News

Spectacular bloom expected at Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Posted by on Mar 11, 2017 @ 11:02 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Spectacular bloom expected at Anza Borrego Desert State Park

  A spectacular bloom of wildflowers is underway at Anza Borrego Desert State Park in California, and by the middle of March, it’s expected to just get better and better, according to park officials. The area has been deluged with rain this season and the Borrego Desert is full of green with flowers in stages of both bud and blooms, a press release issued by the park is reporting. “We are on the ‘uphill side’ of the peak bloom and experiencing more open flowers with each passing sunny day,” the release states. According to park...

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National Park Soundscapes

Posted by on Mar 11, 2017 @ 6:35 am in Conservation | 0 comments

National Park Soundscapes

Natural and cultural sounds awaken a sense of awe that connects us to the splendor of national parks, and have a powerful effect on our emotions, attitudes and memories. From the mysterious calls of bugling elk in the Rocky Mountains to the patriotic, bugling trumpets heard across a historic battlefield, these sounds are part of a web of natural and cultural resources that the National Parks protects under the Organic Act. The sounds heard in each national park are uniquely special to that place. NPS invites you to experience our parks...

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Hiking Spain’s Oldest Trail: Camino De Santiago

Posted by on Mar 10, 2017 @ 12:28 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking Spain’s Oldest Trail: Camino De Santiago

One place to start the Camino de Santiage is along “The French Way,” the branch of the Camino that unites various routes through France and across Spain. It is one of the oldest and most-walked trails in the world, dating back by most estimates to the 9th Century. The Camino de Santiago is said to have begun when the bones of the apostle St. James were discovered by a farmer on a starry night in Galicia, Spain. People from all across Europe came to see the remains, dragging their feet through the same dirt that you can today. As you walk, you...

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13 beautiful trails to hike in Alabama this spring

Posted by on Mar 10, 2017 @ 8:59 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

13 beautiful trails to hike in Alabama this spring

Thankfully, spring is almost here. It’s a great time to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer. One of the best ways to get your exercise and see wonderful natural surroundings is hiking and riding a bike. Here is a collection of 13 amazing trails in Alabama State Parks. Hiking these trails offers a chance to see waterfalls, expansive vistas and abundant wildlife. The descriptionss offer details about the trail, difficulty, length and what you can expect to see on your hike. Some trails can be shared by hikers and bike...

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Anxious, depressed, distracted — what if the cure is just outside?

Posted by on Mar 9, 2017 @ 12:03 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Anxious, depressed, distracted — what if the cure is just outside?

For two decades, Florence Williams could sit on her porch at night and watch the alpenglow on the Rocky Mountains. Then she moved from remote Colorado to Washington, D.C., and started noticing the changes. “I felt disoriented, overwhelmed, depressed,” she writes in her recent book, The Nature Fix. “My mind had trouble focusing. I couldn’t finish thoughts … and I wasn’t keen to get out of bed.” Williams was suffering, she says, from nature withdrawal. She spent the next three years digging into the science of how nature works on our brains. In...

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Hiking under skyscraper-sized trees in South Carolina

Posted by on Mar 9, 2017 @ 7:17 am in Hiking News | 2 comments

Hiking under skyscraper-sized trees in South Carolina

Congaree National Park visitors not only look out across a flood plain swamp but up as well. Up into the forest canopy that rises to 160 feet high. The Congaree canopy, formed by towering old-growth trees, is taller than that of any forest in the East. The giant trees include a 167-foot-high loblolly pine. It’s the tallest tree in this wet-and-dry park, the biggest tree of its kind anywhere. A sky-seeking cherrybark oak and a swamp tupelo fall short of the pine by just 5 feet. The former is the biggest such oak in South Carolina and the...

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Women who made wilderness history

Posted by on Mar 8, 2017 @ 12:22 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Women who made wilderness history

Women around the world have always played a significant role in environmental conservation. There have been so many throughout time that some of them tend to slip through the cracks of history and mainstream media. On this International Women’s Day, let’s push some of those names into the spotlight. These are just a few of the thousands of women who have and are making big strides in environmental science, indigenous peoples’ rights, conservation of our planet’s natural resources, preservation of biodiversity and so...

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Britain’s 25 best spring walks

Posted by on Mar 8, 2017 @ 6:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Britain’s 25 best spring walks

The exuberance of spring is impossible to ignore. And for fair-weather walkers, brushing cobwebs off boots and searching out walking poles, it’s like a love affair renewed. Spring walking is a welcome assault on the senses – warmth, light and colour replacing the damp greys and browns of winter. Everyone has their favourite local walks, but these 25 circular routes have all been chosen for features in the landscape which come alive in spring, whether it be woodlands carpeted with bluebells, wildflowers along river valleys, moorland peaks,...

