Lend a Hand to Panthertown Valley

Enjoy fall colors in Panthertown Valley while helping to keep the trails maintained with a string of upcoming work days in the Nantahala National Forest near Cashiers, NC. Trail steward Charly Aurelia will lead the excursions, with trail maintenance activities occurring during a group hike from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dates are Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019 at the Cold Mountain Gap...

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U.S. parks and trails rely on a volunteer labor force

Like U.S. roads, bridges, dams and other infrastructure, public lands have their own backlog of needed repairs. According to a Congressional Research Service report published earlier this year, the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service have almost $20 billion in unmet maintenance needs between them. The challenge of keeping up the parks and trails that millions...

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Stay safe during hunting season with these tips for non-hunters

If you don’t hunt, you might not realize that nearly all of the national forest lands in North Carolina are open to hunting and you need to take precautions to stay safe during hunting season. Wear bright-colored clothing to make yourself more visible. Choose colors that stand out, like hunter orange or neon colors, and avoid earth-tones like brown and...

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How to Hike Strong at Altitude

The number one way to thrive at altitude is to respect the time it takes for acclimitization. Start low: Moving from sea level to a sleeping altitude of over 9,000 feet in one day hinders the body’s ability to acclimatize. Instead, spend a day or two between 8,000 and 9,000 feet before moving higher. Take it easy: Don’t go crazy on your first day at altitude. Give your...

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White Squirrel Hiking Challenge 5 is Here

The White Squirrel Hiking Challenge is back. You are invited to go on 8 hikes, all on lands that Conserving Carolina has helped protect. Grow your personal connection to land conservation as you experience new trails, dramatic views, famous waterfalls, and probably some places you’ve never seen before. If you complete all 8 hikes and you’re a Conserving...

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How to Survive a Wild Animal Attack

Imagine you suddenly run into a wild and unpredictable forest friend. What’s the best way to respond to this animal encounter? How do you prevent or survive from an animal attack? It really depends on what animal you come across, and first of all, it’s of high importance to be prepared and do your homework before setting out for a hike. Our friends from the Restless...

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Outdoor Element set to Launch Fire Escape, the newest must-have Multi-Tool Carabiner

  It appeals to everyone, from first-responder to soccer-mom, anyone who spends time outside or rides in a vehicle. A fire starting, window breaking, seatbelt cutting, bottle popping, O2 tank opening, every-day-carry, multi-tool carabiner, a must-have tool for everyone. You don’t have to be an outdoor enthusiast to have multiple carabiners lying around. We use...

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Canada’s Best Fall Foliage Hikes You Need To Explore

What is it about fall that makes people even more anxious to get out and experience the great outdoors? Thanks to its unparalleled geography, Canada boasts an amazing array of hiking trails that show-off autumn’s cornucopia of colors. One of the country’s not-to-be-missed autumnal hikes is Miscou Island’s peat bogs. Though the island is small enough to be driven...

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Few Hikers Do the Pacific Northwest Trail. Should It Stay That Way?

Montana’s Yaak Valley was one of the most remote places Emma Vigers had ever set foot. Tucked into the corner of the Idaho state line and the Canadian Border, this heavily forested region offered the type of solitude Vigers had been looking for in a thru-hike. She was just a few weeks into her trek along the 1,200-mile Pacific Northwest Trail, which connects the...

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Hiking Armenia’s New Transcaucasian Trail is a Beautiful Way to Immerse Yourself in the Culture

It’s not every day that Time names a hiking trail to their annual World’s 100 Greatest Places list. In fact, this is a first. And this is just the beginning of the attention and recognition that the new Transcaucasian Trail, a more than 1,800-mile trail that connects some of the most beautiful and remote regions of Armenia and Georgia (and eventually Azerbaijan) to one...

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Hikers: Beware of Falling Trees

The odds of dying from a falling tree are still small but maybe not as small as they used to be. Here’s why—and what to do about it. There are no exact statistics kept on the number of Americans killed by falling trees, so it’s difficult to know for sure if the problem has gotten worse, and if so, how much worse. You’re still far more likely to die driving to the...

