News

Hiking is a perfect form of exercise

Posted by on Sep 7, 2015 @ 4:25 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking is essentially walking and walking is considered to be one of the most perfect forms of exercise for your body. The fact is hiking helps to shed pounds, maintain mental health and prevent heart disease, all while allowing the experience of the outdoors rather than being stuck in the basement or at the gym. It’s really true – a beneficial exercise does not have to involve an endless, agonizing and boring workout. While many sports activities and games require special equipment or training to get started, hiking is relatively simple....

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Shocking study finds there are fewer trees now than at any point during human civilization

Posted by on Sep 6, 2015 @ 7:18 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

In a blockbuster study released in Nature, a team of 38 scientists finds that the planet is home to 3.04 trillion trees, blowing away the previously estimate of 400 billion. That means, the researchers say, that there are 422 trees for every person on Earth. However, in no way do the researchers consider this good news. The study also finds that there are 46 percent fewer trees on Earth than there were before humans started the lengthy, but recently accelerating, process of deforestation. “We can now say that there’s less trees than at any...

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Bugs Mean Warmer Arctic May Be Methane Sink

Posted by on Sep 6, 2015 @ 1:12 am in Conservation | 0 comments

In addition to melting icecaps and imperiled wildlife, a significant concern among scientists is that higher Arctic temperatures brought about by climate change could result in the release of massive amounts of carbon locked in the region’s frozen soil in the form of carbon dioxide and methane. Arctic permafrost is estimated to contain about a trillion tons of carbon, which would potentially accelerate global warming. Carbon emissions in the form of methane have been of particular concern because on a 100-year scale methane is about 25-times...

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Trail Connecting Montana To The Pacific Closer To Completion

Posted by on Sep 5, 2015 @ 9:35 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Trail Connecting Montana To The Pacific Closer To Completion

In the wilds of the Northwest, a trail is taking shape. Designated by an act of Congress in 2009, the Pacific Northwest Scenic Trail, founded by Ron Strickland, winds 1,200 miles from Glacier National Park in Montana to Cape Alava on Washington’s Pacific coast. Along the way, the trail passes through the Rocky Mountains, Eastern Washington, the North Cascades, and the Olympic Mountains. It crosses three national parks and seven national forests. Like such well-known western routes as the Pacific Crest Trail, it passes largely through...

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Appalachian Trail murder ‘reverberates still’ after 25 years

Posted by on Sep 5, 2015 @ 9:18 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

In September 1990, a couple hiking the Appalachian Trail planned to celebrate a birthday at the Thelma Marks Shelter on the trail on the mountain overlooking Duncannon, Pennsylvania. However, when Biff and Cindi Bowen arrived at the shelter on Sept. 13 after a meal in Duncannon, they immediately turned around and headed back into town. The couple had discovered the bodies of Geoff Hood and Molly LaRue – known on the trail as Clevis and Nalgene. Sept. 13, 2015, marks the 25th anniversary of their gruesome murders. It is a quiet, restorative...

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Obama proposes $1.5 billion for national parks

Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 @ 9:53 am in Conservation | 1 comment

The Obama administration sent to Congress a $1.5 billion proposal to upgrade national parks, using a combination of tax money, fee increases, donations and commercial partnerships for a three-year improvement plan marking the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The National Park Service Centennial Act would seek $100 million in private donations each year for three years, matching them dollar-for-dollar with tax money for special “challenge” projects. It would spend another $900 million to address a maintenance backlog...

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Environmental NGO unveils Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian hiking, cycling trails

Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 @ 9:47 am in Hiking News | 1 comment

Environmental NGO unveils Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian hiking, cycling trails

Providing a first-time experience for nature lovers, the cross-border environmental organization EcoPeace unveiled four new guided treks that each traverse Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian territory. Among the treks are two hiking trails, a bike tour and a walking trip, according to EcoPeace, which has offices and directors in Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. Realized through special funding from the United States Agency for Development (USAID), the project has brought together tour guides, tourism experts and trails in all...

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France decrees new rooftops must be covered in plants or solar panels

Posted by on Sep 3, 2015 @ 7:36 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Rooftops on new buildings built in commercial zones in France must either be partially covered in plants or solar panels, under a law approved this week. Green roofs have an isolating effect, helping reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer. They also retain rainwater, thus helping reduce problems with runoff, while favouring biodiversity and giving birds a place to nest in the urban jungle, ecologists say. The law approved by parliament was more limited in scope than initial calls by French...