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Smokies Park Invites Public Comment on Cades Cove Solar Energy Project

Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 @ 2:31 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Smokies Park Invites Public Comment on Cades Cove Solar Energy Project

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials invite the public to comment through March 20, 2017 on a proposed sustainable energy project. The National Park Service is proposing a solar power system to support the electrical power needs of the Cable Mill area in Cades Cove. This project would reduce usage of traditional fossil fuels and provide opportunities for park visitors to learn about solar power and clean energy sources. Cades Cove receives approximately 1.8 million visitors per year. Many of these visitors stop at the Cable Mill area...

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Hikers to hit the trails in Allegheny 100 Hiking Challenge

Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 @ 11:56 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hikers to hit the trails in Allegheny 100 Hiking Challenge

The Allegheny National Forest chapter of the North Country Trail Association will hold its eighth annual Allegheny 100 Hiking Challenge (A-100) on June 9-11, 2017. The hike will take place throughout the Allegheny National Forest, and is billed as an endurance challenge of individual stamina, determination, and resilience. It is not a race. Hikers will traverse 100 miles, 75 miles, 50 miles or 25 miles of trail through rolling hills and stream valleys in a fifty-hour time period. Event organizers remind those who are interested that this...

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Breathe Deep (and then thank the EPA that you can)

Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 @ 7:09 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Breathe Deep (and then thank the EPA that you can)

The postcard is almost 40 years old. Angelenos of a certain age will recognize it-a wide-angled, aerial shot of the downtown core of Los Angeles and its then, much-more modest skyline. Framed by the intersection of the Santa Monica and Harbor freeways, the whole scene is muffled in a brown smear of smog. Barely visible in the deep background, just poking above the thick toxic stew, is a snow-capped Mt. Baldy, the tallest of the San Gabriels. In the fall of 1972 you almost never saw its bold face. Now you can see Mt. Baldy every day, often...

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Tune up your compass in the Smokies

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 @ 12:01 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Tune up your compass in the Smokies

Do you follow the North Star? For those sunny days when you’re hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where the night sky is unfortunately unavailable to assist you with navigation, make sure you’re on the right heading with proper adjustment to your compass. Did you know your compass needle doesn’t point directly to the north? The earths geomagnetic field exerts varying degrees of influence on your compass needle as it swings around in search of the elusive North Pole. Magnetic declination, a critical map tool...

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Spring in the Smokies

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 @ 6:52 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Spring in the Smokies

Spring has sprung in the Smokies. Daffodils have popped up, trees are budding, and grass is sprouting green but that’s not necessarily a good thing. For a lot of the country spring has arrived about 3 weeks too soon, a growing result of climate change according to a recent study shared by the US Geological Survey. Looking at data spanning the past 112 years, the study found that spring has been advancing in 76% of the nation’s national parks. And more than half of all parks are experiencing what’s classified as...

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How to get away from it all on Hong Kong’s longest country trail

Posted by on Mar 5, 2017 @ 12:22 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

How to get away from it all on Hong Kong’s longest country trail

Head to Lantau’s southeast to tackle the 18.5 km Chi Ma Wan Country Trail for secluded bays, sweeping panoramas and scattered hamlets along deserted paths. If you’re heading to Lantau Island for a wild outing, the chances are you’ll be bound for the central hills – to climb either Sunset or Lantau peak, or both – or aiming to stride along nearby stretches of the Lantau Trail. But to the island’s southeast, there’s another area that’s easily overlooked, yet can make for a fine day outing: the Chi Ma Wan (Sesame Bay) Peninsula. The landscape is...

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The great Greenland meltdown

Posted by on Mar 5, 2017 @ 6:41 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The great Greenland meltdown

From a helicopter clattering over Greenland’s interior on a bright July day, the ice sheet below tells a tale of disintegration. Long, roughly parallel cracks score the surface, formed by water and pressure; impossibly blue lakes of meltwater fill depressions; and veiny networks of azure streams meander west, flowing to the edge of the sheet and eventually out to sea. In Greenland, the great melt is on. The decline of Greenland’s ice sheet is a familiar story, but until recently, massive calving glaciers that carry ice from the...

