Hiking News

144-mile hiking and biking trail in Missouri’s near future

Posted by on Dec 22, 2016 @ 2:08 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

A 144-mile stretch of a former railroad line is expected to be transferred to the state by the end of next year for use as a hiking and biking trail, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said December 20, 2016.

Nixon was at Ameren headquarters in St. Louis to announce details of plans to develop the former Rock Island rail line from Windsor, in western Missouri, to Beaufort, about 60 miles southwest of St. Louis. Ameren purchased the rail line in 1999. It has not been used for railroad purposes for more than two decades.

“This new trail will bolster Missouri’s position as [one of] the nation’s premier hiking and biking destination[s] — and strengthen local economies all along its path,” Nixon said.

Ameren Missouri President Michael Moehn said the utility company has been working for years to clear the path of vegetation and taking other measures necessary before transferring the former rail line to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources by 2017.

Use of old rail lines for trails has become increasingly popular since development of Missouri’s Katy Trail State Park nearly three decades ago.

Earlier this month, a 47.5-mile stretch was added to the Katy Trail, expanding it to Pleasant Hill, near Kansas City. The extension means the Katy Trail that starts in St. Charles County, near St. Louis, is nearly 290 miles long.



Canada’s 150th birthday gift to you: Free pass to national parks all year long

Posted by on Dec 20, 2016 @ 11:41 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Canada’s 150th birthday gift to you: Free pass to national parks all year long

On July 1, 2017, Canada turns 150 years old. Kicking off the festivities on New Year’s Day, the stewards of the country’s protected natural treasures, Parks Canada, has a gift for all: a free, multiuse pass to the country’s 47 national parks and national park reserves.

Parks and reserves, which indicate areas earmarked as national parks pending native land claim settlements, are located in every one of the country’s 13 provinces and territories from coast to coast to coast (Pacific to Atlantic to Arctic).

The Discovery Pass also offers free access to 171 national historic sites and national marine conservation areas. By the way, it’s the 100th anniversary of the parks agency (America’s National Park Service turned 100 in 2016).

Entry to Canada’s national parks usually costs around $7 per person. With the free pass, what things will you still have to pay for? Extra activities, such as tours or parking, normally require a separate fee. Camping costs also aren’t included.

The free Discovery Card is good from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2017. You order it online, hang it on your car’s rear-view mirror and show up at the park gate.



This New Mega-Trail Could Open a Mysterious Region to Trekkers

Posted by on Dec 19, 2016 @ 6:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

This New Mega-Trail Could Open a Mysterious Region to Trekkers

The Transcaucasian Trail (TCT) is a 932-mile long-distance trekking route stretching from the Black Sea in the west to the Caspian Sea in the east. The trail is planned to pass under gorgeous 16,400-foot peaks capped with snow and through a stunning high-altitude UNESCO World Heritage site. The path will traverse ancient villages where hospitality and wine are the currency, and cross crystal blue mountain streams on handmade bridges and ancient Byzantine trading trails worn deep into the fern-covered floors of old-growth forests.

“You have incredibly steep terrain. You have a lot of rivers, and a lot of dense forests that are really difficult to navigate through.” The very obstacles to building a trail here are what make the region a world-class trekking destination. Though virtually unknown on international lists of top treks, the Caucasus lures a small but growing number of extreme hikers looking for adventure in a mostly uncharted wilderness.

Aside from the trouble posed by the difficult terrain, the Caucasus faces historical, cultural, and political concerns, as well as those in geographical and physical form.

From a hiker’s point of view, one of the biggest problems is that the old Soviet trails in the region are unmaintained, with trail markers faded to nothing in places. “Sometimes we lost our track in the woods,” said Irakli Chakhvashvili, a young Georgian geographer who has helped with some of the scouting and mapping.

He recalled a recent hike up to a well-known glacier above Mestia, a popular tourist town in the mountainous Svaneti province in western Georgia. “The markings are also in bad shape,” he said. “It was marked on the maps, but you shouldn’t trust that.”

Read full story…


How to Thru-Hike the 133-Mile Northville-Placid Trail

Posted by on Dec 18, 2016 @ 12:47 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

How to Thru-Hike the 133-Mile Northville-Placid Trail

The Adirondacks are a wilderness area as bottomless as any other on the East Coast, filled with untainted pockets of forest located miles away from any sense of civilization. Here, trails twist like tunnels through old growth and virgin forests alike, packed dense enough that it’s generally only bears and moose who tend to navigate them.

