Hikers rescued after more than a week in the forest

An intense search in Northern California ended joyously when rescue teams found a couple in their 70s who went hiking more than a week ago and got lost in dense forest, said Sgt. Brenton Schneider of the Marin County Sheriff’s Office. Carol Kiparsky, 77, and Ian Irwin, 72, are now recovering in a hospital after being located near Shell Beach in Tomales Bay State...

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Knoxville woman takes on Appalachian Trail solo hike

Gretchen Pardon is a computer programmer, wife, YouTuber and avid hiker. On Thursday, February 20, 2020 in Amicalola Falls, Georgia, she began a journey she has been dreaming about for several years. She is thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail solo. Pardon has always been active but started hiking and backpacking as a serious hobby more than 5 years ago. She became a...

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Backpacking for Beginners: Sky Campground in Point Reyes National Seashore

Backpacking isn’t for the faint of heart—it takes a bit of careful planning and, yes, you have to carry all your stuff. But the rewards are well worth it: no cars, no RVs, no crowds. Take baby steps toward becoming an intrepid backpacker by first setting off on short hikes into campsites that will check all your boxes for privacy, lush foliage, and killer views. A...

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Jones Gap Trail to Jones Gap Falls, Jones Gap State Park

Jones Gap State Park sits on the Blue Ridge Escarpment in upstate South Carolina very near the state line with its neighbor to the north. Along with Caesars Head State Park, these two share an area known as Mountain Bridge Wilderness. The Jones Gap Trail follows the Middle Saluda River from the park visitor center along an old roadway built by Solomon Jones in the 1850s....

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Greater Zion Is a Multisport Paradise

Few places in the country—or the world—can hold a candle to Utah’s bounty of wild geography and epic natural playgrounds. And within the Beehive State, it’s hard to beat the awe-inspiring dreamscape that is Zion National Park. But you knew that already. What you might not know is that Greater Zion, the region surrounding the iconic park, is similarly blessed and even...

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The Great Smoky Mountains’ iconic clouds are helping to protect the region from climate change – for now

Long before the Great Smokies became a national park, its mountains peeked out among clouds of haze. The Cherokee called the mountains “Shaconage”: the place of the blue smoke. The iconic clouds in the park – on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee – are as important to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as glaciers are to Glacier National Park and Joshua...

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100 Hikes of a Lifetime by National Geographic

This ultimate hiker’s guide, from the celebrated Appalachian Trail to Micronesia’s secluded Six Waterfalls Hike, treks through 100 energizing experiences for all levels. Filled with beautiful National Geographic photography, wisdom from expert hikers like Andrew Skurka, need-to-know travel information, and practical wildlife-spotting tips, this inspirational guide offers...

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Acadia National Park is introducing a timed reservation system for visitors

The only national park in all of New England, Acadia incorporates both coastline and mountains and has a remarkably diverse landscape. There are scenic lakes and ponds to discover too plus plenty of picnic spots. It’s the seventh most visited national park in the US with 3.5m visitors annually, and in order to cut down on traffic and reduce overcrowding, visitors...

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Empire State Trail to Open This Year

The Empire State Trail was first envisioned in 2017 and is set to open this year. The question still remains of when exactly will the trail open? The Empire State Trail will bring together fellow New Yorkers along with millions of visitors. It allows exercise enthusiasts, nature lovers and travelers to explore all of the beauty throughout New York. Fellow historians will...

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Proposed Budget Cuts Target National Parks

The Trump Administration’s budget plan for 2021 proposes serious cuts to the National Park Service and other federal agencies that if enacted, would jeopardize the protection, maintenance and operation of our more than 400 national parks across the country. The administration’s budget calls for a total cut of $587 million (17 percent) to the National Park Service. The...