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18 of the Very Best Hikes in the UK You Need to Explore

This small area of land is so jam packed with hiking routes it means you’re never far from an outdoor experience. From 120 mile behemoth adventures through mountain ranges, historical strolls along coastal cliffs or even just a scenic route to discover a new destination, the UK really has hiking options to wow everyone. To make things even better trails are well marked,...

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The Ultimate Great Smoky Mountains Travel Guide

Even if you haven’t been to our most visited national park yet, you can probably picture those blue ridgelines blurred across a southern Appalachian sky by that perpetual, namesake haze. In the spring, the sight is often the backdrop for a field of colorful wildflowers; in the fall, a rich palette of changing leaves. I’m lucky to call the 500,000-acre Great Smoky...

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Hiking trail reopens, a year and a half after Kilauea’s eruptions and 60,000 quakes

The popular Kilauea Iki Trail in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park recently fully reopened, a year and a half after Kilauea erupted and more than 60,000 quakes rattled the volcano’s summit. The shaking last year damaged much of the park, including the popular four-mile loop from the rim of a crater to its floor. Now visitors will see something new along the way: large...

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The Northeast’s Best Day Hikes for Leaf Viewing

Fall in the Northeast is a foliage frenzy. But many people who come to spot the changing colors don’t venture far from their cars or B&Bs. So all you have to do to escape the throngs of leaf peepers is set out on a day hike. You’ll find striking views of tinted maples and oaks and, with some luck, have a slice of wilderness to yourself. Even better, this time of...

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The Ocean Cleanup project finally cleaned up some plastic

Well, folks, there’s a first time for everything — the Ocean Cleanup project has successfully deployed a device that collects plastic pollution. It only took six years, tens of millions of dollars, and a few unsuccessful attempts (or “unscheduled learning opportunities,” in the words of 25-year-old founder and CEO Boyan Slat). The nonprofit’s prior, unsuccessful designs...

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Hiking safety: Wear good shoes and 7 other tips for hitting the trails around Asheville

Cindy McJunkin, a veteran hike leader with Carolina Mountain Club and Smoky Mountain Hiking Club, said being unprepared, for mountain weather and terrain, is what she sees as the biggest source of getting into trouble on the trail. “It’s really difficult when you’re at your home at 2,200 feet (in elevation) and it’s sunny, to visualize how much cooler and windier it is...

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New Scottsdale, AZ trailhead opens up more options for hikers and bikers

Outdoor recreation opportunities continue to expand in the Ariona’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve of Maricopa County. The permanently protected swath of Sonoran Desert in north Scottsdale that has more than 220 miles of trails winding through more than 30,000 acres of terrain recently gained a new trailhead. The Pima-Dynamite trailhead that opened in the...

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Hiking for Gold

Autumn is the time when many in the Pacific Northwest make the trek to the North Cascades to drive the Mountain Loop and North Cascade Highways in search of fall color, apple cider, and huckleberry jam. But have you ever hiked to see a larch, a deciduous conifer? Unlike most conifers, such as cedar and fir, which are evergreen, the larch drops its needles in winter. But...

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Feds to open Utah’s national parks to ATVs

The roar of ATVs could be coming to a Utah national park backcountry road near you under a major policy shift initiated by the National Park Service without public input. Across the country, off-road vehicles like ATVs and UTVs are generally barred from national parks. For Utah’s famed parks, however, that all changes starting Nov. 1, 2019 when these vehicles may be...

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North Carolina’s Hanging Rock State Park adds 900 acres for new recreation, camping, trailhead

Hanging Rock State Park encompasses 8,605 acres, according to the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation. Now, the state is tacking on another 900 acres. NCDPR celebrated the new addition to the state park in Stokes County. “This is truly a day for celebration,” said Secretary Susi H. Hamilton in a news release. “Future visitors to Hanging Rock State Park will...