Among the most revered of these trails that tunnel their way through northern New York’s wild expanses of undulating terrain and rocky alpine tundra is the Northville-Placid Trail, a long-distance artery plunging deep into the heart of the region’s original backwoods and into the quietest reaches of Adirondack Park. For 133 miles, the Northville-Placid Trail weaves between ponds, lakes, and rivers, climbs over mountains and hills, and slogs through swamps and bogs as it skips from wilderness areas to quintessential Adirondack villages and back again.

The first ground was broken for the route between the constructions of Vermont’s famous Long Trail and the mighty Appalachian Trail, at a time when the Adirondacks were little more than a massive tract of wilderness dotted with lumber camps, fur traders, and mining operations. It was an obvious matter of logistics that the newly-formed Adirondack Mountain Club’s long distance route would run from Northville to Lake Placid, as they were the two hubs of railroad traffic in the area.

Here’s a look at how to prepare for a 12-day thru-hike of the NPT…


Great Smoky Mountains Natioanl Park Reopens Several Trails

Posted by on Dec 17, 2016 @ 8:41 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Several trails that were closee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park due to the Chimney Tops 2 fire have been reopened effective December 17, 2016. Hikers are reminded to stay on established trails and to be cautious of overhead limbs and trail hazards throughout the area.

The following areas are now open:

Gatlinburg Trail, Sugarland Valley Nature Trail, Huskey Gap Trail, Backcountry Campsite 21, and quiet walkways along Newfound Gap Road between Sugarlands Visitor Center and Newfound Gap.

Park trail crews continue to clear and assess trails throughout the burned area. For updated information on backcountry closures, please visit the park website or call the backcountry office at 865-436-1297.

The fire ban remains in place at this time and applies to the use of all campfires and grills throughout the park including frontcountry and backcountry campsites and picnic areas. No use of wood or charcoal fires is permitted. Campers may continue to use gas camp stoves at designated campsites.


Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Posted by on Dec 17, 2016 @ 6:51 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

On Kangaroo Island, a 20-minute flight from Adelaide, Flinders Chase National Park is a 32,000-hectare spread with free-roaming koalas and kangaroos. It’s long been a favorite weekend escape for nature-loving Australians, but it’s lacked decent long-distance hiking options. The September opening of the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail—an unguided 66-kilometer path along the island’s southwestern coast that takes five days to hike—has changed that.

Kangaroo Island holds many secrets waiting to be discovered. None is more rewarding than the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail. The 66 km Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail offers a unique nature-based experience, giving visitors access to one of the most rugged, remote and spectacular coastlines in Australia.

This section of south-west Kangaroo Island is renowned for its rare and diverse wildlife, pristine bushland and sweeping coastal views. Imagine: the isolation; the serenity; and the natural wonders of this special part of South Australia, and all while walking alongside the vast, awe-inspiring expanse of the Southern Ocean with nothing between you and Antarctica.

But then you won’t be all alone. You will be surrounded, even if you don’t realise it, by Kangaroo Island’s array of wildlife, curious to know who else is enjoying this special part of the world they call home.

The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail is set to become a world-class, iconic attraction of South Australia, and a sought after destination for local and overseas visitors.

But not only will the trail leave you with everlasting memories, it also provides the opportunity to access established attractions including Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch, Hanson Bay and Kelly Hill Caves.


Changes in the works for congested Pisgah Forest entrance

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016 @ 6:46 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Several modifications could be on the way to help alleviate traffic congestion at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest, improve the intersection of Highways 276 and 64, and bring more pedestrian access to the area.

The N.C. Department of Transportation has submitted several projects for funding, one that would widen Highway 276 at the entrance to the forest, one to improve the intersection and another to add a pedestrian bridge.

The proposal to improve the intersection has two alternatives: an update of the signalized intersection like the one currently in use, and a roundabout, according to NCDOT Division Construction Engineer Brian Burch.

The improvements are needed to improve safety and pedestrian access and to ease traffic volume and congestion that motorists are experiencing at that intersection especially during weekends and holidays, he said.

