Blue Ridge Tunnel Trail soon to open to the public

The long-anticipated opening of the Blue Ridge Tunnel trail will soon be a reality. The roughly 2.25-mile trail is scheduled to open to pedestrians and bicyclists Saturday November 21. A portion of the trail runs through a railroad tunnel that was constructed between 1850 to 1858, which was led by engineer Claudius Crozet. At a distance of nearly 1 mile, it was the...

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Popular hiking guide “100 Favorite Trails” updated for the first time in over two decades

100 Favorite Trails of the Smokies and the Carolina Blue Ridge, an essential guide for avid hikers, has been updated for the first time in 25 years. The guide features a full-color map printed on waterproof paper for hikers to keep track of trails. 27 of the trails featured in the guide are found in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Originally created in 1966 by...

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Two Kansas trails receive national designations

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s Flint Hills Trail and Prairie Spirit Trail state parks recently received America’s highest trails honor when they were designated National Recreational Trails by the National Park Service. Both state park trails are operated by KDWPT’s Parks Division. “This is significant, not only for those parks and our state parks...

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Celebrate National ‘Take a Hike Day’ this Nov. 17, 2020

It’s time to celebrate Mother Nature, so lace up your hiking boots, collar your dog, get some water and a snack and hit the trails on National “Take a Hike Day,” which is Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. This is day hosted by The American Hiking Society, whose mission is to envision a world where everyone feels a sense of belonging in the hiking community and has lasting access...

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A Message to All A.T. Hikers in 2021

In March 2020, America began to feel the first impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which would upend almost every aspect of our daily lives. Eight months later, COVID-19 infection rates continue to rise and a widely distributed vaccine or treatment is still not available. We also find ourselves adapting to a constantly shifting political, social, and economic landscape....

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Shattered on the Pacific Crest Trail

When they wake up broke, broken, and far from home, how do thru-hikers find the will to go another mile? We usually focus on the pleasures of a long-distance hike. We tell ourselves the pain will dissolve into a march of panoramas from Mexico to Canada. But the truth of thru-hiking is that it is brutally physical. This excerpt from recently published Journeys North by...

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Hikers find message dropped by carrier pigeon in 1910

  A couple hiking in northeastern France came across an unusual historical artifact – a carrier pigeon message dating from 110 years earlier. Jade Halaoui said he was hiking with his partner in the Ingersheim area when they spotted a tiny aluminum cylinder on the ground. “I dug it up and I cut it to see what was inside,” Halaoui recalled....

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Combat holiday stress and weight gain with hiking

The holidays are drawing near, and it should be the season to be merry, but let’s face it — sometimes it isn’t. Unfortunately, the demands and heightened emotions this time of year can occasionally cause stress and anxiety. That stress may also lead to weight gain in addition to other factors such as sleep deprivation and parties with excessive food and alcohol. John...

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A Parent’s Guide to Hiking with a Chatterbox

It’s been a terrible year for all of us, especially kids. The pandemic has eliminated the kind of routine social interaction we’ve all taken for granted. No team sports, no movies, no museums, no sleepovers, no playdates. Parents face the dual tasks of making sure their kids are getting the physical activity they need as well as trying to replace the lost hours of...

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Tallgrass prairie region provides a Minnesota hiking alternative

While wooded hikes are popular in Minnesota, the woods are not required, as the tallgrass prairie region in the southwestern corner of the state offers unique places to get out and view the diverse landscape. Getting lost in the woods while on a walk is a common problem in fairy tales, and in renowned horror stories. Even if you leave bread crumbs behind, in the style of...

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Italy’s New Coast-to-coast Hiking Trail Is Filled With Mountains and Beaches to Explore

The Italian region of Calabria is bookmarked by two seas with mountains and beaches in between. And now a new trail has opened that will allow hikers to explore Calabria from coast to coast and experience the stunning nature that it’s known for. The Kalabria Coast to Coast Trail connects the town of Soverato on the Ionian Sea to the town of Pizzo on the Tyrrhenian Sea....

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A Nameless Hiker and the Case the Internet Can’t Crack

Back in April 2017, a man started hiking in a state park just north of New York City. He wanted to get away, maybe from something and maybe from everything. He didn’t bring a phone; he didn’t bring a credit card. He didn’t even really bring a name. Or at least he didn’t tell anyone he met what it was. He did bring a giant backpack, which his fellow hikers considered far...

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The Best Hiking Pants for Women

Hiking pants are an essential piece of any outdoor kit: they defend your legs against weather, UV rays, and many natural hazards. Some can even serve double duty as acceptable business-casual wear. But a good pair can be hard to find. This is especially true for women, since there are so many variables at play: leg length, hip width, thigh-muscle circumference, butt...

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4-year-old breaks hiking record with medical missionary family on Appalachian Trail

  A volunteer physician family serving in the Northern African country of Chad took a seven-month break to hike the Appalachian Trail with their four children — their 4-year-old girl is believed to be the youngest to complete the iconic 2,193-mile hike from Georgia to Maine. Doctors Olen and Danae Netteburg, Loma Linda University School of Medicine graduates...

