Hiking News

Quakes, eruptions prompt closure of Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii Island

Posted by on May 6, 2018 @ 12:05 pm in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Quakes, eruptions prompt closure of Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii Island

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park closed late May 4, 2018 because of increasing concerns for the public’s safety.

It is not safe to be at the park on Hawaii Island, which is at the center of increasing seismic and volcanic activity, park Superintendent Cindy Orlando said in a news release.

The decision to close the park, on the southern tip of Hawaii Island, was made soon after a magnitude 6.9 earthquake at 3:32 p.m. on that day. The quake triggered rock slides along Chain of Craters Road and on park trails. A magnitude 5.4 quake an hour earlier caused part of a cliff to collapse into the ocean.

Throughout the day, fissures appeared in the ground at a public overlook near the park’s Jaggar Museum. Rocks that fell into the lava lake within Halemaumau Crater sent dark plumes of ash spewing skyward.

About 2,600 visitors were evacuated from the park. Guests at Volcano House, the only hotel within the national park, and at Kilauea Military Camp were relocated.

The park’s landscape began changing a few days earlier when the crater within the volcano’s Puu Oo vent collapsed, sending magma flowing toward nearby neighborhoods. Increasing activity a few days later forced the evacuation of Leilani Estates.

No injuries have been reported. It is not known when the park will reopen. The Hawaii Tourism Authority said business continues as usual in most other areas.

“No flights into airports anywhere in Hawaii are being impacted by Kilauea volcano, and the area where the lava is coming to the surface is very far from resort areas,” George Szigeti, the authority’s president and chief executive, said in a statement.


Forest Service apologizes for damage to Appalachian Trail during patrols of pipeline protests

Posted by on May 5, 2018 @ 11:51 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Forest Service apologizes for damage to Appalachian Trail during patrols of pipeline protests

The U.S. Forest Service apologized for damaging the Appalachian Trail with all-terrain vehicles during its patrols of a pipeline protest.

In a news release, the agency admitted that its law enforcement officers used the ATVs from April 11 to April 30 on a short stretch of the scenic footpath that follows the ridgeline of Peters Mountain in the Jefferson National Forest of Virginia.

“We are still evaluating the damage, but this is clearly our mistake and I apologize that it happened,” Michael Donaldson, a special agent in charge of law enforcement for the agency’s Southern region, said in the news release.

Motorized traffic along the 2,200-mile trail from Georgia to Maine is generally prohibited.

Four-wheeling on the trail left tire tracks, muddy ruts and a swath of bare land six to eight feet wide, according to photographs provided by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

The improper use came as the Forest Service monitored two ongoing protests of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which will cut through the national forest and under the Appalachian Trail as it transports natural gas from northern West Virginia through the New River and Roanoke valleys.



Ed. note: Imagine the damage done by the pipeline itself.


Hiking etiquette: How not to be a jerk on the trail

Posted by on May 3, 2018 @ 12:50 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking etiquette: How not to be a jerk on the trail

Most everybody hikes for their own personal experience – be it adrenaline-fueled exercise or a contemplative walk – but that doesn’t mean you can completely ignore your fellow hikers.

Trail etiquette is incredibly important, especially as more and more people crowd trailheads this spring and summer, but what does it mean to hike politely?

For hikers encountering other hikers, the general rule of thumb is that the person going downhill yields to the person going uphill. On mixed-use trails, mountain bikers yield to hikers, and everybody yields to horses.

Just like driving on a freeway, it’s good to let faster hikers and trail runners pass. It doesn’t have to be complicated, simply step aside when you sense, see or hear someone coming up behind you. For those doing the passing, make your presence known with a simple “hello” or “excuse me” when you approach.

Here are a few hiking do’s and don’ts to keep in mind this season. Don’t think of them as hard-and-fast rules, but rather strong suggestions, pleas for politeness, requests for basic respect. We all share the same trails, so let’s treat each other well while we’re out there.


Hiking to the scenic summit of Oahu’s Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail

Posted by on May 3, 2018 @ 9:21 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking to the scenic summit of Oahu’s Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail

The nearly 5-mile round-trip trail is known for its unimpeded views of East Oahu. From the top of the ridge, at an elevation just shy of 1,600 feet, you’re treated to a panorama of Waikiki, Honolulu, Waimanalo and Konahuanui, the highest peak in the Koolau Mountain range.

