Smokies seeks volunteers to maintain cabins

Posted by on Jul 11, 2012 @ 7:34 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers for an Adopt-a-Cabin program. Park spokeswoman Molly Schroer said the park needs light maintenance work done at more than 90 historical structures in the Smokies. The tasks involve picking up trash and debris as well as removing graffiti. The Smokies has one of the best collections of log buildings in the eastern United States. Volunteers will be assigned to specific buildings and should plan to work at them at least once per month. Read full story…...

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Summer doldrums? Students can volunteer in the Smokies

Posted by on Jul 11, 2012 @ 6:32 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Students can join a ranger in Great Smoky Mountains National Park this summer in a hands-on work project. The Summer Student Volunteer Days is for high school and college students. Here’s what’s available in North Carolina: • From July 10 through Aug. 14, service projects for students include helping with historic preservation, seed collection, graffiti removal, pulling invasive plants and more. • From July 19 through Aug. 9, students will get involved in “Citizen Science” projects such as salamander monitoring, tree mapping and water quality...

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Treasured Landscape: Ozark National Forest

Posted by on Jul 10, 2012 @ 6:04 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Dripping methodically from cavern ceilings, meandering through shady oaks and hickory trees, tumbling over the edge of rocky bluffs – water feeds and shapes and defines the landscape of northern Arkansas and its Ozark National Forest. This sculptor of the Ozarks landscape has carved canyons and caves, filled copious rivers and streams, and nurtured a verdant swath of mixed hardwood forests. Though people commonly refer to the region as the “Ozark Mountains,” geologists define this range as the “Boston Mountains.” These rugged hills began as a...

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Glacier National Park buys 120 acres of private land inside boundaries

Posted by on Jul 10, 2012 @ 1:44 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

It’s the incredible tale of a rogue ranger and his whiskey-running wife, an opium-addicted moonshiner named Josephine Doody who tangled with mountain lions and is rumored to have murdered a man in Colorado before lamming it on the banks of the Middle Fork Flathead River. Wanted by federal agents, Josephine was kidnapped by husband Dan Doody while in an opium haze and spirited away to Montana, where she took refuge on a postage stamp of wild and untamed land tucked inside the boundary of what would become Glacier National Park. Both the legend...

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DWR suggests hikers leave rattlesnakes alone

Posted by on Jul 10, 2012 @ 11:03 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Summer is prime time to encounter rattlesnakes, when you’re hiking or even working in the yard. Most people who have hiked in the mountains were probably closer to a rattlesnake than they knew, thanks to the snake’s camouflage. Jason Jones, a wildlife biologist with the Division of Wildlife Resources, said an encounter with the slithering, venomous reptiles can be frightening, but doesn’t have to be. Jones noted that if you can find a safe place to observe the snake, “you’ll have a chance to observe the behavior of one of the most unique...

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Hiker awaiting help for broken leg ends up rescuing his rescuer

Posted by on Jul 10, 2012 @ 10:55 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A hiker stranded by a broken leg in a remote part of California’s Shasta-Trinity National Forest acted as a doctor first, and a patient second, when the paramedic who flew in to rescue him last week was struck in the head by a helicopter blade. Dr. Jeremy Kilburn, an Air Force pulmonologist from Las Vegas, was hiking with a friend in a rugged section of the park near Big Bear Lake, in San Bernardino County, when he broke his leg and injured his ankle, according to the California Highway Patrol. The Highway Patrol sent two officers in a...

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Girl Scouts team up to tackle the Appalachian Trail

Posted by on Jul 9, 2012 @ 7:19 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Girl Scouts of America is marking their 100th year by hiking the Appalachian Trail in sections, making sure that every mile of the more than 2,100-mile trail is covered by at least one Girl Scout. According to the trip leaders, getting Girl Scouts outdoors has become more of a challenge in recent years – not because of a lack of interest, but because young girls are already overcommitted and adult volunteers are too busy to lead hiking or camping expeditions. Jennifer Pfister, communications director for Girl Scouts of Virginia...

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Official Launch of New Hiking-Blogs Directory and Resource Site

Posted by on Jul 9, 2012 @ 2:33 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Official Launch of New Hiking-Blogs Directory and Resource Site

This week marks the official launch of, a new Hiking Web Site Directory that contains links to international hiking-blogs, trail associations, gear manufacturers, trail guides, and hiking reference sites. The basic premise of the Hiking-Blogs Directory is simple – to provide an up-to-date list of hiking-blogs and related hiking sites so readers can easily discover new blogs and know that they are still active. There’s a very real need for this kind of resource – unfortunately too many blogroll link lists are outdated,...

