Hiking News

Congress passes bill to improve trail maintenance and preservation

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 @ 2:16 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Congress passes bill to improve trail maintenance and preservation

Congress sent a bill to President Obama that would improve access to America’s National Forests through better trail maintenance and preservation.

The National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act would make better use of existing resources within the Forest Service to significantly increase the role of volunteers and partners in maintaining the usability and sustainability of the National Forest’s trail system.

The Forest Service currently maintains only one-quarter of the 158,000 miles of National Forest trails that offer hiking, horseback riding, hunting, mountain bicycling, motorized vehicles, and other outdoor activities. The act would expand the number of trails that could be maintained by requiring a national strategy to maximize the use of volunteers and partners while addressing liability concerns that restrict outside groups and individuals working on the trails.

The bill also directs a study on utilizing fire crews for maintenance work during off-seasons and a study on permits for outfitters and guides to offset some fees through work on trail maintenance.

From hikers to bikers, outdoor enthusiasts across the country utilize 158,000 miles of National Forest System trails every day for exercise, relaxation, and exploration. Though public use remains high, close to two-thirds of these trails don’t receive any maintenance whatsoever because our Forest Service simply lacks the resources to keep up.

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Missouri’s Huckleberry Ridge offers ‘knock-the-cobs-out’ hiking

Posted by on Nov 27, 2016 @ 8:37 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Huckleberry Ridge Conservation Area along Route K, 5 miles east of Pineville, Missouri, offers get-the-blood-pumping hiking up rocky ridges, down steep hollows, along dry creek beds and over fallen trees. It’s an area of dense forest with only vague trail markers, where you must keep your sense of direction and your wits. Occasionally, a compass comes in handy.

The 2,106-acre area — the first large forested tract purchased by the Missouri Department of Conservation in Southwest Missouri — has more than 17 miles of trails for hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers and hunters. All-terrain vehicles are forbidden.

There are seven designated primitive camping areas, all alongside open wildlife food plots, with a few accessible from Route K. Some have hitching rails to accommodate groups of horseback riders, the most avid trekkers of Huckleberry.

This is hiking, horseback riding or mountain biking just for the sake of it with no scenic destination, no majestic overlook or a waterfall spilling over magnificent bluffs.

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Hiking the metal mountains of Scott Mountain Crest

Posted by on Nov 26, 2016 @ 7:35 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The lovely forested peaks of the Scott Mountain Crest in Siskiyou County, California, are most frequently enjoyed from two vantage points — the popular Kangaroo Lake Campground on the north side of the crest, and from the Pacific Crest Trail on the south side of the mountainous ridge.

Both of these viewpoints offer ample scenery, and with a little effort one can enjoy broad views of vast old-growth forests, wide valleys, towering Mount Shasta and the shimmering diamond of Thompson Glacier far off to the west in the Trinity Alps Wilderness.

If you can tear yourself away from the majestic and sweeping vistas, the Scott Mountain Crest offers a slew of subtle forest delights. The serpentine and peridotite rock formations that give the mountains their unique orange hue are among the oldest geological features in the Klamath Mountains. The high nickel content and low nitrogen levels in these soils mean that only hardy plants that have evolved to fill that particular ecological niche are going to survive in these metal mountains.

Botanical oddities thrive in the rugged Scott Mountain Crest. The orange rock gardens support a variety of interesting plants, including a number of buckwheats and penstemons. The meadows and savannahs boast a profusion of wildflowers — many quite rare — and the conifer forests include a strange mix of pines, with a few ancient cedars thrown in for good measure. It is an ecological stew that is both beautiful and strange.

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Volunteers key to making Appalachian Trail a success

Posted by on Nov 25, 2016 @ 11:57 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Volunteers key to making Appalachian Trail a success

The millions of people who enjoy the Appalachian Trail each year might not realize just what it takes to make its incredible recreational opportunities available to them.

Though it features countless wonders of nature, the trail itself did not come about naturally. It took years of effort to achieve its completion, and in the nearly 80 years since then, it’s required even more work to keep it in the proper condition for people to enjoy it.

