Hiking News

Hiking in Italy’s Dolomites

Posted by on Oct 15, 2011 @ 10:24 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Dolomites cover 90,000 acres of the Italian Alps, ending at the Austria-Italy border, and the region boasts a heady mixture of both cultures. The Ladin culture, established when the Romans invaded the territory in the first century, also endures, with its own language and cuisine, such as crisp spinach-stuffed pancakes and barley soup.

Call it an Alpine fever dream. Or disorientation from a nearly utopian week in Italy’s vertiginous, bone-white Dolomite Mountain region, hiking through verdant valleys and along exposed ridgelines, dining on impeccable rustic fare and drinking too much red wine. Or just chalk it up to childlike enthusiasm mixed with overconfidence.

Whatever it is, after hiking 1,500 feet to the top of Mount Lagazuoi and admiring the panoramic views of the cliffs jutting into an azure sky and the narrow Falzarego Pass far below, I decide to skip the gondola ride down — the easy way to the valley floor — and elect to hike instead.

Read full story…

New trail opens at Finger Lakes State Park

Posted by on Oct 15, 2011 @ 10:28 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A 2.75-mile trail opened recently at Finger Lakes State Park in Missouri for hiking and mountain biking.

The Kelley Branch Mountain Bike Trail is the first in the park devoted exclusively to hiking and biking. Development and construction began two years ago. The trail is one-way and has been approved for both pedestrians and cyclists. It features a small waterfall at the south end and an old mining bridge.

The new trail is within the 90-acre Kelley Branch Restoration Area. To preserve the land, the path was cut using hand tools rather than machinery.

It starts in the picnic area in the southwest sector of the park with a portion running along the Kelley Branch stream. Yellow blazes on trees indicate the path’s direction. The trail is a one-way loop considered moderate in difficulty. It takes an estimated two hours to hike, with steep hills 20 to 30 feet high.

Read full story…

Backpacker Map Maker iPad App

Posted by on Oct 15, 2011 @ 10:22 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

If you’re like us, you don’t fire up your laptop and spend hours poring over maps reliving past trips and plotting new adventures. Instead, you want that info handy if you’re in a bind on the trail. Now you can do both on BACKPACKER’s new Map Maker iPad app.

Loaded with colorful, richly detailed topos, aerial images, and street maps you can cache on the tablet, this powerful tool lets you import trips and GPS data, drag-and-drop waypoints, zoom in on that key river crossing on your dream trip, and much more. Sync with the smartphone app BACKPACKER GPS Trails (iPhone and Android) for a complete in-field navigation experience.

View seamless topo maps by MyTopo, and aerial imagery by Bing Maps. Search for peaks, mountain passes, creeks, lakes, waterfalls, glaciers, cities and more.

Get it free for the next six days.

Some tips to prepare for fall hiking

Posted by on Oct 14, 2011 @ 5:47 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Fall weather will show hikers one thing: It sure is changeable. One day it’s summer-like and the next you need to wear your mitts and wool hat. Sometimes it happens in the same day.

That’s typical in fall, the second-most changeable season after spring. Expecting conditions to change is part of planning for a safe hike any time of year. It’s especially important when it comes to fall hiking. Having a safe hike is important in any season, and it’s no different in autumn. What follows are a few tips to make your fall hikes a little more comfortable and safer.

  • Plan the length of your hike around the reduced amount of daylight in fall.
  • It’s a fact of autumn that temperatures are lower, almost winter-like, so pack extra layers.
  • Plan your trip with a firm turn-back time, and stick to it, to be safe.
  • Fall is the time of year when hikers and hunters may encounter each other.

Read full story…

Louisville, KY: Beware ‘Hiking Dead’

Posted by on Oct 14, 2011 @ 10:30 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

October is known for its goons, ghosts, goblins and the occasional thing that goes bump in the night – including zombies.

Zombies are referred to as the “living dead” or “walking dead,” but the “hiking dead?” Metro Parks, Louisville is hosting the first ever Zombie Hike at Jefferson Memorial Forest on Saturday, October 22.

The public is invited to come dressed in their zombie best and hike through the “undead” forest. Folks can stay for a camp fire, s’mores and a screening of “Night of the Living Dead.”

For more information…

Hiking + Yoga

Posted by on Oct 14, 2011 @ 9:16 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Now when you hear “hiking yoga” as a single workout, you may think, “how in the world can these two worlds collide?” With yoga poses like downward facing dog requiring a mat, how does someone do yoga and hike at the same time?

Hiking yoga is a chance for people who may have been a little intimidated to walk into a studio and feel like “Oh do I need a mat and a prop and I have to be quiet?” The nice thing about getting people out onto the trails is that it’s a little disarming and people arrive to experiment with the idea of yoga. Limited in the number of postures one can do on a hiking trail, the tendency is to do the ones that people feel more comfortable with.

