Hiking News

New trail links Bar Harbor, Acadia

Posted by on Sep 25, 2011 @ 9:15 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hotel guests as well as locals living near the College of the Atlantic campus will soon have a new way to access Acadia National Park’s hiking and biking trails located close to downtown Bar Harbor, Maine.

About 40 volunteers, park staff and representatives of several nonprofit groups were working in a small wooded lot behind a hotel constructing a new connector trail between the park and downtown.

Roughly three-quarters of a mile in length, the trail will run from behind the Acadia Inn — located just across Route 3 from the COA campus — to a seldom-used private trail that winds its way to Duck Brook Road, a popular entrance point to the park’s carriage road system.

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Keystone Trails Association plans to re-open a trail linking two state parks

Posted by on Sep 25, 2011 @ 9:09 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Reeds Gap Spur Trail runs north-northeast from Reeds Gap State Park, located in Mifflin County, PA to Poe Paddy State Park in Centre County. Due to very heavy storm damage several years ago, it was rendered pretty much impassable without serious rerouting and was subsequently closed. It was even taken off most of the trail maps. John Stevens, a Keystone Trail Association board member and retired military and Penn State professor, is coordinating an effort to bring the trail back to life.

The major thrust toward restoring the trail will take place the weekend of Oct. 7 to 9, when KTA will mount a volunteer trail maintenance weekend with free camping. Anyone interested in participating should meet the group Friday evening at Reeds Gap State Park. The park manager has set aside about half of the park’s campsites.

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National Public Lands Day this Saturday: Things to do in D.C.

Posted by on Sep 23, 2011 @ 11:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

This Saturday, Sept. 24, is National Public Lands Day, a countrywide celebration of national parks, exercise, killing weeds and other do-goodie things. It is also the World Wide Day of Play, and if you think these two events aren’t coming together into one synergized megaday of celebration, well, you’re just dead wrong.

Since its birth in 1994, NPLD has become popular enough that as of last year 170,000 volunteers were working at more than 2,080 sites around America, clearing 450 tons of trash and 20,000 pounds of invasive plants and planting 100,000 news trees, bushes and other vegetation. So if you have an active streak in you, or have done something bad recently that you’d like to karmically balance, here’s how you can help out this weekend.

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Here is a complete list of registered places you can volunteer on National Public Lands Day.

Residents urged to get outdoors for National Public Lands Day

Posted by on Sep 22, 2011 @ 8:11 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

To celebrate National Public Lands Day, Salt Lake City volunteers are being sought to help repair and improve the Mormon Pioneer Trail on Sept. 24 in a project that supports the Wasatch Water Legacy Partnership.

Volunteers 16-years or older are needed to do tread repair and brush out vegetation that has grown along the trail, which is a popular destination for bicycling, jogging and hiking. Visitors can hike along part of the original course of immigrants from 180 years ago, with trailheads at Big Mountain Pass and Affleck Park.

The Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and Salt Lake City manage lands that include the Mormon Pioneer Trail. Located east of Salt Lake City, the trail passes over Big Mountain Pass, following Mountain Dell Creek and then ascends Little Mountain Pass before dropping into Emigration Canyon and Salt Lake valley below.

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Here is a complete list of registered places you can volunteer on National Public Lands Day.

Hiking trail access could widen under new San Francisco Peninsula parks plan

Posted by on Sep 22, 2011 @ 7:54 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Visitors to San Francisco’s Peninsula watershed could gain better access to 14,000 acres of local land under a new Golden Gate National Recreation Area proposal to complete local segments of the Bay Area Ridge Trail and connect it to the California Coastal Trail.

The plan also proposes to increase access to Alcatraz and Muir Woods.

Released earlier this month, the 20-year plan would connect people with green space and national treasures in the local cluster of national parks — including Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Muir Woods National Monument.

The Bay Area Ridge Trail consists of 330 miles of existing pathways open to hikers, cyclists and equestrians around the mountain ridges of San Francisco Bay. There are still 120 miles left to connect and make the trail a complete circle through the Bay Area’s nine counties.

