A Triple Crowner’s Advice for Following Through on Your Hiking Goals

It’s January of a new decade and ’tis the season for ambitious lists, goals, and vision boards for the coming year—adventurous ambitions hopefully among them. We set goals to push toward better versions of ourselves. Maybe it’s a peakbagging list, or getting more miles under those trail shoes so day hikes don’t end so painfully. Or maybe it’s finishing your first (or...

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Going With the Flow: How to Tackle River Crossings Safely

Of the numerous hazards that hikers may encounter in the backcountry, rivers are too often overlooked. While seemingly not as threatening as steep, snowy mountains or desolate stretches of desert, rivers can pose the most significant dangers to hikers. Without experience, rivers can easily lure you into a false sense of security before, quite literally, ripping your legs...

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Hiking New Zealand’s New Great Walk: The Paparoa Track

New Zealand’s Great Walks are legendary in the backcountry world. Since launching in 1993 to protect some of the country’s most beloved trails, the three-to-five-day treks have attracted millions of hikers, all eager to traverse the island nation’s iconic landscapes, from the Milford Track’s alpine passes on the South Island to the Tongariro Northern Circuit’s...

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This Hawaiian Island Is Home to Breathtaking Waterfalls, Lush Hiking Trails, and Landscapes You’ve Seen in the Movies

  A verdant jewel towards the northwestern edge of the Hawaiian archipelago, Kauai is commonly known as the “Garden Isle.” It’s a well-earned moniker: nearly 97% of this rugged landscape remains undeveloped. Hundreds of miles of hiking trails hug pristine shorelines and moss-covered canyons. Cathedral-like spires of rock soar above the surf. Honeymooners can...

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Pick Mojave National Preserve over Joshua Tree: Twice the size, a quarter the visitors, all the beauty

Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California contains an array of stunning landscapes, dotted by its namesake oddly shaped plants. Mountain ranges, unusual rock formations, desert and wilderness found within its 800,000 acres offer a unique visual and sensory experience. “It’s the rock star of California deserts.” But those in the know say drive past Joshua Tree to...

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Woman with Multiple Sclerosis Will Be Trekking 2,200 Miles on the Appalachian Trail with Her Husband to Raise Awareness

On May 4, 2020 a Beaufort, SC husband and wife team comprised of Bernie and April Hester begin the journey of a lifetime as they embark on a 2,200-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail to raise awareness for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Traversing over mountains, trails, cities and roadways April, who suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), is hoping that her efforts...

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Wilderness Gateway State Trail to be 100 miles and connect Chimney Rock to South Mountains

Can there ever be too many hiking trails in Western North Carolina? State trail planners, conservation groups, local governments and outdoors enthusiasts tend to think not. At least that seems to be the case as another series of long-distance trails are now in the works by the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. The Wilderness Gateway State Trail should be about 100...

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Ecopsychology: How Immersion in Nature Benefits Your Health

  A growing body of research points to the beneficial effects that exposure to the natural world has on health, reducing stress and promoting healing. Now, policymakers, employers, and healthcare providers are increasingly considering the human need for nature in how they plan and operate. How long does it take to get a dose of nature high enough to make people...

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Hiking opportunities abound at Georgia’s state parks

It’s a new year, and if being more active is on your list of 2020 resolutions, there is one way you could hit that goal: head out to nearby Georgia state parks for some hikes in the great outdoors. There are state-run parks and historic sites all across Georgia that offer everything from scenic vistas to insight into the state’s past. These parks offer plenty of...

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Gator bites Florida college student hiking in Everglades

[AP] An alligator bit an 18-year-old college student who was hiking with a group at the Everglades National Park, officials said. The Miami Herald reported that a professor and about 15 students were wading through the water on a wet trail near the Pahayokee Overlook southwest of Miami when the reptile bit the young woman’s lower right leg. Everglades National...

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The six best hikes in Spain that aren’t the Camino de Santiago

The Camino de Santiago, the famous pilgrimage route to the city of Santiago, is a magnet for modern hikers, attracting 300,000 people annually. However, its popularity means it overshadows other equally impressive treks in Spain along with many shorter walks offering spectacular scenery. Spain has around 100 long-distance footpaths or Grandes Recorridos (including the...

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These women find empowerment and strength through hiking

Each month over the past year this same group of women from Forsyth County, Georgia has met to hike and build each other up through companionship, friendship and empowerment. “We’re called Warrior Hikers,” said Aswini Oliver, the group’s founder. “It started off with just my best friends, four of us. We just thought, ‘let’s do 12 hikes this year,’ and that’s it.” In...

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A hiker went missing in Grand Canyon National Park before Christmas. Almost two weeks later, he was found alive.

