News

Decision to stop maintaining fire-damaged BWCA trail worries hikers

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 @ 4:39 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

A hefty backpack slung from his shoulders, hiker Martin Kubik places a hand on a fallen tree blocking his path and groans. “I hate this,” he mutters as he lowers himself beneath the trunk, one knee scraping the ground, to pass under. It is a labored routine he repeats again a few hundred yards farther down the trail at the next fallen tree, and then again at the next one. And again. Each obstacle on the Powwow Trail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness brings more protest from Kubik. “This is what they want,” he grunts, as he stands...

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Elk killings lead to NC Wildlife rule changes

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 @ 12:22 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Elk killings lead to NC Wildlife rule changes

On a February, 2016 morning, biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission visited a Waynesville dairy farm where the landowner said he had shot three elk damaging his property — a bull, a cow and a calf. While walking the farm’s wheat fields and ridge lines, the biologists found even more dead elk, some gruesomely decomposed, some buried, which were not reported. Emails retrieved through an Asheville Citizen-Times public records request reveal that the biologists were furious, saying they believed the deaths were “spite killing” by...

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Aspen a base for changing attitude about altitude

Posted by on Sep 5, 2016 @ 6:09 pm in Hiking News | 1 comment

Just sleeping at altitude will help you acclimate, as more time in the area will leave you better prepared, regardless of your fitness level. But the best way to make the most of your high-altitude adventure vacation is to plan excursions that progressively take you higher over the days of your trip. “Progression makes the altitude less shocking on your body,” says Nate of Aspen Alpine Guides. And when you live near sea level, you need every advantage to get past huffing and puffing with every step – and appreciate the views...

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Watch your step! Tarantula love lures big spiders onto L.A. County hiking paths

Posted by on Sep 5, 2016 @ 8:54 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Watch your step! Tarantula love lures big spiders onto L.A. County hiking paths

Watch where you’re stepping while hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains near Los Angeles this month. There may be an extra pair of legs (or four) on the path. It’s the beginning of tarantula mating season, and the males are on the prowl. According to the National Park Service, those big, furry arachnids that call the American Southwest home will be spending the better part of September and October weaving their webs of love just above ground, outside the female’s burrow. Because females typically stay inside, if a hiker comes across a...

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Report Shows How Many Asthma Attacks Are Caused By The Oil And Gas Industry

Posted by on Sep 4, 2016 @ 4:57 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

New analysis from the Clean Air Task Force shows that by 2025 America’s children will experience 750,000 asthma attacks each summer that will be directly attributable to the oil and gas industry. The report, Gasping for Breath, is the first to quantify the effects of smog caused by oil and gas production and distribution. The authors used industry data submitted to the EPA’s National Emissions Inventory, particularly looking at methane and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can interact to create smog. This chemical reaction is...

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Frackers told to shut wells after quake

Posted by on Sep 4, 2016 @ 1:07 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is telling operators to shut down 35 disposal wells that may have played a role in a 5.6-magnitude earthquake that shook at least six states September 3, 2016, Gov. Mary Fallin said. The disposal wells, which are linked to fracking and other industries that need to dispose of toxic waste water by injecting it deep into the earth, have recently drawn concern that they may actually induce earthquakes. The commission, which regulates fuel, oil, gas, public utilities and transportation industries, is...

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More of the ‘Little Smokies of Ohio’ saved

Posted by on Sep 3, 2016 @ 11:36 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Two hours to the east of Cincinnati lies Ohio’s only state-designated wilderness area, the largest contiguous protected forest in the Buckeye State. Now, it’s getting bigger. A U.S. Forest Service Forest Legacy project has resulted in the addition of 929 acres – known as the “Little Smokies of Ohio” – to the forest’s current 63,747 acres, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The forest surrounds 1,168-acre Shawnee State Park in Portsmouth, which features some of the best backcountry camping in...

