Arizona Trail to get new management plan

The 800-mile-long Arizona Trail that spans the length of the state is getting a new level of management. It will come in the form of a comprehensive plan aimed at better protecting and preserving the trail’s resources, whether they are located on federal, state, county, municipal or private land. Federal agencies released an initial draft of the plan earlier this month...

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Bear country hiking tips from a big game biologist

Hikers in many parts of the West, especially northwest Wyoming, are in carnivore country and should think ahead to what they would do in a close encounter with a bear, wolf or mountain lion, says a wildlife biologist. Annemarie Prince, a hiker as well as a biologist who works with big game and carnivores for the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department recently offered...

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New Science Education Program Brings Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Classrooms

Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont have been selected to participate in a new science education program, Citizen Science 2.0 in National Parks. Made possible thanks to a $1 million Veverka Family Foundation donation to the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, this new program...

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6 ways to get the best workout of your life while hiking

Modern workout machines, like treadmills, offer flat and predictable workout surfaces. Although you can adjust the incline slightly, it does not offer a consistent challenge. In fact, most people fail to see expected results after months of using their treadmill. Hiking engages the entire body as it requires the use of hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, abdominals, calves,...

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Great Plains Trail could put western Nebraska’s premier scenic attractions in national spotlight

Walking from Texas to Canada might be a bigger hike than you ever imagined. In 2016, as an energetic 25-year-old, Luke “Strider” Jordan entered Guadalupe Mountains National Park in West Texas, taking his first step on a 2,100-mile journey that ended three months later in the North Dakota ghost town of Northgate, near Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge. He was the first...

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The real fire and fury is in Greenland right now

Thousands of acres of permafrost are burning in what appears to be Greenland’s biggest fire on record. And climate scientists are freaking out not just because the massive fires are unusual, but because they release large amounts of greenhouse gases and speed up the melt of the ice sheet and the carbon-rich permafrost. Greenland is almost entirely covered in an enormous...

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Trekking Through the Rocky Mountains of Iceland

In Iceland’s central highlands the landscapes are often bare, with little more than rocks, snow and distant mountains. Small alpine flowering plants that manage to survive in these harsh surroundings offer a tiny splash of color. It is an area where few people live and that, for most of the year, is closed to vehicles because it would be impossible for them to get...

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Best Hikes on the Oregon Coast

The Oregon Coast is the most visited region in the state, and the reasons are legion. Tempestuous spring and winter months are perfect for watching waves and weather churn together over dramatic cliffs and headlands; summer and fall can bring mild temperatures that are ideal for beach exploration and a terrific relief from scorching inland weather. Protected lands such...

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A new study finds 6.5% of global GDP goes to subsidizing dirty fossil fuels

Fossil fuels have two major problems that paint a dim picture for their future energy dominance. These problems are inter-related but still should be discussed separately. First, they cause climate change. We know that, we’ve known it for decades, and we know that continued use of fossil fuels will cause enormous worldwide economic and social consequences. Second, fossil...

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The Appalachian Trail turns 80

There’s something about the Appalachian Trail – or, A.T., as it’s affectionally known by enthusiasts – that draws people to it, from day-hikers, to section-hikers who spend days, weeks, or even months traversing its sections’ ups and downs, to “thru-hikers” who hike the entire trail, from start to finish. “The A.T. is a place that balances me; it grounds me,”...

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Hiking Project app/website helps you head for the hills

Sometimes it’s nice to escape the swelter of the city and head for the hills. A shady hike beside a cool mountain stream beats a steamy stroll down the city streets any day. If you don’t know any good hiking trails or are just bored of your usual ones, Hiking Project is a useful app (for iOS and Android) and website that can make suggestions where to go. Best of all,...

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When and where to spot the best Autumn scenery in our national parks

Fall color isn’t always where you expect to find it. Quick story: The assignment, years ago, was to do a story on fall color at Yosemite National Park. Got there, and everything Yosemite was supposed to have was present that day in mid-October: Half Dome, El Capitan, waterfalls, all of it. And from Glacier Point, one of the world’s great overlooks and the...

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Hiking a 110-Mile Jungle Trail — Entirely Within Rio

Brazil’s longest hiking trail is 110 miles through Atlantic rainforest along the coast, stopping off at white sand beaches, waterfalls and panoramic viewpoints, where monkeys, toucans and parrots abound. Where is this tropical hiker’s paradise? It’s 100 percent within Rio de Janeiro city limits — a metropolis with more than 7 million people. The newly inaugurated...

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Here are the most effective stretches to prepare you for the hiking 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 important to stretch all of the main muscle groups used in hiking, but also pay attention to your particular needs, and...

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Largest dead zone ever hits the Gulf of Mexico

Scientists have measured a dead zone the size of New Jersey in the Gulf of Mexico, making it the largest-ever dead zone recorded in the area, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. A dead zone occurs when nutrient pollution — largely from agricultural runoff like fertilizer and manure — makes its way into bodies of water, fueling algal growth....

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McCullough Gulch Trail, White River National Forest

This trail follows the McCullough Creek drainage up the gulch beneath the massive summit of 14,225′ Quandary Peak. It starts on an old mining road south of Breckenridge, CO, then changes to single track trail as it climbs the gulch. You’ll pass through pine and fir forest, get splashed by White Falls, marvel at the colorful granite, and count the variety of...

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SAHC Protects 310 Acres in Weaverville, NC Watershed

Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy recently worked with the Town of Weaverville, NC to place a conservation easement on 310 acres of the Weaverville Watershed. The easement protects important headwaters of Reems Creek as well as forested habitat and scenic views from Reems Creek Valley. “This property provided drinking water to the Town of Weaverville for 80...

