Hiking News

Unified Warrior Foundation plans Continental Divide Trail hike

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 @ 8:48 am in Hiking News | 2 comments

Unified Warrior Foundation plans Continental Divide Trail hike

Unified Warrior Foundation is planning a Continental Divide Trail hike, beginning in late March 2017.

“Unless the issue of veteran suicide is constantly kept in the minds of Americans, it will silently disappear as many important issues do because of the vast amount of information we all have to compete with,” said Eshleman. “Keeping this issue alive is a fight in itself. Just as we fought for our brothers in combat, we must continue to fight to bring assistance and improvement to the current processes and solutions for them and their families.”

Unified Warrior Foundation has chosen foundations they work with to assist veterans. The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), America’s Fund and Guardian Overwatch have all demonstrated their commitment to helping veterans. These organizations will be featured in Podcasts delivered from the trail over the five-month journey.

An additional endeavor for this hike from the Canadian border in Northwest Montana to the Mexico border in Southeast New Mexico will be to pass on the benefits of the outdoors and a little knowledge to the youth in the U.S.; many who have never or may never have the opportunity to see this part of America and be involved in something so important.

Read full story…

 

2,958 miles of Kansas hiking trails just a click away

Posted by on Feb 5, 2017 @ 9:23 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

2,958 miles of Kansas hiking trails just a click away

Just a few clicks on a website and people can access information on 2,958 miles of trails in Kansas.

That’s right, trails that you can hike, run, bike, or horseback ride. With a few more seconds worth of clicks you can find which trails are within an hour of your house, which ones you can complete in a half-day and which ones are graveled or paved.

You can also learn what’s happening, that day or in the near future, for more than 30 outdoor activities ranging from archery shoots to wildlife viewing from all corners of Kansas, hosted by some of 119 orgaanizations. It’s all on getoutdoorskansas.org.

“Basically it’s a website that provides a free, and quick, way for organizations or individuals to post their outdoors events. It also for the public to view those activities or find any trail we have,” said Mike Goodwin, of the Kansas Trails Council and originator of the online idea.

Goodwin said the project has about filled his original dream of better trail education, and proved his thought that Kansas had more miles of trails than most realized.

All of those miles have been walked, biked, floated or ridden with GPS units to get exact readings for locations and length. Trails range from paved city park walks of a few hundred yards to the Flint Hills Nature Trail, which is 117 miles long.

Read full story…

 

FAQ: The effects of WNC’s 2016 fall fire season

Posted by on Feb 4, 2017 @ 12:20 pm in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

FAQ: The effects of WNC’s 2016 fall fire season

Did the fires hurt wildlife?

The impact will unlikely be large enough to affect overall populations, and long-term the fires will result in a flush of green in the understory that will ultimately benefit wildlife.

Will the fires increase the chance of flooding and landslides?

With more than a month elapsed since the report’s Dec. 12 completion and multiple heavy rains in the rear-view mirror, there haven’t seemed to be any issues. Many areas that the team completing the report initially observed to have water-repellent soil seem to be absorbing water much more readily.

Is a spring fire season likely?

To a degree, the fire season could depend on the scruples of people in the area. Of the 20-plus fires that burned through WNC last fall, only one is thought to have resulted from natural causes. The rest were caused by humans, either accidentally or on purpose.

How did the fires affect the Appalachian Trail?

South of the Smokies, 58 miles of the A.T. run through North Carolina. Of those 58 miles, 26 miles were part of the burned area. Of those 26 miles, about 90 percent experienced pretty mild burning, about the same level you’d get with a prescribed burn. However, about 10 percent burned hot, consuming wooden anti-erosion features on the trail and creating hazards like holes in the ground and dead trees.

More questions and details here…

 

How to reset your body clock — and get better sleep — with hiking boots and a tent

Posted by on Feb 3, 2017 @ 8:36 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How to reset your body clock — and get better sleep — with hiking boots and a tent

Are you sick of going to bed late and waking up tired? Then grab your hiking boots and a tent. A new study suggests that a couple days of camping in the great outdoors can reset your circadian clock and help you get more sleep.