NCDOT will submit the project as part of the draft State Transportation Improvements Program in January, after which environmental studies will begin before alternatives are chosen and the project goes to the public for input.

Traffic studies will be conducted and hopefully completed in the spring, Burch said. That will determine which alternative is the best fit for the intersection, after which an environmental document will be prepared and NCDOT will proceed with design and construction.

Read full story…


Unable To Hike, Woman Carried 79 Miles On Appalachian Trail

Posted by on Dec 14, 2016 @ 6:59 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Unable To Hike, Woman Carried 79 Miles On Appalachian Trail

Carden Wyckoff is unable to hike. But thanks to her brother and friends, she completed a 79-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail this fall.

When Carden was nine-years-old, she learned she had a form of muscular dystrophy known as FSH (facioscapulohumeral). The disease causes weakening of the skeletal muscles. By 14, Carden was no longer able to run. Now 23, she has grudgingly accepted the aid of a scooter in her daily mobility.

Wyckoff’s brother Spencer and volunteers carried her 79 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Bly Gap along the North Carolina state line.

“This 79-mile Georgia Appalachian Trail piggyback hike is a tribute to those who are on that battlefield, fighting each day for their physical and mental well-being,” she said.

This isn’t the siblings’ first crazy outdoor pursuit in the name of FSH awareness. The duo completed a Reebok Spartan Race together. Remarkably, Spencer carried Carden on his back while climbing over and under notoriously tough physical obstacles.

What’s next for the sibling duo? Carden is leading a nationwide campaign for better sidewalks and #equalaccess to public places. You can bet that her brother Spencer will be right there with her every step of the way.



Meet the 23-Year-Old Who’s Halfway Through a 9,500-Mile Coastal Walk For a Great Cause

Posted by on Dec 13, 2016 @ 6:49 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

23-year-old Alex Ellis Roswell from Kent, England has been walking the coastline of the United Kingdom and Ireland for the past two years and is still only halfway through his journey.

He started the 9,500-mile-walk back on August 3, 2014 and has already raised £30,000 (almost $38K USD) for RNLI Lifeboats, a charity that’s dedicated to saving lives at sea.

As he approaches his third winter, he says he has no plans to stop anytime soon.

Ellis says that he started the walk as a “way to clear his head after the death of a close family member, wanting to do something very positive and completely different with his life.”

“I started walking on a hot Sunday in August 2014, with very little idea what I was getting myself into. The biggest challenge of walking the coasts of Britain and Ireland has probably been the weather. Particularly the weather this (past) winter when I was on the west coast of Ireland – the wettest winter on record!”

“I’ve been lucky this autumn,” he said. “It’s been dry. The colours of the leaves and heather have been breathtaking at times. But the leaves are almost all gone now and the temperature is falling fast as I walk into my third Winter.”

He expects to finish, returning back to his hometown of Kent sometime in 2018.

Full story here…


Wicked Wild Waterfall Photography Weekend

Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 @ 6:57 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Wicked Wild Waterfall Photography Weekend

Like waterfalls? Like photographing waterfalls?

Kevin Adams photographed his first waterfall in the mid-1980s and has been leading waterfall photo tours since the early 1990s. If he has learned anything along the way, it’s that waterfalls are among the most popular photo subjects in the world. And the wild and wonderful waterfalls of western North Carolina attract more waterfall photographers than perhaps any area of similar size in the country.

Kevin has always enjoyed leading photo tours and giving programs on waterfall photography. But photo tours are limited to a few people and he can cover only so much material in a 60-minute program. He wondered if there was a way to reach out to a larger gathering of waterfall enthusiasts and provide comprehensive material. Thus, the Wicked Wild Waterfall Photography Weekend was born.

Regardless of your skill level or photographic experience, this event will energize and inspire you. Some people say that the negative ions produced by waterfalls create a feeling of euphoria, which is why we love waterfalls so much.

Kevin is the guy who wrote the bestselling North Carolina Waterfalls book. He knows waterfalls and waterfall photography, and he wants to share his passion with you.

The Wicked Wild Waterfall Photography Weekend will be held May 19-21, 2017 in Brevard, North Carolina. Join 200 other nature photographers in beautiful Brevard, Transylvania County’s “Land of Waterfalls.”

