Hiking News

PEEC Launches Hiking Los Alamos 102 Series

Posted by on Aug 21, 2013 @ 11:40 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

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 about hiking on Los Alamos’s trails.

The series was wildly popular, prompting the two organizations to plan a similar series for the fall. Hiking Los Alamos 102 will begin with a classroom session at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26 at PEEC, followed by three hiking sessions Sept. 9, 16 and 23.

The material for Hiking Los Alamos 102 will build on what was covered in 101, though it is not a requirement to have taken the 101 series to sign up for 102.

Sept. 9, Dorothy Hoard will lead the group on a cultural history hike through Bayo Canyon. Chick Keller will lead a plant hike Sept. 16. During this session, participants will hike from the Ski Hill to Cañada Bonito, about two miles. Rounding out the series, local geologist Siobhan Niklasson will lead a hike Sept. 23 along the rim of White Rock Canyon, to introduce some of the volcanic, tectonic and erosional features.

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

Posted by on Aug 21, 2013 @ 8:32 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

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 is a vast and inspiring mix of glaciers, mountains, rainforest, and wild coastline—and backyard to half of Alaska’s population. People come from all over the world to experience the Chugach and Alaska’s wilderness, yet children and families from many Anchorage neighborhoods have never even set foot in the forest.

Urban and rural youth alike often lack opportunities to participate in life changing experiences in the outdoors. The Chugach Children’s Forest is a response to this growing disconnect between people – particularly young people – and the natural world we all depend on.

One goal is simply the health and joy that come from playing and working outside; another is to help all understand, care about and ultimately help solve the challenges of today and tomorrow – from climate change to growing the next generation of public land leaders.

To address the critical challenges of people’s growing disconnect from nature paired with mounting impacts on our natural world, the Chugach Children’s Forest brings together communities, educators, land management agencies, and environmental and social non-profits to offer a wide range of innovative programs designed to engage Alaskans of all ages in fostering healthy, sustainable connections with the outdoors.

Learn more here…


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

Posted by on Aug 20, 2013 @ 3:24 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

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 started out to be fairly typical for that period of time. Over the previous 16 years, Yellowstone had allowed 235 fires to burn under its natural fire policy, and only 15 of these fires were larger than 100 acres. All were extinguished naturally. The summers of 1982 through 1987 were wetter than average, which may have contributed to the relatively low fire activity in those years. No one anticipated that 1988 would be radically different.

The article linked here provides a short history of what happened in the park that summer.

In recognition of this major event and the impacts it had on fire management in the National Park Service and its sister agencies, the NPS Division of Fire and Aviation Management has created a webpage with some relevant documents, including:

  • retrospective articles from Ranger: The Journal of the Association of National Park Rangers, and Courier, the National Park Service’s in-house magazine in 1989;
  • a gallery of images from the Yellowstone fires;
  • a series of lessons learned videos from fire managers and information officers who worked on the Yellowstone fires; and
  • a series of articles on interpretation of fire, also dating from 1989.

All these can be found at Fire and Aviation Management.


World’s biggest, baddest national parks

Posted by on Aug 20, 2013 @ 8:07 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

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 to getting away from it all. This is why we decided to take a look at the biggest, baddest national parks on the planet. These are the places where you can truly escape and travel for hundreds – or thousands – of miles through backcountry ranging from African savanna to alpine meadows.

Of course, when speaking of these huge protected areas, using the word “national park” is a bit misleading. While some – such as the only American destination to make the list – fall under this category, others are called “reserves” or “conservation areas,” among other titles.

The diversity continues from there. While the entirety of some wilderness areas falls in one country, others span several to create massive, trans-boundary escapes. To further differentiate, some protected areas are marine parks, while others are some of the most arid regions of the world.

Still, they all have one thing in common: They preserve the idea of wilderness better than any other spot on the planet simply based on their sheer size. Nowhere else on Earth can you wander so far without the sights or sound of civilization.

Learn about the parks here…


Cincinnati Health Foundation to announce grants for hiking and biking trails

Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 @ 5:03 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

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 values and promote active living.

Groundwork Cincinnati is to be awarded $80,000 to expand a hike-and-bike trail along the Mill Creek. The Mill Creek Greenway Trail is expected to grow into 20 miles of connectors, eventually extending to most of the 28-mile length of the Mill Creek from Cincinnati to Butler County.

The expansion could benefit residents of South Cumminsville and Millvale. It would include neighborhood walking improvements and a safe connection between the Mill Creek Greenway Trail and Ethel M. Taylor Academy, a Cincinnati public school. The trail also could provide a route for bicyclists to commute to and from work along trails that parallel Interstate 75, also known as the Mill Creek Expressway.