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Hiking in Mexico City: a peak experience beyond the tourist trail

Posted by on Mar 4, 2017 @ 11:19 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking in Mexico City: a peak experience beyond the tourist trail

Several mountains are within striking distance of Mexico City. Nevado de Toluca, Mexico’s fourth-highest mountain, rises to the southwest. To the east, climbers can try their luck on the Paso de Cortés, which cuts through the two towering volcanoes Hernán Cortés traveled through when he first saw the Valley of Mexico. Then there’s the closest of the bunch: Ajusco, a nearly 13,000-foot dormant volcano that is actually within the city limits. Though it’s not impossible to take buses and taxis to Ajusco’s trailheads, the...

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Antarctica’s sea ice just hit the lowest level ever seen

Posted by on Mar 4, 2017 @ 7:15 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Antarctica’s sea ice just hit the lowest level ever seen

Since it’s summertime there, sea ice cover is poised to drop even further. Sea ice can fluctuate from year to year, but over the past 20 years, Antarctica has lost 61,390 square miles of ice — a Florida-sized chunk. That’s Act I of the unfolding Antarctic drama. In Act II, the continent’s fourth-biggest ice shelf, Larsen C, sheds a Delaware-sized iceberg. It could break away any minute now. In other record-breaking news, the World Meteorological Organization just announced new high temperatures for the Antarctic. On March 24, 2015, the...

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‘Widow makers’ close popular California trails

Posted by on Mar 3, 2017 @ 6:54 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

‘Widow makers’ close popular California trails

You see that big tree looming over you? Or over your house, your car? Or along the trail at your favorite park? It could be what we call a “widow maker.” That is, a big tree (or limb) about to fall. Saturated soil that can’t hold upright the weight of big trees has led to a stunning array of downed trees in parks, backyards, front yards… in other words, everywhere. This week park rangers closed the No. 1 Trail in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail and return loop route on the Sunset Trail at Big Basin Redwoods State...

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Trekking the Sinai Trail: The new hardcore hiking route trying to save Egypt’s Bedouin heritage

Posted by on Mar 2, 2017 @ 11:51 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Trekking the Sinai Trail: The new hardcore hiking route trying to save Egypt’s Bedouin heritage

The 220km-long Sinai Trail, or Darb Sina, is part of a Middle East-wide hiking network voted the number one new trail in the world by National Geographic. It’s neither the longest nor the hardest of the world’s long-distance routes, but hiking a landscape steeped in history, guided by Bedouin whose lives are intertwined with the same land, is definitely one of the most rewarding. These days life is hard for the Bedouin of Sinai. Generations past had led pilgrims through the mountains to the ancient monastery of St Katherine, or...

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China smashes solar energy records, as coal use and CO2 emissions fall once again

Posted by on Mar 2, 2017 @ 7:03 am in Conservation | 0 comments

China smashes solar energy records, as coal use and CO2 emissions fall once again

With millions of jobs up for grabs, China seizes clean tech leadership from United States. We are witnessing a historic passing of the baton of global leadership on technology and climate from the United States to China. The new U.S. administration has said it will abandon climate action, gut clean energy funding, and embrace coal and oil — the dirty energy sources of the past that experts say can’t create a large number of sustainable new jobs. At the same time, China is slashing coal use and betting heavily on clean energy, which is clearly...

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Can Grasslands, The Ecosystem Underdog, Play an Underground Role in Climate Solutions?

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017 @ 12:02 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Can Grasslands, The Ecosystem Underdog, Play an Underground Role in Climate Solutions?

Globally, grasslands are one of the most converted and least protected ecosystems. The rich soil of Earth’s grasslands plays an important role in feeding the world and because of this much of our grassland has been converted to row-crop agriculture. Loss of grasslands is a big problem for two reasons: The continual conversion of native grassland puts all grassland dependent species at risk The rich soil releases tons of carbon into the atmosphere (literally) when converted The ability of ecosystems to store carbon is one of the most promising...

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Get Fit on the Fells

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017 @ 8:50 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Get Fit on the Fells

Fell running has been around since the 1800s, necessity demanded that shepherds could navigate hilly and mountainous terrain quickly, in all weathers. Events began to be held where locals would pit their skills against each other, and the sport of Fell Running was created. The Lake District in the UK is the ideal place for Fell running, or even simple hiking, with a multitude of routes and an active fell running community. There are more gentle routes for those just starting out and contrasting, more challenging runs, including the Fairfield...

