News

25 New Projects Getting More Kids & Adults Active In National Parks

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 @ 11:02 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

25 New Projects Getting More Kids & Adults Active In National Parks

More than two dozen new projects at national parks across the country will give kids and adults the opportunity to participate in recreation and exercise programs thanks to 25 Active Trails grants from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. “From Zumba and yoga, to paddling along the seashore, to guided hikes for veterans, our national parks are places for healthy living, wellness, fun, and healing,” said Susan Newton, senior vice president of grants & programs at the National...

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Trekking through Grenada’s paradise island

Posted by on Feb 7, 2016 @ 9:44 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The people of Grenada all seem to have spirited gifts. Maybe it stems from the love they feel for their country and the relaxed laid-back lifestyles they share. The paradisiacal island is located in the Eastern Caribbean, just 100 miles north of Venezuela. It boasts 440 picturesque square kilometres, one sixth of which is preserved as parks and natural wildlife sanctuaries. As well as being the island’s central focal point, Grand Etang National Park is home to a 13-acre lake in a volcanic crater 1,740 feet above sea level. It also has...

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North Dakota’s Contributions to Our National Parks’ 2016 Centennial

Posted by on Feb 7, 2016 @ 9:37 am in Conservation | 0 comments

I needn’t tell you North Dakota is not the first place people consider when asked about national parks. Far from it. Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon—these are the places most people picture when questioned by friends and coworkers about memorable places and bucket list destinations. Who could fault them? Americans and people worldwide are flooded with photographs of these and other of the United States’ most cherished lands and places of shared heritage. To care for these places, Congress in 1916 created the National Park Service, one...

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Hiking community fights to save popular North Sound trail from logging

Posted by on Feb 6, 2016 @ 9:06 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Near Seattle, WA, one of the North Sound’s most popular and scenic hiking trails is in danger of being logged. Unless the state can allocate $7.5 million, the 100-year-old trees that cover Oyster Dome — between Mount Vernon and Bellingham – will be cut down by the Department of Natural Resources. Craig Romano tackles the popular hike off Highway 11 on a pretty regular basis. The guide book author has hiked 18,000 miles of Washington trails and says Oyster Dome’s six-plus miles are some of the very best. “It is the only place...

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Investing in Our Public Lands: The President’s Proposal to Fully Fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Posted by on Feb 6, 2016 @ 2:07 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Over 50 years ago, a visionary Congress established an innovative program to bring communities together to invest in open spaces and recreational opportunities that are an essential part of our nation’s heritage and economy. Since then, the highly successful Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped to protect working forests and ranches, preserve our public lands – parks, refuges, forests, rivers, lakes and wildlife habitats – and provide access to outdoor recreation across the nation for use and enjoyment by all Americans....

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While the media focuses on the water quality in Flint, the Navajo water supply has been under attack since the 1950’s

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 @ 10:37 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

The news out of Flint, Michigan brought the issue of contaminated drinking water into sharp focus, as it was revealed that officials at every level—local, state and federal—knew about lead-poisoned water for months but did nothing to address the problem. Under state-run systems like utilities and roads, poorer communities are the last to receive attention from government plagued by inefficiencies and corrupt politicians. Perhaps no group knows this better than Native Americans, who have been victimized by government for centuries. In the...

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Roan Mountain property slated for development will be conserved

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 @ 9:11 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Roan Mountain property slated for development will be conserved

The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy recently acquired 48 acres in the Roan Highlands near the Carter County border in North Carolina that was slated for development. The Broad Branch Tract is less than 2 miles from the Appalachian Trail and the Cloudland Rhododendron Gardens. The tract adjoins Pisgah National Forest and contains a broad mix of habitat. The Conservancy plans to own and manage the property for long-term forest health and water quality. “This tract shares a nearly one-half mile boundary with Pisgah National Forest,”...

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Why Is Thomas Gathman Hiking the Appalachian Trail in Winter?

