Hiking News

U.S. agency considers more visitors to The Wave along Utah-Arizona border

Posted by on May 9, 2019 @ 9:08 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

U.S. agency considers more visitors to The Wave along Utah-Arizona border

The Bureau of Land Management is weighing increasing its daily visitor limits from 20 to 96 people a day at The Wave, a popular rock formation near the Utah-Arizona border.

A 6-mile round trip hike through tall sandstone buttes and sage brush is required to get to the Wave, a wide, sloping basin of searing reds, oranges and yellows in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.

The agency is asking for public comment and changes could be implemented as soon as October, 2019, an agency official said.

Applications to hike The Wave have drastically increased over the past five years as the trail’s colorful, contoured landscape becomes increasingly well-known.

Visitors compete for permits in a monthly online lottery and at daily walk-in drawings at the Kanab visitor center in southern Utah. Less than 5% of the 150,000 people who wanted to hike the trail last year were actually able to do it, according to federal data.

The limit is designed to protect the delicate sandstone environment and create a peaceful solitude, the spokesman said.

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Trillium Gap Trail Rehabilitation Begins May 13, 2019 at Smokies Park

Posted by on May 9, 2019 @ 7:21 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Trillium Gap Trail Rehabilitation Begins May 13, 2019 at Smokies Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that a 2-year trail rehabilitation project will begin next week on Trillium Gap Trail. Due to the construction process on the narrow trail, a full closure is necessary for the safety of both the crew and visitors. The trail and associated parking lot along Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail will be closed May 13 through November 15, 2019 on Monday mornings at 7:00 am. through Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m. weekly. The trail will be fully open each week on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and on federal holidays.

Trillium Gap Trail is one of the busiest trails in the park as it provides access to the popular Grotto Falls and the summit of Mt. LeConte. There will not be any access to Grotto Falls during the weekday closures. Hikers can still reach Mt. LeConte, LeConte Lodge, and the LeConte Shelter by using one of the other four trails to the summit including the recently restored Rainbow Falls and Alum Cave Trails.

“We recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Trails Forever partnership with the Friends of the Smokies and I couldn’t be more proud of the amazing work accomplished by our crews, youth interns, and volunteers in transforming trails across the park,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “While we hate to disappoint hikers with weekday closures, the results are well worth the inconvenience and allow us the opportunity to continue to protect these special places for generations to come.”

The trail crew will focus rehabilitation efforts on several targeted locations along the entire length of the trail stretching from the Rainbow Falls Trail parking area to the summit of Mt. LeConte. The work will improve overall trail safety and protect natural resources by improving the tread surface, reducing trail braiding, and improving drainage to prevent further erosion. There are several areas along the trail where erosion and small landslides have damaged significant sections, making the trail difficult to follow. In addition to the work on Trillium Gap Trail, trail crews will perform critical trail work across the park as part of the Trails Forever program including rehabilitation along Deep Creek Trail, Rough Fork Trail, Smokemont Trail, and Noah Bud Ogle Trail.

Trails Forever is a partnership program between Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Friends of the Smokies. The Friends have donated over $1,500,000 to support the program. The Trails Forever program provides the opportunity for highly skilled trail crew members to focus reconstruction efforts on high use and high priority trails in the park including Rainbow Falls, Alum Cave, Chimney Tops, and Forney Ridge trails. The program also provides a mechanism for volunteers and interns to work alongside the trail crew on these complex trail projects to assist in making lasting improvements to preserve the trails for future generations.

Volunteer work days for the Trails Forever program are held every Wednesday, May through August. Prior registration is required. Please contact Trails and Facilities Volunteer Coordinator Adam Monroe at 828-497-1949 or adam_monroe@nps.gov for more details and to register.

 

Hiking Can Seriously Improve Your Mental Health

Posted by on May 8, 2019 @ 7:18 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking Can Seriously Improve Your Mental Health

Too often when we weigh the benefits of exercise, we tend to focus on the aesthetic. There’s a persistent pressure to exercise to look “good”—to whittle ourselves down to a smaller size and to shape our bodies in a way that pleases someone else. Not only can that mindset be detrimental to our physical health by encouraging destructive habits, but it also takes our attention away from a far superior benefit of exercising: the betterment of our mental health.

Fortunately, the tides are starting to shift (albeit slowly), and more people are beginning to use exercise to improve their mental health—not just as a means to a fitter end. And one of the best workouts for your mental health, as it turns out, is hiking.

