Artist paints women hikers

In 2014, Sky Evans came across a photo on the internet of Colorado’s Hope Pass. An Oregon woman Evans knew was hiking the Continental Divide Trail and had posted the photo to her blog. Evans asked if she could paint the image. “I wind up having this amazing experience with this painting in that it was like nothing I had ever done before,” Evans said last week at her home...

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Israel by Foot program makes country’s abundant, varied trails easy to find

Most tourists come to Israel either out of religious sentiment or because of an interest in the country’s abundant historical and cultural sites. Others come to enjoy the beaches and night life of Eilat or Tel-Aviv. But aside from these known attractions, Israel is also a unique hiking destination. What makes Israel – a tiny country without high mountain ridges –...

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Pacific Crest Trail celebrates 50 years

Thirty-six and a half miles east of Lake Isabella is the historic route discovered by Joseph Rutherford Walker in 1834 known as Walker Pass. Because the pass connects the Great Basin and the interior of California, it was only logical that when a walking and equestrian trail extending from Mexico to Canada was conceived, Walker Pass would be a vital section of that path....

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Trekking on Turkey’s historic Ephesus-Mimas Route

An historic 709-kilometer route in İzmir, Turkey that connects ancient Greek Ionian footways awaits visitors who want to enjoy nature as well as learn of the culture and history in the region. The main part of the route consists of six footways connecting ancient cities such as Ephesus, Colophon, Lebedos, Teos, Klazomenai, and Erythrai. The route starts in Ephesus in...

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What does it take to be a National Park Service law enforcement ranger?

Danielle Breakell graduated from her law enforcement training academy this week. She has the skills to take down an armed fugitive, as well as a black bear or a bison. She’ll be able to read perpetrators their Miranda rights, while also citing the Endangered Species Act. And she will gladly write tickets for littering along with driving under the influence. Breakell, 29,...

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Hiking the Jordan Trail to Petra

Billed as the “Inca Trail of the Middle East,” the 400-mile Jordan Trail runs from the Mediterranean-influenced villages of Umm Qais in the north to the coral-rich Red Sea in the south, passing through 52 villages en route, as well as two UNESCO-listed sites. The result of an eight year effort by 40-some volunteers, the route is primed to put the country on...

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Hiking groups do more than just hike

When people think of hiking clubs, they probably envision groups that lead hikes in the forests and mountains — and they’d be right. But Southern Oregon is home to a number of organizations that do a lot more than hike — they actually get their hands dirty keeping trails open, and in some cases they are building new thoroughfares in the backcountry. Gabe Howe, director...

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Smokies Celebrates 20 Years of New Species Discoveries

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is celebrating 20 years of conducting biodiversity inventories. Park managers, biologists, educators, and non-park scientists initiated an effort to discover all life in the Smokies through an All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) on Earth Day in 1998. The non-profit partner Discover Life in America (DLIA), created in 1998,...

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Chestnut Mountain: A Gift for All of Tennessee

Alex Wyss vividly recalls his first visit to Chestnut Mountain in 2013. “I was struck by how spectacular this property was,” says the Director of Conservation for The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee. “A very large forested property—nearly 6,000 acres. In great condition. Gorgeous scenic views. We already knew it was in a biologically rich area and in close proximity or...

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New Fonta Flora State Trail system connecting Asheville to Morganton grows

  It was a sleepy little town where farmers worked the rich land along the Linville River. The Burke County, North Carolina town of Fonta Flora was also once home to a post office, the Rhyne School and Old Sardis Church of 1838. But starting in 1916 the residents were dispersed and displaced to higher ground as the Catawba and Linville rivers and Paddy’s Creek...

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Climate change could make thousands of tropical islands ‘uninhabitable’ in coming decades, new study says

More than a thousand low-lying tropical islands risk becoming “uninhabitable” by the middle of the century — or possibly sooner — because of rising sea levels, upending the populations of some island nations and endangering key U.S. military assets, according to new research. The threats to the islands are twofold. In the long term, the rising seas threaten to inundate...

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The 7 national trails of the Pacific Northwest

There are a ton of trails in the Pacific Northwest, but only a select few have earned the honor of being designated as national trails. From thru-hikes to road trip routes, all are part of the National Trails System, created by Congress in 1968 to “promote the preservation of, public access to, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the open-air, outdoor areas...

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Hiking in Croatia: How to Master Some of the World’s Rarest Views

The Velebit Hiking Trail or Velebitski planinarski put (VPP), is open throughout the year, though heavy snowfall makes winter trekking unwise. Prime hiking season is typically from May to October. The markings are the typical European red-white-red stripes or a red circle with white center. The initials VPP often accompanies marking at trailheads. Because hiking can be...

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Tips to stay safe while hiking in the mountains

Hiking can also be dangerous and occasionally deadly if not properly prepared, especially in the mountains. The weather can change at a moment’s notice or you can fall and hurt yourself. That’s why it’s vitally important to be prepared for anything, even when out on a short hike. A map and compass are just two of the ten essentials for safe hiking. Other items include...