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 @ 8:58 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Before sunrise one morning in mid-December, two weeks into his winter attempt to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, Thomas Gathman marched toward two of Mount Bigelow’s craggy peaks in western Maine as a snowstorm descended. By the time he’d bagged the first one, 4,088-foot Avery Peak, he was trudging through a foot of new fallen snow. As Gathman stumbled across the adjacent, exposed ridge of the 4,145-foot West Peak, he faced whiteout conditions, with the temperature dropping to -20 degrees and wind gusting up to 70 mph. Gathman’s face mask...

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White hot stuff – Hiking Alkali Flats with Trail Snails

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 @ 8:33 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

White hot stuff – Hiking Alkali Flats with Trail Snails

This feels like walking in soft marshmallows,” murmured Carolyn Dullum.There’s nothing like slow motion squish-walking down a gypsum dune. Trail Snails, a local hiking group, trek a most unusual hike into the gypsum dunes of White Sands National Monument, about an hour and a half from Ruidoso, New Mexico. “I’ve hiked Alkali Flats many times,” said Barbara Willard, today’s leader. “It’s different. And when you get away from the picnic areas, you hear nothing. It’s so peaceful.” And unique, too. Unlike hiking trails that are clearly defined in...

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British national park bosses plead with walkers to stop building cairns

Posted by on Feb 3, 2016 @ 2:13 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

National park wardens in Great Britain are pleading with walkers to stop making cairns on the mountains. Snowdonia staff say footpaths and the fragile upland environment are being damaged by the custom of picking up stones and piling them up to mark routes. The problem has become so severe that a demolition day is planned for cairns on the Cadair Idris in the South of the Snowdonia national park. Work has already begun to ‘rationalise’ some of the piles of stones in the northern part of the park. Snowdonia National Park Authority said, over...

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A Three-Day Trek in the Highlands of Myanmar

Posted by on Feb 3, 2016 @ 7:39 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

This is a three-day hike in the southwestern part of Shan State, Myanmar — farming country known mostly for narrow, silvery Inle Lake, a popular destination for travelers. Bountiful and ethnically diverse, southern Shan is a patchwork of villages and farms growing sesame, wheat, potatoes, rice and chiles in a stunning highland landscape. Dirt paths and quiet roads connect villages, some of which host markets on alternate days. It sets out from the former British hill station of Kalaw on a road that becomes a dirt path, passing through a stand...

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‘Girl In The Woods’: Healing through hiking

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 @ 9:23 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Nature and the wilderness is often portrayed as a place of peace and isolation, but any illusion that the wilderness of the Pacific Crest Trail is isolated and peaceful is proven false in Wild Child’s experiences along the trail. The Pacific Crest Trail hiking line is a male-dominated environment, peopled with strange men and women, and offers very little protection from physical or verbal violence stemming from racism, misogyny, or sheer sadism. In Girl In The Woods, the hiker, who goes by the name “Wild Child”, is a young woman of 19 and a...

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Hiking club continues legacy of conservation, enjoying the outdoors

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 @ 9:08 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking club continues legacy of conservation, enjoying the outdoors

More than 600 UT students belong to a club that began with a hike between two YMCA leaders over 80 years ago. In October of 1924, Marshall Wilson and George Barber, YMCA leaders of a boys’ camp in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, decided to go on a hike. While hiking, the pair came to an agreement that they should start a club and begin leading trips to the Smokies for whoever was interested. Today, the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club (SMHC) exists in Knoxville as an organization where outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers get the chance to hike and camp...

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Archaeologists Dig Up An 800-Year-Old Native American Pot. What They Found Inside Is Changing History

Posted by on Feb 1, 2016 @ 8:48 am in Conservation | 0 comments

In 2008, on a dig on the First Nation’s Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin, archaeologists made a small but stunning discovery: a tiny clay pot. Though it might not have seemed very impressive at first glimpse, this little piece of pottery was determined to be about 800 years old. And inside that pot? Something that changes how we’re looking at extinction, preservation, and food storage, as well as how humans have influenced the planet in their time on it. It’s amazing to think that a little clay pot buried in the ground 800 years ago would...