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

Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 @ 4:35 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

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 the National Forests in North Carolina website, http://www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc.

“Fall Foliage in Western North Carolina – 2013” describes popular locations for viewing mountain plants at high, middle and low elevations during peak season. For example, the Big Butt trail in the Mount Mitchell area of Yancey County enables travelers to enjoy a variety of colorful, high-elevation plants in late September and early October. Visit the webpage to see more featured locations and, remember, always practice safety when visiting the national forests.


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

Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 @ 7:30 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

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 green at the moment, and that’s a good thing for the trees,” said Mathews. “But leaf-lookers need to keep their fingers crossed for some drier weather in the next couple of months in order for us to see the development of vibrant fall leaf color.”

An associate professor of biology at WCU who specializes in plant systematics, Mathews bases her annual prediction in part on weather conditions, including rainfall, during the spring and summer growing season. She believes that the formation of higher levels of pigments in the leaves correlates with dry weather throughout the year, especially in September. The drier the climate, the more brilliant the fall leaves tend to be, with bright red colors especially dependent upon dry conditions, she said.

“There always will be plenty of color in the yellow and orange hues,” Mathews said. “However, if the days remain cloudy throughout September, there won’t be as much of a pop of bright reds on the leaves.”

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Hiking reveals subtle charm of Bull Creek Wildlife Management Area

Posted by on Aug 18, 2013 @ 8:13 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

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 ecosystems without overheating because of an early morning start — and clouds.

But while pines and palmetto offered wildly different scenes, Flohre — who has led such hikes for almost a quarter of a century — wanted to make sure his nature-loving followers didn’t miss anything.

“Florida is very subtle,” Flohre said as the line of hikers drew to a halt. “Do you see those light-colored trees over there?” he said, pointing to a grove 100 yards away.

“That’s a cypress dome. Whenever you see those trees, there’s water. So, if you’re in need of water, look for cypress. And it’s all because the land is maybe inches lower than here.”

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The Portable Percussionist: Long Trail concert tour

Posted by on Aug 18, 2013 @ 12:08 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

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 is a hiking trail located in Vermont, running the length of the state. It is the oldest long-distance trail in the United States, constructed between 1912 and 1930 by the Green Mountain Club.

Look for updates at the Portable Percussionist…


The 10 Most Dangerous Hikes

Posted by on Aug 17, 2013 @ 8:30 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

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, guerrilla fighters, heat, bugs, crumbling trails—these are just some of the variables that can turn a walk in the woods or through the mountains into a flirt with death. Here are 10 of the world’s most dangerous hikes. Granola optional, guts required.



TAAN to explore new trekking trails in Mahabharat Range

Posted by on Aug 16, 2013 @ 6:08 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

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.

According to Ambar Tamang, 2nd vice president of TAAN, the team will explore two trekking trails – The Great Buddhist Masters Trail and Mahabharat Rhododendron Trail. “We will also prepare a guide book, maps and documentary to promote the new trails in national and international arena,” Tamang said.

The five-day Great Buddhist Masters Trail will begin from Panauti and end at Lubughat. Similarly, the Mahabharat Rhododendron Trail, which can be completed in 8-10 days, begins from Sindhuli Gadhi and end at Khopasi.

TAAN believes that high peaks of Mahabharat range, dense rhododendron forest and diverse culture and lifestyle of people will attract tourists to the area. “We hope the new routes will be liked by domestic and foreign visitor alike because of their proximity to Kathmandu,” he added. “The route will be cheaper compared to other routes in the country.”

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

Posted by on Aug 16, 2013 @ 5:52 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

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 Gorgonio.

The trail can either be accessed by driving a car or riding a bike to U.S. Forest Service Road 2N10. Take Moonridge Road to Clubview Drive. Stay on Clubview Drive until it ends and becomes 2N10. Take 2N10 to the intersection of 2N10 and 2N06.

Another option is to take Snow Summit Scenic Sky Chair to the top of Snow Summit, and then either take a short walk or bike ride to the Skyline Trail trailhead.

The grand opening ceremony takes place at 10 a.m. Immediately after, leaders of the Big Bear Cycling Assn. will lead three different rides on Skyline Trail for beginner, intermediate and advanced.

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

Posted by on Aug 16, 2013 @ 7:29 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

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 formation featured on the logo for the scenic railroad that went through part of the canyon.

