How A Bookworm Broke A Hiking Record

The first conversation Heather Anderson had with a mountain lion was a short one. On the 14th night of her record-breaking hike from Mexico to Canada, when a lion’s face appeared in the beam of her headlamp, Ms. Anderson obeyed her first instinct. She barked. “I just was like ‘Woof! Woof!’ at the top of my lungs, I didn’t even think about it,” she said. The mountain lion...

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Hike with Sure Footing

Hiking, like any outdoor sport, comes with some inherent risk. Making sure you pack the Ten Essentials, leaving your itinerary with family and friends, and other common sense precautions go a long way toward minimizing that risk so you can just enjoy the wonder of your hiking experience. But accidents, sometimes truly tragic ones, do happen. We’ve all had those...

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Geography in the News: The Long Trail of Tears

There are a few people each summer who seek to follow some of the many famous trails that crisscross the United States in memory of epic journeys of the original travelers. These include the Oregon Trail, the Lewis and Clark route and the Trail of Tears. Many of our ancestors experienced hardships in the settlement of this country, particularly Native Americans. Although...

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Continental Divide trail construction planned

The Leadville Ranger District and Volunteer Outdoor Colorado will build approximately 1 mile of new trail to connect the Continental Divide Trail from Winfield to the Lake Ann Trail. Dates for the project are scheduled Aug. 30-Sept. 1, Sept. 6-8, Sept. 13-15 and Sept. 20-22. The new trail that is being constructed is located in designated wilderness but the campsite for...

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Three North Carolina Mountains to Hike in the Fall

Autumn is a spectacle no matter where it happens. The northeast has its own dramatic display of fall colors, as does the Midwest, and the Rockies as well. But in the Southeast, particularly in mid- to late October, North Carolina offers hikers and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds some of the most rewarding mountaintop views in the country. With all 10 of the country’s...

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Building a Trail from Scratch

Arnold “Skip” Sheldon has volunteered since 1992 to work with a trail maintenance crew along the Appalachian Trail. He’s been a crew leader for the past five years. Describe what’s involved in creating a new section of trail from scratch. Building a new trail falls into three general phases. First you need to lay out the route, which includes deciding how to...

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Special Backcountry Hikes Coming To Mesa Verde National Park This Fall

This fall you have a chance to see some parts of Mesa Verde National Park that aren’t normally accessible to park visitors. But you have to be in shape. Rangers will be leading backcountry hikes to Upper Navajo Canyon, Wetherill Mesa, and Spring House. Mesa Verde National Park offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their...

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A beginner’s glossary to hiking and camping

That pile of rocks and gravel on a mountainside? There’s a word for that. Wilderness travel takes more than a pair of strong legs; it requires common sense. An ability to read the land and a basic understanding of trail conditions can be the difference between embarking on a hard slog and pure bliss. Learning the lingo is part of the process, saving novices from grief...

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Oregon Trail section damaged by artifact-seekers

Portions of the Oregon Trail in south-central Idaho near Burley have been damaged by people using metal detectors and shovels to illegally search for artifacts, federal officials said. Bureau of Land Management officials said they recently found about 400 holes over several miles of the trail, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and protected...

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Fall In The National Parks: Great Park Hikes For A Great Season

There arguably is no better time for hiking in the National Park System than fall. The season brings fine weather to most of the country, and in many locations brilliant foliage is a bonus. Cool, bug-free conditions exist in many parks, and crowds are on the wane. With so many parks, there isn’t time enough for us to tackle each hike out there. But here are some...

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Big trip to Machu Picchu: The 5 best trekking routes through the Andes

There’s more than one way to earn a look at Machu Picchu. Watching the sunrise over Machu Picchu is the ultimate bucket list experience. But with so many Andean treks available these days, it’s more confusing than ever trying to nail down which one to do. From the action-packed Jungle Trek to the little known Vilcabamba Traverse, TNT has the lowdown on the most rewarding...

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National parks go fee-free for Founders Day

President Wilson on Aug. 25, 1916, created a National Park Service that would “… conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wild life therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for future generations.” Ninety-seven years later, the system has grown to oversee...

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Dead trees along Connecticut trails pose hazard

A Colchester, CT woman went with her family to the Salmon River State Forest in May to have a picnic while enjoying the natural beauty there, with picturesque views of the river and fragrant flowers. Instead, a large oak tree fell, killing Barbara Young, 45, who died at the scene, and seriously injuring her daughter, Jessica Surratt, 18. Young’s son, Kevin Surratt, 22,...

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Here are a half-dozen Idaho mountain hikes for kids

The calls from parents echo through the woods at Ponderosa State Park near McCall, ID. The kids are usually way out in front of the parents as families hike near the Lily Marsh at one of Idaho’s most popular state parks. The parents try to put the reins on the kids, but there is so much to see — from deer casually browsing in the brush to tall, tall, incredibly...

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Bypass Almost Complete Near Milepost 374 on Blue Ridge Parkway

Construction is nearing completion on a temporary bypass route that will allow traffic through a heavily-used section of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Milepost 374 in NC. The section is currently closed as the result of significant structural damage to the motor road and related shoulder areas discovered earlier this summer. The plan is to open this section of parkway,...

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Old NC fire towers at risk of being forgotten

North Carolina’s lookout towers once stood watch over our mountain forests. Now, they run the risk of becoming forgotten monuments to the value of our wild lands. Peter Barr, who has hiked to every fire tower in North Carolina, will present a program, “Blaze Watch,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, at The Village Green Commons in Cashiers. Barr will share with participants...