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Trekking Through the Aravaipa Canyon, Arizona

Posted by on Jan 31, 2016 @ 6:23 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Aravaipa Canyon is extremely narrow—at many points, probably no more than a quarter of a mile from rim to rim—which means that to explore the canyon you often hike right through the stream bed. Traverse the entire twelve-mile length of the canyon and you’ll cross the creek at least forty times, sometimes in water that’s knee deep. Aravaipa Creek is a rarity in the desert—a spring-fed creek that flows year-round—and through millennia the water has cut a deep gash into the Galiuro Mountains. The canyon begins with heavy slabs of dark-red shale...

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What’s The Best Way To Keep Mosquitoes From Biting?

Posted by on Jan 30, 2016 @ 9:44 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

What’s The Best Way To Keep Mosquitoes From Biting?

Don’t get bitten by mosquitoes. That’s the advice offered to the public in virtually every article on the rapidly-spreading, mosquito-borne Zika virus. But if you love the outdoors and are a regular hiker, what can you do? There’s no arguing with the advice. Zika, once considered a relatively mild flu-like illness, has now been linked to a surge in severe birth defects in Brazil and possibly to cases of paralysis. But anyone who is a mosquito-magnet must be asking: Can humans really keep the blood-sucking bugs at bay?...

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Beyond the Oregon Protests: The Search for Common Ground

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 @ 11:12 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The standoff with militant extremists at an Oregon wildlife refuge, which erupted into violence and arrests this week, stands in stark contrast to the new sense of collaboration between local residents and public land managers in the West. The militants claimed that the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge symbolized federal tyranny over public lands. But for many locals the refuge exemplified just the opposite: a successful community-based, collaborative partnership with the government. Not one local rancher had heeded the armed militants’ call...

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Winter hiking in Taos: Pescado Trail

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 @ 8:36 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Now is the time for hiking in solitude and snowy silence at Wild Rivers, just north of Taos, New Mexico. One of the less-traveled paths is the Pescado Trail that connects the Red River Fish Hatchery with the Wild Rivers Visitor Center. This trail gains about 800 feet over two miles and is considered a moderate trail in the summer months. Add a foot or two of snow and the trail is more challenging during the winter. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Park Ranger Daniel Rael says, “We have gotten so much snow that the cross-country skiing and...

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How the oil & gas industry squats on public land without paying royalties

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 @ 2:09 am in Conservation | 0 comments

For decades, the oil and gas industry has squatted on large tracts of public lands without paying royalties or allowing Americans access, but now is the time for reforms, according to a new report. The report from The Wilderness Society explains how the oil and gas industry routinely exploits leasing loopholes known as “suspensions,” to stockpile leases that would otherwise expire due to lack of use. These loopholes allow the industry to take lands off the books for decades at a time, preventing Americans from using them for recreation and...

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National Park Service Announces Centennial Challenge Projects

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 @ 1:14 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

This week, the National Park Service (NPS) announced nearly $48 million of Centennial Challenge projects to help parks across the country improve visitor services and support outreach to new audiences. The projects, many of which tackle deferred maintenance, come as the NPS kicks off its second century of service. Congress provided $15 million for the projects which will be matched by almost $33 million from more than 90 park partners. “As the National Park Service enters its centennial year in 2016, Congress and generous partners across the...

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DuPont State Recreational Forest Temporary Trail Closures due to wet conditions

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 @ 11:26 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

North Carolina Forest Service officials have determined that the recent snow event has made DuPont’s trails extremely susceptible to damage from trail users because of soft, wet conditions. There will be temporary closures of all of the DuPont single track trails. Forest roads and two-track trails such as Triple Falls, High Falls, and Hooker Falls trails will remain open. The 10,400 acre DuPont State Recreational Forest is located in Henderson and Transylvania Counties between the towns of Hendersonville and Brevard. The intent of the DuPont...

