Great Smoky Mountains seeks hiking volunteers, ‘critical’ information

Do you love hiking? If so, the most-visited park in the nation wants your help. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers to “adopt” sections of its many trails. Volunteers would hike at least one designated trail four times per year and tell the park what they see. The park said it would use volunteer input to figure out which trails...

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Hiking Aconcagua: Tackling the Highest Peak in South America

A part of the Andes mountain range, Aconcagua is the highest mountain outside of Asia and, at 22,841 feet, is the highest mountain in both the Southern and Western Hemispheres. Brad Fain, CEO of Fain Signature Group in Prescott Valley, and fellow hikers Mark Peterson and Sean Fain began their journey up the mountain on February 5, 2020 with their two guides, Argentinian...

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New segment of Lake to Sound Trail opens, linking trails and transit

A new segment of King County Parks’ Lake to Sound Trail opened that will eventually connect Lake Washington to Puget Sound in 16-miles of paved trail. The trail will connect five South King County, WA cities – Renton, Tukwila, Burien, SeaTac, and Des Moines. It also connects to four regional trails – Eastrail, Cedar River Trail, Interurban Trail, and Green River Trail —...

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Hiking One of Hawaii’s Most Beautiful Trails Now Requires a Permit

If you want to take a hike on the famous and gorgeous Kalalau Trail, be prepared to make an advance reservation. Since severe thunderstorms and floods in 2018 ravaged the coastline on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, major recovery efforts have been underway to return Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park and Hā’ena State Park, and the Kalalau Trail to their original beauty....

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Man who hiked 2,180-mile Appalachian Trail 18 times headed to Hall of Fame

Warren Doyle, of Mountain City, Tennessee, has hiked the entire 2,180-mile Appalachian Trail 18 times, including nine thru-hikes. He also led eight group thru-hikes of the AT, seven of which saw a 100 percent completion rate among the hikers. But there’s so much more on Doyle’s resume that has earned him a spot among the Appalachian Trail Museum’s 10th class of inductees...

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Tips to prepare for your next hike

Hiking is among the best outdoor activities that can be both fun and exciting in the company of friends and family. But it’s one of those trips that require proper planning, and could be frustrating otherwise. Hiking involves walking uphill and downhill on unpredictable terrains. It is not like walking on a treadmill with high elevation. It can be hard on the body,...

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Snowy Balds at Roan Highlands – A Photo Essay

There was a snowstorm over Roan Mountain the last Friday in February, 2020. Seeing Roan Highlands covered in a blanket of snow is always a highlight of WNC winter. So on Sunday, March 1st I set out for this glorious destination high above the little town of Bakersville. It is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to do in winter. This makes three in a row now. As...

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This San Francisco hike offers nature, history — and unobstructed views of the Golden Gate Bridge

Lands End is a rugged oceanside park within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the 82,027-acre expanse that includes many of the Bay Area’s most jaw-dropping landmarks and vistas. Lands End is usually less crowded than some of the other local spots. Hugging San Francisco’s northwest shore, Lands End offers an unobstructed view of the iconic structure that draws so...

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Treasure hunt pays off for Las Vegas hikers

Most people come to Las Vegas with dreams to win big in a casino, but one hiking group managed to cash in without all the bells and whistles. Eloros is a company that puts on treasure hunts in various outdoor locations across the country.. This past weekend, treasure found its way to southern Nevada. Those participating in the hunt had to pay $30 to search a designated...

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Hikers behaving badly: Appalachian Trail partying raises ire

More than 830 people completed the 2,189-mile Appalachian Trail last year, up from just 182 in 1990, according to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, based in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. At Baxter State Park in Maine, the northern terminus of the AT, the number of registered long-distance hikers grew from 359 in 1991 to more than 2,000 in 2014. The growing number of...

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Over 6,000 acres added to Tennessee’s Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), in partnership with The Conservation Fund, TennGreen, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announced the addition of 6,229 acres to the Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park. In a TDEC press release, the organization stated that the land, known...

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The locked gate: Road closure decisions complex in the Smokies

Lisa Hendy is an early riser, and when it comes to dealing with snow days in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that’s a good thing. As chief ranger, Hendy’s responsibilities are many — but one of them is deciding when, if and for how long to close the roads when the weather gets bad. “Really what it boils down to is a combination of the forecast and observations on...

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New Rules Will Help the PCT Combat Overcrowding

On October 1, 2019, the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) announced a new permitting system that will affect all of the trail’s prospective thru-hikers starting in the 2020 season. Stricter regulations have been added to both north- and southbound hikes to more evenly distrubute crowds in both directions. The changes are intended to combat the significant increase...

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Italian hikers rescued in Alaska after visiting infamous bus featured in ‘Into the Wild’

An Italian man suffering from frostbite and four other tourists were rescued in the Alaska wilderness after visiting an abandoned bus that has become a lure for adventurers since it was featured in the “Into the Wild” book and movie. Alaska State Troopers say the five Italians were rescued from a camp they set up after visiting the dilapidated bus on the Stampede Trail...

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How to react if you come across a rattlesnake while hiking

Snakes will become more active as the temperatures start to warm up. The good news is there are safety tips to keep you on the trail and out of the emergency room. “Rattlesnakes anywhere are most active and most likely to be out…from about 78 degrees on up to about 90 degrees” says Joe Hymes, who is with the Venom Curator at the Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary in...

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Officials battling fire at popular hiking site at Delaware Water Gap

Crews worked through the night battling a fire that started in the February 23, 2020 in Worthington State Forest in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Hikers were asked to avoid a section of the recreation area as state and federal agencies responded, and hot spots remain early morning. The fire started on Mount Tammany off the popular Red Dot Trail on the...

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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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