Hiking News

Hikers, check out these new trails in Fountain Hills, Arizona

Posted by on Jan 9, 2019 @ 9:02 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hikers, check out these new trails in Fountain Hills, Arizona

With the restroom plumbing and water lines nearly complete and the access road mostly paved, the new Adero Canyon Trailhead in the Fountain Hills McDowell Mountain Preserve officially opened Nov. 17, 2018.

After decades of planning and construction, the roughly 1,000-acre preserve now occupies a mountainous sliver of space between manicured golf communities and the hiking hubs of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

The mini but mighty preserve in the far northwest corner of Fountain Hills, Arizona really packs a punch in terms of varied hiking opportunities. The preserve has more than 11 miles of non-motorized trails that range in difficulty from very easy to extremely challenging.

Perhaps the most tantalizing hiker gravy of the trail complex is its connectivity. Although most of the preserve’s routes are contained within its borders, the Sonoran, Andrew-Kinsey and Dixie Mine trails cross into the adjacent park and preserve. These property-spanning paths offer seamless foot travel among the popular northeast Valley hiking hubs.

Although each of the preserve’s trails has its own character, they all capitalize on their advantageous location overlooking the Salt and Verde river basin. Scenic vistas come in the form of both low-hanging fruit and hard-won jewels.

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Hiking the Hayduke: Welcome to the Wild, Wild (South)West

Posted by on Jan 6, 2019 @ 10:24 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking the Hayduke: Welcome to the Wild, Wild (South)West

The idea of the Hayduke Trail (HDT) was conceived in 1998 and is in fact not a trail at all, but an 800-ish mile route. It was designed by two adventurers who wanted to showcase the rugged, unspoiled beauty of the American Southwest by exploring the many national parks on the Colorado Plateau in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona, as well as the seldom seen but equally beautiful land that exists between them.

This route stitches together existing trails, jeep track, and the natural land formations. There are no blazes, no purist mentality, and for the most part no established path. The route’s namesake, George Hayduke III, is a fictional character in a novel by American author Edward Abbey who was a fierce advocate for, and lover of the Southwest, and the freedom inherent in true wilderness.

It is in this spirit that the trail often becomes a choose-your-own adventure, encouraging hikers to find and take alternates to make the experience their own. Currently, only about three dozen hikers per year hike the Hayduke, so potential hikers must be content with some serious alone time or recruit a hiking partner if they wish for company beyond the red rocks and stars.

The HDT is not intended for novices, but for those seeking an honest challenge in an alien landscape; where canyons and wind-worn slickrock serve as a playground, amid a backdrop of innumerable towering natural arches and spires, and a rim to rim traverse of the Grand Canyon is the icing on the cake.

Learn more here…

 

Five Ways to Make the Outdoors More Inclusive

Posted by on Jan 4, 2019 @ 6:40 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, Henry X. Finney came home to Virginia to sort out his future. He didn’t know what he would do, or how he would support his young family—until one day he saw a uniformed park ranger. Instantly, the next chapter of his life unfurled before him. He would be a ranger, and spend his career in the outdoors.

“He said, ‘Great, a government job, let me go apply,’” recalled Carolyn Finney, his daughter and the author of Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors. “This was in the 1950s in Virginia, and they told him, ‘Sorry, we don’t hire Negroes.’”

Finney recently shared this anecdote in a room full of prominent outdoors experts and advocates, who had gathered for a brainstorm session in New York City to discuss the lack of diversity in the outdoors. “I can’t imagine how he felt hearing that after fighting for his country,” she added. But her father’s tale only partly explains the issue, which is a thorny and multifaceted one.

According to the most recent National Parks Service survey, about 78 percent of those who visit federal parks are white. Meanwhile, African Americans, Latinos, women, and members of the LGBTQ community often report feeling unwelcome or unsafe in outdoor spaces. Moreover, the outdoors industry workforce—which includes everyone from park rangers to retail sales associates—has minimal representation from these groups.

At the New York brainstorm session, panelists worked through these problem areas and discussed possible solutions. Here are the main ideas and action steps that emerged from the meeting, and from subsequent conversations with outdoors experts from around the U.S.

