News

Friends of Smokies, Appalachian Trail Conservancy fund repair of cables at shelters

Posted by on Jul 17, 2013 @ 10:24 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Friends of the Smokies and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy are working to help backpackers keep their food out of the reach of bears. Using conservancy funds, Great Smoky Mountains National Park staffers and interns have repaired cables used to hoist food out of bears’ reach at the trail shelters at Mollies Ridge and Cosby Knob. The repairs should help increase safety for both backpackers and bears by reducing the number of bears raiding shelters for food. Park biologist Bill Stiver said the cables also benefit wildlife because...

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Lost in the Frank Church Wilderness: What Does It Mean to Be Utterly, Hopelessly, Truly Lost?

Posted by on Jul 15, 2013 @ 8:52 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

by: Jim Thornton for Backpacker Magazine You can take the blindfold off now, yells Dan, the bush pilot, over the propeller’s whine. When we first left the central Idaho mountain town of McCall this afternoon, I’d tried to maintain my bearings behind the blindfold by tracking the angle of the sun’s rays on my skin. It didn’t work. Five minutes after takeoff, my overheated skin and I were as lost as we’d ever been. Removing the blindfold now does nothing to change this. The plane’s rubber wheels bump through...

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‘Prowl the Sproul’ State Forest Hiking Activities Set for July 19-21

Posted by on Jul 15, 2013 @ 3:17 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

‘Prowl the Sproul’ State Forest Hiking Activities Set for July 19-21

Hikers and other visitors are invited to sample the rugged beauty of the Sproul State Forest in Pennsylvania when the three-day “Prowl the Sproul” series of hikes begins on Friday, July 19. Marking its 10th year, the increasingly popular hiking program links forest visitors with guides from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ (DCNR) Bureau of Forestry, Keystone Trails Association (KTA) and local civic and sportsmen’s groups. “Located in the heart of the Pennsylvania Wilds, this area offers...

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Massive national forest holds story of conservation

Posted by on Jul 15, 2013 @ 4:00 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

It might be difficult to consider more than 1.5 million acres of land a hidden gem, but some lovers of northern Wisconsin’s Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest say it is just that. “The forest actually makes up a major part of the Northwoods, and while people know about the region, a lot of them don’t know about the forest,” said Brian Quinn, a forest environmental coordinator for the CNNF. Once logged nearly out of existence, the massive forest land has rebounded since it became public land, and today it attracts tourists and fishermen,...

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Appalachian Trail hikers are going digital

Posted by on Jul 14, 2013 @ 11:45 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Appalachian Trail hikers are going digital

Myron Avery, one of the men credited with helping to establish the Appalachian Trail, famously described the 14-state footpath as “remote for detachment, narrow for chosen company, winding for leisure, lonely for contemplation.” But Kindles, audio books, text messages, smart phones, Tweets, MP3 players, blogs and videos have changed — and in many respects enhanced — this classic American trail hike. Although the Appalachian Trail remains narrow and winding, technology has quietly made life on it less remote and lonely. Only a...

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Forest Service awards $3 mil to NC conservation project

Posted by on Jul 14, 2013 @ 2:30 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The U.S. Forest Service awarded $3 million to the East Fork of the French Broad Headwaters project that will protect 8,000 acres of working forestland, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said in a news release. The funding is part of $44.2 million in grants to permanently protect 16 working forests in 15 states. Money for the project will allow for the acquisition of an estimated 800 to 1,000 acres of land for a proposed Headwaters State Forest, said Kieran Roe, executive director for Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy. The property has been...

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A hike through Peru’s Colca Canyon

Posted by on Jul 13, 2013 @ 4:10 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The night before our trek, Rosas, a 5-foot-tall Quechua man, came to our hotel to brief us on our trip. Starting at 7:30 the next morning, he said in Spanish as I translated for Alex, we would hike from Cabanaconde down to the bottom of the canyon, a descent of approximately 3,300 feet. We’d cross the Colca River, have lunch in the town of Llahuar, hike up about 1,650 feet to the town of Llatica and then continue up another 600 feet to Fure, where we would sleep that first night. The next day, we’d set out for the waterfall and then hike back...

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Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, NC closed indefinitely (again)

Posted by on Jul 13, 2013 @ 11:22 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, NC closed indefinitely (again)

The Blue Ridge Parkway, in its second busiest month of the year, is closed from Milepost 375, a few miles north of Asheville, to Milepost 355 at N.C. 128/Mount Mitchell State Park. “At Milepost 374, one mile north of Ox Creek Road, there’s an apparent slope failure below the roadway,” Steve Stinnett, parkway chief ranger, said. “There is a 2- to 4-inch-wide, 100-foot-long crack in the road, so we’re concerned about the road failing there. We’ll have to have it assessed by an engineer before we can reopen.” Stinnett said the crack is located...

