Some Of The Best Places In The United States To Plan A Hiking Trip

Many Americans are rediscovering favorite pastimes during the COVID-19 pandemic, including exploring outdoor areas. Because you can breathe fresh air (so long as you aren’t in a crowd) and get away from enclosed spaces, this can be a great time to plan a hiking trip. Being outdoors is one of the most effective ways to avoid close contact but enjoy exercise and...

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Black Girl Hair Tips for Hiking and Backpacking

Nothing should hold a person back from getting on the trail when they feel ready for their next adventure…. not even your hair. Leave the conditioner in your hair. This is a game-changer. The morning before a long hike wet your hair and put conditioner in but do not rinse it out. This will help keep your natural curl pattern and keep your hair looking moisturized and...

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Five Things to Know Before Your First Outdoor Adventure With Kids

Adventure really takes on a new definition after you become a parent, doesn’t it? Tasks that used to be a breeze now feel monumental (especially when you have a toddler who missed her nap). Remember when you used to run to the grocery store and didn’t have to deal with car seats, negotiate with a miniature troublemaker, and stealthily navigate past the toy aisle?...

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A jobs program to plug abandoned oil wells sounds like a win-win. Is it?

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic shook up the oil industry, America was full of defunct oil wells. Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, or perhaps millions of holes in the ground — no one knows how many there really are — abandoned by their former overseers when oil stopped gushing to the surface or when those overseers went broke. The holes leak methane, a...

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The World Is Still Out There in Spite of Coronavirus – A Photo Essay

Does 2020 seem like a lost year so far? If you’re like me it has. I’ve been self-isolating since mid-March because of coronavirus. I only venture out to get groceries for my dad and myself. I have been hiking a grand total of once since March, and that time was only after entering Phase II of the grand reopening. Obviously soon after, positive cases began...

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More than 100 volunteers cart trash out of White Mountain National Forest

People are getting outside this summer to take socially distant walks on the beach or go on hikes – anything to get outdoors. But many people who visit scenic areas are noticing trash is piling up. More than 100 people worked together to try to change that in the White Mountain National Forest. “I was seeing a lot of posts about trash,” said an...

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An injured hiker recorded himself while stranded at Joshua Tree National Park for 40 hours

  A California man who got stranded in Joshua Tree National Park for 40 hours is already looking forward to his next hike. Robert Ringo was hiking near Quail Mountain when he fell and broke his leg. Crying out for help, Ringo started recording his near-death experience. “I started trying to at least turnover so I could get onto my back,” he told the...

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National Parks Are Getting Trashed During COVID-19, Endangering Surrounding Communities

Many national and state parks, supposed to be untouched swaths of time-proof wilderness, have been overrun by first-time visitors seeking refuge from quarantine, joblessness, or the inability to take far-flung vacations. And as people have flooded into the parks, new crises have arisen for rangers and nearby communities, including indigenous populations who were already...

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DuPont State Recreational Forest Expands

There is now more land in DuPont State Recreational Forest (DSRF), including clear trout streams, rare wildflowers and important wildlife habitat. On July 1, 2020 Conserving Carolina conveyed 315 acres to the N.C. Forest Service, south of the main body of DuPont. This is the second phase of the Continental Divide Tract—a long-sought conservation priority that provides...

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Dragonflies reveal mercury pollution levels across US national parks

Dragonflies are used to measure mercury pollution in a citizen science program that began over a decade ago. The national research effort, which grew from a regional project to collect dragonfly larvae, found that the young form of the insect predator can be used as a “biosentinel” to indicate the amount of mercury that is present in fish, amphibians and...

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Smokies superintendent hosting equality, diversity hiking series

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Cassius Cash and the Great Smoky Mountains Association are drawing on the nature around them to provoke open conversation about race and a change in racial biases. Smokies Hikes for Healing will be held August through December, 2020 in different locations across the park in Tennessee and North Carolina. During the eight...

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‘Father’ of NC’s Mountains to Sea Trail reaches milestone, continues hike toward bigger goal

At nearly 86 years old, Howard Lee isn’t slowing down. Recently, he knocked a goal off his list by reaching about 120 miles hiked along North Carolina’s Mountains to Sea Trail. He’s been working on the milestone for five years. “It’s such a delight to be a part of this,” Lee said. “To be here today, to be with friends and to continue...

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A youth Civilian Conservation Corps will build a trail of justice and hope

Despite recent upticks in hirings, double-digit unemployment and a slumping U.S. economy have many drawing parallels to the Great Depression, complete with calls for a new Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal that provided millions of young men with conservation jobs. While there are some similarities between now and...

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Lexington completes 22 miles of uninterrupted trails linking urban core to Bluegrass; more to come in fall

Trails are bustin’ out all over Lexington, Kentucky’s downtown, as construction this summer on Town Branch Commons, the Legacy Trail, and Town Branch Trail completes 22 miles of uninterrupted walking. “The trail plans we’ve been working on for decades are really coming together this summer,” said Mayor Linda Gorton. “There will be new, exciting opportunities to get...

