Hiking News

Adirondack Hiking trails reopen

Posted by on Sep 8, 2011 @ 7:48 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) will reopen the Adirondak Loj and Wilderness Campground at Heart Lake and the Johns Brook Lodge on Thursday, Sept. 8. The reopening of the lodges and campground coincides with the reopening of a number of hiking trails in Adirondack backcountry.

While Tropical Storm Irene left ADK’s north country properties largely unscathed, access roads to both properties were washed out. One lane of the Adirondack Loj Road was opened to local and official traffic last week, but the road remained closed to the public at DEC’s request. Crews from the town of North Elba Highway Department were completing work on the Adirondack Loj Road late Wednesday and planned to open it to the public on Thursday morning.

Following the storm, the Department of Environmental Conservation closed all trails in the eastern zone of the High Peaks Wilderness, as well as the Giant Mountain Wilderness and Dix Mountain Wilderness. On Wednesday, DEC announced that it would be reopening some trails in the eastern High Peaks and the Giant Mountain Wilderness, but was not yet reopening the Dix Mountain Wilderness.

Open trails in the High Peaks Wilderness include all trails from the Adirondak Loj trailhead, the Cascade Mountain trailhead, the Garden trailhead, the Rooster Comb trailhead, the Upper Works trailhead and the East River trailhead. Open trails in the Giant Mountain Wilderness include all trails starting from the trailheads on Route 9 and Route 9N. Giant Mountain may also be accessed via the Hopkin Mountain Trail from the Ranney Trailhead.

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Hike of the Week – Tunnels of Love

Posted by on Sep 7, 2011 @ 5:00 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Fri, Sep 9 10:00 AM Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 407.7 – Buck Springs Gap Parking Overlook

The Parkway has 26 tunnels. There are far more tunnels of greenery in the southern Appalachians, with curving mountain laurels and rhododendrons. Trails through them make you feel that you are traveling into a special place – and you are; it is the place itself. In this hike you will learn about the heath plants, as well as the forest trees that are fighting for their lives. To walk through this vegetative tunnel, you will be hiking the end section of the Shut-in trail between Mount Pisgah trailhead and Buck Springs trailhead. You will also take a spur trail out to the top of the Buck Springs tunnel, where you can see the handiwork and learn about the Parkway’s construction. These combined hikes are less than 2 miles.

See more BRP events…

Experience Fall at one of Wisconsin’s state parks

Posted by on Sep 6, 2011 @ 6:37 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

There are currently 66 parks in the Wisconsin state system, covering more than 60,000 of the most beautiful acres in the state. In addition to the parks, the Department of Natural Resources administers nearly half a million acres of land in the state forest system.

With festival season wrapping up, the kids back in school and options for outdoor entertainment dwindling, now is the perfect time to get out and enjoy these spots before the snow starts falling.

Here are seven favorites…

Autumn Spectacular: A 2-Week Long Celebration

Posted by on Sep 5, 2011 @ 2:00 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The tourists are back to work and back in school, the temperatures are back to “beautiful,” the aspen trees are the perfect shade of golden, and the Town of Frisco, Co. is packed full of events and outdoor fun to make Autumn, well, spectacular.

September 10-24, 2011, the Town of Frisco will host Autumn Spectacular, a two-week long celebration of everything Fall, including leaf-peeping hikes and excursions, the Adventure Bike Park grand opening, and Beetlefest, which is an environmental event focused on saving and replenishing Colorado’s lodge pole pine forests ravaged by the evil pine beetle.

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Iraq war veteran hikes the United States for a cause

Posted by on Sep 4, 2011 @ 12:03 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

An Iraq war veteran returned home from a personal mission to raise money for military families in need. Troy Yocum spent the last 16 months hiking across the United States. He took off on foot from the Louisville Slugger Museum in April, 2010. Today he finished his last mile back at the museum with a crowd of people supporting him. “What a journey!” Yocum said, “I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I was going to say today.”

Yocum’s journey began when he realized the struggles many of his veteran soldiers faced when returning home. “My good friend lost his job, lost his house, was suicidal. It made me think about all these other families going through the same thing right now with our economy. I’ve walked through states where unemployment for veterans is 30%.”

Yocum’s walk has raised over $500,000 and has helped 60 military families so far.

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Federal money to help complete trail at Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge

Posted by on Sep 4, 2011 @ 11:57 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Friends of Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge will use a $5,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to build and improve the Palmetto Trail. The group in Franklin, La. leveraged its funds and volunteer labor to compete for the NFWF grant, according to a press release.

The hiking trail, located on Janet E. Road just off of U.S. 90 near Franklin, on the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge is about 2.5 miles long. It was once an oilfield location that was returned to the wild in the 1950s.