Wiliwilinui Ridge sits to the left of the popular Koko Crater, and is part of three mountain ridges: Kuliouou, Hawaii Loa and Wiliwilinui. All three share similar terrain, with introduced and indigenous flora and those stunning vistas. Wiliwilinui isn’t the shortest hike of the trio, but it’s the easiest and a great intro to Hawaii ridge hikes.

The trailhead is in a gated community. The friendly guard takes down your car’s license plate number and hands you a red laminated parking pass. There are a limited number of passes each day. While this restricts trail access, it also means that it won’t be too crowded, a luxury on bustling Oahu.

The Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail starts off nice and easy. In fact, the beginning is a paved road. It soon gives way to a wide dirt road, which continues for just over a mile. The well-maintained trail was built by the U.S. Army in 1941 and was originally used as a service road.

The trail’s climbs sets of stairs—there are more than 10 sets in all—up to a nearly 1,600-foot elevation. The steps not only help prevent erosion along the ridge, they also help make it significantly easier to navigate the trail.

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Pisgah National Forest could use a lot of help on Pisgah Pride Day

Posted by on May 2, 2018 @ 12:34 pm in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Pisgah National Forest could use a lot of help on Pisgah Pride Day

May 5, 2018 is the third annual Pisgah Pride Day at the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, NC.

Hosted by the nonprofit Pisgah Conservancy, the work day will convene at the Pisgah Ranger Station, where volunteers will be dispatched to perform trail work, remove invasive species, pick up trash, plant a rain garden near the fish hatchery to help collect runoff after storms, create a native pollinator garden (to support monarch butterflies, bees, humming birds and other pollinators) and tear down the old ranger station sign and build a new one.

Groups will be working in the wildly popular U.S. 276 corridor in Transylvania County near Brevard, focusing on the South Mills River Trail between Turkey Pen and Wolf Ford Horse Camp.

“Each year Pisgah Pride Day allows people who love Pisgah to give back and take care of this incredible natural resource, which has given so much to them,” said John Cottingham, executive director of The Pisgah Conservancy.

Last year about 300 people showed up on Pisgah Pride Day to renovate the heavily eroded Art Loeb Trail, clear vegetation from the viewing area at Looking Glass Falls, attack invading privet at Sycamore Flats and plant native flowering shrubs at the Ranger Station, among many other tasks.

Learn more here…


National Trails Day 2018

Posted by on May 2, 2018 @ 8:22 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

National Trails Day 2018

National Trails Day® is Saturday, June 2, 2018. Join this historic event and leave the trail better than you found it. In a single day, we’ll collectively improve 2,802 miles of trail—the distance across the United States.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the National Trail System, pledge to pack out trash, join a trail work project, or clean up a park.

Make your commitment to give back to trails and parks by simply submitting the pledge form. After National Trails Day® we’ll ask you how many miles of trail you helped improve. Everyone who confirms they improved a section of trail (of any length) will be entered to win a prize package, which includes swag and premium outdoor gear.

It can be as simple as collecting trash. Or, take your trail cred to the next level by joining an organized trail work party to maintain or build new trail. Check out what trail work projects are in your area.

By pledging to leave a trail or park better than you found it, you are joining a national movement to preserve America’s remarkable public lands for future generations.

Plus, everyone who commits to improve trails and parks will be entered to win weekly giveaways of swag and outdoor gear.

Learn more here…


Artist paints women hikers

Posted by on May 1, 2018 @ 7:16 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Artist paints women hikers

In 2014, Sky Evans came across a photo on the internet of Colorado’s Hope Pass. An Oregon woman Evans knew was hiking the Continental Divide Trail and had posted the photo to her blog. Evans asked if she could paint the image.

“I wind up having this amazing experience with this painting in that it was like nothing I had ever done before,” Evans said last week at her home in Monroe. Evans had a print of her painting made and sent it to the woman’s house so it would be there when she got off the trail.

Inspired by the experience, Evans joined hiking pages on Facebook and asked women to send her photos from their backpacking trips. “I got hundreds of photos from the trail,” Evans said.

