News

Wilderness Skills Institute Seeks Trainees Dedicated to Conservation

Posted by on Feb 17, 2019 @ 9:45 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Wilderness Skills Institute Seeks Trainees Dedicated to Conservation

Dedicated individuals seeking to further their skills and experience in environmental conservation are invited to apply for the 2019 Wilderness Skills Institute (WSI), a two-week training course that provides a variety of instruction on basic to advanced-level skills necessary for working in wilderness environments. Held on May 20-24, 2019 and May 28-31, 2019 at the Cradle of Forestry near Brevard, North Carolina, the Institute will cover a range of essential skills from wilderness first aid to crosscut saw and axe certification. “The...

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park Announces Paving Project on Little River Road

Posted by on Feb 16, 2019 @ 7:15 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Announces Paving Project on Little River Road

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that a pavement preservation project will begin Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on Little River Road. A thin pavement overlay will be applied to the entire length of the 16.5-mile roadway between Sugarlands Visitor Center to the Townsend Wye along with associated pull-offs and parking lots and the 1.5-mile Elkmont Road leading to the campground. The project should be completed by September 20, 2019, though work schedules are subject to revision as needed for inclement weather. Visitors...

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Hiking old mining trails a reminder that one person’s trash is another’s artifact

Posted by on Feb 15, 2019 @ 9:00 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking old mining trails a reminder that one person’s trash is another’s artifact

Heading up the trail, relics from the mine began to appear. Rusted-out pipes and cast-off chunks of steel, their purpose left to the imagination, lined the stream bed like a trail of bread crumbs to the mine proper. The rusted hulks of engines, crushers, corrugated metal and sluice boxes stood like ancient sentries to the entrance of a tunnel into the side of the mountain. The entrance was bridged by snow and partially caved in. A narrow set of iron tracks, used to ferry material from the depths of the mountain in ore carts, emerged from the...

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402 acres added to DuPont State Recreational Forest

Posted by on Feb 14, 2019 @ 6:48 am in Conservation | 0 comments

402 acres added to DuPont State Recreational Forest

DuPont State Recreational Forest continues to grow by leaps and bounds, with Conserving Carolina announcing an additional 402 acres added to the forest. The addition will help conserve key headwater streams along the Eastern Continental Divide and link the forest with more than 100,000 acres of existing conserved lands along the North Carolina-South Carolina border. In a news release, Conserving Carolina announced the new Continental Divide Property, located south of the forest in Transylvania County and extending across the Eastern...

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California North Coast’s Great Redwood Trail would convert decaying railway into 320-mile pathway

Posted by on Feb 13, 2019 @ 8:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

California North Coast’s Great Redwood Trail would convert decaying railway into 320-mile pathway

The first steps toward making a more than 300-mile walking and cycling trail from the San Francisco Bay to Humboldt Bay, crossing some of the North Coast’s most scenic, least-traveled landscapes are set to begin later this year. Details such as when the Great Redwood Trail could be completed, how the most challenging stretches might be constructed and how much it all will cost remain big unknowns. But advocates of the ambitious plan to convert a decaying railway into a world-class pathway, potentially drawing tens of thousands of visitors to...

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The Senate just passed the decade’s biggest public lands package. Here’s what’s in it.

Posted by on Feb 12, 2019 @ 5:18 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

The Senate just passed the decade’s biggest public lands package. Here’s what’s in it.

The Senate today passed the most sweeping conservation legislation in a decade, protecting millions of acres of land and hundreds of miles of wild rivers across the country and establishing four new national monuments honoring heroes from Civil War soldiers to a civil rights icon. The 662-page measure, which passed 92 to 8, represented an old-fashioned approach to deal-making that has largely disappeared on Capitol Hill. Senators from across the ideological spectrum celebrated home-state gains and congratulated each other for bridging the...

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World’s Driest Desert Floods as Extreme Weather Hits Chile

Posted by on Feb 12, 2019 @ 7:19 am in Conservation | 0 comments

World’s Driest Desert Floods as Extreme Weather Hits Chile

The world’s driest desert is flooding and some of the planet’s wettest woodlands are burning. Welcome to summer in Chile. Rains high up in the Andes Mountains have led to torrents of water pouring into the Atacama desert below, sweeping away houses and roads. Meanwhile in the south, blistering temperatures have fueled forest fires, leading the government to declare some regions a disaster area. President Sebastian Piñera declared a “zone of emergency” in northern Chile after heavy rains devastated the country’s El Loa province. Flooding...