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Near Qingdao, Hiking a Magical Mountain

The Laoshan Scenic District is an easy drive along the east coast of China from the city of Qingdao, 19 miles or so to the west. About two million visitors come each year to ascend Laoshan’s peaks, which are strewed with oddly shaped moraines resembling stacks of books and curving horns. Around the mountain’s pale stones, cedar, elm and pine sprout in lush green tufts,...

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Unlocking the mystery of Graveyard Fields

While lines of cars zip down the Blue Ridge Parkway and hikers scurry along its zigzagging trails, Graveyard Fields moves at its own pace. The high elevation meadows of Graveyard Fields are a crowned jewel of the Shining Rock Wilderness in Western North Carolina. No trees means great views — views without scrambling up a mountain peak or peering out from intermittent...

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PEEC Launches Hiking Los Alamos 102 Series

Los Alamos, NM is surrounded by beautiful hiking trails, but not everyone may feel comfortable exploring them on their own. For that reason, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) in collaboration with the County Recreation Department, held a summer series, Hiking Los Alamos 101, which aimed to make Los Alamos residents and visitors comfortable and confident...

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Chugach Children’s Forest – Get Out. Go Wild. Change the Future.

The Chugach Children’s Forest is a partnership led by Alaska Geographic and the USDA Forest Service. A symbolic designation for the entire Chugach National Forest, the Chugach Children’s Forest creates exciting opportunities for Alaska’s youth and communities to connect with the magnificent Chugach National Forest and neighboring public lands. The Chugach National Forest...

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Yellowstone National Park 1988: A 25th Anniversary Retrospective of Black Saturday

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Black Saturday, the most significant single day of fire growth to occur during the 1988 Yellowstone fires. The 1988 Yellowstone fires were also the most significant fires to ever occur in a national park, and an event that would in many ways transform fire management throughout the country. The fire season at Yellowstone that season...

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World’s biggest, baddest national parks

What do you imagine when you hear the word “wilderness?” Odds are your vision involves pristine rivers and lakes, untouched swaths of land and the possibility to go for weeks or months on end without seeing another living soul (but plenty of wildlife, of course). While there are numerous incredible protected areas around the globe, size matters when it comes...

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Cincinnati Health Foundation to announce grants for hiking and biking trails

Interact for Health of Greater Cincinnati will announce two grants that could help connect hike and bike trails throughout the region. Green Umbrella is to be presented with a $70,000 check to develop a master plan to connect existing bicycle and walking trails throughout Greater Cincinnati. It’s hoped such a network will spur economic development, increase property...

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Forest Service offers Tips for Fall Foliage Fun in the Mountains of WNC

The U.S. Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina today unveiled its fall foliage 2013 webpage, featuring scenic drives and others areas in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests to enjoy leaf viewing this autumn. With more than a month before the fall foliage season begins, the feature will help visitors plan their fall adventures. The feature is posted on...

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Record rainfall may dampen fall color show, says WCU’s foliage forecaster

Abundant rainfall during one of the wettest summers in Western North Carolina history may portend a dampening of the intensity of the fall color show this year unless autumn brings vastly drier conditions, predicts Kathy Mathews, Western Carolina University’s fearless fall foliage forecaster. “With record rainfall during July, the trees in the mountains look healthy and...

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Hiking reveals subtle charm of Bull Creek Wildlife Management Area

There was nothing subtle about the change a dozen hikers stepped into from shady pinewoods to open palmetto prairie in the Bull Creek Wildlife Management Area about 15 miles west of West Melbourne. On a recent trek guided by Tony Flohre of the Indian River chapter of the Florida Trail Association, the group was able to enjoy the beauty of the area’s two dominant...

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The Portable Percussionist: Long Trail concert tour

Vermont percussionist Jane Boxall will spend September and part of October hiking the Long Trail – all 272 miles between the Canadian and Massachusetts borders – and playing drum sessions along the way. She’ll stop off and give solo concerts/clinics, for “portable” percussion. That means found objects, bits of wood, stones, ceramic flowerpots, etc. The Long Trail...

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The 10 Most Dangerous Hikes

Talk to most mountaineers, trail runners, or mountain bikers, and they’ll tell you that hiking is the weak sibling of adventurous outdoor sports. A little too slow, a little too granola, not enough adrenaline. But that’s not always the case—some of the most dangerous adventures in the world involve simply putting one foot in front of the other. Exposure, wild animals,...

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TAAN to explore new trekking trails in Mahabharat Range

The Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) is exploring new trekking trails in the Mahabharat Range. A 15-member team of the association will leave for Kavre on August 19 to explore Timal area of Kavre and the Mahabharat Range. Along with TAAN officials and trekking entrepreneurs, the team will include a videographer, photographer, cartographer and report writer....

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Eight-mile trail opens at Big Bear Lake, first in two decades

Hikers and bikers take note: Touted as the first new trail in Big Bear (northeast of Los Angeles) in 20 years, a new eight-mile single track opens Saturday, August 17. Located on the backside of Snow Summit, the new Skyline Trail is designed to become the backbone of a new south shore trails system. When completed, it will be part of a 15-mile loop with views of Mt. San...

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Hiking in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison: Curecanti Creek Trail at Pioneer Point

One of the best ways to hike from the rim to the river at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is the Curecanti Creek Trail at Pioneer Point. While there are easier and shorter ways to the water, if you want to hike rim to river, the Curecanti Creek Trail drops 900 feet in two miles AND it ends with a view of one of the canyon’s features, the Curecanti Needle, a rock...

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New recreation map details Cherokee National Forest

A new recreation map for the Cherokee National Forest is now widely available to the public. At 650,000 acres, the Cherokee National Forest covers more of East Tennessee than the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The “Cherokee National Forest Adventure Map” takes this 10-county mountain region and highlights the natural and recreation features most likely to appeal to...

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