It’s Important to Keep Talking About Climate Change Now

In the midst of a pandemic with an immediate and visible toll on human life and the economy, other ongoing crises have fallen lower on the public’s radar. But environmentalists are finding ways to keep climate change relevant by advocating loudly for an agenda that protects people as well as the planet. A consensus seems to be emerging from environmental groups that...

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The deep science state

Since President Trump took office in 2017, environmental protection has been under assault. As of December, 2019, the administration had completed at least 58 rollbacks of environmental rules. The good news is that government scientists and lawyers are inserting statistics and data about the dire consequences of proposed rule changes into the technical documents that...

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Some common sense tips to keep you (and others) safe when hiking

Good hygiene and maintaining the appropriate social distance are central themes in this checklist of recommendations for hikers during this time of COVID-19: Keep your hands clean. Use wet wipes and hand sanitizer. Better yet, use biodegradable soap and water to scrub your hands, well away from water sources, of course. Don’t share anything. Your utensils, cup, bowl and...

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‘We’re closed for your hiking business.’ Communities near national parks urge non-locals to stay away.

Josh Berman, a Spanish teacher from Boulder, Colo., had been looking forward to his rafting trip with his 12-year-old for more than a year. As a father of three daughters, he annually alternates taking each one on an outdoor adventure. This year’s 45-mile rafting trip on the Green River from Colorado to Utah was easily the most off-the-grid excursion yet, and he and his...

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Keeping the doorstep green: Canton likely to receive 448 acres for outdoor rec

  If all goes as planned, Canton, NC will soon have a 448-acre park for hiking, mountain biking and other outdoor recreation activities just a mile from town limits. The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy hopes to close on the property, known as the Chestnut Mountain Tract and currently owned by Canton Motorsports LLC, within the next couple months....

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Is life during coronavirus how we will live during climate change?

So will this animation around COVID-19 translate to a climate revolution? The difficult thing about climate change, versus coronavirus, is that, until very recently, it appeared to be a far-off probability versus an impending threat. It’s really hard to get people to do things that are challenging or even just inconvenient to preemptively address a distant, not-certain...

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How to Know How Hard a Hike Will Be

“How hard will that hike be?” That’s a question that all dayhikers and backpackers, from beginners to experts, think about all the time—and it’s not always easy to answer. But there are ways of evaluating the difficulty of any hike, using readily available information, that can greatly help you understand what to expect before you even leave home. Whether you’re new to...

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No, Sheltering in Place Doesn’t Include Hiking in Crowds

In locked-down America, the outdoors is one of the only places left to go. And everyone seems to be going. Leaders and health officials around the country are struggling to balance the need for separation with the need for escape and exercise. Southern California’s always-jammed roads were eerily quiet the first weekend of a statewide lockdown meant to slow the spread of...

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The Leave No Trace Recommendations for Getting Outside During Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic is rapidly altering our daily life. It is important to be aware of the most current information from the CDC on these changes, and that goes for changes to the way we spend time outside as well. To keep ourselves, our communities, and our outdoor spaces safe and healthy during this time, please consider these recommendations. Where COVID-19 is...

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How To Be A Climate Activist During The Coronavirus Pandemic

April was supposed to be a huge month for climate action. The plan was to have a month of global mobilization with thousands of protests and events planned by almost 1 million different organizations working together. Activists had hoped to build on the success of last September’s worldwide climate strikes, which saw 8 million people take to the streets to demand action....

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Spring Wildflowers on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The promise of refreshing walks in the woods, colorful blooms, and a greener landscape on the Blue Ridge Parkway are bright spots during these stressful times. If you’re headed out to appreciate the diverse wildflowers that herald the season’s arrival, here are tips for the best viewing and staying safe. To plan your wildflower excursions, look to the trees for signs of...

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A Backpacker’s Guide to Maps

Overview maps normally have a scale of between 1:50,000 and 1:100,000, meaning that one unit on the map (e.g., an inch, a centimeter, a thumbnail) equals 50,000 or 100,000 units in the field. While planning a trip, use these small-scale maps to develop a general understanding of the landscape, including the main watersheds, road systems, and trail networks. They aid with...

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Despite the coronavirus, you can legally thru-hike the Appalachian Trail right now. But should you?

Due to the coronavirus pandemic that has dislodged the United States’ social order and crippled its economy, the question of whether or not to attempt a thru-hike has become an actual life-or-death conundrum—and a question of what it means to put strangers before yourself. A week ago, concerns about the coronavirus and thru-hiking centered mostly on supplies. With...

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Is It Safe To Go Hiking? Yes, With Caveats

With so many of us stuck at home self-isolating or temporarily unable to work, people may be thinking about going for a hike. But is it safe? “Of course, but maintain a safe distance from others. There is no issue with going hiking with the people you live with,” says Chunhuei Chi, director of the Center for Global Health at Oregon State University. If you go hiking with...

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The National Park Service is selling out to telecom giants

There aren’t many places people can go these days to escape completely from the ubiquitous influence of social media, smartphones, Big Tech and telecom companies. The blank spots on the coverage maps are constantly shrinking, though not equally, and not everywhere. In many cases, the expansion of broadband coverage is necessary; telecom providers too often underserve...

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Bonneville Shoreline Trail runs into dispute between trail advocates and environmentalists

Utahns of all political stripes enjoy trails that connect their communities to the outdoors, but efforts to expand one of the state’s premier trails threaten to divide two groups of stakeholders that are normally allied on public lands issues: trail users and wilderness advocates. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail, which contours along parts of the Wasatch foothills, tracks...

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Coronavirus advice for Appalachian Trail hikers from trail organization: distancing and soap

Coronavirus concerns have led the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to issue guidance for hikers already on the Appalachian Trail – like thru-hikers who started their 2,180-mile treks before or despite guidance on self-confinement and social distancing. “For Appalachian Trail hikers, distancing yourself from other hikers and maintaining good hygiene is the best defense for...

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Transylvania County Tourism announces $100,000 toward Ecusta Trail

At the Transylvania County, NC Tourism (TCT) Board of Directors’ annual retreat, a motion was passed to set aside $100,000 from the organization’s fund balance for the development of the Ecusta Trail. TCT previously pledged support of the rail to trail conversion back in June of 2015, emphasizing the benefit that the trail would have on the community. After nearly a...

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How hiking can make you mentally and physically stronger

Serendipitously, her last name is Bliss. Perhaps that’s not such a coincidence when you realize the immense joy Lauralee Bliss has discovered during her 10,000 miles of hiking. She’s traversed some of the most beautiful, secluded parts of this country, trekking the entire Appalachian Trail two times. Bliss has also completely tackled the Colorado and Florida Trails,...

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Blue Ridge Parkway roads and trails swell to 15 million visitors in 2019, budget shrinks

Nancy Midgette, in her volunteer role as a “Craggy Rover,” acting as a helping arm to the Blue Ridge Parkway rangers at Craggy Gardens, learned she can talk for four hours straight. That’s about how long she spent talking to visitors on her four-hour shifts last summer at Craggy Pinnacle, just north of Asheville, pointing out the mountaintop names in the distance from...

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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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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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