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Guide to Hiking the Art Loeb Trail in One Weekend

Posted by on Feb 11, 2019 @ 8:44 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Guide to Hiking the Art Loeb Trail in One Weekend

  If you are looking for a solid prep hike for the Appalachian Trail or just want to hike one of National Geographic Adventure’s top North American hikes, look no further than the Art Loeb Trail near Brevard, NC. Rather than a loop trail, the Art Loeb Trail runs northbound for 30 miles from the Davidson River Campground to the Daniel Boone Boy Scout Camp. The hike ranges from climbing up incredibly hilly terrain in the green tunnel to walking along ridgelines. The trail is no walk in the park, with trail section ratings ranging from...

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NoBo vs SoBo Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hiker – What’s the Difference?

Posted by on Feb 10, 2019 @ 8:56 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

NoBo vs SoBo Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hiker – What’s the Difference?

One of the big decisions PCT thru-hikers have to make before choosing a start date is which direction they want to travel along the trail in. PCT thru-hikers are known as either a NoBo or SoBo hiker. “NoBo” is short for northbound. A northbound PCT thru-hiker will start from the southern terminus at Campo, California along the US/Mexico border and hike north towards Canada. On the AT, NoBo hikers travel from Georgia to Maine. “SoBo” is short for southbound. A southbound PCT thru-hiker will start from the northern terminus at the US/Canadian...

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The Green New Deal is here, and everyone has something to say about it

Posted by on Feb 8, 2019 @ 8:28 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The Green New Deal is here, and everyone has something to say about it

For the past several weeks, there’s been rampant speculation about what would be included in the much talked about Green New Deal, the ambitious plan to tackle climate change and remake much of the American economy. That anticipation came along with trepidation from some corners over whether the deal would include controversial elements that have already led to heated debate. Will a future bill include a jobs guarantee? Will nuclear energy be part of our energy mix of the future? Will it fold in universal healthcare? Well, the nail-biting can...

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Conserving Carolina working to rehab 100-acre wetland

Posted by on Feb 7, 2019 @ 7:07 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Conserving Carolina working to rehab 100-acre wetland

Conserving Carolina is working on an ambitious project to completely rehabilitate the mouth of Mud Creek where it empties into the French Broad River near Fletcher, NC. The goals are to return the area to a pre-development state that provides a safe haven to musky and other fish, curbs the reach of invasive species, reduces pollution and helps provide a place for all that water to go when heavy rains flood the French Broad. They’re going to work to expand the riparian buffer by planting trees and other species that would naturally be found...

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20 thousand miles, 15 countries, 1825 days and countless pairs of underpants

Posted by on Feb 6, 2019 @ 6:51 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

20 thousand miles, 15 countries, 1825 days and countless pairs of underpants

Lucy Barnard is on a mission to walk the entire length of the world from Argentina to Alaska with her cattle dog Wombat in tow. Lucy is an Australian adventurer on a mission to walk the entire length of the world. “There is a moment between having an idea and acting on it, where you choose to do something. or you won’t…I decided to become the first woman to walk the length of the earth. “It’s a 30,000 km trek from the southernmost point of South America to the highest point of Alaska. When I finish I will be the first woman, and one of only a...

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Earth Movers Poised To Erect Border Barrier At Texas Butterfly Refuge

Posted by on Feb 5, 2019 @ 8:42 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Earth Movers Poised To Erect Border Barrier At Texas Butterfly Refuge

Construction equipment has moved into place to erect Trump’s looming border barrier in southern Texas in the middle of a butterfly refuge, whose operators are furious that their land has been seized and environmental regulations ignored. The barrier is being erected along a levee of the Rio Grande in the border town of Mission. The 18 feet of steel bollards on top of an 18-foot concrete wall will cut off 70 percent of the 100-acre National Butterfly Center closest to the river, refuge executive director Marianna Trevino-Wright said. The...

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Don’t mean to alarm you, but there’s a big hole in the world’s most important glacier

Posted by on Feb 4, 2019 @ 8:40 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Don’t mean to alarm you, but there’s a big hole in the world’s most important glacier

Civilization’s most important glacier has revealed another worrying surprise to scientists. The Thwaites Glacier, the largest outflow channel of the vulnerable West Antarctic Ice Sheet, now has a gigantic subterranean hole. The hollowed-out section is two-thirds the size of Manhattan and 1,000 feet tall — big enough to have contained 14 billion tons of ice, according to a new study in the journal Science Advances. The NASA scientists who discovered it think most of the hole formed in just the past three years. As huge as that sounds, it’s...