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With autumn arriving, it’s time to take a Georgia hike

Posted by on Sep 21, 2011 @ 6:56 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The calendar says fall is here and even though we’ll still get some pretty warm days, there is a hint of cooler weather in the air. That means that hiking the Appalachian Trail and the dozens of other trails Georgia has to offer is on the horizon. Today, we will offer resources that can be used to locate hiking areas that suit your fancy.

The southern end of the Appalachian Trail is located 8 miles north of Amicalola State Park on Springer Mountain. Originally, the trailhead was at Mount Oglethorpe east of Jasper, but was later moved to the Springer Mountain location. Georgia’s section runs from that point to Bly Gap. Seventy-five miles of the AT are in the state. The highest point on the trail in Georgia is at Blood Mountain with an elevation of 4,461 feet. You can find the access points and different hikes in Georgia by going to Hikingsouth.com and clicking on the locations.

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Hike of the Week – Climb Up and Cool Down

Posted by on Sep 21, 2011 @ 6:46 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Fri, Sep 23 10:00 AM Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 363.4 – Greybeard Parking Overlook

Do you need a break from the summer excitement? Are you looking for a spot to get away from the fall crowds? Join a ranger for a trek up to Lunch Rock, a little stone outcrop with a big view. This 1.5 mile section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail is a moderate to strenuous one way hike, and is the second of two ways to get to the snack friendly Lunch Rock.

Meet at the Greybeard Parking Overlook, Milepost 363.4, 1 mile north of the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center. It is the first overlook on the right once past the Craggy Pinnacle Tunnel. Wear closed-toed hiking shoes, bring water, and be prepared for changeable weather. Questions? Call (828) 298-5330, ext 304.

Full BRP event slate…

2011 NPLD Signature Sites Announced

Posted by on Sep 19, 2011 @ 7:46 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

National Public Lands Day is fast approaching. September 24th is right around the corner.

A National Public Lands Day signature site is a volunteer event featuring special guests, speakers, unique programming or educational activities. This year, the signature sites are Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. and Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, Ga.

Washington, D.C.: The National Environmental Education Foundation and the National Park Service invite you to Rock Creek Park to volunteer and participate in a recreation and health fair. Over 200 volunteers will meet at eight different volunteer locations to beautify the park. Later, volunteers and the general public will meet at the Rock Creek Park Nature Center for a recreation and health fair. Planned special guest speakers include the Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. Regina Benjamin, and Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Nancy Sutley. Learn more about the Rock Creek Park event.

Atlanta: Head to Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site on the morning of September 24 to take part of this growing annual event. The National Environmental Education Foundation, in partnership with the National Park Service, the Greening Youth Foundation, the REI Outdoor School, Park Pride and the city of Atlanta are hosting a park cleanup at MLK, Jr. National Historic Site and nearby Freedom Park. Volunteers will meet at MLK, Jr. National Historic Site for opening ceremonies and a Let’s Move Outside recreational activities. Planned speakers include City Councilman Kwanza Hall and George Dusenbury, Commissioner of the city of Atlanta Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. Learn more about the Atlanta event.

Man helps transform North Country Trail from ‘swamp walk’ into impressive path

Posted by on Sep 18, 2011 @ 6:29 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The North Country Trail is a 4,600-mile National Scenic Trail that runs through seven states from New York to North Dakota. The Michigan portion is 1,150 miles, of which 758 miles are complete. The trail is administered by the National Park Service, which works in cooperation with land managers along the route, sometimes federal, state or local government units or private individuals. NCTA chapters adopt sections of trail and work to construct and maintain it. The roughed-up logs and elevated trail that ran through the marsh originally was put there by national forest staffers with the help of NCTA volunteers.

The first time Ed Chappel hiked by the Sterling Marsh on the North Country Trail, he ended up rolling his ankle several times. It was fall and leaves covered the edges of the raised and narrow trail. The experience proved daunting for Chappel, president of the North Country Trail Association Spirit of the Woods chapter. He began wondering if there might not be a better way.

