Hiking News

Towns to Trails: Creating a 200-mile loop trail in the Columbia River Gorge

Posted by on Jun 9, 2017 @ 12:12 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

In the not too distant future, visitors to the Columbia River Gorge will be able to do all or part of a 200-mile loop trail that connects wineries, breweries, lodging and restaurants.

It’s called Towns to Trails. One of the gateway communities on the Washington side of the Gorge is Washougal, where a shiny new trail will be a departure point.

Day hiking is already a very popular activity in the Gorge, but the nonprofit group Friends of the Gorge decided about 6 years ago to link existing and new trails together. The recently completed Washougal Waterfront Park will be an anchor point for the trail at the Gorge’s west end.

“The opportunity for international and world class traveling is to be able to land at Portland International Airport and to be able to hit one of these gateway communities, and then hike east to the next town …,” said Friends of the Gorge spokeswoman, Renee Tkach. “The idea is not to have that big backpack on your back any longer. It’s something where you have a daypack so you’re packing just something you need for your day essentials.”

Tkach says about 90 percent of the trails from Washougal to Stevenson are nearly complete.

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Guide to Peru adventure travel and action sports

Posted by on Jun 8, 2017 @ 12:09 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Guide to Peru adventure travel and action sports

Located in the west of South America, Peru offers adventures as varied as its climate and regions. With arid coastal deserts, cooler Andean highlands and tropical rainforest it plays host to spectacular scenery and exciting activities.

The landscape of Peru can be divided into three regions; the coast, the highlands and the rainforest. The coast is a narrow strip of land running from the north to the south on the east side of the country; it is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the east and the Andes mountains on the West. The land here is dry and desert like, although more greenery appears the further south you travel.

The coast has a sub tropical climate where there is little rain; this region is warmer in the north although the whole coast is subject to the cold Humboldt Current in the Pacific making the warmest time January to March and the coolest July to September. Central and Southern coastal cities are affected by fog in the winter.

The highlands of the Andes Mountains run parallel to the coast and cut the country in half. With 37 peaks of over 6000m the Andes make quite a barrier and crossing from one side of the country to the other difficult. The highest peaks of Huascarán S (6,768) Huascarán N (6,655), Yerupajá (6,617) are all in the Ancash region and part of the Cordillera Blanca range.

The highlands are affected mostly by the Andes Mountains with temperatures ranging from cool to very cold; the higher the altitude the lower the temperatures with rain in the summer months of September to March and dry winters during May to August, so plan Peru adventure travel and action sports around the conditions.

This guide to Peru adventure travel and action sports looks at the range of activities available – visiting Peru can be as relaxing or as adrenaline fueled as you wish to make it.

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Through the Devil’s Doorway: Hiking the Bluff Trails of Wisconsin’s Devil’s Lake State Park

Posted by on Jun 7, 2017 @ 1:46 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Through the Devil’s Doorway: Hiking the Bluff Trails of Wisconsin’s Devil’s Lake State Park

Known as one of the Midwest’s premier rock climbing parks, Devil’s Lake State Park is also a hiker’s dream. This 9,000 acre park includes a 360 acre natural lake, banked on two sides with 500 foot tall bluffs, and over 20 miles of hiking trails ranging from easy to difficult.

Located just outside of the town of Baraboo, Wisconsin (only about 40 minutes northwest of the Capital city of Madison), the park is within the Baraboo Hills, a national natural landmark. These hills are over 1.6 billion years old, and were once part of the Baraboo Mountain Range which was probably taller than today’s Rocky Mountains.

This area was at the southern end of the most recent glacial activity, and the bluffs were not scoured by the movement of the ice. The lake was formed when the glacial till was deposited at both ends of the hills, closing off the area between.

The main rock here is Quartzite, a very hard rock that was once sandstone beneath a great sea. Over time, the sandstone was subject to pressure, turning it into this unusual rock found only in a few places in the country. Due to the silica content of the rock, it does not hold much soil, so the rock outcroppings are generally visible with very few trees and plants on them.

There are plenty of trails to hike at the park, but most interesting to the majority of visitors are the East Bluff and West Bluff Trails. These trails are approximately 1.5 miles each, and circle Devil’s Lake from high above the 500 foot tall bluffs.

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Colorado launches online guide to 39,000 miles of every kind of trail

Posted by on Jun 5, 2017 @ 12:13 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Colorado launches online guide to 39,000 miles of every kind of trail

After two years of intensive planning, Gov. John Hickenlooper will unveil a comprehensive online map of more than 39,000 miles of trails across Colorado.