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Now Find a Hike for You by Photo Gallery

Posted by on Jul 8, 2012 @ 2:20 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Now Find a Hike for You by Photo Gallery

In recent weeks I have endeavored to improve the ability for you to find a hike on Meanderthals that is suited to your desires and abilities. It started by creating new categories to differentiate hikes, and let you choose from the results. I separated the hikes by easy, moderate and difficult. Combine that with the tag and category lists down the right sidebar, and locating that special hike is easier than ever. And don’t forget, there’s always keyword search available on the navigation menu at top right. Today I am announcing...

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Historic bridges of Yosemite Valley under siege

Posted by on Jul 7, 2012 @ 5:53 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Perhaps no river crossing in Yosemite Valley has been more photographed than the historic Stoneman Bridge: a single, arching span faced with rough-hewn granite that provides a dramatic foreground to Half Dome, the park’s most iconic natural marvel. Yet the 205-foot bridge is slated for possible removal under proposed plans for restoring the natural flow of the Merced River. As a federally designated “Wild and Scenic River,” some say its course should be shaped only by nature as it meanders through the valley — and bridge...

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Smokies shift focus from rescue to reopening

Posted by on Jul 7, 2012 @ 5:27 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Smokies shift focus from rescue to reopening

Rangers shifted their focus Saturday, July 7th from rescue efforts to reopening a popular section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park after violent storms led to two deaths and several injuries. Chief Ranger Clayton Jordan said a concentrated effort to clear hundreds of fallen trees could allow public access to the park to resume by Saturday afternoon in the most optimistic scenario. The storms hit Thursday evening at the west end of the 500,000-acre reserve on the Tennessee-North Carolina line. A swimmer and a motorcyclist were...

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How to avoid animal attacks in a national park

Posted by on Jul 6, 2012 @ 6:39 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Violent encounters with animals at national parks are rare, but the danger of severe injury, illness and possibly death make prevention all the more important. Many of the national parks in the U.S. are teeming with wildlife. People are often motivated to visit these parks to see impressive representatives of the animal kingdom for themselves. For the most part, human-animal interactions take place at a distance. Park-goers might get out the telephoto lens for a photo of a bison or pronghorn or use a pair of binoculars to better see an...

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Crews search Smoky Mountain wilderness after deadly storm

Posted by on Jul 6, 2012 @ 3:05 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Search crews fanned out across the vast backcountry of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park today after severe thunderstorms the night before killed two people and injured eight, park officials said. Most of the dead and injured were struck by falling trees. An unknown number of hikers and campers may have weathered the July 5th evening storm on the dozens of trails and isolated primitive camping sites in the most hard-hit western portion of the park, spokesman Carey Jones said Friday morning. “We have no idea how many people are in...

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Colorado National Monument national park status on hold, for now

Posted by on Jul 5, 2012 @ 6:01 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Colorado National Monument won’t be up for consideration as a new national park in the near future. Sen. Mark Udall and Rep. Scott Tipton won’t bring a bill to Congress this year to change the designation for the 20,000-acre monument in western Colorado. A community group appointed to study the change concluded that they couldn’t recommend the designation because of neighbors’ division over the idea. Udall, who started talk about park status in February 2011, said the designation discussion isn’t over and that...

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NoCo50 Challenge 26: Hike Pawnee Buttes

Posted by on Jul 5, 2012 @ 5:46 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The NoCo50 Challenge has seen hiking around the fun festivals and events that make summertime in Northern Colorado so entertaining. With the next challenge, it is time to get back to NoCo’s great outdoors and do some hiking as nature intended. When we think of hiking in NoCo, we instinctively look to the west and the amazing trails of the Rocky Mountains. For this week’s challenge, we are asked to affix our gaze 180 degrees away from the Rockies to Colorado’s great Eastern Plains. It is there that we find the Pawnee National Grasslands in the...

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Weather extremes, climate change alter landscape at Rocky Mountain National Park

Posted by on Jul 4, 2012 @ 1:03 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Amid a year of weather extremes, Northern Colorado’s mountains could be at a tipping point. Whether it’s because of extreme drought or climate change or both, those changes — the kind hikers and sightseers can see and touch — are on display this year like no other at Rocky Mountain National Park. There, Trail Ridge Road over the Continental Divide opened two weeks earlier than normal in May because of a significant lack of snow. The usual profusion of wildflowers? Not so profuse this year — at least not yet. The typical snowfields adorning...

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Aggressive goats force Mount Ellinor trail closure

Posted by on Jul 3, 2012 @ 11:12 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

A popular trail on Mount Ellinor will be closed for at least two weeks after several reports of aggressive goats along the path, Olympic National Forest officials say. An emergency order closes both the upper and lower portions of Mount Ellinor Trail No. 812. The Upper Big Creek and Mount Rose trails remain open. Violation of the order could bring a fine of up to $5,000 and up to six months in jail. “Mountain goats are powerful, inquisitive, wild animals, but they are not generally aggressive by nature,” said Wildlife Biologist...

