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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DuPont Forest model shows waterfalls

DuPont State Recreational Forest, NC is installing a three-dimensional scale model of its major waterfalls in the Aleen Steinberg Center. An event to commemorate the installation will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at the visitor center at 89 Buck Forest Road. Designed and constructed by Apply Valley Model Railroad Club, the exhibit focuses on the main stem of the...

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Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards Blaze Today’s Conservation Trail

Twenty-four-year-old Brenna Irrer admits it openly: she just loves using a crosscut saw. “There is nothing that compares with getting through a big tree,” says Brenna. “When you use a crosscut saw, you’ve really got to pick the right spot to cut. It takes a lot of planning.” Brenna is the education and volunteer engagement coordinator for Southern Appalachian Wilderness...

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Big Valley Vista perfect hike for Thanksgiving

Central Pennsylvania is blessed with many natural wonders and a great network of trails for exploring those special wild places. If you want to see such a place and burn off a few Thanksgiving calories, then the hike to Big Valley Vista is perfect for you. Accessible only from the westbound lanes of U.S. Route 322 as it crests the Seven Mountains region, the Seven...

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Interior Secretary Jewell Calls On Congress To Step Up For Conservation

Washington politics are infuriating, disappointing, enlightening, and entertaining. They rarely are dull. That is obvious based on what has transpired since October 1, when the federal government ran out of money. * We saw a 16-day closure of the National Park System initially spurred by House Republicans…who then castigated National Park Service Director Jon...

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Fall hiking calls for proper preparation, care in clothing

These are the days when hunter orange is the height of fashion in the woods. But more important than fashion, is the fact that this bright orange hue can enhance one’s visibility and safety during hunting season. Hunters wear hunter orange clothing to be seen, and hikers should do the same. Canine companions should be outfitted with hunter orange as well. While in...

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Getting Out in the Ozarks: Hiking

The hills and forests of the Ozarks in Arkansas offer a multitude of opportunities to get out and explore. What better way to soak in the scenery while the leaves are changing than a sweet, simple walk? That’s how Kevin Cheri and Caven Clark feel. They are park rangers at Buffalo River National Park. The brisk morning air and a cool layer of fog over the Buffalo National...

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Dream fulfilled: hiking Mount Hood’s 40-mile loop

The Forest Service notice stapled to the wooden signpost was tattered and weatherbeaten, but its meaning was unmistakable: The path ahead was washed out, wiped off the map by a flood, and going forward was not an option. Two days into my four-day solo trek on Mount Hood’s fabled Timberline Trail, I was going to have to turn around. I had known this decision point...

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Urban students find learning outside, hiking Cascades trail

None of the 10 students or their instructors fell on their faces while hiking through the leaf-covered Cascades trail, and for that, they said, the trip was a great success. The picturesque hike on the trail, located near Tatnuck Square, was a new experience for the students from Youth Opportunities Upheld Inc.’s Education for Employment program. While some said...

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North Carolina waterfalls will plunge you headlong into a reverie

As waterfalls go, Bridal Veil Falls are fairly small and easy to find. They cascade above Highway 64 just a couple of miles north of the town of Highlands in the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina. The fun fact about Bridal Veil Falls is that, if your car is small enough, you can drive under the 120-foot “veil” of water. Our 10-year old Mini Cooper, whose...

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Fees Waived at Popular NC National Forest Sites on Veterans Day Weekend

The U.S. Forest Service announced that day-use fees will be waived at three popular sites in western North Carolina during Veterans Day Weekend. “We wholeheartedly salute the men and women who represent the nearly 22 million American veterans who have served their country in the military,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “As we do throughout...

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Floridians don’t need hills to know thrills of hiking

Would you like a cool way to raise your metabolism? Take up hiking. Summer in Florida is too hot and humid for long walks in the woods. But we’re now coming into the best season of the year to explore the state’s many nature trails. We know that regular exercise increases the body’s calorie-burning capacity. We also know that adding muscle increases...

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Conservancy buys 250 acres and a peak

Blackrock Mountain summit, a 5,700 foot peak that overlooks the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, has been purchased by the Southern Applachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC). The Conservancy purchased the summit and more than 250 surrounding acres in the Plott Balsam Mountains of Jackson County to hold and manage as a nature preserve until it can eventually be...

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Oakland hills activist saves hiking trail from closure

Joaquin Miller Park’s Palos Colorados trail has escaped permanent closure because of erosion, thanks to the efforts of Stan Dodson, community activist and board member of Friends of Joaquin Miller Park. The Palos Colorados trail is a wooded trail that runs parallel to the Palo Seco Creek, from Mountain Boulevard winding north through Joaquin Miller Park. The trail...

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Growing Chestnut Trees and Hope in Western North Carolina

Working with others, the U.S. Forest Service may be one step closer to restoring the American chestnut tree to the mountains of western North Carolina. Beginning in 2009, agency researchers and partners planted close to 1,000 potentially blight-resistant American chestnut trees in the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina, as well as in national forests in...

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Couple hikes through scenic Ice Age Trail

When glacial ice flowed through the area that is now Wisconsin, more than 12,000 years ago, it sculpted a variety of features into the landscape. Those features — some of which are in the state’s most beautiful natural areas — are highlighted along a 1,000-mile foot path called the Ice Age National Scenic Trail which extends from Door County in the east, south to...

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Senator Coburn Blames Congress, Bloated National Park Service, For State Of National Park System

Our National Park System has become a bloated, underfunded, kowtowing shadow of the ideal for which it was created, according to U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, who lays out his case in a report that casts a withering portrait of Congress as a poor overseer. In that 208-page report, Parked! How Congress’ Misplaced Priorities Are Trashing Our National Treasures, the...

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Law enforcement 
is down in national 
forest, records show

It turns out that the White River National Forest over the last four years has been a relatively safe place to break the law. A nearly four-year shortage of law enforcement officers in the nation’s most visited national forest, combined with the distraction of competing priorities like wildfire mitigation, has led to a 76 percent decline in the number of citations issued...

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Clubs promote Louisiana hiking trails

Being closer to nature, relishing the wonders of the woods or simply getting away from it all are easy goals to achieve when on a good hiking trail. As hikers and backpackers who frequent Louisiana’s abundant trekking paths attest, the state is full of interesting places to hike. But five hikes have been singled out as the best by members of the Bayou Chapter of...

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Hiking made easy: Weekly Chattanooga Hiking Meetup events do it all for you

Hitting the trails is one of the best ways to explore the natural landscape of the Chattanooga area, and getting out with others can make the experience even more enjoyable. A number of hiking clubs in the Chattanooga area make it easy to get out and hike by providing outings, trip leaders and hiking companions—all you have to do is show up. For three years now, the...

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Jeffersonian dinner helps plot trail’s future

The Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) took a page from history to plot a path forward by holding a “Jeffersonian dinner” at Millstone Farm, Connecticut. Jeffersonian dinners, as they are called, are a way to pull together people with a common interest for the purpose of furthering a goal. In this case, the focus of conversation was the Norwalk River Valley Trail, its...

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