Spanning 226 jurisdictions, the interactive map — at cpw.state.co.us/cts — marks the first run at gathering every hiking, biking and multi-use trail in Colorado in a single location. For years that trail info has been stitched across a patchwork of websites, field offices and guidebooks.

The Colorado Trail Explorer, developed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, includes 17,099 trails and 1,431 trailheads. The mapped trails include 5,683 miles of hiking trails, 6,821 miles of mountain biking trails, 24,906 miles of motorized trails and unpaved roads, and 1,746 miles of paved bike trails.

And that’s just the start.

“We intend to have every single of mile of trail in Colorado, but we are not even close,” said Eric Drummond, a parks and wildlife GIS Analyst who served as project leader for the Colorado Trail Explorer website, which details about 85 percent of the state’s recreational trails. “We are taking a long-term approach to this. We focused on making this a sustainable and updatable tool.”

The trail map is part of Hickenlooper’s “Colorado the Beautiful” plan, which seeks to connect Colorado residents with open space, public lands and the outdoors. The audacious plan includes linking trail systems using Great Outdoors Colorado funds to get more Colorado kids outside.

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Author Explains Why Hiking Is More Popular Now Than Ever

Posted by on Jun 5, 2017 @ 7:02 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Author Explains Why Hiking Is More Popular Now Than Ever

People haven’t always enjoyed a nice walk in the woods (or up a mountain, or down into a canyon).

Before the development of mass transportation, walking was a necessary part of daily life —  a chore. The idea of doing it for fun didn’t exist. But then horse-drawn omnibuses became common, and eventually so did trolleys, trains and personal cars.

And then came the first hikers.

“They’re able to reinvent this idea of walking as not something you do just out of necessity, but rather something you do for fun,” said Silas Chamberlin, author of “On the Trail: A History of American Hiking.”

The first hikers tended to be wealthy city dwellers. They organized outings both within and out of their cities and published newsletters to spread the word about walking in nature, Chamberlain said. Thinkers like Thoreau and Emerson reinforced the emergent idea that spending time in nature could connect you to the world and to God, he said.

“This all culminates in 1876 with a group of about 100 wealthy people living in Boston who form the Appalachian Mountain Club, which becomes the first organized hiking club in America,” Chamberlain said. After that came the Sierra Club on the West Coast, and it proliferated from there.

Hiking today is more popular than ever before, Chamberlain said. And it’s much different than it was in the past.

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First rule of hiking: Don’t get lost. Second rule: Know what to do if you get lost.

Posted by on Jun 4, 2017 @ 11:50 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

First rule of hiking: Don’t get lost. Second rule: Know what to do if you get lost.

The summer is almost upon us and already there have been lost hikers and even a death after someone lost their footing.

One thing is for certain, there are things you can do to reduce your risks while hiking.

Anybody can get lost. It’s easy to do. You can get lost in the day time… forget a map, misread the trail, not pay attention, have too much fun.

You can slide into the brush, trip on a log, rub up against poison oak or stinging nettles, turn your ankle or come home with ticks.

The weather can change from hot to cold, from calm to gusty and from dry to wet. You can be delayed coming home and find yourself in the dark.

The question isn’t what to do once you are in a dire situation. Rather, know how to avoid getting into a bad situation in the first place.

But also you want to be prepared and capable of dealing with a situation if it happens.

Here are some hiking safety tips to help keep you out of trouble…

 

Agencies and Partners Launch #FindYourWay to Celebrate America’s National Trails and Wild & Scenic Rivers Systems

Posted by on Jun 4, 2017 @ 7:39 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Several federal agencies and their nonprofit partners announced the launch of #FindYourWay to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the National Trails System and the Wild & Scenic Rivers acts in 2018. Over the next two years, #FindYourWay will invite visitors from all backgrounds to explore America’s trails and rivers.

The National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Army Corps of Engineers have stewardship roles in the trails and rivers systems, from the Appalachian, Lewis and Clark, and Ozark Highlands trails to the Delaware, Salmon, Snake, and Missouri rivers State and local governments and nonprofit partners also provide stewardship support for the two systems through site management, volunteer service, philanthropic support, and community engagement.