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And it spreads: Laurel wilt moving across Eastern North Carolina

Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 @ 1:02 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Laurel wilt is a devastating non-native disease of redbay trees and other plants in the laurel family in the southeastern U.S. Native to Southeast Asia, it was first detected near Savannah, Ga., in the early 2000s and has since spread to eight additional Southern states. It has already killed an estimated half a billion trees since its introduction to the U.S. Laurel wilt was first found in North Carolina in 2011 in Bladen County. Each winter, the N.C. Forest Service conducts surveys to detect the range expansion of the disease within the...

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Timberline Trail is being reconnected, opening 40-mile trek around Mt. Hood

Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 @ 8:59 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Timberline Trail is being reconnected, opening 40-mile trek around Mt. Hood

The Timberline Trail has always been one of very best hikes in the Pacific Northwest. A nearly 40-mile trek around the peak of Mt. Hood, the trail offers stunning angles of the mountain as well as views of the other giants of the Cascade Range: Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson and the Three Sisters. But for the last decade that loop has been incomplete – cut off after a 2006 debris flow washed out a seasonal bridge and large chunk of the trail near the Eliot Glacier field. The closure has forced hikers to cut their treks...

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Coal company bankruptcies jeopardize reclamation

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 @ 3:03 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Thirty-some years ago, before mining companies turned Wyoming’s Powder River Basin into the nation’s most productive coal region, they made a promise: When they finished extracting coal, they would restore the land. Under federal law, companies must reclaim the land they’ve mined. To ensure that cleanup is completed, they must provide financial guarantees — bonds, cash or collateral to cover the entire cost of reclamation. That way, even if the company goes out of business, the public is protected from expensive cleanup bills or abandoned...

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Congress needs to stop ignoring the repairs backlog at national parks

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 @ 4:14 am in Conservation | 0 comments

When household budgets are tight, people tend to put off expensive maintenance projects. So a leaky roof gets patched instead of replaced, or paint is left to peel for a season or two or three longer than a homeowner (not to mention the neighbors) would like. Government agencies do the same thing. And now, after years of putting off less-crucial repairs because of insufficient funding, the National Park Service has an $11.5 billion backlog of deferred maintenance projects — about four times the department’s annual operating budget (and...

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East Africa: Hiking Among Elephants in the Aberdares

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 @ 9:12 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Aberdares Mountain Range is 160km from “tip to toe” and encompasses over 2,000sqkm of Afro-montane wilderness. There are several ways to tackle this pristine highland. One such hike is to Mt Satima, or Ol Donyo Lesatima, the highest peak at 3,999m and located on the south-eastern end of the range. Leave Nairobi before dawn; on average, the hike takes seven hours. Drive north to Nyeri, about 140km by road, then access the Aberdares through the KWS park headquarters at Mweiga. Purchase tickets and pick up an armed KWS ranger....

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More Signs of Winter Arctic Melt — Icebergs are Showing up off Newfoundland in January

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 @ 3:58 am in Conservation | 0 comments

From pole to pole the ice is melting. Winter is retreating. And much of life and even the seasons themselves appear to have been thrown off-kilter. In the Southern Ocean near the Antarctic Peninsula, krill populations have dropped by more than 50 percent due to a shortening of the season in which sea ice forms. The North Pole now experiences near or above freezing temperature events during Winter with increasing frequency. Greenland appears to be undergoing melt episodes during Winter. And now, the iceberg season for Newfoundland is starting...

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Amidst the Giants: Sequoias in Winter

Posted by on Jan 24, 2016 @ 9:30 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Sequoia groves are found throughout the Sequoia, Sierra, Stanislaus, Eldorado and Tahoe National Forests in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Multiple agencies, businesses and non-profits are collaborating to improve management and share scientific results regarding Giant Sequoia. Led by the National Forest Foundation, the Sequoia Work Group members believe better exchange of best management practices and access to research data is critical to the long-term survival. Sequoias aren’t the only giants in California. Redwood trees are also in the...