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Wilderness boost: Why hiking does wonders for your mind and body

  If you’ve ever had to catch your breath on an uphill stretch of trail or if your legs have felt sore after a hike, you know that hiking is a workout. You’ve also likely experienced some of the health benefits of hiking: improved cardiovascular performance, more endurance, stronger muscles and a better mood. While many people hike simply for the enjoyment of...

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Cruisin’ Little River Road for Wildflowers – A Photo Essay

What to do if you’ve got half a day to kill on the Tennessee side of the Smokies? Well, if it’s April, the obvious conclusion is a wildflower hunt along Little River Road between Sugarlands and the Townsend-Y. On Saturday, April 21st, I had an invitation to the annual Great Smoky Mountains National Park Volunteers Appreciation Banquet, but it wasn’t to...

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National Forest Foundation launches ambitious effort to plant 50 million trees

On Earth Day 2018, April 22nd, the National Forest Foundation (NFF) launched an ambitious campaign to plant 50 million trees on America’s National Forests. The NFF initiated this effort to address the increasing reforestation needs on our National Forests. Many Americans are unaware that an estimated one million acres of National Forests need reforestation. Every...

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Hiking the Garden of Eden – The Alpe Adria Trail, Slovenia

From the moment you touch down in Ljubljana, Slovenia you know you’re about to experience a land of the Gods. Rich green fields spread as far as the eye can see, only broken by a spattering of wild flowers like the sprinkles on a cake. The depth and lusciousness of these fields reduce remind one childhood, and feeling a primal urge to prance through them like...

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Women Hiking Solo: Staying Savvy and Safe

Regardless of gender, as a solo hiker there are daunting factors: If you injure yourself or encounter a dangerous wild animal you’re bereft of support. Yet, as a female solo hiker, the prospect of unwanted attention (or worse) whilst wandering in the wild can add an eerie element to a trek. Perhaps potential female hikers are even deterred from treading onto the trail;...

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The cloud forest in our backyard

On some mornings, the mountains across our valley radiate in the dawn light, but frequently they are coyly veiled by clouds. These are the highest peaks in the East — ancient mountains, among the oldest on the continent — and a tattered shawl of dark forest drapes over the ridge and its craggy shoulders. This high-elevation dark green forest is one of Western North...

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Hiking rescues increase in Southern California; could social media be to blame?

As the weather warms up, more people will head outdoors to hiking spots throughout Southern California and elsewhere. However, more people outdoors means more mountain rescues. “Last year our eight-volunteer Search and Rescue teams had a record 684 missions. In 2016, we had 593 and there has been a fairly steady rise over the last few years,” said Mike Leum, assistant...

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Study: Hiking Makes You Happier

British and American scientists have published new research showing that group nature walks help us combat stress while boosting mental well-being. Researchers from the University of Michigan and Edge Hill University in England evaluated 1,991 participants in England’s Walking for Health program, which hosts nearly 3,000 walks per week for more than 70,000 regular...

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Why the Trump administration wants to open ANWR to drilling so quickly

At the end of last year, President Trump and Congress officially gave the green light to oil and natural gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). For Alaskan lawmakers, the inclusion of a drilling provision in the GOP tax bill was a victorious end to a nearly 40-year struggle to develop parts of the resource-rich refuge. But lifting the decades-old ban...

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What does it take to hike the entire Appalachian Trail?

Itching for adventure and seeking a break from their D.C. jobs, Elise Mann and Will Stowe figured it was time to go for a walk. In 2015, that’s exactly what the couple did, hiking roughly 2,190 miles from Georgia to Maine through woods and mountains, snow and rain on the Appalachian Trail. It took 146 days, four pairs of hiking boots each and more nonperishable food than...

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Bill to Link Minnesota Hiking Trails to National Route Advances in US House

Legislation to declare several hiking trails in the Northland to be part of the North Country National Scenic Trail has passed a U.S. House committee. The bill from Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) would incorporate the Superior Hiking Trail, Border Route Trail, and the Kekekabic Trail into the national trail. The move would add 400 miles to the national trail, bringing it to...

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How to Clean Hiking Boots – A Quick Guide

  If your hiking boots are as clean as a whistle, without a scuff or a scratch or a hint of dirt to be seen, then you’re doing it wrong. Hiking boots should only look pristine when they are brand new and have never once been worn on the trail. After that, every scrape and stain on those boots is a badge of honor. While it’s fine for your hiking boots to look...

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Free entrance to all national parks is Saturday to kickoff National Park Week

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced its kicking off National Park Week with free entrance to all national parks on Saturday, April 21, 2018. For one week each April, Interior joins with the National Park Foundation to celebrate America’s public lands. The theme for National Park Week is “Park Stars,” which celebrates everything from starry skies to park...

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Top Cincinnati Hiking Destinations

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends 87 percent of their life indoors and another 6 percent in cars. That means humans are only outside for roughly 7 percent of their lives — a disheartening statistic. But you can buck that trend: Greater Cincinnati, Ohio is home to a myriad of free parks with their own unique vibe. And, if you...

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