The circadian clock is an internal clock that tells your body when it’s time to go to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. Scientists track this clock by measuring the amount of melatonin circulating in a person’s blood at any given time.

In a healthy sleeper, melatonin levels rise a few hours before bedtime, stay high through the night, and then settle back down to daytime levels when it’s time to wake up. The span of time when melatonin levels are elevated is known as biological night.

In our modern society biological night does not usually coincide with night in the natural world. Most of us stay up many hours past sunset and would probably sleep in many hours after sunrise if we could.

Researchers recruited 14 physically active volunteers in their 20s and 30s. Nine went on a weekend camping trip, while the other five stayed home. At the end of the weekend, the authors monitored the volunteers’ melatonin levels to see if there had been any shift in the timing of their biological night.

The researchers report that in just two days, the campers’ circadian clocks shifted so that their melatonin levels began to rise more than an hour earlier then they did in the days before they left on the trip.

Read full story…

 


Tents are an essential part of camping and are important when faced with an emergency or disaster. Reviews here.


 

I Was a Black, Female Thru-Hiker on the Appalachian Trail

Posted by on Feb 2, 2017 @ 11:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The first person to hike the full length of the Appalachian Trail, a white man named Earl V. Shaffer, wanted to “walk the Army out of his system.” That was in 1948. Since the 1970s, when 775 hikers completed the trail, the number of “thru-hikers” has doubled each decade so that in the 2000s, close to 6,000 hikers covered all 2,190 miles.

Most of those people still look like Shaffer—they’re white men. Only about a quarter of thru-hikers are women, according to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and though there’s little information about the racial breakdown of thru-hikers, it’s safe to say that the vast majority of them are white.

Last year, Rahawa Haile, a writer now based in Oakland, California, became one of the very few black women to attempt to hike the entire trail. (She was able to find exactly one other attempting the feat in 2016.) In March, she began in Georgia, the more popular end of the trail to start on, and by the middle of October had hiked its entire length. She carried along with her, too, a series of books by black authors, which she left in trail shelters along the way.

Haile spoke to Atlas Obscura about the challenges and joys of hiking all those miles and the particular experience of being one of the few people of color spending months on the trail.

 

10 great hikes to Georgia’s best views

Posted by on Feb 1, 2017 @ 3:28 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

10 great hikes to Georgia’s best views

There’s just something magical about a great summit view. Whether the hike spans miles or minutes, a good climb to a spectacular view makes a great workout – and, hey, at least the return hike is (usually) downhill. Hike these great Georgia hikes to a favorite to savor the view from the top and catch some celebration time at the summit. Georgia’s beauty is simply stunning.

These 10 trails explore Georgia from places spread all over the map, from the southern Appalachian Mountains north of Atlanta to the sandy Georgia coastline near Savannah. Mid-state, you’ll scale a Native American mound near Macon to catch views of a beautiful riverside marsh. And near Columbus, you’ll explore a lofty mountain ridge that rises high above the surrounding plains. Up for the challenge? You’ll rack up some great memories on the trail, and catch some stunning views along the way.

These great Georgia hikes travel to favorite overlooks, catching stunning views of Georgia’s mountains, coast and plains.

 

Improving the Sustainability of Thru-Hiking

Posted by on Jan 30, 2017 @ 10:30 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Improving the Sustainability of Thru-Hiking

Thru-hikers discover how environmentally degrading backpacking can be. They find countless coolers and campsites full of trash, and eating individually wrapped packets of ramen and Pop-Tarts generates an uncomfortable amount of waste.

Hikers have ideas for making long-distance backpacking more environmentally sound. Though it’s nearly impossible to avoid creating some amount of trash, many hikers found that making mindful purchases, buying in bulk and adhering to Leave No Trace principles helped mitigate environmental damage.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Buy some of gear secondhand from the Backpacking Light forums and REI Garage Sales. Buying used and repurposing items is always more sustainable, and this is particularly true for hikers.
  • Avoid the problem of individual packaging by sending bulk meals to mail drops. This allows control over the ingredients and whether the items were sustainably grown and raised.
  • Protect both the environment and other people by following Leave No Trace principles. Backpackers should always respect fire bans. Hikers should always avoid creating new campsites and satellite trails whenever possible, especially in fragile ecosystems that cannot rebound quickly.
  • Avoiding certain areas during peak hiking times will help the trail and those who maintain it. Consider sobo trips and flip-flops.