If you’ve read anything about the benefits of exercise, there’s a good chance you’ve come across the word “endorphins.” Yes, those are released through exercising, but there is so much more to unpack when it comes to the positive impact exercise has on our brains.

“Exercise is probably the most underutilized antidepressant,” says Ellen Vora, M.D., a holistic psychiatrist. “It’s been shown in large clinical trials to be just as effective as antidepressants (if not more), and it has benefits like improved sleep, focus, cardiovascular health, and life span.”

There’s also a long list of mental health conditions that exercise can help mitigate, Vora adds, including depression, anxiety, insomnia, ADHD, stress, and bipolar disorder—all of which affect millions of people every year.

Any sort of exercise will, in theory, improve the state of your mental health and make you feel better. But if you can combine the benefits of exercise with the benefits of nature—like going for a hike—that’s when the true healing happens.

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Norway’s ‘Home of the Giants’ Is for You, Too

Posted by on May 4, 2019 @ 9:10 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Norway’s ‘Home of the Giants’ Is for You, Too

The Besseggen ridge juts from the earth as a curved spine of sharp, dark-gray stone and carves its way between two blue lakes in Jotunheimen, one of Norway’s many spectacular, wild national parks.

“Jotunheimen” translates as “home of the giants,” and everything here is oversize, including the lakes. They are separated only by a narrow slice of the ridge yet have very distinct colors: Gjende is a long sweep of aquamarine; Bessvatnet is a dark royal blue.

Besseggen, a worthy destination for its otherworldly beauty alone, is also immortalized in national lore. Norway’s tourism board claims that Thor, the ill-tempered Norse warrior king, forged it by slamming his hammer into the earth.

Henrik Ibsen, the country’s most celebrated playwright, described the ridge at length in his fantastical “Peer Gynt”: “Nigh on four miles long it stretches sharp before you like a scythe,” exalts the main character riding a reindeer over it.

Every summer, tens of thousands of tourists walk the length of Besseggen. For all its popularity, the eight-hour walk is strenuous, even mildly dangerous: You may pass limping hikers with bloodied knees and twisted ankles. Even summer can be cold here, and as the sun drains from the sky, so does the color from the frigid stragglers’ faces.

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This Gorgeous New 186-mile Trail Takes Hikers Through the Best of the Alps

Posted by on May 2, 2019 @ 9:25 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

This Gorgeous New 186-mile Trail Takes Hikers Through the Best of the Alps

While there are trails you can hit around the world to immerse yourself in nature, hiking in the Alps is about to become an ultimate destination.

The country of Slovenia has opened the 186-mile Julian Alps Hiking Trail, just in time for your warm-weather getaway. The new long-distance trail takes you through alpine valleys, pastures, local towns, and small villages in Slovenia. This massive trail is the latest addition to Slovenia’s 700-plus trails that you can take around the country.

Starting in Rateče, a small town on the Italian border, the trail is divided into 16 sections of about 10 miles each. Some of the most notable sites include the Julian Alps Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO MAB) and Triglav National Park. Even though you’re in the Alps, there are still plenty of small towns to stop in for overnight accommodations or even just a place to rest or eat.

While you’re hiking along the trail, there are plenty of opportunities to discover Slovenian culture, including local myths, craftwork, and delicacies.

Hikers will also be able to access Wi-Fi along the trail and every section is marked by a railway or bus stop, for added safety.

Cite…

 

For hikers, Yosemite National Park rewards originality

Posted by on May 1, 2019 @ 8:45 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

For hikers, Yosemite National Park rewards originality

If Yosemite Valley bisects the park, the Mariposa Grove takes you on a steep jog to the south and east. Not far (which, in Yosemite, is a relative term) from Mariposa is Glacier Point, which wins the distinction of being the easiest of the Easy Day Hikes in “Best Easy Day Hikes: Yosemite National Park.” A short jog from there is Sheldon Dome, which lands squarely in the middle of the two dozen easy hikes.

There is a brand-spanking-new Visitor Center at Mariposa Grove. The area had been closed for several years while renovations were done, including the creation of this spot, where cars are parked and shuttle buses boarded to limit the pollution that could damage the mammoth and ancient specimens. The grove is spectacular, and a newly added boardwalk makes it easy for young and old to navigate a small portion of the site.

