Hawaii could soon charge hikers for the cost of their own rescue

State lawmakers in Hawaii are considering legislation that would make some hikers pay for their own rescue when they get lost or endangered because of their own recklessness. Senate Bill 700 would allow local governments to recoup the cost of search and rescue operations, which can run upward of $10,000. A second bill, SB 363, also working its way through the state...

Learn More

The 48 Mountains That Held My Grief

By Carrie Thompson for the NY Times On the first day of 2020, my anxiety roared as I approached the summit of Mount Pierce in northern New Hampshire. At about 4,300 feet elevation, the wind was picking up, the visibility dropping to near zero. I was about to turn around in defeat when I heard faint voices ahead of me: two women, zipping up their coats as I approached....

Learn More

Snow Canyon State Park developing new trail to educate visitors about the desert tortoise

Supported by community fundraising efforts, Utah’s Snow Canyon State Park is in the process of developing a trail designed to inform visitors about the Mojave desert tortoise. The Tortoise Education Trail is scheduled to be the first new trail built within the park in more than a decade. The trail will showcase perhaps the most compelling and hotly debated creature...

Learn More

Appalachian Trail thru-hikers again won’t be recognized this year over coronavirus concerns

  If you’re thinking about thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail this year, you might want to think again. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is discouraging people from attempting to hike the entire 2,190-mile trail — called thru-hiking — and has said it will not recognize attempted thru-hikes until the coronavirus pandemic is “under control.” The group —...

Learn More

Hike from Austin to the Alamo: new 100-mile trail project underway

Central Texans may soon have a new outdoor activity available: hiking from Austin to San Antonio. The Great Springs Project is a local nonprofit that’s aiming to build a network of trails connecting the two cities and four springs: Barton, Comal, San Marcos and San Antonio Springs. “You’ll be able to hike or bike basically from the Alamo to the Capitol,” says Deborah...

Learn More

Coming Soon: A New Big Bend Hiking Trail

Future park visitors will have another opportunity to get up, get out and enjoy the wide-open spaces of Big Bend when work is completed on a new hiking trail next year. The Lone Mountain Trail will circumnavigate the base of Lone Mountain, an imposing feature just north of park headquarters at Panther Junction. After a long drive to Big Bend and arrival at Panther...

Learn More

‘A sisterhood’ | Group of women hike through life’s ups and downs together

For the past few years, Amy Eversole and the ‘Trailblazers’ have been hiking all over the Great Smoky Mountains. Some of them have earned their 500-mile pins from the park service. Others are following closely behind. All of them have been supporting each other through life’s ups and downs. “They’re the best women ever,” Amy Eversole...

Learn More

New access proposed for Graveyard Fields

Major changes may be coming to to Graveyard Fields. A project is now open for public comment. The National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service are partnering on this effort to improve access at the often-crowded trail system on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Haywood County. Under the proposal, the nearby John Rock Overlook would be used as an additional access point for...

Learn More

Best easy day hikes in Phoenix: 5 fun, scenic trails for beginners or advanced hikers

It’s the season where in Arizona we all want to be outdoors. The desert, so cruel for so long, welcomes us again with open arms. If the blast-furnace heat of summer kept you off the trails for months, you’ll want to ease into things. To work yourself back into hiking shape, start with some easy trails. Just don’t let the rating undersell their attractions. Even trails...

Learn More

Central Virginia is planning a 41-mile trail from Ashland to Petersburg

When the Virginia Capital Trail was first proposed back in 1999, critics derided the idea of the 51.7-mile multi-use path as overly-ambitious and too expensive. Today, the east-west trail connecting Virginia’s first capital of Jamestown with the modern seat of government, Richmond, faces concerns about overcrowding, and there’s now a sister trail in the pipeline. Far...

Learn More

Hiking in Maine: Explore the Schoodic Peninsula, for the Acadia less traveled

The Schoodic Peninsula is home to a remarkable landscape of dense spruce forests, jack pine woodlands, shrubby heaths, cobble beaches, granite headlands, deep harbors and rugged islands. Bounded by Frenchman Bay to the west, Gouldsboro Bay to the east and the Gulf of Maine along its southern margin, the peninsula is a true natural gem of Maine’s bold Downeast coastline....

Learn More

Iowa’s Effigy Mounds park offers hikes of ancient history

  If a love of hiking is the only thing that takes you to northeast Iowa’s Effigy Mounds National Monument — where 14 miles of trails wind through the elegant 2,526-acre monument — you won’t come away disappointed. The immaculately groomed trails, 4 feet wide, of fine gravel or wood chips, hairpin up and along 400-foot-high river bluffs, providing views of the...

Learn More

Hikers share tips for staying warm on winter walks

Frigid temperatures and even a flurry don’t have to send people scurrying indoors as a little preparation can go a long way toward enjoying the great outdoors all year long. “I used to hibernate all winter because I was so convinced that there was no way I could ever really enjoy winter adventure,” Kristy Matheson said. “I joined the Dayton Hikers in the winter, so one...

Learn More

A needed detour: NM volunteers reroute portion of Continental Divide Trail

Outdoor enthusiasts can now hike a brand new section of the Continental Divide Trail in the Gila National Forest. The New Mexico Volunteers for the Outdoors partnered with the Continental Divide Trail Coalition earlier in October to reroute part of the trail in the forest’s Black Range west of Truth or Consequences. The chairperson for New Mexico Volunteers for the...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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....

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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....

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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....

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More

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...

Learn More