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Hikes in Los Angeles: 9 trails with spectacular endings

Los Angeles’s wealth of outdoor activities is no secret, and in Southern California, it’s hardly ever a bad time to get outside. Hiking is a cheap way to enjoy the fresh air sunshine. But for those more reluctant hikers—folks who need a little carrot to dangle in front of them as they trudge up a hill—here is a list of Los Angeles-area hikes that come with spectacular...

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DuPont, Friends seek input on management of wildly popular forest

Horse safety and the need for trailer parking, overcrowded hiking trails, the desire for single-track mountain bike trails and more trail etiquette education at DuPont State Recreational Forest are just some of the issues swirling around the much loved, multi-use state forest, which is entering its 20th year. The 12,000-acre state forest in Henderson and Transylvania...

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USDA Forest Service announces challenge to increase focus on problems facing nation’s largest public trail system

USDA Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen today emphasized the need to find innovative ideas to tackle the nearly $300 million maintenance backlog on the nation’s largest public trail system. Christiansen called on individuals and organizations to work with the agency to address trail maintenance and sustainability to improve access, keep people safe, and support...

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Emails Show DOI Falsified Fire Data for Political Ends

Political appointees at the Interior Department have sought to play up climate pollution from California wildfires while downplaying emissions from fossil fuels as a way of promoting more logging in the nation’s forests, internal emails obtained by the Guardian reveal. The messaging plan was crafted in support of Donald Trump’s pro-industry arguments for harvesting more...

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Hiking Above the Clouds at World’s Edge – A Photo Essay

August 2005 saw the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (now Conserving Carolina) and The Nature Conservancy purchase a 1,568-acre tract of land south of Lake Lure known as “World’s Edge” for $16 million with the intention of transferring the land as the first to be added to the new Chimney Rock State Park. World’s Edge contains a mile-long set of steep...

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U.S. Forest Service releases draft Nantahala and Pisgah forest plan for public comment

Drafts of the Nantahala and Pisgah forest plan and environmental impact statement (EIS) are now available. A formal 90-day public review and comment period is scheduled to begin on February 14,2020. The proposed plan is built on significant public engagement and the best available science to guide forest management for the next 15 years. It recognizes the multiple uses...

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Catawba conservation purchase to become part of new trail system

  A 68-acre conservation purchase in Catawba County, North Caroina is expected to become part of the planned Wilderness Gateway State Trail, which is intended to meander thorugh Catawba and Burke counties and along the Rutherford-McDowell county line. The Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina bought the property from landowners Becky and Wayne Welch. It is...

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The Lost Sierra to gain 300 new miles of trail

The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) is on a mission. With an endgame of building sustainable, recreation-based communities in economically disadvantaged areas, the Connected Communities project and Lost Sierra Master Trails Plan will eventually link 15 towns in Sierra, Plumas, Lassen and Butte County, California with more than 300 miles of new motorized and...

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These southern Utah sites were once off limits to development. Now, Trump will auction the right to drill and mine there.

The Trump administration has finalized plans to expand drilling, grazing and other forms of development across a broad area of southern Utah that used to be protected as two national monuments, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. The decision comes more than two years after Trump dramatically cut the size of both monuments and will likely intensify a legal battle...

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Conserving Carolina launches 2020 spring hiking series

Conserving Carolina invites the community to enjoy the work that conservation organizations have done over the years to preserve our area’s natural resources and to take in the beauty of the spring season. Starting Friday, March 6, 2020 the first trek will head to Green River Game Lands for a 7-mile, moderate out-and-back hike along the Green River Cove trail. This hike...

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Delta Heritage Trail will be 85 miles when completed

The Delta Heritage Trail will send hikers and bikers through bottomland hardwood forests, into black bear country, by bald cypress swamps, along Mississippi River levees, and over bridges spanning the White and Arkansas rivers. The 84.5-mile Arkansas trail goes from Lexa near Helena-West Helena to Arkansas City. Just over 44 miles of the trail is completed, comprising...