Find Your Way expands on the National Park Service and National Park Foundation’s Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement and invites the public to discover their own personal connections to thousands of trails across the U.S. and more than 12,000 miles of rivers protected by the Wild & Scenic Rivers System. Through social media, local and national events, videos, and other programs, Find Your Way aims to build public awareness of the National Trails and Wild & Scenic Rivers Systems, and increase engagement and volunteerism to support them.

The launch of Find Your Way is accompanied by the first in a summer-long series of videos produced to depict the different ways in which people, families and communities connect to and experience public lands through trails and rivers. Partners across the country will invite the public to Find Your Way to celebrations on American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day on June 3, and the tourism industry will explore Find Your Way during the International Trade and Tourism trade show in Washington, DC in early June. Additional elements of the rivers and trails campaigns will roll out later in 2017.

“So many of us have experienced unforgettable moments of inspiration on America’s remarkable landscapes,” said National Park Service Acting Director Michael T. Reynolds. “As the National Park Service continues to invite the public to find your park, the rivers and trails 50th is a unique opportunity to find your way to your own inspirational moments along America’s exceptional rivers and scenic and historic trails.”

 

 

The Ultimate Guide to Monument Valley

Posted by on Jun 1, 2017 @ 6:36 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Ultimate Guide to Monument Valley

With sandstone buttes, colossal mesas, and panoramic vistas, Monument Valley is one of the USA’s iconic landscapes.

Sure, it’s possible to drive right through the Valley, visiting the main sites in just two or three hours, but if you really want to explore it, consider spending at least a day here. There are even quick excursions and scenic drives in the nearby area, if you are looking for even more activities to fill your time.

Located on the Utah-Arizona border, Monument Valley is part of the Colorado Plateau. It is not officially a National Park since it sits within the Navajo Nation Reservation. Most of the area that is visited by tourists is called the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.

Until the 1930’s, Monument Valley was an obscure, seldom visited location. The only ones who really aware of the beauty of this place were the Navajo Indians who lived on the land. It wasn’t until John Ford featured this landscape in his well-known films (including Stagecoach and Rio Grande) that Monument Valley began to experience some popularity.

Now, Monument Valley has been featured in a large number of popular movies, including Forrest Gump, National Lampoons Vacation, Mission: Impossible II, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the new HBO series Westworld.

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Explore Five Amazing Hiking Trails in Parks Across Brazil

Posted by on May 31, 2017 @ 7:09 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) shows that from a list of 136 countries, Brazil appears first in potential natural resources, and a large part of that is the amazing terrain and diverse parks that the South American giant has to offer.

The Ibitipoca State Park is a forested state park is Minas Gerais that is full of caves, canyons and waterfalls. Pico do Pião is the highlight but the area is full of trails like Prainha, Ponte de Pedra and Cachoeira dos Macacos.

In English Vale da Lua translates to “Moon Valley”, and the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park is in the central Brazilian state of Goiás. According to the official website of Chapada dos Veadeiros, the walk to the Vale da Lua is short, but the rocky terrain is challenging.

The Aparados da Serra National Park is located in the Serra Geral range of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina states in the south of Brazil. The Vértice Trail leads to the beautiful view of the Itaimbezinho Canyon and several waterfalls.

From Rio de Janeiro to the Northeastern state of Bahia, as well as the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, nearby Minas Gerais and Goiás, here are five amazing hiking trails.

 

Learn trail and hiking skills on National Trails Day

Posted by on May 30, 2017 @ 9:04 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Learn trail and hiking skills on National Trails Day

National Trails Day is coming up June 3, 2017, and officials at Shenandoah National Park are holding events on hiking skills.

The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, or PATC, says new and experienced hikers can learn new trail skills at its Trail Patrol “Beyond the Trailhead” event at the Byrd Visitor Center.

There will be discussions on Leave No Trace outdoor ethics and wilderness first aid techniques as well as a demonstration of traditional tools used to maintain trails in the wilderness.

There will also be a series of guided hikes suitable for all ages and skill groups, including families with children, to advanced hikes for adults.

The events and hikes are free to attend, but there is a $25-per-car entrance fee to get into the park, which is good for seven days.

National Trails Day is an annual, nationally recognized trail awareness program that aims to promote healthy living and mental well-being, protect green space, educate youth and adults on the importance of trails, and instill an excitement for the outdoors.