The trail was started about two years ago, with help from volunteers and the Louisiana Hiking Club. Those involved hoped to obtain additional funding for the trail’s completion. The Friends of the Refuge worked for the past six months in efforts to get the grant.

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A Great Escape To Some Local Hiking Trails For Labor Day Weekend and Beyond

Posted by on Sep 3, 2011 @ 8:55 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Family outings can be a great escape from the norm, and an escape from cleaning and other entrapments at home, like the television and computer. The Audobon Society has a great way to inspire kids and their families to get out into nature.

They created a passport booklet which lists several trails that families can enjoy in Rhode Island. If the kids hike at least six of the ten trails indicated in the passport, they can get a prize. Hike all the trails and they can get additional prizes. Passports can be picked up for free at the Audobon Society or printed from their website.

While getting the prize would be great, it is the journey that is the real prize. The Audobon helps introduce families to trails they may not be aware of. In addition to enjoying the trails, kids can also have fun being detectives. They are encouraged to look for a location on each trail that has a “rubbing.” The passport has directions for finding these rubbings on each trail.

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Six-mile hike to Wildcat Falls includes steep climbs

Posted by on Sep 1, 2011 @ 5:25 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Tail of the Dragon, that world-famous, 11-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 129 with 318 curves — may be a motorcyclist’s dream, but it’s no fun if you’re sitting in the passenger seat of a car.

One of the best reasons to brave this stomach-churning stretch of road is the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness Area. Of the wilderness area’s 17,394 acres, 13,562 acres are located in North Carolina’s Nantahala National Forest, while the rest — approximately 3,832 acres — lie just across the Tennessee line in the Cherokee National Forest.

Slickrock Creek cuts through the heart of the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness, and it’s here, deep in the wilderness area, that you’ll find a series of ledges known collectively as Wildcat Falls.

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Top spots for hiking in Hong Kong

Posted by on Aug 31, 2011 @ 8:26 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking in Hong Kong is possibly the city’s most popular hidden activity.

Tourism campaigns for Hong Kong rarely champion its hiking trails and yet 300 kilometers of designated trails, varying in length and difficulty, traverse the territory and many locals hike religiously.

To really experience Hong Kong get out to one of the four major hiking trails: the MacLehose Trail, Wilson Trail, Hong Kong Trail or Lantau Trail.

The city’s fervent enthusiasm for hiking comes to the fore at the many hiking events held there, including the Oxfam Trailwalker, Moontrekker and the King of the Hills that attract thousands of competitors every year.

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Volunteers give back to national parks

Posted by on Aug 31, 2011 @ 4:12 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

When Jim and Carol Miltimore approached officials at Mount Rainier National Park about volunteering, they thought the retired couple might spend a sunny afternoon bagging trash.

They had no idea that six years later, the Enumclaw, Wash., couple would log more hours in the pristine park than many native bears.

In six years, Jim, 70, and Carol, 63, have logged more than 12,000 volunteer hours making the 378-square mile park cleaner, more accessible and ever-luscious.

“We’re avid hikers and nature lovers and, really, I think we get more out of it than the park does,” says Carol, a retired data analyst. “The scenery is breathtaking. Just yesterday I was up working in a field of wildflowers at 6,400 feet with Mount Rainier in its full glory. It was magnificent.”

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Hurricane Irene in the Catskills – Updates and Information

Posted by on Aug 29, 2011 @ 6:20 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hurricane Irene hit the Catskills hard with heavy rains and strong winds. Some places received over 12 inches of rain, which created flooding that has exceeded historical records for almost all Catskill rivers. A number of Catskill communities including Windham, Tannersville, Margaretville, and Prattsville received catastrophic damage while almost every other community received some sort of damage. Many bridges are out or damaged and many roads are closed and washed out.

Trails in the Catskills are closed until at least Tuesday, but as you get out and about and start hiking again, the Trail Conference is asking you to submit any trail problems that you come across. This will allow the Trail Conference to organize and mobilize volunteers to tackle the most pressing trail problems.

Trail Conference Post-Irene Message to Hikers, Trail Maintainers

Get more info…

Hurricane Irene Takes a Toll on Adirondacks Hiking

Posted by on Aug 29, 2011 @ 5:56 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Updated August 29, 2011

TRAIL ADVISORY (8/29): Hurricane Irene has created dangerous conditions across most of the Eastern Adirondacks including flooding, bridge wash outs, trail wash outs and blow down of trees and other debris. Back country travel is difficult, if not impossible, throughout much of the Eastern Adirondacks. Hikers and campers should expect to encounter flooding, bridge wash outs, trail wash outs and blowdown when entering the backcountry. Plan accordingly and be prepared to turn back when conditions warrant.

TRAIL CLOSURES (8/29): ALL TRAILS in the EASTERN HIGH PEAKS WILDERNESS, GIANT MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS and DIX MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS have been CLOSED indefinitely due to extensive damage to trails and interior infrastructure. The trails will remain closed through Labor Day Weekend.