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Hiking in Hot Weather

Posted by on Jul 3, 2012 @ 8:57 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hot and bothered after a mid-day hike? Well, it’s no wonder. Recent studies have shown that optimum temperature for long-distance walks or hikes is 50 to 55 degrees F. Above this range a hiker’s performance degrades as much as two percent for every five-degree increase in temperature. As temperatures rise, hikers must adjust their routine. Too much sun, too much hiking and too little fluid intake can make even a strong hiker an accident waiting to happen. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can result. A hike near home can be just as...

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82-year-old hiker to seek climbing milestone

Posted by on Jul 2, 2012 @ 7:14 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Jerry Levine grew up as a city kid who never owned a pair of sneakers during most of his childhood. Thanks to an anxious and protective mother, he could barely catch a ball and only learned to ride a bike as a teenager. Now the 82-year-old advertising executive from Cortlandt, NY is a sportsman with a passion and a major commitment. He’s made up for a sedentary youth in his adulthood with a vengeance, setting his sights on climbing the highest peaks in New York state. On Aug. 18, Levine is poised to join a select group of outdoor enthusiasts,...

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Los Angeles High School Students Explore Their Wild Backyard, Virtually and Firsthand

Posted by on Jul 1, 2012 @ 1:36 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

As the bus climbed through the cloud layer, the dramatic views of the steep granitic slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains came into focus and the eager excitement of the 26 students from Los Angeles River High School embarking on an adventure into the Angeles National Forest became clear. The charred remains of the large trees and shrubs from the 2009 wildfire were still evident, but the vibrant green from the resurgent new growth was everywhere. Just the day before, the class acted as the test pilots for a new “virtual hike and species...

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10 Recipes for a Day of Hiking

Posted by on Jun 30, 2012 @ 10:16 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Thinking of heading off into the wilderness this weekend? Whether you’re planning an all-day hike to see waterfalls or a stroll to the park for some fresh air, here are some great recipes for keeping happy and energized. It’s even more fun when you make it yourself.  

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Marine hikers raise funds for wounded

Posted by on Jun 30, 2012 @ 10:09 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Their service to their country may be over, but their devotion to their fellow soldiers continues. For the past three and a half months, Sean Gobin and Mark Silvers, recently separated from the Marine Corps, have been hiking the Appalachian Trail to raise money in order to purchase adaptive vehicles for veterans who have suffered amputations during their service in Iraq and Afghanistan. “When we were in Afghanistan we saw a lot of young service members coming through the base on their way home with debilitating injuries and severe...

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Switzerland: Hike above Rhone on Valais Wine Route

Posted by on Jun 29, 2012 @ 4:46 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

With all due respect to Charles Dickens, walking fast probably is not the way to go in Valais. With its toothy Matterhorn, ancient glaciers, strange historical footnotes and flourishing wine scene, the only way to walk here is very, very slowly. Walking, in Switzerland, is a point of national pride, as instinctual to the populace as political neutrality or tuning the rail system to the workings of a finely calibrated watch. “If I could not walk far and fast,” said Charles Dickens once, “I think I should just explode and...

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Carey Kipuka Is a Native Plant Paradise

Posted by on Jun 29, 2012 @ 7:04 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

It’s an Idaho ecologist’s heaven. Standing still, Steven Bekedam pointed out five native grasses thriving near his feet: bluebunch wheatgrass, Sandberg bluegrass, Junegrass, Idaho fescue and Great Basin wildrye, the big clumps that send up flowering stalks 5 or 6 feet high. “It’s so out of the ordinary to see all of these grasses growing in the same place,” said Danelle Nance, a natural resource specialist from the Bureau of Land Management’s Shoshone Field Office. But this place is extraordinary for good reason. The 180-acre Carey Kipuka,...

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The changing face of Western North Carolina’s national forests

Posted by on Jun 28, 2012 @ 6:08 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

A million acres of national forests sounds like a lot, and indeed it is. But consider the 8.6 million people who visit the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests every year and those vast green swaths that checker any map of Western North Carolina don’t seem quite so big after all. Recreation has grown exponentially in the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests during the past 20 years, fueled in part by the number of people moving to the mountains precisely for that reason: because they like getting outdoors. In fact, the Pisgah and Nantahala...

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Horse Exhibition & Silent Auction to Benefit Panthertown Trail System

Posted by on Jun 28, 2012 @ 6:00 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Horse Exhibition & Silent Auction to Benefit Panthertown Trail System

Friends of Panthertown is having a big fundraising benefit, the 2012 Bald Rock / The Divide Horse Exhibition & Silent Auction to be held on Saturday, June 30, 2012 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bald Rock / The Divide equestrian community located on US Hwy. 64 between Cashiers and Sapphire, North Carolina. This exhibition will feature a spectacular horse show, silent auction, children’s activities, live music, food and family fun. This is a benefit for Friends of Panthertown, the 501(c)3 non-profit organization that protects and maintains the...