 

This Is What Happens to Your Body on a Thru-Hike

Posted by on Jan 3, 2019 @ 6:41 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

This Is What Happens to Your Body on a Thru-Hike

The secret to ultimate fitness isn’t all that complicated—just spend a month outside, hiking eight hours per day. Kyle Boelte breaks down how his body evolved into an efficient, fat-burning, testosterone-fueled machine over 29 days on the Colorado Trail.

This summer, my wife and I hiked the Colorado Trail, a 486-mile, high-altitude trek from Denver to Durango. While it’s a challenging hike (only about 150 people complete the trail each year), the Colorado Trail Foundation says many hikers finish in four to six weeks.

The hike ended up taking us 29 days, though two of those were zeros, as they’re called—rest days spent resupplying in town. That’s an average of 18 miles a day for the 27 days we hiked. Short days tended to be around 15 miles, which took us eight to ten hours, but we sometimes hiked as many as 25 miles in a day.

I was curious to know what hiking every day for a month would do to my body. Before we headed to Colorado, I weighed myself at home, monitored my pulse for several weeks with a Polar watch, had my doctor run blood tests, and completed a metabolic efficiency test to see how my body was utilizing fat and carbohydrates for fuel during exercise. When I got home from the hike, I ran the tests again. The differences in the results were pretty striking.

Basically, I had walked myself into a super-fit athlete’s body.

See the test results here…

 

A Year Stronger: Appalachian Trail Successes in 2018

Posted by on Dec 31, 2018 @ 12:05 pm in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

A Year Stronger: Appalachian Trail Successes in 2018

2018 was a big year for the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Despite several major weather events and three partial government shutdowns, 2018 was filled with multiple Trail milestones and the long-awaited completion of several ongoing projects. Thanks to the hard work of conservancy staff, volunteers, members, communities and supporters of the A.T., the Trail will enter 2019 ready for another year of adventure and inspiration. Here’s a look at just some of the things you helped make possible throughout 2018:

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy collaborated with partners to add nearly 28,000 acres of open space surrounding the Appalachian Trail, including nearly 3,000 acres of scenic forestland in southwestern Virginia in coordination with the Virginia Department of Forestry and more than 200 prime hillside acres in Dutchess County, New York.

The ATC completed numerous special Trail projects — repairing and rerouting the Trail, felling hazardous trees, and improving overnight sites. Several of these have been multi-year endeavors, including a Trail relocation on Sinking Creek Mountain in central Virginia — this project alone took 3 years, 136 volunteers and 4,477 hours of hard work to accomplish.

The final step was placed on the Trail at Bear Mountain in New York, a multi-year project placing a whopping 1,298 stone steps for an exceptional redesign and rebuild one of the most popular locations on the entire A.T.

See dozens more…

 

It’s Time for First Day Hikes Once Again

Posted by on Dec 31, 2018 @ 9:24 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

It’s Time for First Day Hikes Once Again

What better way to kick off the New Year than by getting a jump start burning off those extra holiday calories in the great outdoors?

On New Year’s Day, America’s State Parks have all 50 states offering free, guided First Day Hike Programs. These hikes provide a means for individuals and families to welcome the coming year in the outdoors, exercising and connecting with nature.

Last year nearly 55,000 people rang in the New Year, collectively hiking over 133,000 miles throughout the country on the guided hikes. Numerous others hiked state park trails throughout the day.

The guided First Day Hikes are led by knowledgeable state park staff and volunteers. The distance and rigor vary from park to park, but all hikes aim to create a fun experience for the whole family.People are invited to savor the beauty of the state park’s natural resources with the comfort of an experienced guide so they may be inspired to take advantage of these local treasures throughout the year.

Begin the New Year right. Make a #resolutiontohike and connect with the outdoors with Arizona State Parks.

There are fun activities for all, including hikes, tours, boat rides and even s’mores! Remember to wear the appropriate shoes, bring plenty of water, a camera and your sense of adventure!

The schedule of events is here…

 

Winter hiking offers a new perspective

Posted by on Dec 28, 2018 @ 8:58 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Winter hiking offers a new perspective

There are plenty of reasons to embrace hiking in the colder months — among them the fact that there are no biting insects buzzing around, and the heat and humidity of summer are gone. A completely unscientific poll of other hikers yielded three top reasons for hitting the trail in winter: solitude, smoother trekking, and fantastic views.

“When it isn’t windy, it’s silent. Real silence is truly a wonderful experience.”