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12 Reasons You’ll Love (and Hate) Night Hiking

The second full moon of October, the Blue Moon, will fall on Halloween night this year. What better way to celebrate the convergence of a rare lunar phenomenon and the spookiest night of the year than with a moonlit night hike this weekend? Night hiking isn’t something to fear or avoid. In fact, it can be pretty darn glorious in its own way (think starry skies, moonlit...

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How exploring the hikes and waterfalls of Taiwan connected this writer to her family’s immigration story

After a number of attempts trying to fictionalize her family history, nature writer Jessica J. Lee found that her academic work in environmental history actually helped unlock how to tell the story. “I had been trying for many years to write this story of my grandparents,” said Lee, the author of “Two Trees Make a Forest: Travels Among Taiwan’s Mountains and Coasts in...

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Here’s the Ultimate Guide to Vegan Hiking Snacks

One important part of planning a day hike is to make sure that you’re fueling yourself properly, especially for tough climbs or long treks. Packing the right food can help make the day that much more enjoyable. These vegan hiking snacks are portable, easy to pack, and satisfying during and after a long day on the trail. They also don’t contain any animal-derived...

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Lake Norman nature park to offer miles of hiking, biking

Outdoors enthusiasts from across the Charlotte, NC region are the target market of a 606-acre nature park underway on the northern tip of Lake Norman. Mountain Creek Park in Sherrills Ford will feature 19 miles of hiking and mountain bike trails when it opens next summer or early fall, along with kayaking and paddleboarding, picnic areas and a fishing pier. The $8.5...

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The Scariest Encounters Women Have on the Appalachian Trail Aren’t with Wildlife. They’re with Men

Statistically the trail is one of the safest places in the U.S., but when a tent is all that separates you from a potential predator, the danger becomes terrifyingly real. As a 30-year-old nurse who works with terminally ill patients, Julia (who prefers to remain anonymous) asked herself one day what she would be proud of doing if she too were given a diagnosis of only...

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More Than 20 Rescued from Colorado Hiking Trail as Wildfires Continue in Western U.S.

Rescue workers with the Juan County Sheriff’s Department and The U.S. Forest Service evacuated 23 people and three dogs from the San Juan National Forest in Colorado as a wildfire tore through the area. The U.S. Forest Service deployed helicopters for the evacuation. According to the Office of Emergency Management in San Juan County, the blaze — dubbed the Ice Fire...

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America’s Best and Most Beautiful Winter Hikes

From Colorado to Oregon to Maine, these incredible winter hiking trails offer beautiful views, wildlife-spotting opportunities, and fewer crowds. If you have a habit of stashing your hiking boots the moment cooler temperatures arrive, you’ve been missing out. In the winter, the nation’s best hiking trails clear out and you can walk for miles without seeing another soul....

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Paths to the past: National Historic Trails lead travelers through time, US history

One of the best ways to learn history is to literally follow in the footsteps of those who were there, says Karen Berger, author of the new book, “America’s National Historic Trails.” “These are historic routes – a trail version of the National Park system,” she says. The 19 federally recognized trails range from 54 to 5,000 miles, and pass largely through...

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New hiking trails near Sedona, AZ hint at bigger things to come

Occupying a hilly slice of high desert below the east flanks of Mingus Mountain, the new Blowout Wash trail system is shaping up to become a prime Verde Valley hiking destination. The remediation project is a multi-agency collaboration of local, state and federal land agencies working together to improve recreational opportunities in Prescott National Forest southwest of...

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Teaching Kids to be Great Trail Stewards

Trails help keep us happy and healthy. No one wants to stay inside all the time, so we need places to go outside and explore. On trails you can get all your energy out, see cool plants, trees, and wildlife, and spend time with family and friends. It’s important we keep trails nice so everyone can enjoy them for years to come. Trails are an important resource, but...

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Maine town apologizes after criticizing anonymous hiker who fixed bridge along its trail

There’s a Maine town trying to identify the hiker who built a replacement bridge next to a collapsed one along a hiking trail on a popular 308-acre preserve. “When outside entities create trails and structures without notifying our department, that leads to confusion for hikers and others” using the Lowell Preserve, Windham town manager Barry Tibbetts posted on...

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Easy ways to improve your safety while hiking

Two recent deaths on Katahdin, Maine’s tallest mountain, have stirred conversation about hiking safety, raising questions like: “What kind of safety gear should you carry besides water, snacks and a headlamp?” First of all, accidents happen, and sometimes they’re entirely out of our hands. On occasion, the most prepared hiker can become injured or worse. But there are...

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The Best Winter Hiking Boots for Men and Women

In the past, once chilly temperatures and snowy days started to arrive, hikers used to pack up until spring came along. But now that hiking gear is warmer and more weatherproof than ever, they can enjoy the Great Outdoors year-round. If you plan on immersing yourself in nature this season, there are a few items that you should invest in prior to hitting the trails. In...

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Pair sets new hiking record with Tour de Smokies

Nancy East and Chris Ford were greeted by an entourage of fans and supporters when they emerged from the woods in the Big Creek section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, setting a new record for a unique long-distance hiking challenge. The pair hiked all 900 miles of trails in the park in just 30 days. East, from North Carolina, said she is still getting used to...

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