Read full story…

Damaged section of Vt. hiking trail reopens

Posted by on Oct 14, 2011 @ 9:10 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

WATERBURY (AP) – The last section of the Long Trail damaged by the remnants of Hurricane Irene has reopened.

Officials say three miles of the trail in Shrewsbury remained closed for a month while the rest of the Long Trail had reopened weeks earlier.

The Green Mountain Club said that it had proposed a detour of the damaged section of the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail around the washouts in Shrewsbury. Officials say the U.S. Forest Service has posted and opened the detour.

Officials say many side trails in the Green Mountain Forest remain closed.

Protect the Colorado River Delta

Posted by on Oct 13, 2011 @ 5:45 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Protect the Colorado River Delta

The Colorado River Delta, where the Colorado River ends in a series of wetlands at the Gulf of California, is less than 10% of its original size and getting smaller. Without a dedicated flow of water into the Delta, several indigenous communities, 380 bird species, and freshwater marine wildlife are in danger. To protect the Colorado River Delta: tell Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar to help save what Jacques Cousteau once called, “the aquarium of the world.”

Upstream water diversions from the Colorado River have reduced what was once two million acres of wetlands to less than 10% of its original size, and have nearly eliminated the Delta’s estuary. Native plants and wildlife areas withered from the lack of water, and many formerly prolific animals and wildlife are rapidly disappearing. On a human scale, the drastic changes have forever altered life for several indigenous communities on both sides of the border. At this point, the very cultural survival of the Cocopah Indian Tribe in the U.S. and the related Cucapa Tribe in Mexico – who once thrived in the Delta – is in jeopardy.

It’s not a lost cause. With help from groups like the Sonoran Institute, there’s still a chance to return water to the Colorado River Delta, and make sure the mighty river once again reaches the sea.

Asheville area hikers invited to series of scenic hikes

Posted by on Oct 13, 2011 @ 9:49 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Julie Gayheart is always looking for an excuse to go hiking in the mountains, to escape the heat and cityscape of her home in Charlotte. So when she heard about the new Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy Hiking Challenge — a set of eight hikes on scenic land preserved by the CMLC — Gayheart and a friend signed right up. When she discovered the prize for finishing the challenge was a white squirrel patch, that was all the incentive she needed to hike all eight in one September weekend.

As leaf color is hitting its peak in WNC might be the best time to start the challenge. Hikes range from easy to moderate and are between one and four miles. Destinations include natural features such as waterfalls and 360-degree mountaintop views. Six of the hikes are on public lands or have full-time public access, while two hikes are on private land.

Read full story…

Why Leaves Change

Posted by on Oct 13, 2011 @ 12:41 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Every autumn we revel in the beauty of the fall colors. The mixture of red, purple, orange and yellow is the result of chemical processes that take place in the tree as the seasons change from summer to winter.

During the spring and summer the leaves have served as factories where most of the foods necessary for the tree’s growth are manufactured. This food-making process takes place in the leaf in numerous cells containing chlorophyll, which gives the leaf its green color. This extraordinary chemical absorbs from sunlight the energy that is used in transforming carbon dioxide and water to carbohydrates, such as sugars and starch.

Along with the green pigment are yellow to orange pigments, carotenes and xanthophyll pigments which, for example, give the orange color to a carrot. Most of the year these colors are masked by great amounts of green coloring.

But in the fall, because of changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, the leaves stop their food-making process. The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow to orange colors become visible and give the leaves part of their fall splendor.

Read full story…

Why hike?

Posted by on Oct 12, 2011 @ 3:33 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking is a great, accessible activity. It doesn’t require any special skill set and is an activity you can do with your friends and family. If you are looking for an economical activity, the chance to see nature up-close, adventure, and great exercise then you might want to go on a hike.

One of the great things about hiking – it doesn’t cost much to go on a local hike. Many local parks offer free parking and free access to trails. For the parks that do charge fees for access, they are usually only nominal fees. As far as equipment goes, you don’t need much to start hiking. All you really need is a good sturdy pair of shoes, a backpack to hold water and a lunch, some knowledge and a map of where you are hiking, and you are set to go see what the trails have to offer.

Want to see nature up close? Hiking offers unparalleled views into the beauty of nature. When hiking you will notice that the scenery around you is constantly changing due to the seasons and the weather. You will see breathtaking views on the tops of peaks and hills, and appreciate the simplicity in the small things like listening to a babbling stream during the rainy season.

Read full story…

Breathtaking views, waterfalls highlight Sulphur Creek hike

Posted by on Oct 11, 2011 @ 5:51 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Spring-fed water cooling your feet, breezy shadows beneath towering canyon walls and refreshing mist from a nearby waterfall. These are the things to look for in order to have a pleasant hike in Utah’s canyon country.

Capitol Reef National Park’s Sulphur Creek has all of these things and more. Essentially a natural water park strung along the bottom of a strikingly deep and beautiful canyon, Sulphur Creek is sure to induce non-stop giggles from kids and adults alike.