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Invasive Feral Hogs Continue to Threaten Roan Highlands

Posted by on Feb 3, 2019 @ 8:59 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Invasive Feral Hogs Continue to Threaten Roan Highlands

2019 marks the fifth year of coordinated efforts to manage invasive feral hogs in the Highlands of Roan. These hogs damage the fragile, globally important ecosystems of Roan as they “root,” eating rare species and tearing up the terrain. They also spread multiple diseases and pose a safety threat to outdoor recreation enthusiasts. “Since feral hogs can have devastating impacts on plants and wildlife, as well as human and livestock health, the situation requires coordinating a broad group of partners,” explains Marquette Crockett, Southern...

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Park Staff Ordered to Violate Laws and Stand Aside as People Trashed Parks During Shutdown

Posted by on Feb 2, 2019 @ 7:03 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Park Staff Ordered to Violate Laws and Stand Aside as People Trashed Parks During Shutdown

Rangers describe the despair of watching national parks sustain preventable long-term damage, as well as the terrible effects the historic standoff has had on morale. The partial government shutdown is over, but some of the damage national parks sustained during the 35-day standoff will last long into the future. During the shutdown, the Trump administration directed National Park Service staff to keep most parks open to visitors despite the agency having only a skeleton crew of “essential staff” on duty to protect them. This decision, which...

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Let’s say you wanted to escape climate change. Where should you go?

Posted by on Feb 1, 2019 @ 8:48 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Let’s say you wanted to escape climate change. Where should you go?

So you want to escape climate change. That’s a reasonable impulse — climate change rivals nuclear war for the greatest threat to human life in the history of our species’ existence. Every survival instinct we’ve cultivated to date should, understandably, make us want to get away from it. Let’s start by evaluating regions of the U.S. based on the basics of what we expect climate change to bring. We know that the seas will swell and temperatures will go up. So that particularly endangers a host of coastal cities with relatively warm climates,...

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Shutdown thefts and odd animal crimes in Smokies; Tennessee NPS sites “lucky”

Posted by on Jan 31, 2019 @ 7:46 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Shutdown thefts and odd animal crimes in Smokies; Tennessee NPS sites “lucky”

Thefts, break-ins, and odd crimes involving animals have surfaced in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) as rangers take stock of any damages during the government shutdown. GSMNP spokesperson Dana Soehn said rangers discovered the theft of several tools from a facility in Cosby. The rangers had not determined the total value of stolen items. There was also a break-in at a campground office, but the office was closed for the season and nothing was stolen. The workers in the Smokies came across what initially appeared to a poaching...

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The continental U.S. has warmed 1.8 degrees in a century. Seas are 9 inches higher. Here is what climate change looks like.

Posted by on Jan 30, 2019 @ 6:55 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The continental U.S. has warmed 1.8 degrees in a century. Seas are 9 inches higher. Here is what climate change looks like.

Michael Golden has hunted elk on this mountain in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley his entire life. It’s a tradition he shared with his father. But his son is growing up in a starkly different environment. Montana has warmed 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1950, considerably more than the United States as a whole. That added heat is contributing to raging forest fires and bark beetle outbreaks, a combination that has devastated the state’s forests. What Golden and his son have witnessed is part of a broader trend. The forests have seen so much damage...

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Microplastics in Tennessee River raise health, environmental concerns

Posted by on Jan 29, 2019 @ 6:39 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Microplastics in Tennessee River raise health, environmental concerns

  A cubic meter of Tennessee River water contains about 17,000 tiny plastic particles, and scientists’ increasing concern about the health effects of those microplastics when ingested by humans has added urgency to recent cleanup efforts. Tennessee Riverkeeper last week organized a cleanup effort at Dry Branch Creek, a heavily littered waterway that connects to the Tennessee River, and a dozen volunteers collected almost a ton of plastic and other materials. “One of the sources of the microplastic pollution is plastic litter,” said...

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Why horses can poop on the trails but your dog can’t

Posted by on Jan 28, 2019 @ 8:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Why horses can poop on the trails but your dog can’t

You’ve seen the big piles of horse poop on your favorite trails, often right in the middle of the path. They’re big and ugly and no one wants to step or ride through them — yuck. Meanwhile, you’re packing poop-scoop bags and hauling your dog’s waste along to the nearest trash can. It can get you to wonder, if horses can poop on the trail, I can leave my dog’s there too, right? Well, wrong, and for good reason. Since horses don’t eat meat, or anything derived from meat, horse poop is relatively...