Adding to the solitude aspect is the fact that there are far fewer hikers on even the most popular trails in the winter. You’ll rarely see more than a scant handful of other hikers during winter outings, even when exploring the most popular spots.

There are, however, usually just enough winter enthusiasts that the trails — at least for more well-known hikes — are tracked out. Snow does a great job of smoothing out the landscape, and if a few hikers have gone the way you’re headed before you hit the trail, it becomes easy trekking compared to summertime, as all those roots and boulders hikers must scramble over and around during the warmer seasons are covered up, creating a more uniform walking surface.

And while winter offers what may seem a stark landscape, the views from hiking trails — and their eventual destination, whether waterfall or mountain summit — expand during this season. With no foliage on the trees, the panorama is wider, even from lower elevations. Ice clings to rock faces. And if you’re lucky enough to be above treeline or at an overlook below on a blue-bird winter day, the mountain vista is usually crystal clear.

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Explorer completes historic Antarctic trek

Posted by on Dec 27, 2018 @ 6:35 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Explorer completes historic Antarctic trek

American Colin O’Brady has completed the first-ever solo, unsupported, unaided crossing of Antarctica. According to his website, which has been tracking his GPS signal since he departed November 3, 2018, he has arrived at the Ross Ice Shelf on the Pacific Ocean.

Using solely his own muscle power, O’Brady skied 932 miles pulling a 300-pound sled over 54 frigid days across the coldest, windiest, most remote continent on Earth, crossing from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean via the South Pole. After a remarkable 80-mile continuous push over the last two days, almost five times his strenuous daily average, he emerged from the TransAntarctic Mountains onto the Ross Ice Shelf a little before 1 p.m. EST, December 26 and stamped his name into the annals of polar lore.

In the final week of this long and perilous journey, O’Brady and Louis Rudd, 49, the British Army captain attempting the same feat, had battled life-threatening wind chills and whiteout conditions. With their thinning bodies shrinking from the effort—Rudd estimates he’s lost five inches off his already trim waist—they charged for 13 hours a day into a frozen, swirling world of white. Visibility was often so bad they could not see the ground in front of them.

It was near the TransAntarctic Mountains that Rudd’s friend Henry Worsley, who nearly completed the same quest in 2017, was flown out on an emergency rescue and later perished. “I thought about Henry a lot today…I’m carrying Henry’s flag, his family crest flag, that Joanna has very kindly lent me, that he carried on all his journeys, and it’s really important to me that, this time, the flag goes all the way, and completes the journey right to the end.”

And now it has.

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Hiking is for everyone, but not everyone feels welcome to hike

Posted by on Dec 26, 2018 @ 9:00 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking is for everyone, but not everyone feels welcome to hike

Sirena Rana Dufault has hiked Mount Lemmon, outside Tucson, more times than she can say. But she still has a sense of wonder, noticing little things, including a dust-colored lizard skittering past. Dufault, 44, appears at home here, in a pine forest, on a trail.

“I want other people to experience this,” she said. “And I want other people to feel like they’re welcome to experience this.”

But she knows not everyone does, for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes it’s about physical ability. Sometimes it’s about transportation. And sometimes it’s about the color of your skin.

“If you just see people who don’t look like you, it just feels different,” Dufault said.

As the daughter of a father from India and mother from Italy, Dufault gets it. She has hiked the entire 800-mile Arizona Trail – twice – and said the farther you get into the backcountry, the fewer hikers of color you see.

“It’s just that feeling like, like an otherness,” she said. And that can be intimidating and limiting.

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Alberta photographer takes shelter dogs on hikes to help them find forever homes

Posted by on Dec 25, 2018 @ 7:00 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Alberta photographer takes shelter dogs on hikes to help them find forever homes

An Alberta, Canada photographer is taking shelter dogs on adventures to show off their personalities and help them find loving families that are a good fit.

Rachael Rodgers, of Canmore, has worked with seven or eight local shelters over the past year to photograph around 80 dogs. She’s tried to take out at least one dog every week and sometimes more.

“My goal with doing this is to show their character so they have a better match to a home,” she said.

“Some dogs are old and they’d love to just go for a small walk a day, and some dogs you know have so much energy and they’d like to go out hiking with someone everyday. And I think it’s so important to match that lifestyle.”

On a typical photography day, she wakes up at 5 a.m. and takes her dogs for a walk, before heading out to a Calgary or Cochrane shelter to pick up a dog — often an older one, or one that hasn’t gotten much attention.