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A 14-Mile Hike Through Four Towns With Few Hints Of Civilization

Posted by on Sep 3, 2016 @ 9:33 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A 14-Mile Hike Through Four Towns With Few Hints Of Civilization

Connecticut’s newly opened Richard H. Goodwin Trail travels 14 miles from an old farm in East Haddam into Salem and Lyme to a lonely lake in East Lyme. During that distance, the path remains in field and forest with only a few hints of civilization. It crosses a road to civilization only four times. Four times. How is that even possible in the 21st century near the heavily developed shoreline? The trail, which was officially opened in June, 2016, was the creation of the Eightmile River Wild & Scenic Watershed Coordinating...

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Sustainability: Giant Salamanders? Hell, Yes!

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 @ 11:21 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Sustainability: Giant Salamanders? Hell, Yes!

Any creature with a name like “hellbender” is bound to raise some eyebrows. But what if this animal was also one of the oldest, most interesting, and least known creatures to inhabit the creeks and streams of southern Appalachia? The eastern hellbender, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, is our region’s largest salamander species with adults reaching up to two and a half feet in length and a lifespan that is believed to exceed 60 years. “No one really knows how long they can live,” says Dr. J.J. Apodaca, professor of conservation biology at Warren...

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Forest Service to Hold Open Houses at WNC District Offices

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 @ 7:11 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The U.S. Forest Service will hold open houses at district offices on the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests in September and October, 2016 to provide the public with opportunities to talk with forest staff about local issues, district projects, and forest plan revision. The open houses will have a flexible format allowing the public to come at any time during the specified hours and talk directly with Forest staff one-on-one. District rangers and members of the forest plan revision team will be present from 3 to 6 pm on each of the...

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Because this message bears repeating: Don’t. Move. Rocks!

Posted by on Sep 1, 2016 @ 11:55 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Because this message bears repeating: Don’t. Move. Rocks!

Drive down any of the roads in a national forest or park that follow a river and you can probably spot a cairn — a stack of rocks balanced carefully on top of each other. The word comes from the Gaelic for “heap of stones” and many can be quite beautiful. Cairns can be good things when they are done right. Properly built cairns help mark trails to keep hikers from getting lost and can endure for decades. As trail markers, cairns keep hikers on a single route, protecting fragile soil and vegetation. In foggy or stormy weather, they can be...

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Reforestation Doesn’t Fight Climate Change Unless It’s Done Right

Posted by on Sep 1, 2016 @ 7:12 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Planting trees in an effort to slow climate change is a complicated solution to a complicated problem — and experts caution that countries looking to implement robust reforestation programs need to be extremely deliberate in the kind of reforestation and forest management that they choose. “In general, [reforestation] is all good in the sense that trees, as they grow, take carbon out of the atmosphere,” Richard Houghton, a senior scientist with the Woods Hole Research Center, told ThinkProgress. “The more wood you have, the more carbon is on...

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Gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 @ 11:16 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

“There are two rules when doing a gorilla trek. Keep a distance of at least 7 meters (about 23 feet) from the gorillas and don’t threaten them,” said one of the park guides. We carefully and mentally noted the rules as we began our trek to see the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, in northwest Rwanda in the shadow of Mount Sabinyo, the largest of the extinct volcanoes that comprise the Virunga Mountains. Our group of eight was assigned a relatively easy trail leading to one of the 10 gorilla families in the park. Because gorillas...

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How the National Park Service Is Planning for Climate Change

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 @ 7:12 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Five years ago, just after archaeologist Marcy Rockman joined the National Park Service’s new climate change response program, the GOP-controlled Congress slashed its budget by 70 percent. Republicans were determined to squash President Barack Obama’s climate agenda, and many federal officials were deeply discouraged. So Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis convened his top staff and climate team. Rockman says he pounded his fist on a table and bellowed: “Say the ‘c’ word!” It was a clear battle cry, she adds: “Jarvis was so forceful in...

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With echoes of Wounded Knee, tribes mount prairie occupation to block North Dakota pipeline

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:40 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Long before Lewis and Clark paddled by, Native Americans built homes here at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers, using the thick earth to guard against brutal winters and hard summer heat. They were called the Mandan people. Now, Native Americans are living here again. They sleep in teepees and nylon tents. They ride horses and drive quad cabs. They string banners between trees and, when they can get a signal, they post messages with hashtags such as #ReZpectOurWater, #NoDakotaAccess and #NODAPL. For weeks, they have been...