Learn more here…


New hiking route connects Los Angeles to 67 miles of backcountry bliss

Posted by on Dec 10, 2016 @ 12:49 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

New hiking route connects Los Angeles to 67 miles of backcountry bliss

One of the newest backcountry trails in the West skirts the busiest city in the country.

The thoroughfare, dubbed the Backbone Trail, stretches about 67 miles through the Santa Monica Mountains that ring Los Angeles, and opened in June after more than 50 years in the making.

The trail, which connects Point Mugu State Park in Malibu to Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades, has evolved slowly over the years. Non-government volunteers worked with state and federal park employees to fund and build the path, and to acquire the land necessary to connect the pieces.

In June, the Backbone was designated a National Recreation Trail, one of 1,200 in the country specially acknowledged by the American Trails organization for its ability to promote conservation, recreation and health.

What makes the Backbone unique? For starters, the trail traverses one of the region’s largest remaining tracts of undeveloped landscape, a well-preserved mix of chaparral-covered hillsides, oak woodlands and rocky outcrop spires.

The views aren’t too shabby, either. From the apex at the top of Sandstone Peak you can see the Channel Islands to the south and the Tehachapi Range to the north. Also, if you’re hiking from east to west, the last 6 or so quad-burning miles back down into Malibu — a section known as the Ray Miller Trail — offer sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean.

Read full story…


Your National Park Guide to Hiking in the Winter

Posted by on Dec 9, 2016 @ 12:29 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Your National Park Guide to Hiking in the Winter

National parks in some parts of the country are already locked under snow and ice, and many more soon will be. Your chance to enjoy the outdoors doesn’t end with the arrival of cold weather, though. Winter offers a unique opportunity to experience your national parks, so consider this your national park guide to winter hiking.

The landscapes of many national parks are simply stunning in winter, offering spectacular views and an unmatched sense of solitude. That being said, there are also risks. In winter, all the perils that come with an ordinary hiking trip are amplified, from difficult terrain to severe weather exposure. The chances of becoming lost are greater when trails are covered in snow, and rescue is likely to take longer.

Don’t let the difficulties of winter hiking discourage you, but be prepared and take all necessary precautions. Know the trail before you go, never hike alone, and pack all the supplies you’ll need for a variety of conditions. A well-planned winter hike could easily be the best adventure of the year.

Many parks across the country offer excellent winter hiking opportunities and during a very special time of year. Not only are you likely to encounter fewer people, but you’re also likely to get a special glimpse of wildlife. Look for outstanding trails in your national parks during the colder months.

Solid tips here…


Fire restrictions on Appalachian Trail lifted; ban remains in Smokies

Posted by on Dec 8, 2016 @ 12:00 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Fire restrictions on Appalachian Trail lifted; ban remains in Smokies

The National Park Service and Appalachian Trail Conservancy on December 7, 2016 lifted fire restrictions on 27.7 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Virginia, from Newport Road (Va. 624) north to Mountain Pass Road (Va. 652). This section of the AT includes the popular viewpoints of McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs.

Although fire hazard conditions have become less severe because of recent rainfall, campers should only have fires in established fire rings at designated campsites.

This announcement follows the lifting of the fire ban throughout Shenandoah National Park on Dec. 5 and George Washington and Jefferson, Chattahoochee, Nantahala and Pisgah national forests on Dec. 6. Before lifting these bans, restrictions were in place continuously from the northern boundary of SNP 965.5 miles south to the southern terminus of the Trail at Springer Mountain, Georgia, since the middle of November.

Fire restrictions remain in place along the AT in Grayson Highlands State Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and in the Cherokee National Forest and Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina. These restrictions will remain in effect until sufficient precipitation occurs in these areas.

Some 28.6 miles of the AT are still closed to visitors — from Dicks Creek Gap/U.S. 76 in Georgia (mile 69.9) to Mooney Gap USFS 83 (mile 98.5) in North Carolina — because of wildfires in the area.

The AT north from Mooney Gap to the Nantahala River (U.S. 19/U.S. 74, mile 137.1) was reopened Dec. 6 after being closed for several weeks because of wildfires. Hikers are asked to be very cautious of hazard trees and other potential dangers within the burned areas.