The National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service have a management role, but a significant portion of the work on the 2,200-mile trail from Maine to Georgia is done by volunteers.

According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, which oversees these efforts, more than 6,000 volunteers contribute more than 250,000 hours each year to keep the trail available for all to use. That includes basic maintenance as well as major projects such as building bridges and shelters. And that’s not to mention the emergency personnel in towns near the trail who are often called upon to assist in some seriously challenging situations.

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Hoosier National Forest mules retire

Posted by on Nov 25, 2016 @ 6:51 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Two of the Hoosier National Forest’s hardest-working employees, Ruth and Jack, are retiring after a combined 40 years of service. Ruth and Jack are mules, two of the team of four mules that assist Indiana’s Hoosier NF in maintaining trails in the Charles C. Deam Wilderness. Without the ability to use vehicles or power tools in wilderness areas, the team of mules are able to haul gravel, move logs, pull plows and graders, and make work in the Wilderness interesting and fun.

Wilderness Ranger Rod Fahl admits losing two of his co-workers is hard, “They’re a part of my team. They never complain and they’ve given me their best effort every day I’ve asked them to work.”

Fahl said both mules are nearing 30 years old. Ruth is a large half-Percheron mule who is beginning to have some health issues. “She is powerful enough to pull a plow through roots or rocks. She is amazingly strong but gentle and has a sweet disposition,” said Fahl. Ruth had served the longest on the mule team and is easily recognized by her size and dark color.

Jack who is the oldest mule on the team, is the alpha mule in the group and Rod said, “Jack’s versatile skills and experience will make him hard to replace. He’s just a solid worker who always seems to enjoy going to work every morning.”

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Black Friday Hiking At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Posted by on Nov 23, 2016 @ 11:49 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Black Friday Hiking At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers are suggesting you take a break from spending on Black Friday and take a hike with them instead.

The hikes will be offered near Smokemont Campground and Sugarlands Visitor Center and provide an outstanding opportunity for people of all ages to #OptOutside and enjoy the park, a park release said.

“The Thanksgiving holiday weekend offers a perfect opportunity for people to build memories with friends and family along a trail,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “Take some time to enjoy the serenity of these special mountains to recharge on your own or to reconnect with your loved ones.”

The park has more than 800 miles of trails to explore throughout the year, with every season offering its own special rewards. During late fall and winter, the absence of deciduous leaves opens new vistas revealing stone walls, chimneys, and foundations. These reminders of past communities allow hikers to discover a glimpse of history along park trails.

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A Modern Day Threat to the AT: The Proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline

Posted by on Nov 23, 2016 @ 7:20 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a proposed high pressure natural gas pipeline that would run from Wetzel county, West Virginia to a processing station in Pittsylvania County, Virginia spanning 301 miles of public and private land. Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC has been contracted to do this work for various energy companies including EQT Midstream Partners, NextEra US Gas Assets, WGL Midstream, and Vega Midstream MVP.

The company has the power (issued by the federal government) to use eminent domain to allow construction on both private and public land. The pipeline has not been officially approved just yet with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) having the last say in the approval process. However, this decision is scheduled to happen early in 2017.

This area of southwestern Virginia is the home of the iconic “Triple Crown” of Virginia – Dragon’s Tooth, McAfee’s Knob and Tinker Cliffs – all of which are significant overlooks on the Appalachian Trail. This is a place rich in resources, Appalachian settlers history, and an area through which thousands of hikers pass each year.

The Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club estimates that over 76,000 hikers and backpackers hike McAfee’s Knob annually. If approved, this pipeline has the potential to forever scar over 100 miles of land on or within sight of the Appalachian Trail where it would run over Peters Mountain and cross the AT.

The proposed pipeline crossing also fails to meet numerous criteria in the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s 2015 Policy on pipeline crossings. So far, Mountain Valley Pipeline has disregarded the recommendations from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) with regard to the least damaging route across this unique national park. MVP’s lack of respectful cooperation is unprecedented in the history of the ATC.