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California is about to find out what a truly radical climate policy looks like

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 @ 7:19 am in Conservation | 0 comments

California has long prided itself on being a world leader on climate change — and with good reason. Within the United States, California is No. 1 (by far) in solar power and No. 3 in wind power. It boasts the third-lowest carbon dioxide emissions per capita behind New York and Vermont. Since 2000, the state has managed to shrink its overall carbon footprint slightly even as its population grew and economy boomed. But now California is taking on a far, far more audacious task: trying to prove to the world that it’s possible — desirable, even —...

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Mount Mitchell: North Carolina’s first park growing, poised for future

Posted by on Aug 29, 2016 @ 4:56 pm in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Mount Mitchell: North Carolina’s first park growing, poised for future

The Black Mountains’ Crest Trail scales the spine of the Black Mountains’ most prominent peaks in Yancey County – Mount Craig (6,645 feet), Big Tom Wilson (6,552 feet), Balsam Cone (6,611 feet), and Cattail Peak (6,583 feet), until now, the highest elevation, privately owned peak in the Eastern United States. Thanks to recent events, the maps will change, with a piece of the jigsaw puzzle soon to be colored purple – indicating state-owned land for public enjoyment. The Conservation Fund, a Raleigh-based land trust, has purchased 2,744...

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Citizen Science is Sound Science Provided by You

Posted by on Aug 29, 2016 @ 11:05 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Citizen Science is Sound Science Provided by You

Have you ever seen a cool bird in your backyard and wondered if there was some way to share what you saw with others? Better yet, have you thought about sharing your observations and having them used to help study and conserve those birds? These thoughts are an indicator that you might have the makings of a great citizen scientist. The U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service are engaged in a wide variety of citizen science projects that encourage public involvement in natural and cultural resource science and conservation. Volunteers...

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Hiking’s Evolution, and Future Discussed in Book’s 3rd Edition

Posted by on Aug 29, 2016 @ 7:39 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The breadth of Laura and Guy Waterman’s experience in the backcountry of the northeastern U.S. might lead readers of The Green Guide to Low-Impact Hiking and Camping — the third edition of the couple’s seminal 1979 work, Backwoods Ethics — to view it as authoritative. Yet the new title is fitting, for the Watermans always intended the text to be just that, a guide, no matter how adamant their suggestions or convincing their convictions. As iterated in a new, 12-page introduction by Laura Waterman — Guy famously died of suicide by exposure...

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Belgian Man Claims PCT Record

Posted by on Aug 28, 2016 @ 11:55 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Belgian Man Claims PCT Record

Karel Sabbe, a 26-year-old dentist from Belgium, claims to have set a new record on the Pacific Crest Trail. His GPS track looks legitimate, and, if verified, his time of 52 days, 8 hours, and 25 minutes is the fastest known thru-hike of the 2,660-mile trail that crosses the United States from the Mexican border to Canada. The old record was 53 days, 6 hours, and 37 minutes set by Joe McConaughy in 2014. Sabbe announced his record in a press release. According to his GPS track, he finished the trail on Saturday, August 13, 2016. “The plan to...

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Collaborative Project May Impact Weekday Hiking on Pacific Crest and Summit Lake Trails

Posted by on Aug 28, 2016 @ 9:39 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Crew members from the American Conservation Experience (ACE), the Truckee Trail Foundation (TTF) and the Tahoe National Forest are working diligently to set the foundation for a major work day involving over 200 employees from Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI). The project will reconstruct sections of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) north of California Old Highway 40 past the rock climbing areas and the Summit Lake Trail, beginning at the junction with the PCT and proceeding north. These areas are currently below National Forest Service trail...

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Four Infographics That Show How Climate Change Is Affecting Your Health

Posted by on Aug 27, 2016 @ 6:50 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The dog days of summer were particularly dogged this year. July clocked in as the hottest month on record, marking the midpoint of what is likely to be the hottest year on record. With sweltering temperatures came a litany of crummy climate news — floods in Louisiana, Zika in Miami, searing heat waves across the Northeast — with dire implications for human health. Last year’s Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change warned that the carbon crisis could undo the last half-century of progress in public health. And yet, for many, it remains...

