How to backpack Arizona’s eerie Superstition Wilderness

Arizona is home to some serious scenery: the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon. While those are far from any major city, just an hour from Phoenix sits an untouched swath of pristine Sonoran Desert. The Superstition Wilderness, with its eerie red spires and lanky saguaro cacti, offers equally stunning vistas, is full of wildlife, and has miles of trails to...

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101 things to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most-visited national park in the country for a good reason: there are countless things to do spread across two states and thousands of acres. But sometimes it can be difficult to pick just one thing to do in the park. Other times you may find yourself in a rut doing the same thing over and over. So here is a list of 101 things...

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Hiking through history: Little Cataloochee offers a window to the past

One hundred years ago, the parking area and campground just past the fields in Cataloochee Valley where elk often hang out was better known as Nellie, a remote community in what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As anybody who’s ever driven the steep and narrow access road from Jonathan Creek can imagine, it was hard to get in and hard to get out in the...

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Hiker’s Handbook: Best U.S. Hiking Cities

Most of us will never have the time for a 6-month thru hike, but a good day hike can be as refreshing as a week in the backcountry. And if you know where to look, trails abound—even near a concrete jungle. Here are some of the best U.S. cities for getting that backcountry fix in easy-access doses. Portland Smack in the middle of town, Forest Park, Portland’s 5,200-acre...

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Time’s running out to hike this amazing hot springs trail near Las Vegas

Las Vegas visitors who like a challenge will find rejuvenating hot springs, spectacular vistas and, right now, abundant wildflowers on an arduous hiking trail along the banks of the Colorado River that’s about an hour’s drive east of the Strip. Go now if you want to catch spring because the trail closes in mid-May and doesn’t reopen until September. The Gold Strike Hot...

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Hiking to the Summit of Bulgaria’s Belogradchik Fortress

One of Bulgaria’s most interesting historical monuments is the Belogradchik Fortress. It’s located on the slopes of the Balkan Mountains, and the area’s phenomenal rock formations serve not only as natural protection but also as an integral part of the fortification itself. It’s believed that these ancient rock formations were formed over a period of more than 200...

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Who is responsible for Hong Kong’s disappearing trails?

Hong Kong is dense with trails criss-crossing the territory. There are the major ones, like the MacLehose, Wilson, Hong Kong, and Lantau trails, then the minor ones and their tributaries. What we may be less aware of is that many unofficially designated trails are at risk of disappearing for good. For centuries, residents of the territory have inscribed their marks onto...

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Next Level Trails in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee, may have the coolest backyard ever. Less than 10 miles from the city center, Mountain Creek Park will offer the community an urban recreation experience with 8 to 12 miles of natural surface trails for beginner to expert mountain bike riding, exceptional bouldering, and hiking trails for scenic exploration. With 800 feet of vertical drop and...

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An Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker On The Need To Protect Our Wild Spaces

This year on her birthday, Carolyn Burman decided to do a solo hike in one of her favorite state parks in Connecticut. She has magical memories of that trek. She grew up hiking it — her mother even went into labor with her while walking the path. She looked forward to a peaceful, reflective experience in nature. Instead, she found something else. “There was so much...

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The Adirondacks: Hiking America’s Original Wilderness

Many are those who say the Adirondacks are unique. That may be an overused word, but in numerous ways the region is distinctive, and in some cases even certifiably unique. Let’s consider some of those ways. The Adirondacks are big. Not vertically, which is what most people think of when they hear the word “big” associated with mountains, but horizontally. Consider the...

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Hiking Mississippi’s Scenic Trails

Searching for the best places in Mississippi for hiking and camping? A University of Mississippi staff member knows exactly where to find the best trails. Shannon Richardson, assistant director of campus recreation, has been supervising Ole Miss Outdoors for the past 14 years. Through her position, the Oakwood, Georgia, native has been on countless Mississippi trails....

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‘The Hiking Vikings’ Make Appalachian Trail Signs

Appalachian Trail thru-hikers agree that the sign on Mount Katahdin in Maine signifies the pinnacle of a journey that changes you forever. A local couple who completed their thru-hike in 2015 found there were signs along the way that held life-altering messages too. Nate and Sharon Harrington, known to those on the trail as “The Hiking Vikings,” started their hike on...

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What are the Best Restaurants on the Appalachian Trail?

From the perspective of a thru-hiker, there are few things that matter more than the meals to be devoured upon reaching the next town. After a few consecutive days of cold tuna, ramen, and beef jerky, hikers’ dreams are infiltrated with visions of bacon cheeseburgers, pepperoni pizzas, and Ben and Jerry’s. When you’re few hundred miles south of Catawba, you start...

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Five hikes in Colorado that are best done in the spring

As temperatures gradually warm up and flowers peek through the snow, Coloradans know what time of year has arrived. No, not springtime: hiking time. Snow-wary outdoorsmen are beginning to dig out their hiking boots again, ready to stretch their legs across the state’s many trails. But with all those options, it can sometimes be difficult to choose which trail to set out...

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Smokies Park Hosts Trail Volunteer Opportunities in April

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced several volunteer workdays during the month of April, 2019 on popular trails as the park prepares for the busy summer season. These opportunities are ideal for people interested in learning more about the park and the trails program through hands-on service alongside experienced park staff. Volunteers will help...

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Yosemite is changing Half Dome hiking permits this year

The route up Half Dome that John Muir climbed in 1875 is the same one you’ll ascend today — if you’re lucky enough to score the special permit required to hike Yosemite’s most recognizable feature. After years of traffic jams on the cable-lined path up Half Dome — and several related deaths — the park put in place a permitting system in 2010. That eased the crowding...