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Saving Hemlocks In West Virginia

Posted by on Jun 27, 2012 @ 7:23 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Among the oldest, most majestic trees in our forests are the hemlocks. Isolated stands of them date back 500 years or more. For decades, hemlocks in eastern states, most notably in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, have been under assault by an invasive species, the hemlock wooly adelgid. The tiny insect has devastated some hemlock forests, and it has made its way through much of West Virginia and into eastern Ohio. U.S. Forest Service officials have identified 40 sites in the Monongahela National Forest for treatment of hemlocks to protect...

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Bear precautions taken in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Posted by on Jun 26, 2012 @ 3:30 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have closed two backcountry camping areas because of bear activity and posted bear warnings in several other areas. The measures were taken as bears, searching for food, have become increasingly bold in interactions with humans, park spokeswoman Molly Schroer said. No one has been injured. Bear problems, including animals hanging around camps and coming close to people, are not limited to one location but are scattered across the park. Closed are the Cosby Knob Shelter, in the northeastern corner...

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Please Excuse the Tall Grass

Posted by on Jun 26, 2012 @ 3:04 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

If you’ve been on the Blue Ridge Parkway lately, you’ve noticed the tall grass along the road and around the facilities. On May 7th, 2012 a Parkway maintenance worker was killed when his mower went over the edge of an overlook. Mowing in all National Parks was stopped until an investigation was completed. Parkway management and maintenance supervisors are continuing the process of reviewing standard operating procedures, equipment suitability, site conditions and the overall mowing policy. The process for getting back to a regular...

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Reliance on smartphones leaving hikers in a bind

Posted by on Jun 25, 2012 @ 3:37 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

It was getting dark. They were lost atop Mount Lafayette in the White Mountains. And Analia Oliva and her boyfriend, Cory Robertson, out for a day hike with their dog, were not prepared for a night in the woods. The only tool they had with them was Oliva’s iPhone. Except that they had no reception, and Robertson, 25, and Oliva, 20, had used up much of the battery taking photos. The New Hampshire couple eventually found the right trail, scrambled down the mountain, hoping to get a signal, but it was too late. They could not see where they were...

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The Israel Trail – a hiker’s dream

Posted by on Jun 24, 2012 @ 3:16 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Israel – arguably the world’s largest small country and certainly its most diverse – is a hiker’s paradise. Paths like the Bible Trail on Mount Gilboa, the Gospel Trail or Jesus Trail in the Galilee link sites sacred to Jews and Christians while passing through breathtaking mountain landscapes. The Kinneret Trail and the Jerusalem Trail, both currently under development, will respectively encircle Israel’s largest freshwater lake and the country’s historic capital. Even more ambitious, the Abraham’s...

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Longest hiking trail in US seeks link to Vermont

Posted by on Jun 24, 2012 @ 3:09 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

A hiking trail to connect Vermont’s Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail to a 4,600-mile path to North Dakota could be coming to a farm field about midway between Lake Champlain and the spine of the Green Mountains. The North Country Trail National Scenic Trail is being extended from its current eastern endpoint in Crown Point, N.Y. The route it would take through Vermont to connect with the Long Trail hasn’t been chosen, but it’s expected to be about a 40-mile path through the farm fields of Addison County and into the...

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Raging rivers damage bridges, trails and parks across Northern Minnesota

Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 @ 6:35 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The rampaging streams that wreaked havoc across Duluth, MN this week also ravaged parks and trails across the city and beyond. From Jay Cooke State Park through Duluth and up the North Shore, swollen rivers and brawling creeks chewed away trails, manhandled bridges and uprooted mature pines. Duluth’s city parks were hammered by the runoff, said Judy Gibbs, trails coordinator for the city of Duluth. “It’s awful,” Gibbs said. “I’m devastated. The scope of it is so tremendous. We’ve lost nearly every trail with any up-and-down to it.” A portion...

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The Sentier national au Quebec, part of the projected National Hiking Trail of Canada, could be completed by 2016

Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 @ 6:07 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

After 22 years of work, a trans-Quebec hiking trail spanning the entire breadth of the province is nearing completion. Once finished, the 1,645-kilometre Sentier national au Québec will connect the Outaouais region in the west to the Gaspé region in the east. From the Gatineau Hills north of the Ottawa-Gatineau metropolitan region, the SNQ will run east through the Laurentian, Lanaudière, Mauricie, Portneuf, Quebec City, Charlevoix and Manicouagan regions on the north side of the St. Lawrence River, and then continue on the south shore...

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