PATC is a volunteer trails maintenance group that maintains 240 miles of the mid-Atlantic region of the Appalachian Trail and 730 miles of other trails in the Washington, D.C. area as well as Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

For more information, send an email to [email protected]

 

Trekking 1,400 Kilometres With Two Mules to Celebrate Canada

Posted by on May 29, 2017 @ 11:58 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Trekking 1,400 Kilometres With Two Mules to Celebrate Canada

When Ida DeKelver set off by foot from her ranch home in an isolated British Columbia valley, she was accompanied by two donkeys, Jack and Bill. Between them, they carried 140 pounds of provisions. She planned on riding Bill much of the way.

Her destination was her hometown in Saskatchewan, some 1,400 kilometres to the east on the other side of the Rocky Mountains.

On the morning of Sept. 15, 1967, she sent the children off to school before bidding adieu to her husband, Emil, who was left to carry out chores on their sheep ranch.

DeKelver’s Centennial trek was planned as an homage to the Overlanders, a group of some 115 settlers, all men but for one woman and her three children, who traveled from Ontario to the British Columbia Interior in 1862. After arriving in Fort Garry (present-day Winnipeg), the Overlanders hauled Red River carts to Fort Edmonton, where they traded the carts for pack horses. A returning party of gold miners from the Cariboo fields encouraged them to follow the Yellowhead Pass through the mountains. Native guides were hired to lead them through the treacherous passage.

The story of the Overlanders was well known in the North Thompson region of British Columbia. DeKelver wished to honour them and promote the Yellowhead Route while celebrating Canada’s 1967 Centennial. An overland trek of her own seemed the way to do so.

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Popular Spokane-area hiking trails expanded, improved

Posted by on May 29, 2017 @ 9:13 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Popular Spokane-area hiking trails expanded, improved

Hikers and mountain bikers are out for a pleasant surprise when they make their next visit to some of the Spokane, Washington area’s most popular trail systems.

Agencies and growing stable of trained volunteers have been quietly chipping away in recent years at improving old trails and building new ones on county, state and federal areas.

The results are impressive at destinations such as Riverside State Park, Spokane County conservation areas and Fishtrap Lake, all of which are currently green and bright with blooming wildflowers. Many of the new trails are ripe for exploring right now.

The 15 conservation areas acquired and protected so far by the Spokane County Conservation Futures Program since 1994 are providing hikers, mountain bikers and, in most cases, equestrians with extraordinary “backyard” trail opportunities.

The trails are a work in progress. The most extensive trail work in recent years has been at Iller Creek Unit of the Dishman Hills Conservancy in Spokane Valley, said Paul Knowles, county parks planner who’s overseen huge recent improvements in trails and trailheads.

But even at Iller Creek, despite efforts to design the trails for sustainability, the effects of a record year of precipitation has taken a toll this spring with some major erosion issues on trails near the creek.

“Whatever we do with trails is temporary,” said Holly Weiler, Washington Trails Association East Side project coordinator. “Mother Nature allows some jobs to last longer than others.”

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New book explores family-friendly hiking in Maine

Posted by on May 28, 2017 @ 12:01 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

New book explores family-friendly hiking in Maine

Where should you hike with the kids next? That’s the question a new hiking guide by Bangor Daily News outdoors columnist Aislinn Sarnacki seeks to answer. The recently released book “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine” features 35 easy hikes from across the state.

And if anyone knows hiking here in Maine, it’s Sarnacki. She estimates she’s hiked 250 trails in Maine since she began writing her popular weekly column “1-Minute Hikes,” 5½ years ago.

The 35 hikes featured in the book allow Mainers to improve their own mental and physical health while exploring the beauty of Maine.

“I know not everybody has a backyard and forest of their own, but that’s why these trails are so cool, is that you can get them out on public lands,” Sarnacki said.

Each book chapter begins with a general information section explaining difficulty, dog accessibility, cost, seasonal accessibility, wheelchair accessibility, hunting, restrooms, GPS coordinates and directions to get there.

Sarnacki’s photos of the plants, birds, animals and insects that inhabit the trail help illustrate the hiking experiences. She also recounts her personal experiences with the trails, including hiking with her husband, her dog Oreo and her niece Willamina, 5, who thinks her “Auntie AZ” owns all the forests.

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A Guide to Hiking SoCal’s San Gabriel Valley

Posted by on May 28, 2017 @ 6:55 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A Guide to Hiking SoCal’s San Gabriel Valley

In Southern California, you just can’t beat the mountain ranges.