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Hiking New Zealand’s Great Walks

Posted by on Jan 24, 2016 @ 9:12 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking New Zealand’s Great Walks

Several items are essential for exploring the magical Southern Alps mountains that run across New Zealand’s South Island: insect repellent, rain gear and ear plugs. The repellent is to ward off sandflies, those annoying black bugs that are the itchy scourge of hikers in Fiordland National Park. The park, which is bigger than Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks combined, is one of the wettest places on Earth. It gets an average 280 inches of rainfall a year, compared to Seattle’s 38.6 inches. And while there’s plenty of peace and quiet to...

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Appeals court: Clean Power Plan can proceed pending review

Posted by on Jan 23, 2016 @ 4:57 am in Conservation | 0 comments

In what environmentalists hailed as a victory for efforts to curb climate change, an appeals panel in Washington on Jan. 21, 2016 rebuffed efforts to delay enforcement of President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions until legal challenges are resolved. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an order denying requests for a stay that would have barred the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing the Clean Power Plan. The plan has been challenged by more than two dozen mostly...

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Secretary Jewell Announces Proposal to Reduce Methane Emissions, Wasted Gas on Public, Tribal Lands

Posted by on Jan 23, 2016 @ 1:22 am in Conservation | 0 comments

As part of the Interior Department’s reform agenda for a cleaner, more secure energy future, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has proposed to update 30 year-old regulations in order to reduce the wasteful release of natural gas into the atmosphere from oil and gas operations on public and American Indian lands. The proposed rule on venting, flaring and leaking will help curb waste of our nation’s natural gas supplies, reduce harmful methane emissions and provide a fair return on public resources for federal taxpayers, Tribes, and...

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Fifth annual Winter hiking event set at Burr Oak, Ohio

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 @ 9:09 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Fifth annual Winter hiking event set at Burr Oak, Ohio

The Buckeye Trail Association announced, in partnership with the Burr Oak State Park, Burr Oak Lodge and Burr Oak Alive!, the fifth annual Burr Oak Winter Hike will be held at the Lodge on Feb. 6, 2016 starting at 10 a.m. This free event is being hosted by the Little Cities of the Forest Chapter of the Buckeye Trail Association. After the hike, lunch including cornbread, soup beans, and hot chocolate will be provided by Burr Oak Lodge free of charge to winter hikers. The past years attendance at the annual Burr Oak Winter Hike has been a...

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Forest Service Closures in North Carolina Due to Severe Winter Weather

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 @ 8:39 am in Hiking News | 2 comments

Due to snow and ice accumulation across North Carolina from winter storm Jonas, the U.S. Forest Service will be closing some areas on the National Forests in North Carolina. Visitor and Forest Service employee safety is a priority and everyone is encouraged to be prepared for dangerous driving conditions. Visitors are urged to stay off Forest Service roads and reschedule outdoor activities. The U.S. Forest Service has closed the following areas through Monday, January 25, 2016: Pisgah National Forest: Avery Creek Rd. (FS477) Yellow Gap Rd....

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Hike to Silver Falls’ lesser-known waterfalls

Posted by on Jan 21, 2016 @ 9:48 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

It wouldn’t be fair to call them the “forgotten waterfalls of Silver Falls State Park.” After all, the five cascades smack in the middle of Oregon’s largest state park are still part of the Trail of Ten Falls, one of the most famous hikes in the Pacific Northwest. But the truth is, this quintet of waterfalls get far fewer visitors than the most crowded sections of the park even though they’re just as stunning and easy to reach. The waterfalls in question include Winter Falls (134 feet), Middle North Falls (106 feet), Drake Falls (30 feet),...

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