She chose some of the images to paint. Many were from the Pacific Crest Trail, featuring places like the Goat Rocks Wilderness, Mount Rainier and the Obsidian Trail in the Three Sisters Wilderness. One painting is based on an image from Crater Lake National Park. Another features a woman hiking the Arizona National Scenic Trail.

Evans, who is 56, had been a backpacker in her younger days. She so enjoyed painting the hiking experiences of other women that she decided she wanted to return to the trail. In 2016, she hiked 150 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in Oregon.

The artist painted some of her own images from the hike. Evans now has a series of trail paintings called “The Wilderness of Women,” which will be on display in June at the Art in the Valley gallery in Corvallis, Oregon. The paintings feature a variety of styles, including impressionistic, abstract and realistic.

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Israel by Foot program makes country’s abundant, varied trails easy to find

Posted by on Apr 30, 2018 @ 11:53 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Israel by Foot program makes country’s abundant, varied trails easy to find

Most tourists come to Israel either out of religious sentiment or because of an interest in the country’s abundant historical and cultural sites. Others come to enjoy the beaches and night life of Eilat or Tel-Aviv.

But aside from these known attractions, Israel is also a unique hiking destination. What makes Israel – a tiny country without high mountain ridges – attractive for hikers?

• Variety – This small area has the desert in the South, the Galilee mountains in the North and many historical and archeological sites that blend into the natural surroundings.

• Desert – The Negev is one of the most hiking-friendly deserts in world, and definitely the friendliest one closest to Europe. If you have not hiked a desert before, expect a truly unique experience.

• Wildflowers – In late winter and spring, wildflowers bloom in a variety of shapes and colors that will amaze and overwhelm your senses.

• History – While hiking, you will find ancient synagogues, Crusader fortresses, old monasteries and Nabatean towns blended into the landscape around them.

• Weather – The winter months, which present unfavorable hiking conditions in most northern countries, are the best months to hike in Israel

• Hiking Infrastructure – There are thousands of kilometers of wellmarked hiking trails in Israel covering the entire country.

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Pacific Crest Trail celebrates 50 years

Posted by on Apr 30, 2018 @ 6:43 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Pacific Crest Trail celebrates 50 years

Thirty-six and a half miles east of Lake Isabella is the historic route discovered by Joseph Rutherford Walker in 1834 known as Walker Pass. Because the pass connects the Great Basin and the interior of California, it was only logical that when a walking and equestrian trail extending from Mexico to Canada was conceived, Walker Pass would be a vital section of that path.

It was 50 years ago this year that the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT) was dedicated as a national treasure by President Lyndon Johnson. Part of the trail has actually been around since the 1930s and was used by the Boy Scouts, the YMCA and at the beginning was supported by American photographer Ansel Adams. Today, the section of the 2,659 mile long PCT that goes through this area is known as ‘Section G’ and is maintained by the Kern River Valley chapter of the Backcountry Horsemen of America.

Fifty years ago, the founders of the PCT had hopes that their idea would be embraced by the outdoor enthusiasts of their time. Today, the trail is enjoyed annually by 200 to 300 thru-hikers, and countless other, partial trail hikers along with thousands of day hikers. Individuals and groups come from all over the country and the world in an attempt to conquer the trail.

Men and women come from thousands of miles away to add the PCT to their repertoire of difficult trails to traverse. Some even drive long distances just to walk the trail from Walker Pass to different destinations along the 50 mile stretch to Kennedy Meadows.

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Trekking on Turkey’s historic Ephesus-Mimas Route

Posted by on Apr 29, 2018 @ 12:11 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Trekking on Turkey’s historic Ephesus-Mimas Route

An historic 709-kilometer route in İzmir, Turkey that connects ancient Greek Ionian footways awaits visitors who want to enjoy nature as well as learn of the culture and history in the region.

The main part of the route consists of six footways connecting ancient cities such as Ephesus, Colophon, Lebedos, Teos, Klazomenai, and Erythrai.

The route starts in Ephesus in front of the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World, and passes through Menderes, Seferihisar, Güzelbahçe, Urla and Çeşme districts and ends in Mimas, or Karaburun in Turkish.

Trek lovers can travel through paths and beaches by walking among colorful flora and are offered the chance to look closer at ancient history.

There are daffodils, artichokes, dates, and olives. On this route, you can also see endemic plants such as windflowers and mountain hyacinths. The Ephesus-Mimas Route offers both natural and historic beauty.