Hiking in Snowmass provides solitude and views that canʹt be beat

Posted by on Dec 6, 2016 @ 12:18 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hikers who are looking for a pleasant jaunt in the woods, a steady climb that alternates between patches of forest and open, flower-choked meadows and slogs through dark timber have it all in their backyard in Aspen’s Snowmass Village.

The town has done a good job over the years of creating an extensive trail system that now boasts 26 miles of natural-surface trails and 8 miles of paved.

The paved trails are a great introduction to the mountain environment without making a backcountry commitment, according to Andy Worline, director of parks, recreation and trails. Summer maps of the trail system can be found at Town Hall, the recreation center, bike shops, various trailheads and online.

Worline recommended the Ditch Trail as a transitional route for visitors to the village. It’s flat and easy and is the gateway to the White River National Forest after covering 2.5 miles. It also has the advantage of offering plenty of parking on the end closest to the village.

After you acclimate to the elevation, Worline recommends the South Rim Trail, which starts with a 700-foot vertical climb. The smooth trail surface and perfectly sculpted switchbacks take some of the pain out of the gain.

Hikers who stick with it are rewarded with an “epic view” at the Yin/Yang platform on a short spur after the trail tops out, Worline noted.

Read full story…


7 Essential Items in your Emergency Survival Kit

Posted by on Dec 6, 2016 @ 8:55 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

7 Essential Items in your Emergency Survival Kit

Whether you are a traveler, hiker, or someone who stays at home most of the time, you should be equipped with an emergency survival kit all the time. Why? Because a critical condition can knock on your door anytime, leaving you in a state of shock. It can be a natural calamity or a small accident in your house or workplace.  

But, if you make sure to have these seven important items in your emergency survival kit, you can easily deal with the worst situations and improve your chances of survival.



Now that you know about the most needed things for your emergency survival kit, it is time you should have one for yourself. To get more information, take a look at More Prepared, a survival preparedness expert.

This latest infographic comes to us from Mina Arnao, the Founder/CEO of More Prepared, the emergency preparedness experts for over 10 years. More Prepared’s mission is to help families, schools and businesses prepare for earthquakes and other emergencies. Mina is CERT trained (community emergency response team) and Red Cross certified.


Conservation Organizations Saving a National Treasure

Posted by on Dec 5, 2016 @ 11:58 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Conservation Organizations Saving a National Treasure

The Blue Ridge Parkway is the nation’s longest parkway, stretching 469 miles to connect Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee. Created during the Great Depression, this national treasure spans 252 miles and 17 mountain counties in North Carolina.

Lands along the Blue Ridge Parkway provide spectacular vistas of mature forests and rolling farmland. These areas include pristine streams, challenging hiking trails, and cultural and historic sites as well. Eight nonprofit conservation organizations have permanently protected 63,948 acres in 76 places, and are protecting more each day.

Numerous partner organizations help protect spectacular properties along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. Some of the partner organizations work closely with landowners to protect their land, while others provide essential funding for this work. All work together to ensure that the highest priority properties along the Parkway are preserved.

Now, a new website highlighting land protection projects along the North Carolina section of the Blue Ridge Parkway is up and running, touting all the land that has been protected.

Learn more here…


Hopewell Lake provides historic setting for late fall hiking in Taos

Posted by on Dec 4, 2016 @ 5:47 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hopewell Lake provides historic setting for late fall hiking in Taos

Hillsides of bare aspen trees, with their alabaster trunks and rocky cliffs shining silent in the sun, mark the coming of late fall to Taos. With many sunny days ahead, this is a good time to visit the forest.

Hopewell Lake Trail is located about an hour northwest of Taos past Tres Piedras in the Carson National Forest. In addition to being a beautiful trek through the trees along Hopewell Ridge, this trail is also significant because it is part of the Continental Divide Trail that runs from Canada to Mexico.

Hopewell Lake is a day use area with picnic shelters and restroom facilities. There is a campground just beyond it. Fishing is allowed at the lake, which is stocked by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

To find the trail, look for the group picnic shelter and the trail sign on the hill just above it. A short segment of trail leads through the aspen and evergreen forest to the campground. Follow the campground road and look for the trail sign on the right to rejoin the route. The path crosses an open field and once more heads into the forest, first turning west and then south.