She’ll then head out to a picturesque location, like Lake Louise or Yoho, depending on how long the dog can be out for, and spends the day taking pictures of them doing the things they would do with owners if they were adopted — like going on a hike, or for a picnic.

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Volunteer group earns national recognition for trail sign project, other accomplishments

Posted by on Dec 24, 2018 @ 9:26 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Volunteer group earns national recognition for trail sign project, other accomplishments

Placing a trail sign may sound like a simple endeavor, but there’s more to it than might be expected.

While the cheapest signs might only cost $50, larger ones can be several hundred and a big sign the group bought for the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest cost $1,500. Shipping, posts and theft-resistant hardware also ran up the costs.

Signs posted on federal lands must adhere to a slew of regulations, and those regulations are different depending on whether the land in question is a wilderness area, national forest, national park or something else. For wilderness areas, especially, the rules are strict. Signs must be five-sided, made of natural materials like wood and may only point out directions — they can’t give mileages.

“We all agreed the easiest thing would be for the Forest Service to order the signs and us to just pay the bill,” said Evans.

But, before a sign could be ordered, they had to know what should be on it. This required hiking out to every trail junction that needed a sign — to scope out the area, determine where the sign should go and figure out which ways the arrows would need to point in order for the directions to be correct. Then the sign would have to be designed and ordered, and then installed during a separate wilderness trek. No motorized travel is allowed in wilderness areas, so rolling out on a mountain bike or ATV is not an option.

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Sun City resident is an Arizona Trail yo-yo

Posted by on Dec 23, 2018 @ 7:18 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Sun City resident is an Arizona Trail yo-yo

Sun City resident Art Huseonica got into the record books Dec. 12, 2018 when he completed a second leg of hiking the 800-mile Arizona Trail.

The feat made him the oldest person to yo-yo hike the trail, meaning he has made the trek from south to north, then again from north to south. At 67, he is the oldest hiker to complete the 1,600-mile journey. Only two other hikers completed the round trip adventure, both in their 20s, according to Mr. Huseonica.

After overcoming the challenges of extreme weather and uncertain water sources, Mr. Huseonica completed the last two miles of his 1,600-mile adventure in the company of four friends, including officials from the Arizona Trail Association.

“I thought the second leg of my extreme hike might be in jeopardy,” said Mr. Huseonica. “The heavy rains at the Utah border forced me to wade through running washes to get to the tailhead.” This resulted in a five-mile hike that is normally done in a vehicle.

The trek for Mr. Huseonica ended southwest of Sierra Vista where a monument marks the Arizona border with Mexico. He got an interesting welcome, as seven U.S. Border Patrol agents congratulated him on his feat as they patrolled the border fence.

Cite…

 

Crews make improvements to section of Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail

Posted by on Dec 21, 2018 @ 9:44 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Crews make improvements to section of Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail

Just in time for your New Year’s resolution to spend more time outside, a section of Tennessee’s Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail in Williamson and Maury counties has received some needed restoration.

Twenty-five miles of the Highland Rim section of the trail, roughly from mile marker 405 to mile marker 430, just north of Garrison Creek, were improved by the Southeast Conservation Corps, based out of Chattanooga, this past fall.

The work was funded through a partnership between the National Park Foundation and granola bar company Nature Valley for the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement. The partnership provides money to restore access to trails throughout the National Park System.

Nature Valley’s support includes a three-year commitment and $3 million donated to various national parks. The Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail received $50,000 for improvements.

Crews removed downed trees from the trail, cut back brush and vegetation, remarked the trail, fixed existing erosion issues and installed water bars across the trail surface to prevent future erosion, according to Lisa McInnis, chief of resource management with Natchez Trace Parkway.

Cite…

 

Hikers, bikers, riders, get good news for Santa Susana Mountains trail network

Posted by on Dec 19, 2018 @ 12:25 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hikers, bikers, riders, get good news for Santa Susana Mountains trail network

Another step in a plan to add miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails throughout the Santa Susana Mountains in unincorporated northwest Los Angeles County has moved forward after years in the works.

Phase II of the Santa Susana Mountains Trails Master Plan was unanimously approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

It adds 58 miles of trails to the existing 10-mile network abutting the Santa Clara River to the north, the city of Santa Clarita and Interstate 5 to the east, the Santa Susana Mountains to the south and the Newhall Ranch Specific Plan to the west.