Chappel and a group of NCTA volunteers put the finishing touches on 2,697 feet of wheelchair accessible boardwalk in August. The 13 sections total more than a half-mile. They are spread out over 1 1/2 miles of trail. A formal dedication of the upgrade is planned.

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Intrepid hiker tackles Florida Trail, all 1,150 miles of it

Posted by on Sep 16, 2011 @ 11:27 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

When Amanda Hus was a little girl growing up in Fort Myers, she dreamed about hiking the Appalachian Trail. “I used to read about it in magazines,” said the 53-year-old former stay-at-home mom. “I said to myself, Some day.”

The Tampa resident had done a few day hikes in parks and nature reserves, but nothing serious. Then last fall she heard a talk by hardcore backpackers about “thru hiking” the Florida Trail. The hiking path, which stretches more than 1,100 miles from the Everglades to the Panhandle, doesn’t get as much publicity as the fabled “AT,” but for Floridians who love the state’s scrublands, pine flatwoods and hardwood hammocks it is every bit as beautiful.

“They said they were going to help support a group that would do the whole trail,” Hus recalled. “So I went up after the talk and asked how I could sign up.”

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AMC Recommends Top 4,000-Footer Foliage Hikes

Posted by on Sep 16, 2011 @ 11:19 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

With New England’s fall foliage season almost here, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) is offering free hike itineraries with maps for its top 10 “4,000-Footer Foliage Hikes” in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Recommended hikes include a family-friendly option, and beautiful fall colors are an added bonus for peak-baggers. The AMC Four Thousand Footer Club officially recognizes hikers who have summited all 48 4,000-foot peaks in New Hampshire.

Each expert-picked hike is available through a five-day trial of AMC’s White Mountain Guide Online community and subscription service. To take advantage of this offer, which also includes access to suggested “Hikes for Kids” and “Hikes to Huts,” use promo code WMGOT5 when registering.

Read full story for highlights from a few of AMC’s recommended foliage hikes…

Patagonia: Glacier Hiking

Posted by on Sep 16, 2011 @ 11:07 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Now, I was walking across the glacier’s face, my metal crampons digging into the ice and soft rain falling on my face. We climb up and down the glacier’s icy slopes, stopping to drink from glacial melt – sweet and fresh, pure water – avoiding deep crevasses and photographing sapphire blue moulins. Our second guide takes the rear, running across the edge to proffer assistance and a helping hand to those of us who falter.

After almost two hours, our guides lead us to a sheltered spot on the glacier, where a shot of brandy awaits. The warmth from the drink spreads through me as I contemplate the majesty and beauty of the glacier, its blue ice beneath my feet.

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Here’s more about hiking in Patagonia.

Even more about hiking in Patagonia.

National Public Lands Day Photo Contest and Volunteer of the Year Awards

Posted by on Sep 15, 2011 @ 7:57 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

While planting trees, repairing trails and enhancing native habitats on National Public Lands Day, don’t forget to bring your camera and take some great shots of your fellow volunteers. Your photo could become a winner in the 11th annual NPLD Volunteers in Action Photo Contest.

The Volunteer of the Year Awards recognizes outstanding National Public Lands Day volunteers who went above and beyond to make this year’s event a success. Nominate a colleague, friend or even yourself to receive an award and be recognized through the NPLD website, social media and newsletters. The Volunteer of the Years Awards is looking for personal stories describing the efforts of a dedicated public lands volunteer in their community. This should be a person who has taken a leadership role to preserve and enhance a public lands area and encourage others to do the same.

Remember, National Public Lands Day is Saturday, September 24th. I will be out at the Pounding Mill Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway doing my share with trail maintenance, trash pickup, and information exchange.