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Continuing wild family hiking experiences on Vermont’s Long Trail

Posted by on Nov 20, 2016 @ 12:53 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Continuing wild family hiking experiences on Vermont’s Long Trail

Backpacking into the wild may seem an odd way to spend your vacation. Rehydrating food, rationing toilet paper and sleeping with a T-shirt over your head to ward off mice isn’t exactly the stuff of dreams. But, in a sense, it is exactly what we need to re-energize and break from the anxiety, stress and overstimulation of our modern work life.

It is the chance to focus deeply on our surroundings, immerse ourselves in the songs of the woods and walk away from cares and sorrows. And it is a chance to celebrate the American wilderness and those who had the foresight to preserve these areas for us to enjoy.

The Long Trail was conceived and built between 1910 and 1930 and was the model for the much-longer Appalachian Trail, which overlaps it for 100 miles. The Long Trail varies from easy strolls along pine needle-covered knolls to rock scrambles, ravines and ledges.

But the biggest challenges are the numerous steep downhills where you haved to scoot down long ledges and use tree branches to stop from sliding. There are rustic, comfortable shelters beside water sources that dot the trail every 8 miles or so, and tenting is allowed along the trail in most areas.

Some of the shelters are breathtaking historic log cabins or stone shelters. On the trail, there is a feeling of connection to the many people who hiked or cut trail here long ago.

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Hiking to the birthplace of the Rogue

Posted by on Nov 19, 2016 @ 9:39 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Boundary Springs, the headwaters of the Rogue, is where the river begins its 215-mile rumble to the Pacific Ocean. On its way west, it passes through a series of Oregon’s Jackson County communities — Union Creek, Prospect, Trail, Shady Cove, Gold Hill and Rogue River — before slicing past Grants Pass, Galice, Agness and Gold Beach. The river’s flow increases from tributaries, including Ranger Springs in the Sky Lakes Wilderness, along with Bear Creek and the Applegate and Illinois rivers.

But the Rogue begins at Boundary Springs, just within the northeastern section of Crater Lake National Park. The Rogue’s waters don’t spring from Crater Lake. According to geologists, Boundary Springs is fed by snowmelt that seeps into a labyrinth of underground lava fields that collect and eventually exit from the main and smaller springs.

The Rogue doesn’t begin as a trickle, but as a true tumbling river. Zane Grey, the Western author whose books included the “Riders of the Purple Sage” and “Rogue River Feud,” reportedly described the Rogue as “a river at its birth.”

The hike to the Rogue’s birth place begins from the deceptively named Mount Mazama Viewpoint between mileposts 18 and 19 along Highway 230. There are no views of Mazama, the mountain that-was. It was Mazama that literally blew its top about 7,700 years ago and created Crater Lake.

Helpfully, one interpretive sign shows how Mazama’s explosion compares with other eruptions while a second explains how the volcanic upheaval would have “vaporized” anyone seeing the event from the viewpoint.

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Appalachian Trail issues emergency closures

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 @ 11:07 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Nearly 40 miles of the Appalachian Trail are now closed from Dicks Creek Gap/U.S. 76 in Georgia (mile 69.9) to the Nantahala River/U.S. 19/U.S. 74 in North Carolina (mile 137.1), according to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, due to the wildfires burning throughout these areas.

Thru-hikers are asked to respect the closures for ​your own safety as well as the safety of firefighters and rescue personnel. If you have started a thru-hike and have been detoured off the trail, you can still be considered thru-hikers and can apply for 2,000-miler status.

Smoke is severely affecting air quality in the Southern region of the trail, which stretches some 2,180 miles from Mountain Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia.

Smoke from numerous fires is affecting air quality in areas of Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia. Many areas may be unhealthy for those with heart and lung diseases, children, or the elderly.

Campfire bans are in effect along the entire AT in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and most of Virginia. Campfires should not be built at shelters, campsites, or any locations along the entire AT corridor. To reduce the risk of wildfires, hikers should also refrain from smoking or lighting fires of any kind while wildfire danger is high.

Due to extremely dry conditions, high fire danger, and little chance of rain in the immediate forecast, campfire ​bans are in place until further notice.