There is something profound about nothing more than the gentle crunch of pine needles under your feet, the abandon to ponder the monogamy of anthropomorphized trees, to smell — despite the remnants of fire — the unbridled freshness of air into which trees are breathing life. And to be, less than a mile from the shuttle stop, so surprisingly alone in this sacred place.

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South Korea opens hiking trails on world’s most heavily armed border

Posted by on Apr 30, 2019 @ 9:08 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Travelers looking to experience the abundance of wildlife that’s thriving on the Korean Peninsula’s Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) – oft described as the world’s most heavily armed border – have a new option to consider.

The United Nations Command (UNC) has approved phase one of South Korea’s “Peace Trail” project, which includes plans to open three routes along the DMZ.

The first approved trail is located in Goseong, in Gangwaon Province on the east side of the Korean Peninsula. Visitors begin their hike at the Unification Observatory and trek past barbed-wire fences before arriving at the Mount Kumgang Observatory.

The DMZ is a 160-mile-long no-man’s land about 30 miles north of Seoul that was established in the 1953 Korean War Armistice Agreement. For over six decades, this 250-kilometer long, four kilometer-wide area has been closed off from human interference, barred with fences and landmines all across the region.

Thanks to the restrictions, the area became an unintended refuge for all sorts of endangered species, from migratory birds to wild mammals, such as red-crowned cranes, white-naped cranes, mandarin ducks, musk deer, mountain goats and more. There are even reports of critically endangered Amur leopard sightings inside the DMZ.

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Man and his blind dog complete thru-hike of Florida Trail

Posted by on Apr 28, 2019 @ 7:59 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Man and his blind dog complete thru-hike of Florida Trail

While Kyle Rohrig’s little canine hiking companion, Katana, recently lost her eyesight, she has kept her spirit of adventure.

The pooch is a Shiba Inu, a Japanese breed of hunting dog. Glaucoma caused her to lose one of her eyes at age 5 and her other eye shortly after she turned 8 late last year.

In earlier years, Katana had joined her owner for long-distance treks on paths such as the Appalachian Trail, on which she was able to walk more than 30 miles per day on her own.

Her total blindness came about two months before Rohrig’s planned hike on the Florida National Scenic Trail, which stretches more than 1,100 miles between Big Cypress National Preserve by Miami and Fort Pickens near Pensacola.

“On this hike, with her recently becoming completely blind, I was really nervous about how she would do,” said Rohrig, 29. “I was worried she would be miserable and I would be miserable, but she rose to the occasion and did a lot better than I thought she would.

“She was happy playing on the trail and she would take the lead sometimes. I don’t know how, but she would stay down the center of the trail. It was really emotional for me to see how well she did in her current circumstances.”

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Eight colorful hikes to celebrate National Wildflower Week

Posted by on Apr 26, 2019 @ 8:54 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Eight colorful hikes to celebrate National Wildflower Week

Warmer mornings and longer evenings are telltale signs that spring is in the air, bringing with it an array of colorful explosions, as wildflowers cover hillsides and prairies with bright blooms.

The first full week of May is set aside as National Wildflower Week, the official recognition of our country’s floral bounty. Sure, you could admire the blossoms from a distance, but why not celebrate by lacing up your hiking boots and getting right into the thick of things?

You’ll find hikes of varying lengths and on differing terrains — but all follow trails rich with wildflowers during peak viewing season. Just be sure to adhere to “Leave No Trace” principals.

In addition to returning with everything you brought in, that means staying on the trail at all times and not picking or trampling any flowers.

Use the hashtag #NoFlowersWereHarmed when posting to social media to encourage others to follow those guidelines as well.

See the beautiful trails…

 

How to backpack Arizona’s eerie Superstition Wilderness

Posted by on Apr 23, 2019 @ 8:11 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How to backpack Arizona’s eerie Superstition Wilderness

Arizona is home to some serious scenery: the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon. While those are far from any major city, just an hour from Phoenix sits an untouched swath of pristine Sonoran Desert. The Superstition Wilderness, with its eerie red spires and lanky saguaro cacti, offers equally stunning vistas, is full of wildlife, and has miles of trails to explore.

Pristine Sonoran Desert habitat is getting harder to find in Phoenix. But within easy reach of the country’s sixth-largest city lie the Superstition Mountains. They’re populated by ring-tailed cats; coyotes; javelinas, which look like little wild boars; and even mountain lions.