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Friends of Mountains to Sea Trail to Kick Off 40th Anniversary Celebration

Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 @ 4:28 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Friends of Mountains to Sea Trail to Kick Off 40th Anniversary Celebration

The 40th anniversary celebration for North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail will kick-off March 24-26,2017 at a Friends of MST annual meeting in Elkin. On September 9, 1977 Howard Lee, then Secretary of Natural Resources and Community Development, proposed a “state trail from the mountains to the coast.” The annual meeting, called the Gathering of Friends, will be the first in a series of events this year to commemorate Lee’s speech and recognize the progress made on creating the trail. Friday March 24 there will be a Hiking Boot Gala for...

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Scientists sound the alarm on impending ‘major extinction event’

Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 @ 7:35 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Scientists sound the alarm on impending ‘major extinction event’

In June of 2016, a group of scientists reported that a tiny rodent found only on a single island off the coast of Australia had officially gone extinct — the first mammalian causality, according to the scientists, of man-made climate change. The tiny mammals might have been the first to go extinct due to man-made climate change, but it’s unlikely they’ll be the last. One in five species now faces extinction, and that trend could climb to as high as one in two by the end of the century, according to biologists attending a meeting this week at...

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Smokies park plans solar eclipse viewing at Clingmans Dome

Posted by on Feb 27, 2017 @ 9:25 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Smokies park plans solar eclipse viewing at Clingmans Dome

Where will you be on August 21, 2017 when the solar eclipse casts its shadow across the United States? At Great Smoky Mountains National Park, officials are planning a party to help you both view and understand the science of the eclipse. The park is offering an opportunity to experience the total eclipse through a special, ticketed event at Clingmans Dome as well as informal eclipse viewing sites at Cades Cove and Oconaluftee. The park is partnering with NASA, Southwestern Community College, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to...

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Thru-Hikers in the Blast Zone: Pipelines Will Intersect the Appalachian Trail

Posted by on Feb 26, 2017 @ 12:24 pm in Hiking News | 2 comments

Thru-Hikers in the Blast Zone: Pipelines Will Intersect the Appalachian Trail

Two pipelines are planned to intersect the Appalachian Trail. The 300-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline will cut across the A.T. near Virginia’s Peters Mountain Wilderness Area. The 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline pipeline also is planned to cross the Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia’s Augusta and Nelson Counties. Both pipelines will require clearing a 200-foot-wide right-of-way and building new roads through sensitive habitats to service the pipeline. Beginning in West Virginia, the Mountain Valley Pipeline will span 300...

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Picture the Past: Forest History Society Repeat Photography Project

Posted by on Feb 26, 2017 @ 9:22 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Picture the Past: Forest History Society Repeat Photography Project

The Forest History Society has recently launched a web resource showcasing sets of repeat photographs for scientific study and education in the domain of forest and land management in support of the Society’s mission. Repeat photography is the practice of taking photographs of a specific location at two or more different times. It is a powerful visual resource for scientific study and education in forest and landscape management. From working forests to wilderness areas, such photographic pairs or sequences can help us understand ecosystem...

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Hiking initiative in Bavarian Alps aims to integrate refugees

Posted by on Feb 25, 2017 @ 11:10 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking initiative in Bavarian Alps aims to integrate refugees

A new initiative in Bavaria hopes to improve integration among newly-arrived refugees by introducing them to the “alpine” way of life. Locals volunteer as guides on the mountaineering tour. Many refugees who arrive in Germany have never seen snow in their life. A trip to the Bavarian Alps is therefore an unprecedented experience. But it’s not only the snow that is new. Bavaria’s alpine tradition and way of life are also very specific to the region. The German Alpine Association (DAV) and the charity aid organization...

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Could Grizzlies Make Good Neighbors?

Posted by on Feb 25, 2017 @ 7:25 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Could Grizzlies Make Good Neighbors?

For 20,000 years, grizzly bears padded over Washington’s North Cascades, foraging for berries and plants, hunting small prey, and fishing for salmon in frigid streams. Then a few centuries ago, white settlers showed up and starting shooting, and driving the bears out. Today only a handful of grizzlies remain in these mountains. Documentaries and fictional films, from Grizzly Man to The Revenant, and plain old common sense have taught that Ursus arctos horribilis is an Animal to Be Avoided. But what if we learned to share some space with the...

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Is It Okay to Enjoy the Warm Winters of Climate Change?

Posted by on Feb 24, 2017 @ 12:21 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Is It Okay to Enjoy the Warm Winters of Climate Change?