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Construction starting on Mountains-to-Sea Trail bridge in Price Park along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Posted by on Aug 26, 2016 @ 11:29 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Construction starting on Mountains-to-Sea Trail bridge in Price Park along the Blue Ridge Parkway

On Wednesday, August 24, 2016 construction began on a new 80-foot pedestrian bridge for North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail near Boone and Blowing Rock. The bridge, in the popular Price Lake Picnic Area along the Blue Ridge Parkway, will allow hikers to avoid a knee-deep wade across Boone Fork as they walk from the Boone Fork Trail over to Shulls Mill Road, where the MST continues up Rich Mountain into Moses Cone Park. On Wednesday, a helicopter carried bridge components and tools from a staging area in the picnic area’s parking lot...

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Mega Work Day Planned for Pisgah Ranger District

Posted by on Aug 26, 2016 @ 7:52 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Mega Work Day Planned for Pisgah Ranger District

The Pisgah Conservancy, U.S. Forest Service, and a host of supporting organizations have announced a broad based volunteer work day in the Pisgah Ranger District called “Pisgah Pride Day 2016,” which is being planned in conjunction with National Public Lands Day, September 24, 2016. Work crews will convene at different locations on Saturday, September 24, and will perform trail work, surveying and removing invasive species, trash removal, brush trimming, river habitat projects, and more. Afterwards, volunteers will gather at Oskar...

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LATCH: Live and Relive the Appalachian Trail

Posted by on Aug 25, 2016 @ 12:16 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

LATCH: Live and Relive the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has announced the Kickstarter campaign for the Latch app. For the past year and a half, the ATC have been working with design studio P’unk Ave to come up with a way to let people share their memories from the Appalachian Trail and connect with what’s happening on the Trail. Born from a shared passion for the Trail and based on extensive research of the Trail and hikers, Latch is the solution arrived at. Latch is a tool for capturing the aura and majesty of the Appalachian Trail through the lens of...

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Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument Permanently Protects Mountains, Forests & Waters of North-Central Maine

Posted by on Aug 25, 2016 @ 6:46 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument Permanently Protects Mountains, Forests & Waters of North-Central Maine

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, President Obama has designated Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, the first national monument to preserve the landscape and honor the history and culture of Maine’s North Woods. The President’s use of the Antiquities Act to make this designation permanently protects 87,500 acres of lands donated to the National Park Service earlier this week by the Elliottsville Plantation, Inc., (EPI), including the East Branch of the Penobscot River and its tributaries, one of the...

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National Park Service Director Leads Centennial Celebration

Posted by on Aug 25, 2016 @ 12:05 am in Conservation | 0 comments

National Park Service Director Leads Centennial Celebration

National Park Service (NPS) supporters, visitors and staff are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service this week at 413 parks nationwide. The NPS is inviting everyone to join the celebration by visiting a national park this week. To help everyone find a park to explore, the National Park Service is offering free admission to all 413 national parks from August 25th-August 28th, 2016. There are hundreds of events taking place around the country to celebrate the Centennial in unique, fun and engaging ways. From enjoying a...

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Climate change will mean the end of national parks as we know them

Posted by on Aug 24, 2016 @ 11:57 am in Conservation | 0 comments

After a century of shooing away hunters, tending to trails and helping visitors enjoy the wonder of the natural world, the guardians of America’s most treasured places have been handed an almost unimaginable new job – slowing the all-out assault climate change is waging against national parks across the nation. As the National Park Service (NPS) has charted the loss of glaciers, sea level rise and increase in wildfires spurred by rising temperatures in recent years, the scale of the threat to US heritage across the 412 national parks and...