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Spain’s new ‘Lord of the Rings’-inspired hiking trail is the epic alternative to El Camino

New Zealand is typically considered the real-world Middle Earth, but in the off-kilter year that is 2020, when traveling to New Zealand is difficult, other countries are throwing their hat into the ring. Spain is unveiling a new mountain hiking trail inspired by Tolkien’s famous trilogy and Peter Jackson’s films. Called El Camino del Anillo, which translates to “The Ring...

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Wayfinding signs are the perfect way to easily communicate with trail users and keep them safe and oriented on the trail

Wayfinding signs are simply any kind of sign that gives direction to those reading it. These signs exist not only for trails but in many everyday spaces such as city streets, retail establishments, and hospitals. The purpose of wayfinding signs is to help people be easily oriented to new spaces, find their destination with minimum stress and without getting lost, locate...

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A New Plastic Wave Is Coming to Our Shores

Andrew Wunderley crouches in the sand to pick up a milky white sphere. He pinches the lentil-size orb between his thumb and forefinger. It nearly pops out of his grip. The little pellet is made of brand-new plastic and has all the wondrous qualities of the material—light, smooth, and virtually forever-lasting. Many more are scattered in the high-tide line of the wide,...

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The allure of hiking and climbing Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks

With snow-capped summits, awe-inspiring faces and inherent danger, Colorado’s Fourteeners — peaks that reach 14,000 feet or more above sea level — have enraptured hikers and climbers for years. Every year, Colorado’s Fourteeners are hiked by more than 500,000 people, with locals and international visitors taking on the challenge. Ranging from well-marked hiking trails to...

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Cheoah Ranger District, Nantahala National Forest, designates two trails for Kids in Parks Program

The Cheoah Ranger District on the Nantahala National Forest now has two new Kids in Parks TRACK Trails, designed to turn an ordinary hike into a fun-filled, discovery-packed adventure. At the Massey Branch Fitness Trail and the Cheoah Trail, both located across from the Cheoah Ranger District Office in Robbinsville, visitors will now find new trailhead signs with...

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23 miles of hiking trails await across North Carolina’s beautiful Piedmont Environmental Center

The Piedmont Environmental Center in High Point, North Carolina, could be the perfect place for families to start to explore nature while staying close to several cities, including Greensboro. The Piedmont Environmental Center connects the High Point Greenway with Greensboro’s Bicentennial Greenway where walkers and cyclists can wind their way on wooden paths along a...

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The Most Effective Stretches to Prepare You for the Trail

Even what seems like the most benign hiking trail can result in a twisted ankle, pulled muscle, or worse if you don’t prepare properly. The most effective method of readying your body for the rigors of the trail is consistent stretching. It is suggested stretching all of the main muscle groups used in hiking, but also pay attention to your particular needs, and take them...

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These Are The Most Dangerous Hiking Mistakes, According To Experts

Overall, hiking is a relatively safe recreational activity – but when it goes wrong, the consequences can be severe. Hiking is one of the greatest pastimes of the Great Outdoors and with so many magnificent views to be seen, there’s no question why. Some trails are far more difficult than others, while some offer maximum payoff with very little effort....

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Planning effort seeks to form WNC regional multi-use trail network

The French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization has a plan that would create a 150-mile-plus trail network through Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties in North Carolina that is now out for public comment. The group has been working with local governments and community stakeholders over the last year to develop plans for the...

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California condors return to Sequoia National Park for the 1st time in decades

For the first time in at least three decades, California condors were spotted in Sequoia National Park, an area that was historically part of the endangered bird’s range. At least six of the majestic scavengers visited the park in late May, including four seen flying near the famed Giant Forest and at least two near Moro Rock, a geologic dome and popular hiking spot, the...

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Renowned thru-hiker Ryan Sylva maps out new 1,100-mile route, the Great Basin Trail

Ryan Sylva, who goes by the trail name “Dirtmonger,” has been busy walking long-distance routes for about 10 years. A thru hiker of some renown, the 43-year-old Colorado resident first hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2011, a feat he has since repeated twice. He’s hiked the Continental Divide Trail twice. In 2013 he completed a lap around the 3,500-mile...

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With Three Pipelines Down, the Future Is Looking Green

On July 5, 2020 it was announced the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), which would have carried fracked natural gas through 600 miles of West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, will never be completed. Pipeline owners Dominion and Duke Energy announced they were cancelling the fossil fuel project due to mounting delays and uncertainty. They said the many legal...

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Hiking with kids: Tips and tricks to make hiking fun for the whole family

For many nature lovers enjoyment of the outdoors originates from childhood experiences spending time outside with family and friends. Outdoor passions such as hiking can be passed from parent to child. Hiking can include long days in the sun, inclement weather and tiring exercise, which are not always conducive to making happy kids. Despite its challenges, hiking is a...

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Great, now the oceans are filling with COVID trash: Masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer

Are oil companies the true heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic? That’s sure what they’d like you to think. In a recent flurry of “corporate reputation advertising” oil and gas companies, plus the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) — an industry group that counts Chevron, Exxon, Citgo, and many others among its members — put out a series of Twitter ads...

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