter while walking the Appalachian Trail. Now, the hiking shelter includes a charging station for them. Waynesboro Parks & Recreation and Sigora Solar handled the project. With the solar panel, hikers can now charge their cellphones, mp3 players and other...

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Traversing the Dragon’s Teeth

New Zealand’s Kahurangi National Park is the second largest national park in the country, covering the north-western end of South Island. It is unusual for a New Zealand park in that there are no glaciers or active volcanoes. It has been reserved mainly for its geology and botany, and the mountain ranges are similar to south-east Australia, rising just above the...

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Parts of Graveyard Fields Loop Trail Closed for Improvements

The U.S. Forest Service has announced that portions of the Graveyard Fields Loop Trail at milepost 418 on the Blue Ridge Parkway are closed for upgrades. The agency expects to complete the work by late December. The Forest Service will construct a board walk on the east end of the trail, which will be closed. Users can access the Upper and Second Falls via the...

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