Originally designated as a federally protected wilderness in 1939, the area covers more than 160,000 acres. At its heart, the Superstition Wilderness holds the gutted core of an extinct volcano, which thrust dramatic rust-colored pinnacles into the sky. Canyons and mountain slopes are dotted with iconic saguaro cacti, some hundreds of years old.

The human history here is storied, too. There’s a legend about a lost gold mine that still intrigues treasure seekers today, and there are “superstitions” about hikers regularly disappearing here. Apache lore even holds that the mountains cradle the entrance to hell. As long as you don’t really get lost, just appreciate the mystique these stories lend to the place. Enjoy the dark skies as you stargaze from your campsite, and appreciate a quiet that’s hard to find in a sprawling urban area.

Learn more here…

 

101 things to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Posted by on Apr 22, 2019 @ 7:20 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

101 things to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most-visited national park in the country for a good reason: there are countless things to do spread across two states and thousands of acres. But sometimes it can be difficult to pick just one thing to do in the park. Other times you may find yourself in a rut doing the same thing over and over. So here is a list of 101 things to do in the Smokies to give you a little inspiration, a lot of suggestions, and maybe help you create your next adventure.

Here are a few to get you started:

1. Visit the Cable Mill at Cades Cove
2. Watch a Black Bear in a Tree
3. Visit the Look Rock Observation Tower
4. Stop by the Clingman’s Dome Visitor Center
5. Bring Your Own Horses to a Horse Campground
6. Spend a Weekend at an Off the Beaten Path Campground
7. Tour Inside the Historic Buildings
8. Look for Wild Turkeys in the Park
9. Visit Mingus Mill
10. Go Tubing at Deep Creek

and here is the complete list…

 

Hiking through history: Little Cataloochee offers a window to the past

Posted by on Apr 20, 2019 @ 8:38 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking through history: Little Cataloochee offers a window to the past

One hundred years ago, the parking area and campground just past the fields in Cataloochee Valley where elk often hang out was better known as Nellie, a remote community in what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

As anybody who’s ever driven the steep and narrow access road from Jonathan Creek can imagine, it was hard to get in and hard to get out in the days when horsepower came mainly from actual horses. People didn’t have much, partly because of how difficult it was to transport outside goods up and over the ridge.

When settlement began in the 1830s, Robert Love, a big landowner in Haywood County, held all the land in Cataloochee. The Cherokee had a presence too, using the land as hunting grounds but not erecting permanent settlements there. Love sold the land to families who wanted to move in, acting as a mortgage holder by allowing them to pay in installments over a period of as many as 20 years. People came, and eventually they outgrew the valley.

When the settlers at Nellie found themselves in need of new land, they looked over the Davidson Divide, to an area known as Little Cataloochee.

If Big Cataloochee, where Nellie was located, was remote, Little Cataloochee was doubly so. Davidson Gap sits 2.6 miles past and about 1,200 feet higher than the parking area, accessed only after some steep uphills and multiple creek crossings.

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Hiker’s Handbook: Best U.S. Hiking Cities

Posted by on Apr 19, 2019 @ 9:22 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Most of us will never have the time for a 6-month thru hike, but a good day hike can be as refreshing as a week in the backcountry. And if you know where to look, trails abound—even near a concrete jungle. Here are some of the best U.S. cities for getting that backcountry fix in easy-access doses.

Portland

Smack in the middle of town, Forest Park, Portland’s 5,200-acre urban wilderness, is laced with 80 miles of hiking trails. An hour’s drive to the south, in Silver Falls State Park, the 7.8-mile Trail of Ten Falls hosts ten waterfalls that trickle down steep canyon walls. Elk Meadows Loop, in Mount Hood National Forest, offers alpine flavor.

Denver

For most people, the capital of Colorado is all about getting some altitude, and the nearby trails don’t disappoint. Mount Bierstadt, one of Colorado’s most accessible fourteeners, and the famed alpine of Rocky Mountain National Park, are both within two hours of downtown.

Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital doesn’t have a reputation as an outdoor town. A quick jaunt into centrally located Rock Creek Park—a 1,754-acre hardwood forest crisscrossed by 32 miles of hiking trails—is enough to change most people’s minds. Check out the Rock Creek Ramble, a creek-side stroll through a section of the park that was frequented by President Theodore Roosevelt.

Los Angeles

Look at a map of L.A. and you’ll discover that the city is surrounded by green, and that means great hiking. The 6.1-mile Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak, in the Santa Monica Mountains, offers a little elevation and big views of the surrounding mountains and coastline.