Cite…

 

Fire burns in Tellico Plains area; Trail of Tears a concern

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 @ 6:36 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A fire in the Tellico Plains, TN area near Cherohala Skyway is threatening structures as well as a part of the historic Trail of Tears, said Nathan Waters, assistant district forester with the state Division of Forestry.

Terry McDonald with the U.S. Forest Service said the fire was reported around 2 a.m. and was covering 30 acres but would likely grow before it is contained. It was threatening four structures and one business.

An employee at the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center said the fire was near the Cherohala Skyway Harley Davidson store. The store is on the outskirts of Tellico Plains on the skyway just as it heads into the Cherokee National Forest.

The historic Trail of Tears, on which Cherokee Indian tribes were forced to march for relocation in Oklahoma, goes through Tellico Plains. “Most of it (the fire area) is federal land,” Waters said. “But we really have to watch our (break) lines.”

Lines are used to cut off fires and keep them from spreading. The lines are usually cut with bulldozers, and using those on a historic site would be an issue.

“The Trail of Tears runs a half-mile corridor on that side (of the mountains),” McDonald said. “The fire has burned in that area, but we won’t use ‘dozers on the Trail of Tears. Right now we are just trying to contain the fire.”

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The High Risk Financing Behind the Dakota Access Pipeline

Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 @ 11:44 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The High Risk Financing Behind the Dakota Access Pipeline

Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has sparked considerable public controversy, bringing national attention to issues that include tribal sovereignty and risks to drinking water.

Less publicized are the project’s financial weaknesses, and the fact that DAPL may represent a substantial overbuilding of the Bakken region’s oil-transport infrastructure.

DAPL faces a looming financial deadline. The pipeline’s principal backer, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), has conceded in court proceedings that it has a contractual obligation to complete the project by January 1, 2017. If it misses this deadline, companies that have committed long-term to ship oil through the pipeline at 2014 prices have the right to rescind those commitments—and may well exercise that right.

ETP will most likely miss this deadline. The company recently informed investors that it would take from 90 to 120 days to complete the pipeline after it receives its necessary easement from the Army Corps of Engineers to cross the Missouri River, which would push completion of the pipeline well past Jan. 1.

The broader economic context for the project has changed radically since ETP first proposed it, in 2014. Global oil prices began to collapse just a few months after shippers committed to using DAPL, and market forecasters do not expect prices to regain 2014 levels for at least a decade. As a result, production in the Bakken Shale oil field has fallen for nearly two consecutive years, creating major financial hardships for drillers.

Because the economic prospects for Bakken oil producers have dimmed dramatically since early 2014, oil shippers—in the interest of protecting their investors and shareholders—may attempt to renegotiate terms when ETP misses its Jan. 1 deadline, seeking concessions on contracted volumes, prices, or contract duration.

Moreover, if oil prices remain low, as projected, Bakken oil production will continue to decline, and existing pipeline and refinery capacity in the Bakken will be more than adequate to handle the region’s oil production. If production continues to fall, DAPL could well become a stranded asset—one that was rushed to completion largely to protectfavorable contract terms negotiated in 2014.

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Hiking 500 Miles in the Smokies

Posted by on Nov 15, 2016 @ 11:29 am in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Hiking, Hiking News, Inspiration, North Carolina, Tennessee | 0 comments

Hiking 500 Miles in the Smokies

The first time I went to Great Smoky Mountains National Park more than 15 years ago I knew it was someplace special. But it took me nearly 10 more years before I ever set foot on one of her trails. Work kept me busy and I had different recreational interests, but when I got serious about hiking around 2008, you couldn’t hold me back. Most of my early hikes were closer to home in Pisgah National Forest, but when I made my first Smokies hike, climbing the iconic Mt. LeConte on the Alum Cave Trail, I was hooked. I’ve been at it ever since.

 

Reward Yourself

 

Sometime in early 2014 I learned about the “Hike the Smokies” Challenge, a means of rewarding yourself by doing what you enjoy most. If you sometimes need a little motivation to get out and feel the Smokies, perhaps this will help. It did for me. I set a goal of obtaining one of the 500 Mile Pins. I had no idea how long it might take me… 10 years? 5 years? It didn’t matter. I was going to do it.