This is not how February is supposed to feel. From D.C. to Denver, from Charlotte to Chicago, towns and cities across the United States have posted strings of record-breaking summery days in what is normally the final month of winter. Wednesday was only the third time since 1880 that Green Bay, Wisconsin, cracked 60 degrees Fahrenheit in February. Ice on the Great Lakes covers only a quarter of its normal surface area. And parts of Oklahoma and Texas have both already been scorched by 90-degree afternoons. All in all, the United States has...

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How bad will allergy season be this spring?

Posted by on Feb 24, 2017 @ 6:53 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How bad will allergy season be this spring?

Suffer from seasonal allergies? Depending on where you live, you may already be sneezing, sniffling and rubbing your itchy eyes. And you may be in for a whopper of a spring. The first pollen culprit each year is typically trees. If rainfall was good the year before, resulting in solid tree growth, that typically means healthy trees. Combine that with relatively warm forecasts with no more freezing temperatures on the horizon and it’s a perfect storm of pollen-filled trees. Right now in late February, that means the spring pollen allergy...

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Canadian National Parks News: Update on Infrastructure Work

Posted by on Feb 23, 2017 @ 11:46 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Canadian National Parks News: Update on Infrastructure Work

With an influx of visitors expected to visit Canadian National Parks in 2017 Parks Canada has spent the past several months getting some of its most popular visitor attractions ready for Canadians who want to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation by visiting national parks and national historic sites. Parks Canada will continue to upgrade its infrastructure across the country so Canadians can experience the outdoors and connect with nature. This year, Jasper National Park starts the third year of its infrastructure renewal program....

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37% of Norway’s new cars are electric. They expect it to be 100% in just 8 years.

Posted by on Feb 23, 2017 @ 6:17 am in Conservation | 0 comments

37% of Norway’s new cars are electric. They expect it to be 100% in just 8 years.

The global electric vehicle (EV) revolution reached another milestone last month as EVs made up 37 percent share of Norway’s car market. Norway understands the future of ground transport is electric and has been pushing EVs harder than almost any other country in the world with incentives such as an exemption from the 25 percent value added tax for new cars. In December, the country hit 100,000 zero-emission EVs on the road, and they are projected to quadruple to 400,000 by 2020. These numbers are especially remarkable for a country of only...

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Massive camera trapping project goes statewide in NC

Posted by on Feb 22, 2017 @ 11:07 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Massive camera trapping project goes statewide in NC

Do you ever wonder what animals lurk in the wildest parts of the state? Or in your own backyard? With spring just around the corner, now is a great time for North Carolina residents, particularly those in the central and western parts of the state, to help uncover the secrets of local wildlife. By participating in “NC’s Candid Critters,” a new research project of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and N.C. State University, you too can become an important part of the largest camera trap survey ever. Camera...

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Allegheny endurance hiking challenge is set for June

Posted by on Feb 22, 2017 @ 8:38 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Allegheny endurance hiking challenge is set for June

The eighth annual Allegheny 100 Hiking Challenge (A-100) is set for June 9-11, 2017. according to a news release from the Allegheny National Forest Chapter of the North Country Trail Association. The A-100 challenges hikers to traverse 100 miles, 75 miles, 50 miles or 25 miles in a 50-hour time period. This challenge is for anyone, regardless of skill level, who wants to test themselves against the trail. Those who pre-register starting March 6 will receive a membership in the North Country Trail Association, shuttle service to the start of...

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Hiking Romania: where you might meet bears

Posted by on Feb 21, 2017 @ 12:05 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Romania is developing its range of offers for tourists. Organizers are increasingly relying on tourism that’s close to nature, such as guided hikes in the Carpathian Mountains – with encounters with brown bears. The snow is deep at an altitude of 1,700 meters (5,577 feet) in the Carpathian Mountains. There is no sign of a hiking path, but Radu Zaharie knows his way around here. The sun is shining and the moment is perfect. “We now have a clear view to the north. To the north-west we can see the Depression of Sibiu, and way...

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NOAA-supported National Phenology Network data shows plants leafing out 10-20 days earlier than normal

Posted by on Feb 21, 2017 @ 7:04 am in Conservation | 0 comments

NOAA-supported National Phenology Network data shows plants leafing out 10-20 days earlier than normal

The USA-National Phenology Network is tracking the start of the spring season across the country using models called the Spring Leaf and Bloom Indices. HOW DOES THIS YEAR STACK UP AGAINST THE RECENT PAST? We can evaluate whether spring is arriving early, late, or right on time this year at a location by comparing the day of year the Spring Leaf Index requirements were reached in 2017 to the day of year the Index is typically reached. We determine what is typical for a location by averaging the day the Index was reached over the 1981-2010...

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