Cite…

 

Time’s running out to hike this amazing hot springs trail near Las Vegas

Posted by on Apr 16, 2019 @ 7:33 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Time’s running out to hike this amazing hot springs trail near Las Vegas

Las Vegas visitors who like a challenge will find rejuvenating hot springs, spectacular vistas and, right now, abundant wildflowers on an arduous hiking trail along the banks of the Colorado River that’s about an hour’s drive east of the Strip. Go now if you want to catch spring because the trail closes in mid-May and doesn’t reopen until September.

The Gold Strike Hot Springs Trail near Hoover Dam is a challenging 6-mile out-and-back route that descends nearly 1,500 feet through steep and narrow crevasses. Rated as “difficult” on hiking websites, the trail has fixed ropes in places to help skilled hikers navigate the passages.

Even though thousands of people visit Hoover Dam each day, few are aware of the nearby hiking trail that leads intrepid, experienced hikers to the river. Climbers may need to use rope. Allow three to four hours of hiking time each way.

The scenery is stunning. Red and gold wildflowers are picture-perfect in spring, as are the canyon walls, on which colorful algae flourish. (They are a byproduct of the hot spring water that flows over the rock.) Hikers may even spot some of the nimble-footed bighorn sheep that make climbing look easy.

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Hiking to the Summit of Bulgaria’s Belogradchik Fortress

Posted by on Apr 15, 2019 @ 10:28 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking to the Summit of Bulgaria’s Belogradchik Fortress

One of Bulgaria’s most interesting historical monuments is the Belogradchik Fortress. It’s located on the slopes of the Balkan Mountains, and the area’s phenomenal rock formations serve not only as natural protection but also as an integral part of the fortification itself.

It’s believed that these ancient rock formations were formed over a period of more than 200 million years, and they’ve now become unique obelisks, reddish sandstone castles, and oversized stone figures that soar high into the sky.

A fortress has existed here since Roman times, and it was originally built so that the highest part, known as the Citadel, used these gigantic rock formations for natural protection. To complete the fortress, thick fortified walls were added on a couple of sides, blending in with the rocks themselves. The walls are over 6.6 feet thick and rise 39 feet in height. The rocks, of course, extend much higher.

The ancient Roman fortress was later expanded by the Byzantines, Bulgarians, and Turks, and several towers, gates, and walls were added. Its present appearance dates back to the 19th century, when it was added to by the Turks. Now it’s the area’s most popular tourist attraction.

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Who is responsible for Hong Kong’s disappearing trails?

Posted by on Apr 14, 2019 @ 8:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Who is responsible for Hong Kong’s disappearing trails?

Hong Kong is dense with trails criss-crossing the territory. There are the major ones, like the MacLehose, Wilson, Hong Kong, and Lantau trails, then the minor ones and their tributaries.

What we may be less aware of is that many unofficially designated trails are at risk of disappearing for good. For centuries, residents of the territory have inscribed their marks onto its topography by walking the land over and over again.

As the city developed, trails took shape when construction teams erected pylons for overhead cables and built cable car systems up Lantau and at Ocean Park. But development also spelled the demise of some trails.

“Our problem is that most trails have never been designated and as a result there is no reinstatement obligation,” said Paul Zimmerman, the Southern district councilor and also the co-founder and CEO of Designing Hong Kong.

Without official status the Civil Engineering and Development Department is not actually required to ensure that the trails are reopened after work.

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Next Level Trails in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Posted by on Apr 13, 2019 @ 8:38 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Next Level Trails in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee, may have the coolest backyard ever. Less than 10 miles from the city center, Mountain Creek Park will offer the community an urban recreation experience with 8 to 12 miles of natural surface trails for beginner to expert mountain bike riding, exceptional bouldering, and hiking trails for scenic exploration. With 800 feet of vertical drop and swarms of gnarly rock formations, the park will also provide some serious stoke with the first advanced downhill-style trails in the Chattanooga region.

Mountain Creek Park is the brainchild of six recreation and conservation groups, including the North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy (NCCC) and the Southern Off Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) Chattanooga, the IMBA Local mountain bike organization. Their collaboration demonstrates the power of cooperation and imagination.