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National Park Service Recognizes Safety Excellence Award Winners

Posted by on Jul 13, 2013 @ 8:48 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Employees of four national parks were recently recognized by the National Park Service for outstanding public and employee safety achievement in 2012. The Director’s Award was presented to Daniel Watson of Ice Age and North Country National Scenic Trails (individual category) and Canaveral National Seashore (group). The Andrew Clark Hecht Public Safety Achievement Award for an individual was given to Robert Fleming of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the group award was given to the Preventive Search and Rescue Team at Grand Canyon...

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White Mountain National Forest offers free overnight outdoor photography hike July 15

Posted by on Jul 13, 2013 @ 8:37 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

As a prelude to being artist in residence for the White Mountain National Forest, photographer John Anderson is inviting outdoor photography enthusiasts to join him on a free hike in the Sandwich Wilderness along the Flat Mountain Pond Trail in North Sandwich, N.H. The overnight trip will be led by experienced guide Lauren Estabrook. The hike will begin Monday, July 15 at the Patricia Ladd Carega Gallery, 69 Maple St., in Center Sandwich. At 10 a.m., Anderson will give an introductory talk about taking photographs on the national forest,...

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Denali National Park’s History Rooted in Preservation

Posted by on Jul 12, 2013 @ 7:11 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Mention Denali National Park and the first image people may envision is the 20,320-foot mountain the park surrounds. While Denali, North America’s highest peak, may be the cornerstone of the park today, it’s not the reason the land was set aside nearly a century ago by congress. In fact, it was something much smaller that provided the reason for the land preservation. It was 106 years ago when hunter and conservationist Charles Alexander Sheldon arrived in the interior Alaska town of Fairbanks. From there he traveled south by...

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For more than two decades, Lantana retiree has been working to clear Florida’s hiking trails

Posted by on Jul 12, 2013 @ 7:04 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

When you’re a trailblazer, it’s an early-to-bed, early-to-rise life. Just ask Bea Rogers, trail coordinator for the Loxahatchee Chapter of the Florida Trail Association. The rugged outdoorswoman laces up her hiking shoes before dawn each morning for a 2-mile trek around her Lantana neighborhood — that is if she’s not clearing trails somewhere else. That somewhere else, many days, is the Ocean to Lake Hiking Trail stretching from Hobe Sound to Lake Okeechobee. That trail is particularly dear to Rogers, 76, who helped build it with her friend...

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A historical pictorial of the Appalachian Trail at Chester, VA Library

Posted by on Jul 11, 2013 @ 9:16 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Appalachian Trail, celebrating its 75th year, will be the subject of discussion at Chester Library’s Morning Coffee Break on July 16th. A Pictorial History of Virginia’s Appalachian Trail with Leonard Adkins will provide a look at life in the mountains before and during the trail’s creation. The 2,174 mile scenic trail has been stated to be the most famous hiking trail in the world. It runs from Maine to Georgia with one-fourth of the trail passing through Virginia. Adkins has hiked the entire Appalachian Trail five times, and is the...

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Hiking restrictions begin as grizzly bears feed

Posted by on Jul 11, 2013 @ 11:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

It’s that time of year again. From now until Sept. 15, seasonal trail restrictions are in effect for Lake Minnewanka Trail from Stewart Canyon Bridge to the east park boundary, Aylmer Pass Trail and the Aylmer Lookout Trail. Lake Minnewanka is a key area for grizzly bears in Banff National Park because it has lots of buffaloberries, which are in season. They are a vital food source for grizzly bears. One has already been spotted in the area this week, according to Steve Michel, a human-wildlife conflict specialist with Banff National Park....

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Man Sentenced for Vandalism in NC National Forest

Posted by on Jul 11, 2013 @ 11:36 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

From the U.S. Forest Service: The U.S. Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, announced that Tyler Pace was sentenced to 90 days incarceration by United States Magistrate Judge Dennis Lee Howell for vandalizing parts of Max Patch, a scenic area in the Appalachian Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest North Carolina. “This sentence sends a message to vandals that damaging our public lands will not be tolerated,” said United States Attorney Anne Tompkins. Pace received the sentence during an...

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Meanderthals Has New Interviews Section

Posted by on Jul 11, 2013 @ 9:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Meanderthals today introduces the new Interviews section of the Hiking Blog. A few weeks ago, Meanderthals spoke with Ron Strickland — Founder of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, author, and conservationist — about helping us introduce this new section. Ron graciously agreed. The process was a remarkable education for me personally. I learned of Ron’s tremendous passion and drive, and the wit that has kept him sane through all the red tape he had to handle through the decades. Hikers all over the world can appreciate...

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What kind of hiker are you?