Phase II completes master-planning efforts starting at the county line in Chatsworth, through Porter Ranch, over the hill into the Santa Clarita Valley and up to the Lake Castaic area near the Angeles and Los Padres National forests by 2035 through a web of connecting trails.

The master plan offers a framework for connecting various user groups and populations and is geared to support a growing population in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys.

While it brings more hiking trails to the Santa Susana Mountains, which pleases cyclists’ advocates, trail advocates remain on alert that bikers will be able to get to the trailhead on safe roads.

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Quoting ‘The Lorax,’ court tosses permit for pipeline to cross Appalachian Trail

Posted by on Dec 17, 2018 @ 9:01 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Quoting ‘The Lorax,’ court tosses permit for pipeline to cross Appalachian Trail

  A permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross two national forests, including parts of the Appalachian Trail, was thrown out Thursday by a federal appeals court that harshly criticized regulators for approving the proposal.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond blasted the U.S. Forest Service for granting a special-use permit to build the natural gas pipeline through parts of the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests, and granting a right of way across the Appalachian Trail.

“A thorough review of the record leads to the necessary conclusion that the Forest Service abdicated its responsibility to preserve national forest resources,” Judge Stephanie Thacker wrote for the panel in the unanimous ruling.

The court said the agency had “serious environmental concerns” about the project that were “suddenly, and mysteriously, assuaged in time to meet a private pipeline company’s deadlines.”

The ruling also quoted “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss, saying the Forest Service is trusted to “speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.”

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Hiking Providence Canyon State Park, Georgia’s ‘Little Grand Canyon’

Posted by on Dec 16, 2018 @ 6:33 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking Providence Canyon State Park, Georgia’s ‘Little Grand Canyon’

Reminiscent of a southwestern US landscape, Providence Canyon State Park’s colorful, sculpted canyon walls carve deep through a sandy, stream-filled landscape near Columbus, Georgia. Soft-bedded, sandy hiking trails wind and weave through vibrantly-colored carved canyons, exploring an ever-evolving landscape of loose sandstone and trickling water.

The park’s unusually sculpted, serpentine canyon walls have earned its nickname as Georgia’s ‘Little Grand Canyon’ – and though the Arizona giant dwarfs these canyons, this hike is a unique adventure unlike any other in Georgia. Undoubtedly, this is one of the most unique of Georgia’s State Parks, and one of the three canyons in Georgia that are undeniably hike-worthy.

The park offers over 10 miles of fantastic hiking trails, including the white-blazed Canyon Loop Trail that treks the canyon’s floor and rim, and the red-blazed backcountry backpacking trail. This hike on the white-blazed Canyon Loop offers outstanding views of the sculpted sandstone canyon walls from above, and up-close views within the depths of the canyon. The trail winds through vibrant orange, white, pink and deep purple sandstone walls in nine numbered canyons before circling the rim. It’s a moderate hike, but majorly scenic and ultra-photogenic.

The hike follows stream beds on the canyon floor, a nearly-continuous flow of water and sand between the canyon walls. Grain by grain, sand has flowed away from the canyon’s walls, creating the spectacular rock formations and pinnacles that tower nearly vertically over the trail. Each canyon is unique, carved by water and exposing dramatic, flowing shapes of sandstone carved by continuously moving water.

Read full report…

 

How Stone Stacking Wreaks Havoc on National Parks

Posted by on Dec 14, 2018 @ 7:16 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How Stone Stacking Wreaks Havoc on National Parks

The stacks look like small shrines to mountain solitude, carefully balanced at the edge of a precipice. But when Zion National Park posted the photo, in September, the social-media coördinators for the park included a plea: “Please, enjoy the park but leave rocks and all natural objects in place.” The post noted the “curious but destructive practice” of building small stone towers, and said, “stacking up stones is simply vandalism.”