Though hikers are resourceful people, there is still room for improvement in the way we treat the environment. With research and some creativity, future generations will be able to hike these precious wilderness trails as they are meant to be enjoyed.

More info here…

 

A Guide to Kings Canyon National Park

Posted by on Jan 29, 2017 @ 2:03 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Best known for its groves of Sequoia trees, Kings Canyon National Park spans a significant portion of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. But it’s not just these giant trees that attract visitors to the so-called Land of Giants, and neighboring Sequoia National Park. Deep canyons, lush valleys, snow-capped peaks, and terrain ranging from 1,000 to 14,000 feet are all part of the appeal—though the world’s largest trees are certainly a highlight.

A visit to Kings Canyon—to the old growth trees that inspired the writings of John Muir himself—is accessible to all travelers, thanks to a tangle of hiking trails ranging from novice, paved paths to advanced, multi-day trips. And you don’t need any technical skills at all to be impressed by the height, and age, of the iconic trees towering over the California coast.

The main attraction of Kings Canyon National Park is the Sequoia groves. While their imposing height is impressive, travelers may be more impressed by the age of these natural landmarks. Many of the trees are between 1,800 and 2,700 years old.

Grants Grove, located just off of Highway 180, boasts some exceptionally large sequoias, in addition to a great vantage point over the General Grant tree. There is a network of trails in this grove that allow visitors to wander among the primordial forests, meadows, and waterfalls. Choose from a variety of hikes that can last anywhere from one hour to a full day or more.

If you have the time, take the Congress Trail hike from the General Sherman Tree (the world’s largest tree by volume) up to the top of the granite dome known as Moro Rock.

Of course, there’s more to see at Kings Canyon National Park than just trees. A scenic byway offers a number of picturesque viewpoints punctuated by educational exhibits, while rock climbing and tours of the fragile crystal caves offer an unexpected perspective of a park best known for its boughs.

Learn more here…

 

Elkmont cabin preservation underway; some to be demolished

Posted by on Jan 29, 2017 @ 6:29 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Elkmont cabin preservation underway; some to be demolished

The evolution of historic Elkmont soon should be taking another step forward.

The historic former logging/resort community in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been in an evolving state since 2009 when the National Park Service announced a plan to preserve part of the community after conducting an environmental impact study from 1992 through 2008.

The plan has been to preserve 19 structures at Elkmont while razing 55. Two of those structures – the Appalachian Clubhouse and Spence Cabin – have already been renovated and preserved. The park has now received funding to preserve four more structures and tear down 29.

Elkmont has been among the park’s most visited attractions. Located off Fighting Creek Gap Road, it began as a logging community in the late 1800s before evolving into a vacation resort. The park allowed owners to keep their cabins there until the early 1990s. It has since fallen into disrepair.

Those scheduled for preservation will be much like the structures in Cades Cove that are stabilized and made safe for visitors to tour.

Read full story…

My recent hike in Elkmont…

 

Federal hiring freeze to impact WNC

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 @ 1:09 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The federal hiring freeze of all civilian employees, ordered by President Trump on Jan. 23, 2017, could negatively impact employment in Western North Carolina and the public services those agencies provide. According to the executive order, no vacant positions existing at noon Jan. 22 may be filled and no new positions may be created. The order does not include or apply to military personnel or positions with national security or public safety. The order also prohibits the hiring of contract workers who might be hired to circumvent the hiring freeze.

The Asheville area is home to some 3,300 federal employees and many federal agencies, including two of the most visited parks in the National Park Service, one of the most visited national forests in the United States, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, which tracks all climate and weather data for the country, and many others such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Blue Ridge Parkway, which runs through Asheville on its 469-mile linear path, received 15.2 million visitors in 2016. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which has a half-million acres across North Carolina and Tennessee, set a visitation record last year with 11.3 million visitors.