A new book lists the 40 most scenic hikes in the Adirondack Mountains

Posted by on Sep 14, 2011 @ 8:48 pm in Hiking News | 2 comments

Most outdoor lovers are familiar with the Adirondacks, but with the park covering about 9,375 square miles of New York state, even the most experienced hikers haven’t seen all this segment of the nation’s oldest mountain range has to offer. More than 2,000 miles of hiking trails, 3,000 lakes and countless memories to be made are just a hop, skip and a jump away from Syracuse. And fall is the perfect time to check them out. Just be sure to call local tourism bureaus who can tell you if damage from Hurricane Irene remains.

The Adirondack Mountains are beautiful year-round, but the colorful montage of leaves and crisp fresh air make the region a fall favorite. For those who have always wanted to but haven’t yet explored the Adirondacks, there is no time like now to start an adventure. The massive size of the park can be intimidating for beginner hikers but Tim Starmer, author of Five-Star Trails in the Adirondacks: A Guide to the Most Beautiful Hikes, makes navigating 40 popular hikes seem like a breeze.

There are many different resources for information on the Adirondacks, and one prominent local source is the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1922. The club is set up with 27 local chapters with a membership of 35,000. Dick Lightcap, a former chair to the Onondaga chapter and an expert hiker for more than 15 years, describes the Adirondacks as “a place for every level of hiker; beginner to expert, there are trails for everyone.”

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Haw River Trail has grown a lot in five years

Posted by on Sep 13, 2011 @ 2:44 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

While 10 miles of hiking trail may not seem like much, a great deal of conservation and development of viable recreation space along the Haw River Trail has been completed over the last five years. According to Haw River Trail Coordinator Brian Baker, about 320 acres in Alamance County, NC have been conserved.

And that’s thanks to a five-year memorandum of understanding, signed by 10 government entities in 2006, pledging their support in protecting the Haw River and developing the Haw River Trail. At last week’s City Council meeting, Burlington signed a new agreement, this one lasting 10 years instead of five.

Conservation is one of the two major points of the MOU, said Tony Laws, Burlington’s director of Recreation and Parks. He said the agreement is designed not only to establish outdoor recreation opportunities, but to protect the water quality of the Haw River. “It’s our greatest natural resource that we have in the county,” said Laws.

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Watercolors Hiking in historic Locke and Delta Meadows State Park

Posted by on Sep 13, 2011 @ 2:38 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

A Watercolors and Hiking event will be held in Locke, Calif. on Thursday, September 15, 2011 starting at 10:00 a.m. Bring the kids and the grandparents; everyone is welcome! Well-behaved dogs on leashes, okay. This is a mostly level 1.5 mile hike (apart from one 20 foot long, somewhat steep, narrow path up a levee hill), and some optional off-path routes along the way that are prickly and narrow.

Locke artist and art teacher, Martha Esch, will demonstrate easy techniques to painting a quick, lovely, loose watercolor postcard of scenic spots along the hike. Next, participants will begin using watercolor kits, blank postcards and brushes that will be passed out to all who’d like to paint their own scenes. (There will be a $5 art supply fee.)

Pack your own brown bag lunch, your own beverage and maybe some small snacks to share with others. The group will gather in front of Al the Wop’s famous bar and steakhouse, located in the middle of Main Street in Locke, Calif. The Delta Meadows State Park is a beautiful, secret gem and the town of Locke is a fun, historic place that you’ll want to soon return to.

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Fair Game: A wild and sacred place

Posted by on Sep 12, 2011 @ 6:55 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

There are no designated trails, only the tracks of elk. There are no posted signs, only a slight indentation through the tundra. There are no bridges, only fallen logs across the creeks. There are no people other than an occasional backpacker staggered by serenity and solitude.

This wild and sacred place is not far from Aspen, but in 30 years of hiking the Elk Range, I had never been there until last weekend. Here is the archetype wilderness, where man is only a visitor, and a rare visitor at that. Here is a mountain valley with lakes and streams, forests and meadows, all bounded by towering peaks. Here is a place important, not only to me, but for its intrinsic value, for itself.

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