Hiking the Jordan Trail to Petra

Posted by on Apr 28, 2018 @ 12:18 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking the Jordan Trail to Petra

Billed as the “Inca Trail of the Middle East,” the 400-mile Jordan Trail runs from the Mediterranean-influenced villages of Umm Qais in the north to the coral-rich Red Sea in the south, passing through 52 villages en route, as well as two UNESCO-listed sites. The result of an eight year effort by 40-some volunteers, the route is primed to put the country on the radar of travelers seeking an adventure without the crowds.

Trekkers can tackle the 36-day hike in one go or choose one of eight 50-mile-long sections. The most established route is a flashpacker-friendly stretch from Dana to the “Rose City” of Petra.

Planning a trek is surprisingly easy: The Jordan Trail Association, an NGO formed in 2015 to help maintain and develop the trail, has created a website filled with information on everything from licensed tour operators and hiking companies to what to pack and how fit you should be for different trail sections.

Yet unlike the well-marked and trafficked trails of trekking meccas, such as Switzerland and Chile, trails in Jordan can be difficult to navigate alone. A guide is recommended and because adventure tourism is still in its infancy here, there are only a handful of licensed hiking guides in the country.

Until you walk across Jordan, you won’t grasp the diversity of its landscape. Leave Dana and descend 4,000 feet into the Dana Biosphere Reserve’s central valley, taking in four unique ecosystems. Lonely cypress trees give way to Martian-like rock formations. Then the landscape changes to bone-dry river beds lined with palms and oleander, before, finally, becoming rust-hued desert.

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Hiking groups do more than just hike

Posted by on Apr 28, 2018 @ 7:10 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking groups do more than just hike

When people think of hiking clubs, they probably envision groups that lead hikes in the forests and mountains — and they’d be right.

But Southern Oregon is home to a number of organizations that do a lot more than hike — they actually get their hands dirty keeping trails open, and in some cases they are building new thoroughfares in the backcountry.

Gabe Howe, director of the Siskiyou Mountain Club, knows trails don’t just happen on their own. Trail markers don’t jump onto tree trunks by themselves, and vandalized trail signs aren’t self-cleaning. Storm damage isn’t cleared by magic elves, and fallen trees from raging wildfires don’t move themselves.

So it’s a good thing Howe knows how to organize people interested in seeing that work gets done.

“We have more interest from the community than we can coordinate,” he says. “And it is something anybody can do.”

Hiking, like most outdoor activities, has its seasons, but the work to maintain trails goes on year-round. Siskiyou Mountain Club had volunteers out restoring trails throughout the winter. This year, a major focus of that work is cleaning up damage from last years’ wildfires.

Howe and several of his friends created the SMC in response to damage across the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, much of it from the 2002 Biscuit fire.

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New Fonta Flora State Trail system connecting Asheville to Morganton grows

Posted by on Apr 26, 2018 @ 12:13 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

New Fonta Flora State Trail system connecting Asheville to Morganton grows

  It was a sleepy little town where farmers worked the rich land along the Linville River. The Burke County, North Carolina town of Fonta Flora was also once home to a post office, the Rhyne School and Old Sardis Church of 1838.

But starting in 1916 the residents were dispersed and displaced to higher ground as the Catawba and Linville rivers and Paddy’s Creek were dammed to create Lake James and produce hydroelectric power for the growing region. A century later, the little lost town is being honored by the creation of the Fonta Flora Trail.

The newest unit of the North Carolina State Parks System, the Fonta Flora Trail aims to unify Western North Carolina towns from the foothills to the mountains, stringing together spots from Morganton to Asheville. The planned 70-80-mile foot and bike trail will bring back to life, if only in name, the little lost town.

The ambitious trail got closer to its goal with the addition of 90 acres of conserved land between Black Mountain and Old Fort in McDowell County. Foothills Conservancy, a nonprofit regional land trust based in Morganton, purchased the property.

The land is near the Heartbreak Ridge and Point Lookout Trail areas of the Pisgah National Forest. Acquisition of the Goodson property by Foothills Conservancy will ensure protection of scenic views along Old Highway 70 and water quality for Mill Creek and Jarrett Creek, both high-quality streams.