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Climate Change Is Already Driving Mass Human Migration Around the Globe

Posted by on Jan 27, 2019 @ 9:27 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Given the oversized role that migration plays in our current political discourse, you’d think there would be more emphasis on the one factor military and security experts believe will affect future migration patterns more than any other: climate change. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), a nonpartisan agency that analyzes and audits federal policy to ensure its efficiency and cost-effectiveness, isn’t going to let the topic go unaddressed. In a report to Congress, the GAO criticized the manner in which the Trump administration...

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Weary Hikers in Norway Can Take a Break in This Cabin Built Like a 3D Puzzle

Posted by on Jan 26, 2019 @ 8:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Weary Hikers in Norway Can Take a Break in This Cabin Built Like a 3D Puzzle

Thanks to a true community effort, weary hikers trekking along the arctic terrain of northern Norway will have a new place to rest their feet. A small cabin in Hammerfest—commissioned by the town’s local chapter of the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT)—rises like a tortoise shell along the rough terrain. The quaint space has a wood burning stove, seating, and incredible views across the landscape that will surely recharge any hikers’ batteries. The cabin was designed to blend with the landscape. This effect was achieved through an...

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In Britain, Enraptured by the Wild, Lonely and Remote

Posted by on Jan 25, 2019 @ 9:24 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

In Britain, Enraptured by the Wild, Lonely and Remote

The Hutchison Memorial Hut, colloquially called the Hutchie Hut, is one of more than 100 rustic shelters scattered throughout England, Wales and Scotland that are frequented by a motley assortment of outdoor adventurers. Left unlocked, free to use and with most offering little more than a roof, four walls and perhaps a small wood-burning stove, the buildings, called bothies (rhymes with “frothy”), are an indispensable — if for many years underground — element of British hill culture. A vast majority of bothies are repurposed structures —...

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National Park Service Abandons Defense of Latest Pipeline Permit

Posted by on Jan 24, 2019 @ 6:44 am in Conservation | 0 comments

National Park Service Abandons Defense of Latest Pipeline Permit

The National Park Service has voluntarily abandoned its defense of the agency’s latest permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross the Blue Ridge Parkway. NPS issued the revised permit after the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in August 2018, vacated its original authorization for the pipeline. On January 16, 2019 the Park Service asked the Fourth Circuit to remand the permit back to the agency so that it could vacate the permit and reconsider whether issuing it was appropriate in light of legal issues raised in the appeal. The agency...

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The Best Backpacking Loops in Colorado’s Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

Posted by on Jan 23, 2019 @ 8:29 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Best Backpacking Loops in Colorado’s Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

In a state known for mountains, the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness stands out among Colorado’s mountainous locales. The stunning Elk Range towers with dramatic peaks. Located just outside of Aspen, Colorado’s fourth-largest wilderness stretches over 181,000 acres and provides numerous life-list backpacking opportunities on its 100 miles of trails. Six summits rise over 14,000 feet, including the Maroon Bells, perhaps the most photographed peaks in Colorado. Nine alpine passes surpass 12,000 feet in elevation. Numerous alpine lakes lie...

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Huge conservation project paves way to caving, hiking and more in North Georgia

Posted by on Jan 22, 2019 @ 8:42 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Huge conservation project paves way to caving, hiking and more in North Georgia

  A perfect collision of forces — an anonymous donor looking for a tax write-off, a failed subdivision that turned out to be a $40 million mortgage-fraud scheme, and strategic purchases by conservationists to protect area caves — paved the way for one of the biggest nonprofit conservation projects in the region. Nearly 2,400 acres on Lookout Mountain and into Johnson’s Crook in Dade County, Georgia, have been preserved and will be managed by the Southeastern Cave Conservancy Inc. as the new Charles B. Henson Preserve at...

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12 Cities Around The World That Are Unexpectedly Good For Hiking

Posted by on Jan 21, 2019 @ 9:07 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

12 Cities Around The World That Are Unexpectedly Good For Hiking

When it comes to planning a trip, it might seem like one has to pick between the freedom of the great outdoors and the hustle and bustle of a city. But, that’s not always true — you don’t have to pick. There are cities around the world that are unexpectedly good for hiking, which means you can have your city adventure and your country escape at the same time. There are so many incredible cities, both domestic and international, that are backed up against a mountain, or beside a river, or next to a preserve. Having the ability to...