I started out at a fairly good pace, hiking 120 miles in calendar year 2014, and in so doing achieved the 100 mile pin. This amounted to about 10 miles per month on average. Some months I did more, while others, particularly in winter, I slacked off. Still, a positive accomplishment for my first year. After all, day hiking in the Smokies is a great way to get the exercise I need while also discovering the abundant beauty of the Southern Appalachians.

Hiking is an inexpensive activity with numerous health and recreational benefits. For me, basically the only expenses were a good backpack and keeping shoes on my feet, plus the gas to get there and back.

Having received the 100 Mile Pin the first year, I thought I could step it up a bit and reach the requirement for the 250 mile pin in 2015. I started looking for longer trails to not only stretch more into the heart of the national park, but to also stretch my own boundaries. 7-milers became 12-milers. Four hour hikes became six, or seven. All told in 2015 I added 160 more miles to my total, now up to 280. The 250 Mile Pin was mine.

 

My pins and the ranger confirmations of my achievements.

My pins and the ranger confirmations of my achievements.

 

In recent years I have come to enjoy winter hiking more and more. One thing that meant is I could keep working on my 500 mile goal year round. As the calendar rolled into 2016 I wondered if I could do 220 more miles and reach my objective before the end of the year. It would mean more frequent trips to the Smokies. Perhaps I could combine hiking with my volunteer job for the national park at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center at Purchase Knob.

Well, it’s been a busy year. I have taken nearly three dozen distinct hikes in the Smokies in 2016, many of them along the Cataloochee Divide and in Cataloochee Valley. On November 14th of this year I passed 500 miles while on the trail to Chasteen Creek Cascade, and on the way back out of the park I stopped at Oconaluftee Visitor Center to pick up my 500 Mile Pin from Ranger Florie.

There were no brass bands playing, no fighter jets flying overhead. But Florie and I knew the accomplishment, and we shared a great big smile. As I walked outside to my car with pin in hand, I was beaming.

When I started this quest I had no idea I could accomplish my goal in just three short years. Over these years I have learned to love the Smokies even more, and learned how precious are her mountains, forests, and waterways. I have still only scratched the surface on everything she provides for all of us. So look for me out on the trails in the future. I’ll still be counting the miles.

 

How Can You Participate in the Hike the Smokies Challenge?

 

First, you obviously have to decide this is something you want to do. Duh! Next, pick up one of the Hike the Smokies diary books. Pocket-sized booklets to record mileage are available for $1.00 at the park’s four visitor centers (Sugarlands, Oconaluftee, Clingmans Dome & Cades Cove). Then, just start hiking and recording your mileage in your diary booklet.

When you have hiked 100 miles, 250 miles, and 500 miles, bring your mileage record to one of the park’s visitor centers to receive a free mileage pin and to be authenticated by one of the park’s rangers in your “Hike the Smokies” diary. It’s that simple.

There is even a program for the whole family. When your family has hiked 10 miles, 25 miles, 40 miles, and 50 miles, bring your mileage records to one of the visitor centers to receive mileage stickers. It’s great to get out there with the ones you love most.

Learn more about the “Hike the Smokies” Challenge here. What are you waiting for? Discover where that next trail goes. After all, they belong to every last one of us. It’s time to go “Hike the Smokies!”

 

This post was created by Jeff Clark. Please feel free to use the sharing icons below, or add your thoughts to the comments. Pack it in, pack it out. Preserve the past. Respect other hikers. Let nature prevail. Leave no trace.

 

County in Washington approves trail plan for new 8,844-acre Lake Whatcom parkland

Posted by on Nov 12, 2016 @ 6:05 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Building the first 27 miles of proposed trails in new Whatcom County parkland that straddles Lake Whatcom will cost about $2.3 million. That’s one of the details in the recreational trail plan for the parkland, which was created by the transfer of 8,844 acres of forest land around Lake Whatcom from the state to the county in 2014.

The County Council approved the plan, which will guide park development in the coming years. The plan proposes an eventual 98 miles of trails, which will include an existing 10 miles of county parks trails.