The balancing of stones is an elementary kind of creation, not unlike the building of sand castles. Stone stacks, or cairns, have prehistoric origins. They marked Neolithic burial grounds in what is now Scotland, guided nautical travels in Scandinavia, and served as shrines to the Inca goddess Pachamama in Peru. Contemporary stone stackers, then, are taking up the mantle of an ancient and artistic tradition. In the past decade or so, though, there has been an explosion of cairns around the world—in national parks, in the Scottish Highlands, on the beaches of Aruba. Park rangers, environmentalists, and hikers have all become alarmed, to varying degrees. The movement of so many stones can cause erosion, damage animal ecosystems, disrupt river flow, and confuse hikers, who depend on sanctioned cairns for navigation in places without clear trails.

The posts found within the #RockStacks and #StoneStacking hashtags on Instagram range from amateurish (a couple of stones against the backdrop of the ocean) to seriously impressive (round stones balanced improbably, or a sharp rock standing on end atop a pebble). It is common for multiple stacks to appear in a single picture; they look like chimneys or gravestones or maybe the ruins of a lost civilization. Inspired by social-media posts, new rock stackers are taking up the hobby, and the piles of stones are proliferating along with the pictures of them. After all, replication is not only a side effect of social media; it’s part of the point.

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It’s Nearly Time for First Day Hikes Once Again

Posted by on Dec 11, 2018 @ 8:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

It’s Nearly Time for First Day Hikes Once Again

What better way to kick off the New Year than by getting a jump start burning off those extra holiday calories in the great outdoors?

On New Year’s Day, America’s State Parks have all 50 states offering free, guided First Day Hike Programs. These hikes provide a means for individuals and families to welcome the coming year in the outdoors, exercising and connecting with nature.

Last year nearly 55,000 people rang in the New Year, collectively hiking over 133,000 miles throughout the country on the guided hikes. Numerous others hiked state park trails throughout the day.

The guided First Day Hikes are led by knowledgeable state park staff and volunteers. The distance and rigor vary from park to park, but all hikes aim to create a fun experience for the whole family.People are invited to savor the beauty of the state park’s natural resources with the comfort of an experienced guide so they may be inspired to take advantage of these local treasures throughout the year.

Begin the New Year right. Make a #resolutiontohike and connect with the outdoors with Tennessee State Parks.

From Reelfoot Lake to Fall Creek Falls to Warriors’ Path and every state park in between, Tennessee First Day Hikes are designed for all ages and abilities and are offered at all times of day. Start a New Year tradition with your family today.

The schedule of events is here…

 

On 50th anniversary of Pacific Crest Trail, volunteers have opportunity to make their mark

Posted by on Dec 10, 2018 @ 9:56 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

On 50th anniversary of Pacific Crest Trail, volunteers have opportunity to make their mark

For the last 50 years, the Pacific Crest Trail has been a testament to the natural beauty of the western United States.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the trail, the Bakersfield, CA office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management will host a friendly “work weekend” at a portion of the trail near Ridgecrest to allow the public to help maintain the path in that area.

“This is a special occasion that we want to mark,” said Brie Chartier, an outdoor recreation planner at the Bureau of Land Management.

While working in the dirt may not sound like an ideal way to spend the weekend to some couch potatoes, event organizers hope to attract a disparate group of nature lovers to the trail.

“We want to make sure that everybody is aware of the opportunities we have here for recreation,” Chartier said.

The event will take place from Dec. 13-16, 2018. Work crews will operate out of a base camp located at the Walker Pass Campground along Highway 178.

The High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew organization, a nonprofit that operates out of Fresno, will provide tools and safety equipment for the volunteers, who will be tasked with maintaining seven miles of trail near the campground.

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Popular Lost Valley hiking area near Buffalo River closing for major makeover

Posted by on Dec 8, 2018 @ 9:54 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Popular Lost Valley hiking area near Buffalo River closing for major makeover

One of the Buffalo National River’s most popular hiking destinations will be closed for 10 weeks for a major makeover.

The Lost Valley day-use area and trail near Ponca, Arkansas, will be closed beginning Dec. 10, with an expected reopening in late February.

According to the National Park Service, Lost Valley draws about 77,000 visitors a year but has suffered trail damage and washouts from repeated heavy rain events.

The 10-week-long improvement project that will relocate a portion of Lost Valley Road, parking area, and trailhead out of the immediate flood zone of Clark Creek.

The $1.1 million project seeks to provide safe vehicular access to the Lost Valley Trailhead while minimizing environmental impacts to Clark Creek, the Buffalo River, and surrounding areas.

The Lost Valley area features a heavily used hiking trail, picnic area, amphitheater, pavilion, and restrooms.

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