Stay updated…

Louse Canyon among most inaccessible places in the West

Posted by on Aug 28, 2011 @ 4:35 pm in Hiking News | 1 comment

About 350 air miles southeast of Portland, the West Little Owyhee River, a rarely visited tributary of the better-known Owyhee River, has cut a squiggle of a gorge through sandy expanses of sage and rye. The canyon is surely among the most inaccessible places in the West.

At its loneliest, the nearest human living under a proper roof is about 24 hours away by four-wheel drive, then horseback and foot. This cool crack in what is known as ION country, where Idaho, Oregon and Nevada collide, is so deep in the back of beyond that it sits in a different time zone from the rest of the Pacific Northwest.

Hikers should be experienced, able to swim and completely self-sufficient. Dry bags and footwear are key. Traditional hiking boots will become waterlogged nightmares. A sturdy water shoe, like Keen’s aptly named McKenzie, for the McKenzie River (which took its name from the Canadian fur trapper, Donald Mackenzie, who named the Owyhee), is critical.

This area of the Owyhee Plateau was actually first explored centuries ago by the Tagu, a band of Northern Paiute Indians who lived off wild onions, tubers and pronghorns that today still bound across the uplands. In 1819 Mackenzie named the main river stem the Owyhee after Hawaiian trappers he sent down it never returned. (“Owyhee,” pronounced “oh-WHY-hee,” comes from the word “Hawaii”).

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Station Fire, two years later: Kindling a comeback

Posted by on Aug 28, 2011 @ 8:57 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

When a group of young conservationists set foot in the blackened landscape of the Angeles National Forest more than a year ago, many were daunted by the sheer scope of their task. The 2009 Station Fire – which started two years ago Friday – had ravaged nearly 161,000 acres, leaving blackened trees, burned buildings, shells of incinerated cars and in some places, more than two feet of ash and mud that had sloughed off the mountainsides.

Some of the group – made up of about 90 high school and college-aged students from all over the U.S. with the Student Conservation Association – doubted they could help restore the damage over the 2 -month program. But after two summers of building trails and removing invasive species, the group has already been rewarded with some signs of success.

Combined with other restoration efforts, parts of the forest have reopened to the public in the past year. Though many areas remain damaged, some trails are again walkable and on Friday hikers and children with fishing poles were trickling into the Wildwood area in Big Tujunga Canyon.

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Forest Service, Vt. hiking club: Stay home

Posted by on Aug 27, 2011 @ 11:14 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The U.S. Forest Service and Vermont’s Green Mountain Club agree: It’s best to stay out of the woods this weekend.

With Hurricane Irene bearing down, both the federal agency that manages the Green Mountain National Forest and the hiking club that manages the Long Trail are recommending that people stay home.

If you must be in the woods, there are several precautions that are recommended. One is don’t camp near streams, which can rise and flood quickly. Don’t try to cross swollen streams, either.

This is probably good advice for anywhere on the east coast this weekend. From North Carolina, through Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey, and on up into New England and Nova Scotia, pay special heed to the weather forecast before heading out into the woods.

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National Public Lands Day is coming up

Posted by on Aug 26, 2011 @ 6:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

There are plenty of events going on across the country on Saturday, September 24th.

This annual celebration of our country’s public lands was started in 1994 as an opportunity for the public to volunteer, improve, and maintain our public green spaces. It started out with 700 volunteers and three sites. Since the first year, it has continued to grow and last year over 170,000 volunteers joined together to work on projects in their communities. These volunteers worked at over 2000 sites across the country and were able to:

  • Remove an estimated 450 tons of trash
  • Collect an estimated 20,000 pounds of invasive plants
  • Build and maintain an estimated 1,320 miles of trails
  • Plant an estimated 100,000 trees, shrubs and other native plants
  • Contribute an estimated $15 million to improve public lands across the country

Find a site to volunteer at, learn more about the program, or even register your own site on the National Public Lands Day’s website.

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Hike of the Week – Wild, Windswept, Wonderful

Posted by on Aug 25, 2011 @ 4:59 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Fri, Sept. 2 10:00 AM Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 420 – near Graveyard Fields

Join Parkway Rangers for a moderate, 1-mile roundtrip hike on the Art Loeb Trail to the summit of Black Balsam Knob (6214’). The rocky trail crosses spacious, alpine-like terrain, and views from the bald summit unfold in every direction. The hike will begin approximately 0.7 mile off the Parkway on F.S. Road 816, about 1 mile south of Graveyard Fields (MP 420). Wear good hiking shoes, and bring water, sunscreen, a hiking stick, and windbreaker.

Call (828) 298-5330, ext. 304, for details.