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Arizona hike: The back way to Tonto Creek is rugged, rewarding

Posted by on Jan 20, 2019 @ 9:25 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Arizona hike: The back way to Tonto Creek is rugged, rewarding

Occupying a few dusty acres between nowhere and Roosevelt Lake, the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it community of Jake’s Corner is a popular way station for outdoor enthusiasts. Its ramshackle appearance and come-as-you-are ambiance are big draws for anglers, hunters, boaters, bikers and ATV riders. Sometimes, hikers find the place, too. Located 22 miles north of the lake along State Route 188 in Gila County, the watering hole is the northern outpost of a string of RV parks, creaky-floor honky-tonks, bait shops and general stores. The scenic stretch...

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National Park Superintendents stay mum during ‘blackout on news’

Posted by on Jan 19, 2019 @ 10:06 am in Conservation | 0 comments

National Park Superintendents stay mum during ‘blackout on news’

There’s an easy reason to explain why National Park Service superintendents have suddenly gone mum: They’re scared. That’s according to former National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. “In my conversations with folks that are in the field, there is an element of fear that has been conveyed down, that you’ll be punished if you speak out, certainly if you speak to the press,” Jarvis told a group of House Democratic leaders this week. In an interview, Jarvis said the Trump administration wants to keep...

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Some Basic Elements of Winter Hiking

Posted by on Jan 18, 2019 @ 9:16 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Some Basic Elements of Winter Hiking

Clear cold days, rime ice, outstanding views, ice crystals hanging from spruce bows, solitude on a snow-covered trail and no bugs — these are some of the many reasons many take to the mountains during the winter season. A winter tramp in the woods and mountains can be an experience that some would say is addicting. Others cannot fathom the idea of trekking up a mountainside in three feet of snow, with the wind howling and temperatures hovering around zero. But with careful planning, appropriate skills, and knowledge, it can be a wonderful,...

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Picking the Best Hiking Trail for Your Abilities (Easy, Moderate and Strenuous)

Posted by on Jan 17, 2019 @ 7:18 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Picking the Best Hiking Trail for Your Abilities (Easy, Moderate and Strenuous)

People enjoy hiking for a variety of reasons, but many of those who hit their local trails do so for the exercise the activity provides. However, there’s a big difference between breaking a sweat and working out your muscles during a hike and biting off more than you can chew. You don’t want to wear yourself out and require assistance getting back to the trailhead. Conversely, you don’t want to head out for an afternoon in hopes of working out your calves and burning a bunch of calories only to find that the trail you chose is no more...

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Ice loss from Antarctica has sextupled since the 1970s, new research finds

Posted by on Jan 16, 2019 @ 7:04 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Ice loss from Antarctica has sextupled since the 1970s, new research finds

Antarctic glaciers have been melting at an accelerating pace over the past four decades thanks to an influx of warm ocean water – a startling new finding that researchers say could mean sea levels are poised to rise more quickly than predicted in coming decades. The Antarctic lost 40 billion tons of melting ice to the ocean each year from 1979 to 1989. That figure rose to 252 billion tons lost per year beginning in 2009, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That means the region is...

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Some Great Smoky Mountains National Park facilities reopen, but park is not back to normal

Posted by on Jan 15, 2019 @ 11:19 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Some Great Smoky Mountains National Park facilities reopen, but park is not back to normal

Locating an open public restroom in Great Smoky Mountains National Park should be easier starting this week but finding someone to suggest a good spot for a family hike or to replace a washed out trail bridge won’t be. Workers are reopening limited facilities and in a few locations around the park that had been closed during the partial federal government shutdown, park officials announced Sunday, January 13, 2019. They include restrooms at Smokemont Campground, located just off U.S. 441 about 5 miles north of the park entrance at...

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The Search for England’s Forgotten Footpaths

Posted by on Jan 15, 2019 @ 6:53 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Search for England’s Forgotten Footpaths

Nineteen years ago, the British government passed one of its periodic laws to manage how people move through the countryside. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act created a new “right to roam” on common land, opening up three million acres of mountains and moor, heath and down, to cyclists, climbers, and dog walkers. It also set an ambitious goal: to record every public path crisscrossing England and Wales by January 1, 2026. The British Isles have been walked for a long time. They have been mapped, and mapped again, for centuries. But that...

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Age is Just a Number

Posted by on Jan 14, 2019 @ 7:15 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Age is Just a Number

The saying, “Age is just a number,” is more of a motto for one 75-year-old Canton, GA resident, who proved that adage, completing the 14-state, 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail last month. Richard Smith, known to those on the trail and many in Canton as “Old Scout,” completed the momentous hike in what is known as the “AT Flip-Flop.” Instead of hiking from Georgia’s Springer Mountain through to Maine’s Mount Katahdin, he hiked from Harpers Ferry in West Virginia to Maine, took a combination of trains and buses back to Harpers Ferry and completed...

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