The Pisgah and Nantahala national forests in WNC comprise more than 1 million acres of land. The Pisgah National Forest is the second busiest in the country, with an estimated 6 million visitors a year.

Seasonal workers, hired for the busiest months from April to October, make up close to half the parks’ workforce. Their hiring might be delayed, which could lead to a delay in park and forest facility openings.

Read full story…

 

Adelaide walking trails: Belair National Park

Posted by on Jan 26, 2017 @ 11:12 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Adelaide walking trails: Belair National Park

Belair National Park, near Adelaide, Australia is the ideal place to experience a sense of adventure, with many trail options to explore in a beautiful bushland setting.

In 1840, the land was set aside by Governor George Gawler as a government farm. It was later used to farm hay and care for police horses in the gold escort and other services.

Through the early to mid-1900s, approaches to the preservation of native flora and fauna in the park changed so that all future planting in the area would be restricted to native South Australian plants. As a result, the last non-native planting in the park was of 700 Japanese cherry trees. Remains of the plantation can be found in the park along RSL walk.

Today, there are many options available for those visiting the park, which has woodlands and lakes, shared-use trails, cricket pitches and tennis courts to hire. You can explore Old Government House, and let the kids go wild on the adventure playground.

Learn more here…

 

Featured National Recreation Trails: Tunnel Hill State Rail Trail, Illinois

Posted by on Jan 26, 2017 @ 6:33 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Featured National Recreation Trails: Tunnel Hill State Rail Trail, Illinois

The trail runs for 45 miles from downtown Harrisburg to Karmak in southern Illinois. The tail is managed by Illinois Department of Natural Resouces with an additional 2.5 miles managed by the City of Harrisburg. A 543-foot long tunnel gave the nearby town its name, and now the trail.

Beginning in Harrisburg, the trail is at 370 feet above sea level, rising to 680 feet at Tunnel Hill and then dropping to 340 feet at Karnak. The trail crosses 23 trestles ranging from 34 feet long to 450 feet. The longest, Breeden Trestle, is also the highest at 90 feet. The abandoned railroad right-of-way varies between 40 and 200 feet in width.

The Tunnel Hill Trail is part of a former railroad founded by Civil War General Ambrose Burnside. In 1872 Burnside and others began the Vincennes & Cairo Railroad, which connected Vincennes, Indiana and Cariro, Illinois.

The central section of Tunnel Hill Trail passes through the Shawnee National Forest, Illinois’ only national forest. The southern section of the trail traverses the Cache River State Natural Area, a significant state, national, and international wetland resource.

Read full story…

 

John Muir’s Southern Trek, 150 Years

Posted by on Jan 25, 2017 @ 5:38 pm in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

John Muir’s Southern Trek, 150 Years

As 2017 is the sesquicentennial year for John Muir’s thousand-mile walk across the southeastern U.S. (1867-68), it is likely that many people will be attempting to trace his path.

Chuck Roe, founding manager of the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, founding director of the Conservation Trust for North Carolina, and Southeast U.S. Region program director for the Land Trust Alliance, was inspired to retrace the path of Muir’s long walk, but with a different focus—that being by telling the story of land conservation along the route of Muir’s Southern Trek.

An account of conserved lands and protected natural areas along Muir’s Southern walking route fits nicely with the mission of the organization that Roe now serves as president Southern Conservation Partners which is dedicated to enhancing protection, restoration, and greater public awareness of the natural heritage of the southern U.S.

Roe took a different perspective on his adventure. He followed Muir’s route largely by personal vehicle, with periodic short walks along the way. He segmented his examination of the route into sections spread over more than a year.

The intent was to observe and describe the publicly accessible parks, nature preserves, forests and wildlife management areas, and other recreational areas along Muir’s walking route, in homage and testimony to the success story of land conservation in the southeastern U.S.

See the results of Roe’s work here…

 

48 Hours in Tucker County, West Virginia

Posted by on Jan 24, 2017 @ 5:37 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

In the northeast corner of West Virginia nestled between mountains, lakes, and rivers lies the tiny, quaint county of Tucker. Though the county has a small population of under 5,000, the large sense of community has helped create one of the most beautiful, booming outdoor areas in the United States.