Whether you’ve got your eye on the peaks in the Santa Monica Mountains, the Santa Susanas, the San Bernardinos, the Sierras, the Verdugos or the San Gabriels … the Simi Hills or the San Rafael Hills … or the Temblor Range or the Coso Range (just to name a few) … these are some of the best (and the highest) ones to summit.

But sometimes you don’t want the undertaking of climbing a mountain. Sure — climb every mountain, as they say. But you don’t have to only climb mountains. Because sometimes, a nice hill will do just fine.

And so, enter the great valleys of Southern California, which straddle the line between urbanity and wilderness — easier to get to, quicker to conquer, and with all their own unique habitats, species and histories to explore.

The San Fernando Valley (north of the Santa Monica Mountains) may hold the honor of being THE Valley, but in SoCal, there is more than one great valley — and if you head just 15 miles east of downtown L.A., you will discover the canyons and rolling hills of the San Gabriel Valley, just south of the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

Here are five great places to explore on foot in the San Gabriel Valley that aren’t too far afield, yet have plenty of fodder for your sense of adventure.

 

Best hikes of the Columbia River Gorge

Posted by on May 27, 2017 @ 6:36 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Best hikes of the Columbia River Gorge

Hiking season is underway in the Columbia River Gorge.

While occasionally spectacular during the depths of winter, it’s the spring months of April, May and June when the Gorge reaches its scenic peak.

Blooms of wildflowers, roaring waterfalls, panoramic viewpoints and mossy forest combine to offer singular hiking experiences up and down the national scenic area.

To get you prepared for the season, here is a list of the 13 best overall hikes the Gorge has to offer, in consultation with the Friends of the Columbia River Gorge.

As ever, it’s important to remember that hiking during the week or early in the morning is highly recommended. The Gorge becomes as crowded as shopping malls in many places on weekend afternoons.

Most importantly, leave no trace.

The hikes are broken down by the west and east sides. The east side, highlighted by incredible displays of wildflowers, offers the best early-season hiking. The west side is closer to the Willamette Valley and home to huge waterfalls and mossy forest.

 

1,100 miles: Discovering Florida’s hidden trail

Posted by on May 26, 2017 @ 12:24 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

1,100 miles: Discovering Florida’s hidden trail

There’s a dirt trail that starts on the fringe of the Everglades and stretches the length of Florida. It’s a footpath, really, that runs under swamps and over roots, along rivers, and through the barren, still remains of wildfires.

Dozens of hikers head to the trail’s start every year, a small plaque engraved in stone behind a visitor’s center on U.S. 41 halfway between Naples and Miami. Few of them make it to the end, to the northern terminus 1,100 miles away, among the faded brick ruins of a long abandoned military fort off Pensacola Beach.

The trail avoids the coasts, for the most part. To walk all of it is to walk deep into the wild heart of Florida, deeper into an obsession.

Gretchen Matt came from Spokane to hike it. She had already hiked longer, steeper trails. She finished the Appalachian Trail, which runs 2,190 miles from Georgia to Maine, and the Pacific Crest Trail, 2,659 miles from Mexico to Canada.

But it’s the Florida Trail that had been on her mind since college in St. Petersburg. It’s the Florida Trail that a prominent hiker she knows tried to tackle this year, quitting after just the first week.

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Memorial Day Weekend Kicks Off Vermont’s Hiking Season

Posted by on May 26, 2017 @ 7:17 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Memorial Day Weekend Kicks Off Vermont’s Hiking Season

The holiday weekend is traditionally the start of the hiking season in Vermont. Hiking is one of the state’s top summer tourism draws and the Green Mountain Club (GMC) estimates 200,000 people visit The Long Trail each year. The official protectors and maintainers of the Long Trail, the 107-year-old Green Mountain Club is the premier Vermont hiking organization with numerous hiking guides and maps available to Vermonters and visitors alike.

From its rocky summits to its gentle valleys, Vermont is home to hundreds of miles of hiking opportunities. This is a great time of year to get outside and enjoy a favorite hike or explore some place new. Higher elevations may still have snow and muddy conditions, so please be prepared walk through puddles to avoid damaging the surrounding vegetation.

The GMC offers a few tips for early season hikers:

· Plan ahead and let someone know where you will be hiking.
· Bring a warm extra layer as mountain tops are chilly year-round and Vermont’s weather can quickly change.
· Stay hydrated and bring food for long hikes.
· Bring raingear; even an emergency poncho or garbage bag will help in a pinch.
· Carry out what you carry in and help protect Vermont’s special places.

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