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Climate Change Means One World’s Death and Another’s Birth

Posted by on Sep 3, 2015 @ 3:41 am in Conservation | 0 comments

A few years ago in a lab in Panama, Klaus Winter tried to conjure the future. A plant physiologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, he planted seedlings of 10 tropical tree species in small, geodesic greenhouses. Some he allowed to grow in the kind of environment they were used to out in the forest, around 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Others, he subjected to uncomfortably high temperatures. Still others, unbearably high temperatures—up to a daily average temperature of 95 F and a peak of 102 F. That’s about as hot as Earth has ever...

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Bees and flowers have a special relationship, and climate change is screwing it up

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 @ 12:55 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Bees and flowers have a special relationship, and climate change is screwing it up

Climate change — as it is for pretty much all life forms — is a huge bummer for bees. If neonics and other pesticides weren’t enough to deal with, a recent study demonstrated that global warming has fueled drastic bee habitat loss, leading to a 200-mile reduction in their natural environments. Something out in the great abyss has it out for the buzzers (hint: it’s CO2). Because bees depend on flowers for food and flowers depend on bees for pollination, the two groups of organisms tend to sync up. (Remember scribbling “symbiotic relationship”...

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Beyond the White Blaze: Appalachian Trail Guide

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 @ 2:17 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Appalachian Trail is the country’s most famous footpath. Stretching 2,189 miles from Maine to Georgia, it attracts three million hikers each year—including over 2,000 thru-hikers. That number is expected to grow with the release of the Hollywood blockbuster A Walk in the Woods starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. Will crowds swamp the A.T. or help save it? The Appalachian Trail of today stretches some 2,189 contiguous miles from the forested summit of Georgia’s Springer Mountain to the knife-edge peak of Katahdin in Maine, but Benton...

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Administration Launches Every Kid in a Park Pass

Posted by on Sep 1, 2015 @ 2:23 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Administration Launches Every Kid in a Park Pass

As part of President Obama’s commitment to protect our nation’s unique outdoor spaces and ensure that every American has the opportunity to visit and enjoy them, the Obama Administration today formally launched the new Every Kid in a Park program. Starting today, fourth graders nationwide can visit the new Every Kid in a Park website to obtain a pass that provides free access to students and their families to all federally managed lands and waters – including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries. The pass is valid...

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Pacific Crest Trail stretches 460 miles across Oregon; do these 15 best day hikes

Posted by on Sep 1, 2015 @ 9:30 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Pacific Crest Trail stretches 460 miles across Oregon; do these 15 best day hikes

It’s the dream hike, all 2,650 miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Or, maybe, the nightmare hike, when things don’t go quite right. Either way, that long-distance trail gem, from Mexico to Canada, is etched in the minds of many American hikers, especially those who live in the states the Pacific Crest Trail crosses _ California, Oregon and Washington. Signs posted at junctions along the way, with PCT either blazed in wood or on familiar metal triangles, send chills down the spine. The number of hikers has increased...

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Germany’s 10 best hiking trails

Posted by on Sep 1, 2015 @ 9:16 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

There are around 200,000 kilometers of hiking trails in Germany. Whether they follow a river, pass through flowering fields or scale steep peaks – there’s something for every hiker in this list of top 10 walks. In the 18th century, places of natural beauty saw an unprecedented boom in tourism. Bizarre rock formations, like in Saxon Switzerland south of Dresden, were suddenly seen as wild and romantic. Since then, a trail called Malerweg (Painter’s Way) has guided visitors through the rocky scenery. The path was restored in...

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Hiking the Appalachian Trail: Boots not made for Pennsylvania

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 @ 8:12 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania is “where boots go to die,” and “lots of people leave Pennsylvania limping and bruised.” After traversing all 220 miles of the AT in the Keystone State, both statements are indeed accurate. The reason is entirely geological, owing to the amazing jumble of rocks of all types, sizes and shapes – known scientifically as felsenmeer – that make up the progressively more difficult mountain terrain. The Pennsylvania rocks at best have hikers stumbling about much like a drunken sailor for miles at a time; at...

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Hikers behaving badly: Appalachian Trail partying raises ire

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 @ 2:51 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

When Jackson Spencer set out to tackle the Appalachian Trail, he anticipated the solitude that only wilderness can bring — not a rolling, monthslong frat party. Shelters where he thought he could catch a good night’s sleep while listening to the sounds of nature were instead filled with trash, graffiti and people who seemed more interested in partying all night, said Spencer, who finished the entire trail last month in just 99 days. “I wanted the solitude. I wanted to experience nature,” he said. “I like to drink and...

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This Land Is Our Land

Posted by on Aug 30, 2015 @ 4:17 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

by Nicholas Kristof for the NY Times Most of the time in America, we’re surrounded by oppressive inequality, such that the wealthiest 1 percent collectively own substantially more than the bottom 90 percent. One escape from that is America’s wild places. At a time when so much else in America is rationed by price, egalitarianism thrives in the wilderness. On the trail, no one can pull rank on you — except a grizzly bear. (In that case, be very deferential!) Wilderness trails constitute a rare space in America marked by economic diversity....