Posted by on Jul 10, 2013 @ 5:28 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

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The Future of the Outdoor Industry

Posted by on Jul 10, 2013 @ 4:29 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Picture a huge corporation that has an absolutely enormous portfolio of incredibly valuable assets, a vast customer base, and a product that improves the health and quality of life of anyone who tries it. What if I told you that this company operates without anyone overseeing it all, without adequate financial resources, and without good collaboration among departments? Sounds a little far-fetched, huh? This is the reality when it comes to outdoor recreation resources in the United States. Think about it. Our country has a veritable...

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Appalachian Trail conference serves up full buffet of hiking fare

Posted by on Jul 10, 2013 @ 11:43 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Appalachian Trail conference serves up full buffet of hiking fare

Coming to Cullowhee, NC soon: four days of total immersion in everything trail. Camaraderie with fellow trail enthusiasts and taking in the region’s trails is the top draw that will land hundreds of hikers at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Biennial conference held July 19-26 at Western Carolina University. But the real trail geeks will revel in nitty-gritty nuances of trail construction or philosophical discussions on the human phenomenon of recreation hiking. The event is hosted by the five southern Appalachian Trail maintaining clubs and...

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There’s a rumble in the jungle

Posted by on Jul 10, 2013 @ 4:25 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

There’s a rumble in the jungle. And it’s emanating from my stomach. Breakfast feels as if it was a long time ago, which would explain the gurgling coming from my mid-section. And even then, it was only a few pieces of sweet roti and a slice of cassava cake. I’ve hiked for miles since eating it. Perhaps sensing my hunger, or more likely hearing the evidence of it, Mr Epi stops on the jungle track and smiles back at me. “Don’t worry, Mr. Ben, we will have lunch soon. Edible ferns, eh?” Ah, edible ferns. My...

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Volunteers needed to repair hiking trails on Mount Monadnock

Posted by on Jul 9, 2013 @ 4:26 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The annual Trails Week on Mount Monadnock, when volunteers help repair damage to trails on one of the most frequently hiked mountains in the world, is coming up. In the annual event, conservation professionals and volunteers from the Forest Society and New Hampshire State Parks gather to work on restoring the heavily used trails, overseeing all volunteers – no experience necessary. Work ranges from light tasks such as repainting blazes and cutting back brush to heavy work such as moving rocks and digging drainage ditches, to skilled work such...

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Are Hikers the Key to Saving Nature?

Posted by on Jul 8, 2013 @ 5:14 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Two years ago, a major survey revealed trouble in ecosystems of the United Kingdom (U.K.). A third of their functions—such as providing habitat for wild species and clean water for people—are declining. Now the same researchers show that protecting these ecosystem functions, and in particular outdoor recreation, significantly boosts the economic value of land. But putting those protections in place nationwide would be tricky. The 2011 UK National Ecosystem Assessment was the most comprehensive attempt to describe the state of a...

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Report: 3 of 4 U.S. Forest Service trails don’t meet standards

Posted by on Jul 8, 2013 @ 3:54 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Report: 3 of 4 U.S. Forest Service trails don’t meet standards

New federal reporting says only one-quarter of U.S. Forest Service trails meet the agency’s own standards as it attempts to catch up with a $524 million maintenance deficit. Volunteer groups like the Backcountry Horsemen of America and The Wilderness Society have stepped into that gap, but they worry the backlog will drive folks out of the woods. “We found problems with trail maintenance was undermining support for wilderness and public land in general,” said Paul Spitler, director of wilderness campaigns for The Wilderness Society. “They go...

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Washington World of Waterfalls

Posted by on Jul 7, 2013 @ 4:03 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

On a hot day, just looking at a waterfall can make you feel cooler – even if you have to hike a ways to do it. That at least was the prevailing feeling of those who flocked to Wallace Falls State Park near Gold Bar, WA recently. It’s an easy round-trip of only a mile from the parking lot to the closest set of falls, and a farther and steeper hike for the other cascades. “It’s a beautiful hike, beautiful falls and scenery, and so close,” said Brenda Wahl of Arlington, who was there with her husband and two...

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Humpback Rocks: A hiking hot spot on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Posted by on Jul 7, 2013 @ 8:17 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

For the inexperienced hiker, the task might be a bit rigorous. But for anyone, be it a novice or a seasoned mountain climber, the reward for reaching the peak is spine-tingling. Humpback Rocks, a hiker’s picturesque paradise, draws tourists from all over to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Located just outside Waynesboro, VA, about 6 miles down the parkway at the northern end, the 2-mile trail is considered one of the best representations of the natural and cultural resources seen along the parkway corridor. The monstrous rocks at the summit, hanging...