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Walking in Wales: New trail complete as final stage opens

For more than 150 years, the Heart of Wales railway has meandered through some of the most breathtaking scenery in Britain. Now walkers can enjoy one of the UK’s longest fully-waymarked footpaths, loosely following the line, from Shropshire to Carmarthenshire. The last stage of the 141-mile trail opened this week. One tourism expert said Wales was...

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National Park Week 2019: Celebrating America’s National Parks

National Park Week, running from April 20 through 28, 2019, has something for everyone. Join the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation for nine days of fun, including National Junior Ranger Day and National BARK Ranger Day. Visit www.NationalParkWeek.org for more information and a list of special events. “National parks are sources of inspiration,...

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Why Hiking Is Surging in Popularity in the U.S.

Hiking is now the fourth most-popular outdoor activity in the U.S., after running, fishing and biking, according to The Outdoor Foundation’s 2018 Outdoor Participation Report. The report noted that 44.9 million people hit the trails in 2017, up from 30 million in 2006. The biggest jump in participation came between 2015 and 2016. Trail experts say no definitive...

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Linville Gorge: A Sparkle of Rekindled Joy

That faraway gaze sprinkled with a sparkle of rekindled joy in his eyes was becoming more familiar these days as he reflected and reminisced of past memories – memories of a simpler time when laughter, friendship, and camaraderie was never in short supply, especially when in the presence of those who did life together – a family in a sense. That family consisted of Dad...

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The Cradle of Forestry in America historic site will begin the 2019 season on April 6

The Cradle of Forestry’s living history demonstrators and crafters will bring the Pink Beds community along the Cradle’s Biltmore Campus Trail to life by re-creating an early 1900’s community busy at work and play. Guests can visit the cozy King House to smell the wonderful aromas of open-hearth cooking, help with laundry without the modern...

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New Verde Valley hiking trails show off views all the way to Flagstaff

Just a few miles north of Camp Verde, Arizona, Wet Beaver Creek cuts a meandering course through high-desert plains and sparse mesas on its way to the Verde River. For thousands of years, the perennially flowing stream has been the life blood for peoples who settled near its green corridor. The communities of Rimrock and Montezuma Lake are the most recent to evolve...

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Hiking the Zen Path

Long ago the Zen master Yunmen (864–949) purportedly admonished his disciples: “If you sit, just sit; if you walk, just walk—but don’t wobble.” It’s hard not to be scattered, especially in lives that are way too busy. Some of us may even wear our scurrying as a badge, as if it indicates that we’re important and doing impactful cutting-edge things in the world. When...

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Compass

Whether you are out walking or cycling or simply driving somewhere new, being able to use a compass is an great skill that will always come in handy. Rather than just showing north, modern compasses have many features to assist in planning and navigation. Without a compass, you can still use your map by relying on visible features, but a compass allows you to be more...

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Hiking 630 miles of English coast, with nothing left to lose

Raynor Winn’s life as she knew it turned an abrupt corner in 2013. She and her husband Moth lost the home they raised their children in, a small farm that was also their livelihood. The next day, Moth was diagnosed with corticobasal degeneration, a rare degenerative brain disease with no treatment aside from pain management. The doctor estimated he had only up to...

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Woman’s Solo Hiking Trip Shockingly Doesn’t Have To Do With Inner Journey Or Anything

Confusing her friends and colleagues as to what could possibly drive her to undertake such an expedition, sources confirmed that aspiring explorer Jillian Greene’s solo hike through Yosemite National Park has evidently nothing to do with soul-searching, an inner journey, or any other form of self-discovery. “Naturally, I assumed she was attempting to deal with a...

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This Phoenix hike shows how water carves up the desert

For Arizonans especially, the fear of running water should rank right up there with snakes and heights. Although storm water raging through usually-dry channels solicits choirs of oohs and ahhs, the flows are definitely not something to mess with. If the human brain has a “dangerous things archive,” an image of a roaring desert wash ought to be seared into it. They can...

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Resupplying and Accessing Towns Along the Appalachian Trail

Resupplying on the Appalachian Trail is easier then you might think. While the heart of the AT takes you through the Appalachian mountains and there are certainly remote parts of the trail, it also takes you within practical distances from dozens of towns and communities along the way. The AT takes hikers within reach of a town every three to seven days on average. These...

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How to Finance a Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hike

One of life’s biggest stressors—both on and off the trail—is money. Don’t bring that stress with you during a thru-hike, or at least try to minimize the impact. Running out of money will end your adventure. This most frequently asked question is also one of the hardest to answer. Running out of money is one of the leading reasons people cite for not completing the trail....

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Is the border actually lawless? This father and son are hiking all 1,954 miles to find out.

Nearly 2,000 miles of hot, dry and mostly inhospitable terrain, the United States’ border with Mexico is not a top tourism destination. It is a landscape in which one is more likely to find people who are compelled to be there: immigrants crossing into the United States illegally; growing numbers of Border Patrol agents assigned to police and secure the area; vigilantes...

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In the path of the Gods: Hiking South Korea’s tallest mountain

Thousands of years ago, the spirits of a beautiful mountain towering over a deserted island created three male demi-gods. These holy men spotted a ship approaching the island while climbing the mountain. On it were three princesses sent by a master of a foreign kingdom. They married the three demigods and founded their own empire at the bottom of the mountain widely...

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Egypt just opened its first long-distance hiking trail and it’s stunning

Egypt has just opened a new hiking trail. The 105-mile Red Sea Mountain Trail will be the first long-distance trail in mainland Egypt, and takes visitors through the remote mountainscapes west of the beachside resort town of Hurghada. Its aim is to give hikers an authentic, rugged Egyptian experience in a part of the Middle East that is largely ignored by tourists, and...

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