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Introduction to Hiking the Cumberland Plateau program set Aug. 27, 2016

Posted by on Aug 24, 2016 @ 7:48 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will be presenting a ranger talk about several popular and easy hiking trails in and around the Cumberland Plateau. This informative program is being held at the Crossville-Cumberland County Visitor Center, Gateway to the Big South Fork, on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. at 11 a.m. (Central Time). With the fall season fast approaching bringing cooler weather and the change of colors, this indoor presentation is designed to acquaint visitors to many of the beautiful local hiking locations on the...

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Emerald Ash Borer Infestation Confirmed in North Carolina

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 @ 4:28 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Emerald Ash Borer Infestation Confirmed in North Carolina

Forest health officials with the U.S. Forest Service have discovered declining ash trees due to infestation by the emerald ash borer (EAB) whose presence was confirmed on the Appalachian Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest and on private lands along the French Broad River from the Tennessee state line to Marshall, NC. Decline and death of ash from EAB occurs in a relatively short period of time (one to two years). Ash tend to become brittle very soon after they are killed leading to mid stem failures of trees in the infested area...

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Turning 100: Major Milestones in the National Park Service

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 @ 7:23 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Turning 100: Major Milestones in the National Park Service

For a century, the National Park Service has protected our nation’s treasures. Every day, it works to ensure that current and future generations can enjoy national parks – places that belong to all Americans. As we celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th birthday this week, check out the top moments in the National Park Service’s history. 1864: The birth of the national park idea. 1872: The world’s first national park. 1906: The first national park to preserve our culture. 1916: National Park Service is born. 1916: Bringing national...

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“Smoke waves” from wildfires are getting worse — and getting more people sick

Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 @ 11:51 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Shrouded by smoke from a fire in California’s parched San Bernardino Mountains, schools in the Victor Valley closed their doors earlier this month. The Pilot Fire was contained eventually — shortly before the Blue Cut Fire broke out, billowing soot and ash over the valley afresh, forcing further closures. As the district warned valley residents to “limit time spent outdoors” and to seek medical care for respiratory ailments, school and health clinic closures and canceled sporting events were reminders that health impacts from wildfires carry...

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The Forest Health Advisory System

Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 @ 7:45 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Do you want to know what pests are affecting the health of the trees on the national lands you visit or live near? The Forest Health Advisory System developed by U.S. Forest Service Forest Health Protection highlights potential future activities of more than 40 major forest pests and pathogens across 1.2 billion acres of U.S. forestland. Through a simple web interface, you can actually create an advisory on the national land you’re interested in, whether it’s a national forest, national park, U.S. Fish and Wildlife unit, or tribal land. The...

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Trekking In Transylvania, Romania

Posted by on Aug 21, 2016 @ 4:26 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Carpathian Mountains run in a great arc across Romania, rising to over 2500 meters in Transylvania and include some of the wildest mountain walking in Europe. A walk in the Piatra Craiului National Park, also in The Carpathians, is a more gentle, rural experience. It’s here that Jude Law and Nicole Kidman filmed Cold Mountain, the park doubling up for Virginia and North Carolina. If anywhere warrants the term “bucolic” then this was it. Scythes, as opposed to machinery, are often used to cut the hay and therefore wildflowers are able to...

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McAdam, NB hiking trails offer nature and history

Posted by on Aug 21, 2016 @ 2:18 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

New Brunswick, Canada is a province filled with interesting natural destinations that are open for the public to enjoy. One of the most popular activities in the New Brunswick wilderness is hiking, with trails spread throughout the province. One of these is McAdam’s City Camp Trail that starts at the community’s historic railway station, where incidentally you can choose from 24 varieties of homemade pie if your hike leaves you famished. According to Hiking NB, the trail is just a little over three kilometres long. It circles the...

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Hiking Grand Canyon end to end: How 2 adventurers did it

Posted by on Aug 20, 2016 @ 7:27 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Few people have hiked the length of Grand Canyon. Fewer still have done it all at once. Last year, Rich Rudow and Chris Atwood completed that walk, taking thousands of photographs in the process. “More than four thousand people have summited Mount Everest,” Rudow writes in a blog post about his adventure. About 250 have completed the “triple crown” of hiking — the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. But only a dozen people have “walked the length of Grand Canyon in one continuous...

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