Being a lesser-known route in one of the least-visited – but no less spectacular – national parks in Utah means there’s a good chance you’ll have the canyon to yourself.

Read full story…

Never took a hike in my life; would do it again

Posted by on Oct 10, 2011 @ 6:33 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

“Take a hike!”

That is what my father used to tell me when he’d had enough of my smart talk as a kid. Unfortunately, I never took that hike. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever hiked in my life, either formally or informally.

During my ride to Chenango Valley, I tried to conjure up the demographics of the group I was to address. Young? Yes. Trim and the picture of health? For sure. Clear of eye, ruddy of complexion, adventurous of spirit? Absolutely. Well, I nailed the “adventurous of spirit” part of the equation.

The group consisted of mostly 60-year-olds and up. They were hale and hearty and experts on everything outdoors. There were rail-thin, wiry athletic types. And there was plenty of, how shall I say, “Big Chuck” and Tom Bryden types. There were even white-haired, rimless-glasses-wearing grandmotherly types who looked like they would be more comfortable doing cross-stitch in a rocking chair than being here swathed in hooded parkas and heavy duty hiking boots.

The Bullthistle Hikers Group loves this old saying: “There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. But most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.”

Read full story…

Last Mile of the 165-Mile Cohos Trail in NH Cleared for Hiking

Posted by on Oct 10, 2011 @ 5:52 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

With chainsaw, clippers, branch loppers, mattock, shovel, and other trail tools in hand, five Granite Staters recently emerged from the forest around a bend on NH Route 3 six miles from the Canadian border and cut the last remaining brush and sapling trees to complete the 165-mile hiking pathway known as the Cohos Trail. The long-distance foot trail, twelve years in the making, is now complete end-to-end, from southern Crawford Notch at Harts Location to Fourth Connecticut Lake here, hard by the international boundary line.

Today, a hiking advocate can stand on the shores of a tiny marsh-like fen on the Canadian border and, in less than two weeks, walk across the Saco River cable-stay bridge at Harts Location and out to Route 302. In doing so, a tramper will have transited almost the entire length of Coos County, New Hampshire’s largest and most isolated county. Along the way, hikers crest 35 mountains, visit as many as half a dozen waterfalls, stand on many a cliff ledge, stay at several lean-to shelters (with more to come soon), a summit cabin, organized campsites, trek up to grand resort hotels, charming inns and bread-and-breakfast establishments, explore arctic tundra, and skirt many ponds and lakes, including 2,800 acre First Connecticut Lake.

Read full story…

NPF Reveals Great National Parks for Fall Foliage Viewing

Posted by on Oct 8, 2011 @ 11:15 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

With the Autumn season in full swing, the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, announced the 2011 “Great National Parks for Fall Foliage” list. This year’s list includes some iconic parks and a few lesser-known treasures. Each national park location, however, offers unique ways in which visitors can view the colorful foliage. Whether by water, foot, bicycle or car, these dramatic colors of the season are not to be missed.

Many factors impact the timing of peak fall colors viewing, therefore, foliage seekers are encouraged to contact specific parks for the inside scoop on their unique foliage timing. The National Park Service website contains contact information and special event listings for all 395 national park units.

Parks list is here…

Five sports with the best health benefits for women

Posted by on Oct 7, 2011 @ 10:21 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

If you’re a woman who is interested in improving your health or overall fitness or just looking at trying out a new sport, here is a look at five of the healthiest sports you should consider checking out. Whether you prefer individual sports or group participation, you’ll be sure to find something you enjoy — and enjoyment is the key to keeping up good exercise habits.

Hiking can be done alone or with a friend, and is a wonderful way to experience the great outdoors and improve your health. The average person burns up to 370 calories an hour, and while you’re enjoying spectacular scenery, you’ll hardly notice that you’re also accomplishing something great for your body.

Hiking is known as an active meditation, perfect for women whose lives are bombarded with the stress of balancing a family and a career. Just some of the benefits of hiking include increased bone density, better cardiovascular health, lowered blood pressure, and, of course, weight control. It’s easy to start, and all you need is a good pair of hiking shoes.

Read full story…

New Carmel Valley Hiking Trail Opens To Public

Posted by on Oct 6, 2011 @ 10:24 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Big Sur Land Trust announced the opening of the South Bank Trail, a 1.5 mile long pedestrian and bicycle path located on the south side of the Carmel River between the area near Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley and Palo Corona Regional Park. The Land Trust secured a $1.2 million grant from the California Resources Agency River Parkways Program to fund construction of the public trail.

The trail features both scenic inland and river views and provides an accessible alternative route to Palo Corona Regional Park. The South Bank Trail is part of a larger community-based vision for integrated planning of trails, parklands, restored natural areas and education sites in the Carmel River region.

Read full story…