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6-year-old girl breaks hiking record with family on Appalachian Trail

This family made history, and they almost did it in time for the start of the school year. The Malones spent the months of February through August, hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. 20 years after her first Appalachian hike, Jamie, her husband Chris, and their four daughters, Maya,13, Harper, 11, Josie, 8, and Sabina, 6, camped in snow, and hiked across rivers and up...

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Hiking Middle Pyramid in the Central Oregon Cascades

You don’t have to go to Egypt to see the Pyramids. That’s because the Three Pyramids, mountains created long ago by volcanic action, are in Oregon for the viewing and, at least in the case of the Middle Pyramid, for the climbing. Reaching the Middle Pyramid is a pleasant hike, only a little more than 2 miles from the trailhead. But that’s a challenging 2-plus miles...

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The best fall hikes around Atlanta—and beyond

You don’t have to leave the state for an epic hiking expedition. There are some beautiful treks in Georgia—and many not far from the Atlanta metro area. “The most common misconception about hiking in Georgia we see on a regular basis is that there are not that many hiking trails to explore,” says Kaleb East, founder of the North Georgia Hikers Instagram account, which...

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Fall Hiking Series: World’s Edge

Located along the Blue Ridge Escarpment and traversing the Polk and Rutherford County lines, as the name implies, World’s Edge offers exquisite views of the surrounding mountains and Piedmont. Conserving Carolina (formerly Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy) purchased this property to save it from development in the early 2000’s. Then, the land was transferred to the...

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Hellbenders Need You to Stop Messing With Their Bedrooms

Like many misunderstood and undervalued creatures in the country’s wilds, the hellbender faces innumerable threats from poisoned water to climate change. But this creature—one that has survived some of Earth’s most dramatic changes—also faces an additional threat. And that threat involves people messing with its bedroom. Seriously. Hellbenders have a home range of about...

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The Most Underrated Endurance Workout? Hiking

Have you ever met anyone who regretted taking a good, hard day hike? There’s something special about moderately paced movement through nature that leaves one feeling refreshed, renewed, and satisfied. Because of that, hiking is rarely considered a sport in the same way as trail running or mountain biking, both of which are more acutely painful and taxing on the body. And...

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The Ultimate Adventure Guide to Costa Rica

In terms of sheer natural beauty and variety, Costa Rica is a white unicorn of sorts. The country has everything from dense rainforests and high volcanic peaks to dry tundra and gushing rivers, all of it sandwiched between two distinct coastlines blessed with epic surf and secluded beaches. “Costa Rica is like several countries in one,” says a local runner who designs...

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The 10 Weirdest Hiking Trail Rules You Never Knew Existed

Hiking is a pretty liberating experience since you get to truly immerse yourself into the gorgeous landscape of the world. But it is not without its rules, and within all rules there are always a few that are just a tad strange. Some of these rules make sense, but the reasoning may seem a bit strange. Others are reasonable, but only with a certain amount of context. But...

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Celebrate National Public Lands Day on September 28, 2019

National parks will offer free admission, wellness events, and stewardship activities for National Public Lands Day on Sept. 28, 2019 – the country’s biggest celebration of the great outdoors. “It is always energizing to see people, parks, and communities unite in support of public lands,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “The variety of...

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The Best Hike in Every National Park

From Alaska’s remote bush to downtown Cleveland, our national parks provide us with millions of acres of public land to explore. We compiled a list of the best hikes in each park, according to the wilderness guides, park rangers, and hikers who know them. Penobscot and Sargent Mountain Loop at Acadia. Summit two of the park’s highest peaks on this 9.5-mile loop through...

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Five Ways Forests Benefit Human Health

Have you ever spent the whole day inside sitting in school or work feeling exhausted, but when you walk outside into the sun and fresh air, you instantly feel better? There’s an actual scientific term for this feeling. Biophilia is a word for human’s innate draw to the natural environment. However, nature and forests in particular do much more for human health than just...

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