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The 7 national trails of the Pacific Northwest

Posted by on Apr 25, 2018 @ 11:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The 7 national trails of the Pacific Northwest

There are a ton of trails in the Pacific Northwest, but only a select few have earned the honor of being designated as national trails.

From thru-hikes to road trip routes, all are part of the National Trails System, created by Congress in 1968 to “promote the preservation of, public access to, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources of the Nation.” The act established three categories of national trails: National Scenic Trails, National Historic Trails and National Recreation Trails.

Each category brings a different experience. The scenic trails are long, multi-state thru-hikes; the historic trails are designed as road trips along historic routes; and the recreation trails are any number of local hiking trails, just with a separate designation.

While the original act helped establish some of the most prominent long-haul trails in the U.S., today the designation generally just means a little extra publicity and attention to existing trails and historic areas. And with the natural beauty and Old West history that abounds in the northwest, this is a perfect region of the country to showcase.

Learn more here…


Hiking in Croatia: How to Master Some of the World’s Rarest Views

Posted by on Apr 25, 2018 @ 6:51 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking in Croatia: How to Master Some of the World’s Rarest Views

The Velebit Hiking Trail or Velebitski planinarski put (VPP), is open throughout the year, though heavy snowfall makes winter trekking unwise. Prime hiking season is typically from May to October.

The markings are the typical European red-white-red stripes or a red circle with white center. The initials VPP often accompanies marking at trailheads. Because hiking can be slow, the trail is best attempted in eight or nine days at around 10 miles a day. Finally, water is always a top priority on Velebit. Check with ranger stations about the availability of sources during the period you are hiking.

For eight days along the Adriatic Coast, this 65-mile route leads south over rugged passes high above the shoreline and across the Velebit Range, the country’s largest and most challenging, to the final destination, the Dalmatian Coast.

These mountains serve as a window onto an old European lifestyle. For centuries, people lived in these highlands. They herded sheep. Traders provided a lifeline between villages and the sea. They survived changing empires and wars. This is more than a trail. This is a history lesson in the mountains.

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Tips to stay safe while hiking in the mountains

Posted by on Apr 24, 2018 @ 12:47 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking can also be dangerous and occasionally deadly if not properly prepared, especially in the mountains. The weather can change at a moment’s notice or you can fall and hurt yourself. That’s why it’s vitally important to be prepared for anything, even when out on a short hike.

A map and compass are just two of the ten essentials for safe hiking. Other items include extra water and a first aid kit.

If you get lost or become injured and cannot move, a personal locator beacon uses satellites and GPS to send an emergency message to search and rescue crews even in remote locations with no cell phone service.

Simple technology such as a flashlight and whistle can also be life-saving tools. If you have a whistle, blow the whistle. Three short bursts close together, that’s the universal SOS.

There’s no reason to fear if you stick to a strategy. Make a plan before you go, and stick to it. Always let someone know where you plan to hike and what time you expect to return home so then can contact emergency authorities.



Wilderness boost: Why hiking does wonders for your mind and body

Posted by on Apr 24, 2018 @ 6:57 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Wilderness boost: Why hiking does wonders for your mind and body

  If you’ve ever had to catch your breath on an uphill stretch of trail or if your legs have felt sore after a hike, you know that hiking is a workout. You’ve also likely experienced some of the health benefits of hiking: improved cardiovascular performance, more endurance, stronger muscles and a better mood.

While many people hike simply for the enjoyment of it, there is no denying how beneficial a walk through the woods can be for your physical health.

In an age of trendy fitness studios, high-tech workout trackers and expensive personal trainers, it can be easy to forget that the simple act of hiking is an exercise powerhouse. However, scientific research and health professionals alike agree that hitting the trails is advantageous for all aspects of physical fitness.

For many people, the idea of burning calories is one of the first things that comes to mind when they think about working out. Our bodies use stored energy (calories) to support normal body functions and to fuel us during physical activity. While any type of physical movement will result in the body using its stored energy, the unique nature of hiking can result in greater calorie burn than other forms of exercise.

In fact, research from the University of Florida concluded that walking on uneven terrain, like that of hiking trails, causes the body to use 28 percent more energy than walking on flat, even ground due to the subtle shifts in the way your leg muscles must lengthen or shorten while hiking.

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