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Call It What It Is: A Global Migration Shift From Climate, Not a Migrant or Refugee Crisis

Posted by on Aug 30, 2015 @ 12:11 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Hundreds more died off the coast of Libya this week, on the heels of 71 deaths of migrants trapped in the back of a truck near Vienna, Austria. At the same time, NASA officials just warned that rising global sea levels from climate change could affect coastal regions, including 150 million residents in Asia who lived “within a meter from the sea.” While news organizations and policymakers around the world wrestle with calling displaced persons “refugees” or “migrants”or “asylum-seekers,” a far...

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A great silence is spreading over the natural world

Posted by on Aug 29, 2015 @ 7:17 am in Conservation | 0 comments

When musician and naturalist Bernie Krause drops his microphones into the pristine coral reef waters of Fiji, he picks up a raucous mix of sighs, beats, glissandos, cries, groans, tones, grunts, beats and clicks. The water pulsates with the sound of creatures vying for acoustic bandwidth. He hears crustaceans, parrot fish, anemones, wrasses, sharks, shrimps, puffers and surgeonfish. Some gnash their teeth, others use their bladders or tails to make sound. Sea anemones grunt and belch. Every creature on the reef makes its own sound. But half a...

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Scientists try to replicate climate denier findings and fail

Posted by on Aug 29, 2015 @ 5:39 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Does the Ted Cruz in you ever wonder whether global warming really is just a hoax? Whether skeptics really are the Galileos of our time? Whether climate scientists really do just want to make money? Well, wonder no more. A group of researchers just tried to replicate 38 peer-reviewed studies that support skeptic talking points, and surprise! They ran into some trouble. In a paper published last week in the journal Theoretical and Applied Climatology, the researchers reported a number of problems with the 38 studies, including questionable...

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Hawaii’s Governor Dumps Oil and Gas in Favor of 100 Percent Renewables

Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 @ 6:44 am in Conservation | 0 comments

At the Asia Pacific Resilience Innovation Summit held in Honolulu, Hawaii, Governor David Ige dropped a bombshell. His administration will not use natural gas to replace the state’s petroleum-fueled electricity plants, but will make a full-court press toward 100 percent renewables by 2045. Ige’s decisive and ambitious energy vision is making Hawaii into the world’s most important laboratory for humankind’s fight against climate change. He has, in addition, attracted an unlikely and enthusiastic partner in his embrace of green energy—the US...

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Washington Wildfires: How and Where To Hike Safely

Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 @ 12:39 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

As August winds down into September, summer days in Seattle, WA are still long but the temperatures have cooled off, making it the perfect time to get outside for one last hurrah before summer officially comes to a close. The only problem? It’s also prime wildfire season—and this year is no exception. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know by now that the biggest wildfire in Washington’s history is currently raging in the northeast part of the state. Even so, this doesn’t mean adventurous types can’t venture into the outdoors, but...

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Top 25 Australian hiking tips

Posted by on Aug 27, 2015 @ 5:53 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

You have arrived at the campsite after the first of five long days walking. The view is spectacular as the sun dips between the surrounding peaks, sending shafts of light splintering across the valley. You delve into your hastily loaded pack, glancing at the surrounds and wondering if life could be any better. Then you reel in horror – your hand hits a wet patch, deep in what should be dry territory. You delve further, only to find a soaking sleeping-bag. The culprit is a cracked water bottle. It will be a long, cold night. The...

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park battles graffiti

Posted by on Aug 27, 2015 @ 1:49 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers remind visitors that graffiti not only detracts from the natural beauty of the park, but can also permanently damage irreplaceable resources. Park resources including one of the best collections of log buildings in the eastern United States, backcountry hiking shelters, live trees, stone walls, bridges, and tunnels have all suffered from a range of small markings with ball point pens to elaborate markings with permanent marker to lewd and offensive spray paint messages that leave the park in worse...

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50 Years of National Trails: a very English triumph

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 @ 7:55 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

1965 was the year Winston Churchill died and Mary Quant introduced the miniskirt. The Sound of Music was released and the US Supreme court legalised the use of contraceptives by married couples. Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin’, released just the year before, seemed prophetic indeed. But perhaps it was the opening lines of the iconic song – “gather round you people/wherever you roam” – that best forecast one of the landmark events of 1965: the opening half a century ago of the 267-mile long Pennine Way. Yet while the launching of the...