Because it is part of the Continental Divide Trail, the route is marked with frequent “CDT” emblems on posts and trees. There are also rocks stacked into small cairns that help hikers keep on the trail. A gradual uphill climb leads to a gate marked by the CDT symbol.

Read full story…


Update on the Appalachian Trail and the Southeastern Fires

Posted by on Dec 3, 2016 @ 7:18 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Update on the Appalachian Trail and the Southeastern Fires

From the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Over the last few weeks, fires have raged across the southern Appalachian Mountains and the Appalachian Trail from Georgia up to central Virginia, and many major fires are still burning. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the many people dealing with the loss of life, homes, businesses and other property. We also want to thank the brave firefighters from all over the country who have joined the fight to protect the region and the Trail from further damage.

Many of you have inquired about the status of the A.T. in those areas where fires came close to or even crossed the Trail.

What we know:
•Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have closed the 71.2 miles of the A.T. within the Park.
•Fires crossed 31 miles of the A.T. in a stretch from the northern edge of GA into southern NC.
•The A.T. is closed from Dicks Creek Gap/U.S. 76 in GA (mile 69.9) to the Nantahala River/U.S. 19/U.S. 74 in NC (mile 137.1).
•The A.T. is closed from U.S. 60 (mile 806.1) to Saltlog Gap, VA (mile 814.6).

Currently, due to safety concerns, authorities have not cleared those sections for ATC Staff and Trail Clubs to assess the damage. We hope to be able to perform this assessment as soon as possible.

We do know this: there will be numerous hazard trees to cut down; shelters will need to be repaired or rebuilt entirely; water bars and cribbing will need to be installed; and, with the loss of a great deal of underbrush, the possibility of significant erosion and even mudslides will exist.

In short, we have a great deal of work ahead of us.

What can you do to help? The best thing to do now is to make a donation to the ATC. We will use your contribution to assess the damage and implement repairs to the Trail in the affected areas. Your generous donation will also fund our ongoing efforts to preserve and protect the Appalachian Trail hiking experience from Georgia to Maine.


What Do Wild Animals Do in a Wildfire?

Posted by on Dec 2, 2016 @ 11:31 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Note: this article was originally posted in 2014 but is just as applicable to the Southeast wildfires occurring now.

Many animals and other organisms have evolved to cope with—and even thrive in the wake of—the flames.

“Wildlife have a long-standing relationship with fire,” says ecosystem ecologist Mazeika Sullivan of Ohio State University, Columbus. “Fire is a natural part of these [wilderness] landscapes.”

When the flames begin, animals don’t just sit there and wait to be overcome. Birds will fly away. Mammals will run. Amphibians and other small creatures will burrow into the ground, hide out in logs, or take cover under rocks. And other animals, including large ones like elk, will take refuge in streams and lakes.

Gabriel d’Eustachio, a bush firefighter in Australia, says he doesn’t usually see many animals in fires, although a flaming bunny once surprised him. But he has spotted plenty of invertebrates preceding the flames. “You get overrun by this wave of creepy-crawlies walking ahead of the fire,” he says.

Scientists don’t have any good estimates on the number of animals that die in wildfires each year. But there are no documented cases of fires—even the really severe ones—wiping out entire populations or species.

Read full story…


Manitou Incline: After 3 months of repairs, one of Colorado’s favorite hiking spots reopens

Posted by on Dec 2, 2016 @ 6:58 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Manitou Incline, the heart-pounding mile of steps near Colorado Springs, will reopen Friday, December 2, 2016, after three months of repairs.

Hikers can return to the challenging workout that has made Manitou Springs a destination for local, national and international visitors, but now they can climb a trail that’s been updated to fend off erosion.

“It is by far the most intense workout you’ll ever have and I think that in it of itself just the challenge of pushing your body to limits you didn’t think possible is just a draw,” a spokeswoman said.

The new hiking path started as a cable tram that was completed in 1907 to move water down from the north slope of Pikes Peak to Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs.

Manitou Incline facts

Elevation gain: 2,000 feet
Number of steps: 2,741
Average grade: 43 percent
Steepest grade: 68 percent
Distance: 1 mile
Official fastest time: Roughly 17 minutes
Annual trips: About 350,000

Read full story…