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Rocky Ridge and Stone Mountain Trails, DuPont State Forest

Tucked away in the northeastern corner of DuPont State Forest in Western North Carolina, Stone Mountain is the highest point in the state forest at 3,620 feet. Appropriately named for the exposed granite slab that traverses its summit, Stone Mountain offers a near 270° view of the surrounding terrain to winter hikers. Since the first time I went, nearly 12 years ago,...

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2020 Great Backyard Bird Count

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time. Now, more than 160,000 people of all ages and walks of life worldwide join the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the...

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The Best Hikes in San Diego Have Stunning Coastal Cliffs, Waterfalls, and Even Views of Mexico

Hiking is the new yoga, and there are stats to prove it. According to Merrell, the No. 1 outdoor rugged footwear brand in the world, participation in hiking is up 22.5% since 2014. And hiking is the fourth most popular outdoor activity in the U.S. with 45 million annual participants. So if you’ve resolved to hike more this year, you’re extremely on-trend, because hiking...

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Environmental analysis completed and decision signed for Twelve Mile Project on Pisgah National Forest

The U.S. Forest Service has completed the environmental assessment process and made a final decision on the Twelve Mile Project on the Pisgah National Forest’s Appalachian Ranger District in Haywood County, North Carolina. Once implemented, the project will help maintain a healthy and diverse forest that supports wildlife, provides a sustainable output of timber,...

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Hiking muddy trails can cause lasting damage

To avoid trail widening, unnecessary erosion, soil damage, higher maintenance costs and labor demands, trail crews ask us to be responsible trail users when the ground is water logged and muddy. Bikes and horses can cause the most damage, but foot traffic is also destructive when the ground is wet. “If people must go out, we want them to stay on the trails. Please avoid...

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Utah Wanted All the Tourists. Then It Got Them.

Utah had a problem. Shown a photo of Delicate Arch, people guessed it was in Arizona. Asked to describe states in two adjectives, they called Colorado green and mountainous but Utah brown and Mormon. It was 2012. Up in the governor’s Office of Tourism, hands were wrung. Anyone who had poked around canyon country’s mind-melting spires and gurgling green springs knew it...

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Havasu Falls: Everything you need to know about the stunning Arizona experience

The dry and barren trail through Havasu Canyon refuses to give up the secret of what waits just eight miles away: an oasis of tumbling waterfalls and lush greenery, with turquoise pools that would seem more at home in Hawaii than in a remote corner of Arizona. That’s precisely the draw of Havasupai Falls, a roughly four-mile gorge in the Grand Canyon carved over the eons...

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‘This is a human tragedy and an ecological tragedy’

At Organ Pipe National Monument in far southern Arizona, the landscape’s ecology confronts its militarization: A migratory corridor collides with a wall, a natural spring could lose water to pumping for concrete, and both migrants and locals who cross the Borderlands are monitored and tracked. Here amid a sea of saguaros, standing tall like giant green tridents, and...

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Smokies Park Sets Visitation Record with 12.5 Million Visitors

Great Smoky Mountains National Park welcomed a record 12,547,743 visitors in 2019, which is 1,126,540 more visitors than in 2018. The park’s three primary entrances near Gatlinburg, Townsend, and Cherokee all had increased use, accounting for about two-thirds of the total park visitation. Secondary park entrances experienced tremendous growth, due primarily to the new...

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Vermont hopes to complete 93-mile rail trail by mid-decade

The completion of a 93-mile rail trail across northern Vermont would help link an ever-expanding network of recreation trails across New England and beyond, advocates say. The effort got a big boost this week when Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott asked lawmakers to approve $2.8 million as the state’s share of the estimated $14.1 million cost of completing the remaining...

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6 miles of new biking, hiking, birding trails soon to open in Pickens County, SC

More than six miles of trails for biking, hiking, birding and more are set to open sometime in the late spring this year in Pickens County. The trail system, which is a series of “stacked loop” trails, is tucked into the forest next to Southern Wesleyan University’s Central, SC campus and is a collaboration between the university and the Town of...

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