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Missouri towns see Rock Island line as another path to prosperity

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 @ 3:46 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Missouri towns see Rock Island line as another path to prosperity

Many Missouri business owners are preparing for the state to finish conversion of the former Rock Island Railway into a hiking and biking trail. “The trail would stretch about 200 miles in Missouri, from Pleasant Hill, a town half an hour southeast of Kansas City, to Beaufort in the south-central part of the state. It also might loop with the Katy Trail, creating 400 miles of the longest rail-converted trail system in the country.” A year ago, the trail’s future was uncertain, but the Surface Transportation Board approved the...

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More hut-to-hut hiking in the USA?

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 @ 11:16 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Americans love to hike their 167,00 miles of trails located on federal and state lands. We are building new trails to meet demand, and trail use is projected to continue increasing. But how do Americans feel about placing hut systems on some fraction of their trails? How do we feel as a nation about hut-to-hut hiking, skiing and biking? No one knows. It’s worth talking about. In the USA there are a dozen or so hut-to-hut systems. While popular with those in the know, hut systems are not yet part of the consciousness of most American outdoor...

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Arkansas Governor promotes Delta Heritage Trail

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 @ 11:04 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Arkansas Governor promotes Delta Heritage Trail

This new project would convert an abandoned rail line and Mississippi River levee road into an 84-mile biking and walking trail. Governor Asa Hutchinson, in his weekly radio address, said “I believe in this new vision for the Delta, and I want to do what I can to promote it. I’ve even pledged to take a bike ride along a portion of the Delta Heritage Trail this fall. I encourage every Arkansan to do the same; to enjoy our great outdoors and to rediscover the Delta.” This project converts an abandoned Missouri Pacific rail...

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NC Mountains to Sea Trail Interactive Map

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 @ 6:58 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail have provided an interactive map that allows you to explore multiple aspects of the MST – the route across the state, terrain, and satellite imagery. They have also added icons to help you find places along the trail where the route has been updated, as well as photos taken along the trail route by FMST members. Learn more about the map here…  ...

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Pisgah National Forest commemorative plaque restoration

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 @ 2:14 am in Conservation | 1 comment

As motorists take the curve on N.C. 151, heading up the mountain from Asheville toward the Blue Ridge Parkway, they should notice a large stone lovingly placed there 95 years ago to commemorate the area’s history. But they probably won’t. Eagle Scout hopeful Levi Smith is looking to change this by giving both the monument and the adjacent Stony Fork picnic area a much-needed facelift. Although he lives nearby and drives by the site on N.C. 151 regularly, it wasn’t until a recent hike with Boy Scout Troop 58 that the 17-year-old knew the...

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WCU professor predicts stunning fall leaf season

Posted by on Aug 23, 2015 @ 5:55 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

WCU professor predicts stunning fall leaf season

Due to a drier than usual spring and summer, the fall leaf color in the mountains of Western North Carolina should be putting on a more spectacular show than it has in many years, according to Western Carolina University’s autumnal season prognosticator Kathy Mathews. Mathews, an associate professor of biology at WCU, gives her annual prediction of how foliage around the region will perform as the sunlight of summer wanes and days become frosty. She specializes in plant systematics and bases her color forecast on both past and predicted...

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Why the Most Popular Hiking Memoirs Don’t Go the Distance

Posted by on Aug 23, 2015 @ 1:35 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The question arises: why are the three most famous accounts of hiking three of the world’s most famous long-distance trails written by people who did not hike the whole distance? The loneliness and skull-bound nature of a long-distance hike fits quite nicely with the thinking out, if not the actual writing, of books. The dusty back aisles of Amazon are glutted with first-person accounts of successful thru-hikes, most of which tend to be buffed-up re-writes of the author’s trail journal. These books have a limited audience (namely, other...

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Volunteers Needed At Mingus Mill In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Posted by on Aug 22, 2015 @ 12:30 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Think you have the grit to produce grist? Then consider helping out Great Smoky Mountain National Park by volunteering to help provide visitors with historic information at Mingus Mill. The mill, located a half-mile north of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee, North Carolina, was built in 1886. It offers visitors a unique look into the inner workings of the turbine-wheel operated mill that custom-ground a variety of grains, including corn, wheat, and rye. The complexity of the mill provided customers with custom-ground cornmeal or...

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Five tricks for getting tired kids through a hike

Posted by on Aug 22, 2015 @ 4:45 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Is it looking like your plan to hike your kids and your 12-year-old nephew 3,000 feet and nearly four miles uphill to the brink of Upper Yosemite Falls—and then, of course, back down—is on the express bus to the graveyard for dumb ideas from overzealous hiker-dads? Hike, backpack, cross-country ski, or do anything physical outdoors with kids regularly, and there will inevitably come a time when you have an unhappy kid who’s complaining he can’t take another step without severe consequences, possibly including death. You’re out on the trail,...

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