The Black Canyon stretches 48 miles between Gunnison and Montrose. Part of the canyon is protected as a National Park, part of it as a National Recreation Area. The Curecanti Creek Trail is in the aptly named Curecanti National Recreation Area.

At Pioneer Point, visitors will see a sign directing them left or right for the overlooks and right for the Curecanti Creek Trail. The overlook to the left features a view of the Curecanti Needle and the river channel. The overlook to the right shows you the canyon hikers will take to a cove next to the river. You’ll also see the Curecanti Needle from here.

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New recreation map details Cherokee National Forest

Posted by on Aug 15, 2013 @ 6:28 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

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 families and first-time visitors.

Sites at the southern end of the national forest include Bald River Falls, the Cherohala Skyway, Hiwassee River gorge, and the Ocoee Whitewater Center.

Sites at the north end of the Cherokee National Forest include Max Patch and Laurel Fork Falls.

The maps cost $5.65 apiece and are available by calling the forest headquarters at 423-476-9700.


South Carolina Upstate hiking trails closed

Posted by on Aug 15, 2013 @ 6:22 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Caesars Head and Jones Gap State Park have closed all or parts of several trails. Rangers are working to clear debris and reroute high water.

TRAIL CLOSURES: Please see the following list for closures:

Raven Cliff Suspension Bridge – Open route of Gum Gap to Naturaland, the rest of Naturaland closed
Cold Spring – Trail closed until water recedes.
Dismal Loop – Trail closed.
Rim of the Gap from Frank Coggins to John Sloan – Trail closed until water recedes.
Pinnacle Pass – Closed

Raven Cliff overlook, Mountain Bridge Passage Bill Kimball (two blowdowns but can pass), Frank Coggins, Jones Gap, Falls Creek(to the Falls), Rainbow Falls and Tom Miller trails are all currently open.


Hiking with Chimps in Uganda

Posted by on Aug 14, 2013 @ 8:14 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

One of the best places in Africa to hang with our closest relatives is Uganda’s Kibale Forest National Park, home to more than 1,400 chimpanzees and the continent’s highest diversity and density of primates. Most safari travelers opt for one of the twice-daily, ranger-guided, three-hour chimpanzee hikes. But as rewarding as this experience is, you are limited to spending just one hour with the primates once the guide locates them to avoid provoking stress or transmitting human-borne diseases.

To help travelers learn more, and to increase the chances of better sightings for future visitors, the park is offering fit hikers the chance to spend an entire day in the company with researchers studying a chimpanzee family undergoing habituation for tourism.

A chimpanzee’s natural behavior is to run or climb as far from humans as possible (in Uganda and other countries, local people illegally hunt and eat wild chimps and steal their babies to sell as pets). It takes at least two years of constant daily observation to get a chimpanzee troop to feel comfortable enough with human presence for safari chimpanzee treks to succeed. Chimpanzees share 98 per cent of human DNA and much of our behaviors, which is why observing these primates in the wild is so engaging: the Shakespearian politics of a dominant male and his sidekicks, infants playing, sibling rivalries and adolescent posturing, and the incredible athleticism of the great apes as they swing from tree branches or race effortlessly over terrain that would leave an Olympic marathoner panting.

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Pedro Point Headlands Workday and Native Plant Hike

Posted by on Aug 14, 2013 @ 9:13 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Pedro Point Headlands Workday and Native Plant Hike

There are two opportunities in August to enjoy, give back, and learn about the Pedro Point Headlands and all are welcome. There will be a Habitat Restoration workday and/or a Native Plant hike on Sunday, Aug. 25, for anyone up for hiking and working on the rugged steep hilled property with spectacular vistas and breathtaking incline and declines.

To pitch in and help restore habitat on Aug. 25, meet at the Pedro Point Firehouse on Danmann Avenue in Pedro Point District at 9:45 a.m. You will collect seeds, remove french broom and invasives and water the newly planted plots on the middle ridge. Work until noon and then have refreshments. Volunteers can either return to the firehouse or continue on with the Native Plant hike. The Habitat Restoration workday is sponsored by the Pacifica Land Trust, funded by the CA Coastal Conservancy and supported by the Pedro Point Community Association.

If you prefer to do the Native Plant hike only, meet at the Pedro Point Firehouse at 12:45 p.m. There you will be metand taken to join the other group on the headlands. For the Native Plant hike, plan to explore the unique biological reserve of plants at the Pedro Point Headlands. Mike Vasey and Jake Sigg will team up to lead this hike to the northern most headland peak to see the famed coastal prairie land just below.

Volunteers and hikers are encouraged to wear long pants, long sleeve shirts and sturdy shoes.

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