Winters filled with an abundance of snow have created a serene mountain setting ideal for skiing and snowshoeing while rugged terrain leaves hikers and mountain bikers with exciting and challenging trails sure to test their ability. And the unique and diverse beauty of nature in the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area is a backpacking favorite. Whatever your source of thrill, no matter the time of year, Tucker County will serve as the perfect backdrop.

On the Allegheny Plateau is the beautifully diverse Dolly Sods Wilderness. Due to a logging craze that occurred several centuries ago and an unusual climate, this stretch of land is home to rocky plains and grassy meadows, muddy bogs and damp swamps, breathtaking vistas, and plant life similar to that of northern Canada.

The unique land formations that vary from one mile to the next make for the perfect hike, lasting anywhere from several hours to several days. For a longer trip with one of the best overlooks in the region, Lions Head hike takes you on a three-day, two-night hike with over 2,500 feet of elevation gain on your way to a majestic rock formation resembling, you guessed it, a lion’s head righteously protecting to his mountains and valleys below.

Read full story…

 

Film tells story of southern Ohio hiking legend Grandma Gatewood

Posted by on Jan 24, 2017 @ 11:51 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Film tells story of southern Ohio hiking legend Grandma Gatewood

An incredible tale of taking to a long-distance trail to wash away the troubles in the real world was birthed in the hills of Southern Ohio.

At age 67, Gallia County, Ohio, native, the late Emma “Grandma” Gatewood, who had overcome decades of spousal abuse, and who was the mother of 11 children and 23 grandchildren, read about the Appalachian Trail in National Geographic.

She was so moved by the beauty of the new trail that Gatewood laced up her Keds sneakers, grabbed a small backpack and become the first woman to thru-hike the now famous trail in 1955.

“One of the things which is kind of important is that when you think about people of her generation, she had a really big impact being out there and going hiking. People were saying, ‘Well if a grandma could do it, I can do it.’ And so in the late 1960s and early 1970s when you had the hiking boom that hit, in some ways, she was instrumental in making some of that really come to fruition.”

The inspirational story of Gatewood will be shared at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 in the Grayson Room of the lodge at Carter Caves State Resort Park, as Winter Adventure Weekend presents a special free screening of the film “Trail Magic: The Grandma Gatewood Story.” After the film, Peter Huston, the director of “Trail Magic,” will do a Q&A session with the audience.

Read full story…

 

East Coast Greenway: 3,000 Mile Hike or Bike from Canada to Key West

Posted by on Jan 22, 2017 @ 6:28 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

East Coast Greenway: 3,000 Mile Hike or Bike from Canada to Key West

Maybe you’ve always dreamt of trekking across the U.S., but didn’t have the time, money, or know-how to make the full trip from east to west. Or maybe hiking the Appalachian Trail has been a secret goal, but you’re terrified of sleeping in tents. Luckily, there’s another option.

It’s called the East Coast Greenway—3,000 miles of marked trails and roads from Key West, Florida all the way up to Canada. Whether you hike it or bike it, you’re sure to be challenged, but always close enough to civilization to calm your fears of being lost in the great outdoors. If you’re looking for a new goal to tackle or just a place to spend a day or a weekend on your bike, try the East Coast Greenway.

The plan for the East Coast Greenway started in the mid-nineties in downtown SoHo in New York City, when a few of the founding members—outdoorsy, activist types with big dreams—decided it would be a life-changing project to tackle.

Conceptually, the greenway wasn’t designed to appeal to thru-hikers, though that’s certainly a side benefit. More than that, the plan was to link major cities on the Eastern Seaboard together to create safe, accessible routes, and to help promote healthy, outdoor-friendly lifestyles.

Read full story…

 

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda: Up Close with Silverbacks

Posted by on Jan 21, 2017 @ 1:05 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda: Up Close with Silverbacks

Only three countries in the world are home to mountain gorillas: Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). About 18,000 permits were given out in Uganda last year to see these gentle giants, with about 30,000 permits given in Rwanda. In total there are fewer than 900 gorillas in the wild—fewer than the white rhino (20,000), and fewer still than the Bengal tiger (2,500). They remain critically endangered due to poaching and humans moving in on their territory, and the chance to see them, to understand them, is increasingly rare.