Full buildout will cost an estimated $7.4 million, is expected to take years and will depend on the availability of money and assistance from recreation groups – much like what’s been seen with trail development in parkland in the Chuckanuts.

The trail plan is for what’s now being called Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve and Lake Whatcom Park. The names are working titles to delineate separate parcels of the transferred acres, which are adjacent to the preserve and park.

The goal of the transfer was to balance nonmotorized recreation – hiking, running, mountain biking and horseback riding – and protecting water quality in Lake Whatcom by preventing development. The lake is the drinking water source for nearly 100,000 residents of Bellingham and Whatcom County.

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Hualapai Mountain Park a great destination for hiking, cycling, picnicking and even camping

Posted by on Nov 11, 2016 @ 6:45 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hualapai Mountain Park a great destination for hiking, cycling, picnicking and even camping

Hualapai Mountain Park is a 2,300-acre preserve located just outside of Kingman, Ariz. Often overlooked in favor of larger and better-known parks, it is a gem hidden in the pines with elevations ranging from 4,984 feet to 8,417 feet at Hualapai Peak.

The park is named for the native Hualapai Indians. Their name comes from the landscape, meaning “Pine Tree Folk” or “People of the Tall Pines.” The park is home to four main vegetation zones. As one moves to higher elevations, chaparral gives way to pine and oak, and at the higher elevations, fir and aspen.

The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including some unexpected ones such as bear, elk and gray foxes. There are also common mammals such as mule deer, rock squirrels, raccoons and chipmunks. Birds you might see include ladderback, hairy and acorn woodpeckers, red-shafted flickers, western bluebirds and pinyon.

There are 10 miles of trails in the park, all suitable for hikers, but some are multi-use and good for horses or mountain bikes. The park has a wonderfully detailed map of the trails available at the entrance station, showing which ones can be used by whom.

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Global Hiking Gear and Equipment Market to Grow 2.53% by 2020

Posted by on Nov 10, 2016 @ 9:43 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The rise in value-added and innovative adventure sports products is an important emerging trend, which is expected to have a positive impact on market growth between now and 2020. To cater to the varied needs of consumers, vendors today are introducing innovative product offerings in terms of design, color, shape, and weight.

The competition among key players is intense, and it becomes necessary for these manufacturers to constantly improve their product offerings in order to maintain their position in the market. For instance, manufacturers have started reinventing the insulation used in tents.

According to the report, one of the key drivers for market growth will be government initiatives to promote outdoor activities. In many countries, the government is introducing initiatives to promote various outdoor activities, which can boost the growth of the hiking gear and equipment market during the forecast period.

A diverse range of hiking equipment such as hiking apparel, hiking shoes, sleeping bags, tents, and backpacks are used for activities like camping, hiking, and climbing. The hiking equipment available in the market vary in size, insulation, design, material, temperature rating, and other parameters. Countries like the US and Australia are witnessing a rise in the number of hikers since past few years. In the US, the number of hikers has risen from 33.06 million hikers in 2011 to 38.67 million hikers in 2015.

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Rapa Nui Is Remote. And Then There’s Its Isolated North Coast

Posted by on Nov 9, 2016 @ 11:29 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

“It’s like time travel, how the island looked decades ago before the restorations began.” That’s how the guide, Beno Atan, described this trek through a vast stretch of basketball-size lava rocks on the isolated north coast of Rapa Nui, or Easter Island as it was named by a Dutch navigator who sailed there on Easter Sunday 1722.

Just a few minutes into an eight-and-a-half-mile hike that takes you along a primordially rugged coastline, there already is a sense of deep isolation and separateness from the rest of the island.

You’re trekking under the shadow of the island’s highest peak, Maunga Terevaka, a 1,600-foot extinct volcano in a section of Rapa Nui National Park, a collection of protected areas that together make up a Unesco World Heritage site.

It’s an uninhabited, roadless and raw landscape that, Beno said, is essentially an open-air museum, filled with ancient structures and relics dating to the arrival of the first Polynesian navigators 1,700 years ago.

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