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Fluke Fire Burning Atop Sequoia Tree Leads To Small Closure Of Congress Trail At Sequoia National Park

Posted by on Jul 6, 2013 @ 8:25 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

A fluke fire burning in the crown of a giant sequoia has prompted the partial closure of the Congress Trail at Sequoia National Park. The fire is a hold-over from the Circle Meadow Prescribed Fire, conducted last summer to maintain a regular fire cycle that improves forest health by reducing the amount of dead, woody debris that can lead to larger, more intense fires, park fire officials said. An unusual combination of conditions enabled the fire to smolder through the winter and flare up as the weather became warmer and drier, they said,...

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Renovated Rosendale trestle reopens, reconnecting long-sundered Wallkill Valley Rail Trail

Posted by on Jul 6, 2013 @ 8:43 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Renovated Rosendale trestle reopens, reconnecting long-sundered Wallkill Valley Rail Trail

“A great day for Rosendale” is how supervisor Jeanne Walsh characterized the grand opening of the renovated railroad trestle spanning the Rondout Creek, linking the northern and southern portions of the nearly completed 24-mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail from Gardiner to Kingston in New York. Four years after the Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT) and the Open Space Institute (OSI) teamed up to purchase 11½ miles of railbed in the towns of Rosendale and Ulster, including the 940-foot-long, 150-foot-high trestle, it finally became possible for...

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New trail christened at Baker Lake, ID

Posted by on Jul 5, 2013 @ 2:53 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Baker Lake Trailhead northeast of Ketchum, ID gives recreationists access to serene views of crystal-blue alpine lakes and stunning vistas of the Boulder Mountains. Now, hikers have more options off of this versatile trailhead. The Idaho Trails Association worked to complete an extension of the Osberg Ridge trail system. Hikers can now begin at the Baker Lake Trailhead and trek into Ketchum via the newly completed Osberg/Warm Springs Ridgeline Trail. Association volunteers constructed a brand-new trail under the guidance of a U.S. Forest...

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What it’s like to be a national park ranger

Posted by on Jul 5, 2013 @ 7:02 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

What it’s like to be a national park ranger

As a park ranger for the National Park Service, you share the science, history and beauty of this natural wonder with thousands of visitors from around the world. National parks are like outdoor museums. They preserve some of America’s most beautiful and historic places. Park rangers protect the parks’ animals, plants, land, buildings, artifacts and people. They have a variety of jobs, depending on where they work and what they studied during college. Interpretive park rangers teach people about what makes each national park special and what...

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Appalachian Trail Biennial features music, culture, trails

Posted by on Jul 4, 2013 @ 4:47 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Appalachian Trail Biennial features music, culture, trails

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Biennial Conference invites the public to attend live music, dancing, presentations about hiking trails, and a Cherokee storyteller July 21-25 at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. Events each evening begin at 8 p.m. Nightly tickets are $7, and children younger than 12 are admitted free. Some of the highlights: • On July 21, Jennifer Pharr Davis, who holds the record for speed hiking the 2,180-mile Appalachian Trail, will talk about her experiences during the 46-day journey, while there will be a...

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Acadia reopens hiking trails

Posted by on Jul 4, 2013 @ 12:45 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking trails at Valley Cove and Jordan Cliffs in Acadia National Park, ME, closed earlier this spring to protect peregrine falcons, have been reopened. Falcons had been observed defending and engaging in courtship behavior at Valley Cove and Jordan Cliffs areas in April and May but have failed in their nesting attempt, Superintendent Sheridan Steele announced. The species is listed as an Endangered Species under the Maine Endangered Species Act. The closures at both cliff areas,had included the North Section of the Flying Mountain Trail and...

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Move your downward dog to the hiking trail this summer

Posted by on Jul 4, 2013 @ 9:51 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Move your downward dog to the hiking trail this summer

Considering hiking is truly about the journey, Steve Tsilimoss is taking each step in the right direction. The new Hiking Yoga program he’s introduced to the Vail Valley this summer brings eastern philosophy to the Western Slope of Colorado, where mindfulness meets movement. “I think this program adds an important element to what yoga was founded on — serenity in being one with yourself and with nature — simply finding peace,” said Tsilimoss, a certified yoga instructor. “I think being up here, or anywhere, outside on a beautiful day creates...

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One-night trips into the Smokies

Posted by on Jul 4, 2013 @ 3:00 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

For day hikers who want to take the next step or for a seasoned backpackers who can’t find the time or resources to make that long trip this year, outdoor author Jim Parham is offering up the solution that is just right: the short backpacking trip. His recently published book, Backpacking Overnights, details 50 one- and two-night trips in the Carolina Mountains. The premise of the book, and Parham’s philosophy, is that backpacking should be easy, accessible and fit into the schedule of the 9 to 5 working stiff. Instead of keeping the old...

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