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Taking the Measure of Solitude in the Wilderness

People are drawn to wilderness areas for many reasons, hiking, bird watching, or camping, but another attraction is solitude. If you’re hiking in southwest Virginia’s Mountain Lake Robbie Harris you may meet a ranger who is actually measuring the amount of solitude out there. David Seisel, who goes by the name ‘Skip’ is a ranger on the eastern divide ranger...

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Fuel the Outdoors Dehydrated Meals and Snacks

Pennsylvania is home for a couple who recently started a home-based business to combine two of their passions: hiking and cooking. They make dehydrated meals and snacks. While this is not a novel concept – theirs are made really fresh just like you would at home, with some ingredients right from their own garden and others sourced locally. After all, why...

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Backpacking Essentials Infographic

Forgetting travel items is a pain. When you are heading to a big city it’s usually okay if you forget an item or two as you can always grab it at the hotel or a nearby store. But what do you do if you are headed to the middle of nowhere for your next big hiking or backpacking excursion? Chances are you are severely out of luck. That’s a reason you may find...

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The Future of the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest Belongs to You

You are the owner of a 1.1-million acre mountain estate. Your property includes cascading waterfalls, ancient forests, and the highest mountains in the East. You can go anywhere you like on your property. You can hike hundreds of miles of trails and paddle, fish, and swim in its pristine streams. You share ownership equally with every other American, and you pay your...

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At Berryessa National Monument, Wildflowers and Rebirth

The fields give way to darkly arching oaks, tree tunnels shading a narrow country road outside Winters, Calif. The early-hour brightness indicates the nearness of summer. Here, an hour and a half northeast of San Francisco, the dense press of civilization lifts, and the open wilderness weaves itself into the landscape. The light is somehow ventilated, given more space....

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Lego wants to convert their iconic plastic bricks to a biomaterial that can survive generations of play

In March, 2017, the Lego Group unveiled the world’s tallest Lego wind turbine to celebrate having met its 100% renewable-energy target three years ahead of schedule. The 30-ft-tall wind turbine built from 146,000 Lego bricks pays tribute to the Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm near Liverpool, UK, one of Lego’s investments in wind energy totaling $940 million since...

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New Ulster hiking trail will link to 750-mile NY system

Neil Bettez said he saw the future of New Paltz, NY after a recent Town Board meeting. The town supervisor and his deputy, Daniel Torres, were walking along one of the few complete portions of New Paltz’s future River-to-Ridge Trail, which isn’t yet open to the public. It was sunset. The sunlight warmed their faces as the corn stalks bordering the trail stood sentry over...

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If Americans Are So Worried About Pollution, Why Are So Few Willing to Speak Up About It?

Smokestacks billow toxic clouds while crumpled food wrappers dance across the street with the breeze. Given the damage pollution can cause, it’s fair to wonder, how do Americans feel about it? While pollution is a broad term, several different types bother Americans. Based on the survey results, industrial pollution draws the most ire, followed by water waste and...

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How do firefighters determine the cause of a wildfire?

Behind every wildfire is a mystery: How did it start? Was it human-caused? And, if so, who’s responsible? The recent Peak 2 Fire in Summit County, CO which forced hundreds of residential evacuations and a $2 million bill for emergency services, was found to be the result of two hikers. But how is that determined? “Typically the investigation starts the moment we’re aware...

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New trail coming to Lemolo Lake, Oregon

Soon, outdoor enthusiasts will be hiking and mountain biking down a new trail through the shade-covered Umpqua National Forest, catching glimpses of Lemolo Lake between the evergreens. A trails enterprise team through the U.S. Forest Service started constructing 4.5 miles of new trail in the Diamond Lake Ranger District on July 19, 2017, connecting the freshly cleared...

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There are diseases hidden in ice, and they are waking up

Throughout history, humans have existed side-by-side with bacteria and viruses. From the bubonic plague to smallpox, we have evolved to resist them, and in response they have developed new ways of infecting us. We have had antibiotics for almost a century, ever since Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin. In response, bacteria have responded by evolving antibiotic...

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Helikon-Tex Outdoor Tactical Shorts

The cut and pocket layout of the Helikon-Tex tactical shorts retains a civilian outlook. The OTP® design allows you to carry all essential equipment, and anatomic cut does not hinder movements. Elastic waistband and Velcro-closure allow a degree of adjustability within size. Large belt loops allow wide belts to be used. The jeans cut on the rear part of the pants...

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Former Interior Secretary rips Trump’s “illegal”, “unpopular” attempt to revoke national monuments

Former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell offered a pointed criticism of the current administration’s views on public lands — particularly of its decision to review 27 national monuments, with an eye towards altering or removing them. Jewell gave the remarks in a keynote address at Outdoor Retailer, the Outdoor Industry Association’s annual trade show in Utah. “President...

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Nantahala-Pisgah National Forests Designated as Treasured Landscape by National Forest Foundation

Since the establishment of eastern National Forests at the beginning of the 20th century, the forests of western North Carolina have been recognized and valued for their importance to scenic outdoor experiences and directly connected to the health of the region. The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests in particular cover a remarkable and unique landscape, spanning the...

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West Ridge Trail from Loveland Pass, Arapaho National Forest

The easier of the trails at Loveland Pass, West Ridge surrounds two sides of the bowl that makes up the Loveland area and the I-70 corridor over the Continental Divide. Still, at 11,990 feet, this is no piece of cake for folks like me who are used to mountains no more than half the elevation. Several ski slopes are visible from the ridge. Look too for cute rodents to...

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