When it comes to gorilla trekking, many wonder if they should go to Rwanda or Uganda. The experience in each country is similar: Tours are small, no more than eight people, with one guided hour with the gorillas. The volcanoes in both Uganda and Rwanda provide an amazing backdrop for the whole experience, and due to conflict in the DRC, most tourists choose one of the other two countries to see the gorillas.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda is home to the Nyakagezi gorilla family with its five silverbacks (adult males). It holds a certain allure, boasting one of the highest concentrations of silverbacks within a family in all three countries. The mountain gorillas share 98 percent of our DNA.

Read full story…

 

Man’s winter thru-hike a first for the Ice Age Trail

Posted by on Jan 21, 2017 @ 7:28 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Man’s winter thru-hike a first for the Ice Age Trail

Mike Summers was in good company last week as he relaxed in a leather conference chair, munched on a supreme slice from Tano’s Pizza and sipped a Sprecher’s Hard Root Beer.

At the end of the conference table was Tim Malzhan, 59, who thru-hiked the 1,200-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail more than 25 years ago. Across the table to his right was Luke Kloberdanz, 40, who hiked the trail in one continuous trip in 2003. And seated directly across from Summers was Dave Caliebe, 34, who in 2010 thru-hiked the trail that winds through Wisconsin along the terminal moraine created by a glacier that receded more than 10,000 years ago.

The trio all work for the Ice Age Trail Alliance, a nonprofit based in Cross Plains that builds, maintains and promotes the trail. Malzhan, Kloberdanz and Caliebe all did their hikes in summer and fall. But on this day, they gathered in the Alliance’s conference room to welcome and refuel Summers, a skinny, bearded 26-year-old from Portland, Oregon, who is attempting a winter thru-hike of the trail, something never before accomplished.

He started the trip at Potawatomi State Park near Sturgeon Bay on Dec. 22, 2016 and is hoping to be at the trail’s western terminus at Interstate Park near St. Croix Falls by mid-March.

Read full story…

 

Tie Your Things with Perfect Knots

Posted by on Jan 20, 2017 @ 6:09 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Tie Your Things with Perfect Knots

New to fishing? Here are some tips for choosing your first reel.


 

In our day to day life, knots plays a vital role. Starting from the shoe lace to camping and fishing, a perfect knot can be an essential requirement. There are several steps to tie knots perfectly for various purposes. For example, the square knot is useful for camping and hiking. A clove hitch knot is for securing rope around things. Fisherman’s knot is for sailing and fishing and bowline knot is for securing a boat, mountain climbing etc. Knots are also very important for safety while hiking or climbing.

The following infographic from Sarah Brown at PT Winchester shows the steps to tie different types of knots for different purposes.

 

 

700 percent increase coming in cost of senior passes to national parks

Posted by on Jan 19, 2017 @ 12:28 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

700 percent increase coming in cost of senior passes to national parks

Perhaps you are 62 or older and think you might want to visit a national park or two before you die. Let us offer you some advice: Get thee to a federal recreation site – be it a national park, national forest or Bureau of Land Management office – and buy a lifetime senior pass that gains you entrance to all federal lands that charge entrance fees, for as long as you live. The cost of one will be increasing by 800%.

To be clear, the current price – $10 for a lifetime of access to any and all national parks and federal lands – may be the best of all bargains available to America’s seniors. For less than the price of a pizza, you can gain admittance to every national park, from Acadia to Yosemite, from Denali to the Everglades, and every Glacier and Yellowstone in between, at any time, for the rest of your life.

In all, the $10 pass gains seniors access to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas. But last month, Congress raised the price of a National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands senior pass to $80.

The steep hike was a little-discussed provision of the National Parks Centennial Act, which received bipartisan support in the House and unanimous consent in the Senate when it was passed in December.

“Eighty dollars for a lifetime senior pass is still pretty reasonable,” said National Park Service spokesman Jeff Olson. “Everybody else pays $80 a year” for an annual pass.

Read full story…