“Chattanooga is a progressive, multidisciplinary recreation community of mountain bikers, climbers, hikers, and paddlers—one of the outdoor hubs of the southeast,” says Kevin Smith, president of SORBA Chattanooga. “We already have 100 miles of singletrack, and our ridership wanted some new advanced, downhill, gravity trails. It was a little daunting. We didn’t know if we could get such an ambitious venture done. But we worked with land managers, addressed the liability issues, and checked out what has been done in some nearby communities. Now with IMBA’s help in creating these advanced trails, Mountain Creek Park is going to be the crown jewel of Chattanooga outdoor recreation.”

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An Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker On The Need To Protect Our Wild Spaces

Posted by on Apr 11, 2019 @ 8:05 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

An Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker On The Need To Protect Our Wild Spaces

This year on her birthday, Carolyn Burman decided to do a solo hike in one of her favorite state parks in Connecticut. She has magical memories of that trek. She grew up hiking it — her mother even went into labor with her while walking the path. She looked forward to a peaceful, reflective experience in nature. Instead, she found something else.

“There was so much garbage in the park,” 26-year-old Burman says. “Plastic seltzer bottles in the stream that floats by the trail, a Dunkin’ Donuts cup…. I go out on this joyful hike on my birthday, and all I see is trash.”

“I thought, ‘Oh, this is a sign. This is a reminder,’” she says. “I think we all can get really careless with waste. I felt like it was a sign from whatever power, ‘Hey. Remember? You gotta pick this up. You have to care more.’”

Now that Burman herself is a day-hiker again, she’s grown even more fierce about caring for trails. Hiking, she believes, is a spiritual practice, and part of that practice is keeping nature pure, doing her part to make things better. She works with trail upkeep groups like Keep Nature Wild to support this mission.

“Anyone can be an ambassador for them if you just go out into your local community and you clean up,” she says. “What you learn after the trail is that success is much less about the claim to fame and more about the slow and steady process.”

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The Adirondacks: Hiking America’s Original Wilderness

Posted by on Apr 9, 2019 @ 10:19 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Adirondacks: Hiking America’s Original Wilderness

Many are those who say the Adirondacks are unique. That may be an overused word, but in numerous ways the region is distinctive, and in some cases even certifiably unique. Let’s consider some of those ways.

The Adirondacks are big. Not vertically, which is what most people think of when they hear the word “big” associated with mountains, but horizontally. Consider the Adirondack Park, for all intents and purposes the most useful packaging of the region.

The park is defined by its famous Blue Line, so-called because somebody drew the original line in blue pencil on a map about 125 years ago. (It has been reconfigured, usually to enlarge the park, several times since.) Inside that line are 6.1 million acres, give or take.

Simply put, the park is the largest of its kind—state, national, whatever—in the Lower 48. You could put Rhode Island in it and have enough room left over for Delaware and Connecticut. Toss those three aside and you could fit Maryland in. Or New Jersey, although local self-styled comedians always ask, “Why would you want to?” You could even squeeze Vermont in if you lopped a few acres off of the Green Mountain State. Yellowstone, Glacier, and Yosemite National Parks would go in nicely as a package.

The Adirondacks are old. This is open to ongoing scrutiny by the scientific community, but most geologists consider Adirondack bedrock to be among the oldest exposed rock in the world, at somewhere beyond one billion years.

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Hiking Mississippi’s Scenic Trails

Posted by on Apr 9, 2019 @ 8:41 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking Mississippi’s Scenic Trails

Searching for the best places in Mississippi for hiking and camping? A University of Mississippi staff member knows exactly where to find the best trails.

Shannon Richardson, assistant director of campus recreation, has been supervising Ole Miss Outdoors for the past 14 years. Through her position, the Oakwood, Georgia, native has been on countless Mississippi trails.

“My parents were avid campers and hikers, and I grew up going to state and national parks and other natural areas,” Richardson said. “I’ve hiked trails from the Grand Canyon to the Appalachian Trail. My love for the outdoors continued through my undergraduate years at the University of North Georgia, located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.”

What are the criteria Richardson uses in selecting hiking trails?

“I look for trails that are challenging, but enjoyable with beautiful scenery,” she said. “A ‘wow factor,’ like a peak or waterfall, is also a great perk.

“I like publicly managed lands best because the trails are maintained, it is safer and hiking on them leaves less impact on the environment than hiking on private or unmarked lands.”

For everyone from beginning to veteran hikers, Richardson offers some tips for those interested in taking the trails.

See the list…