  A Texas man who had not been seen since before Christmas at Grand Canyon National Park was plucked by helicopter from a trail on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020 after hikers spotted him. Martin Edward O’Connor, 58, was checked by an emergency medical team, cleared to go and reunited with a family member Thursday night, according to a park spokeswoman. It was not clear...

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‘You’re all goats today:’ Maine farm opens up to human and goat hiking

Each winter, Karl Schatz and Margaret Hathaway, owners of Ten Apple Farm in Gray, Maine, host goat hikes on their 18-acre property. “When you hear me calling to the goats, I’m talking to everyone,” Ten Apple Farm owner Karl Schatz said before leading about a dozen keen hikers and snowshoers on a 1-mile hike through his property. “You’re all goats today, you’re all part...

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Hikers in California’s Sierra Nevada found the remains of a Japanese internee from World War II

Late last year, two hikers were traversing an alpine path, high in California’s Sierra Nevada range, when the unexpected happened: they stumbled upon human remains. The hikers reported their surprising find to local authorities. Once the weather cleared up nine days later, officials from Inyo County recovered the remains, sending them to the coroner’s office...

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Test your nerve on this less-used hiking trail in Sedona

Forming a natural divide between State Route 179 and the hyperbusy trails that loop the iconic Bell Rock in the Village of Oak Creek, Arizona, the north-south running ridge line known as the Seven Warriors is home to a pair of trails known for their edge-hugging exposure. The Hiline Trail that’s part of the Yavapai Vista Trail System scoots along the ridge line’s eastern...

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She’s on year 7 of her hiking resolution

Longtime Ranlo, NC resident Linda Benfield hiked Crowders Mountain for the first time in 2010 when a friend asked Benfield to join her for her birthday. Benfield, now 74, exercised all her life, but something was different about hiking to a North Carolina mountain’s peak. The trees, the smell, the view – it captivated her, and she was addicted. With her new resolution in...

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Hiking: Death Valley offers more than name suggests

First-time visitors to California’s Death Valley National Park can enjoy multiple hikes and points of interest within a few days. Artist’s Drive provides a look at marvelously colorful landscape on the western edge of the Black Mountains. A nine-mile drive takes visitors through an explosion of colors, featuring mountains that are red, pink, yellow, green, and...

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Colorful Trails: The Intersection of Art and Nature

There are many ways to enjoy a trail—a long run, a hard ride, a contemplative stroll. Much like a path winding through the woods, art is also wide open for personal exploration, existing to challenge us, ground us, and encourage discovery. Projects around the Blue Ridge are merging art and nature, offering opportunities to enjoy creativity outside of traditional museum...

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Hike into the New Year with First Day Hikes

Kick 2020 off with an adventure by participating in one of the First Day Hikes offered by N.C. State Parks. Parks across the state, and the nation, will host guided hikes on New Year’s Day. Chimney Rock State Park. A group stroll up the 3.2-mile entrance road will commence at 8 a.m., meeting at the park entrance next to Old Rock Café. Usually restricted to vehicle...

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Harpers Ferry Train Derailment Damages Bridge on Appalachian Trail

Two freight cars fell into the Potomac River near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, early in the morning December 21, 2019 when part of a Maryland-bound train derailed, according to a CSX spokesman. The train was traveling between Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and Sandy Hook Road in Maryland when seven grain cars derailed over Winchester and Potomac Railroad Bridge. All the...

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A $1.5 million deal will keep Utah’s Zion Narrows open to hikers forever

No one will ever see “no trespassing” signs in Zion Narrows, thanks to a complicated land deal tapping money from myriad federal, state and private sources that will keep a historic property in a farming family’s hands, while preserving public access to one of the nation’s finest hiking destinations. The famed 16-mile Utah trail, which can be hiked by permit only, starts...

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A Tribute to Bob Benner – Master Trail Builder, River Guide and Conservation Leader

Over the past four decades of volunteer citizen efforts to create a trail from the mountains to the coast of North Carolina, few individuals are as revered as Bob Benner. Sadly, Bob passed away on December 4, 2019 in Morganton at the age of 89 from ALS. Bob was widely known for his dedication as an outdoor adventure educator and whitewater canoeing guidebook author and...

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The UN Climate Negotiations Are Officially a Disaster and the US Helped Screw It Up

Each year, the United Nations holds a conference on climate change to try to nudge the biggest polluters toward containing warming under well below 2 degrees Celsius. Now, that goal seems more fantastical than ever; the world is on track for the absolute worst-case, business-as-usual scenario of more than twice that warming by the end of the century. The stakes are high...

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Thieves Using Bluetooth Scanners To Target Vehicles At Hiking Trailheads

Thieves are using a simple Bluetooth exploit to figure out which vehicles hold devices like smartphones/laptops, and they are using this technology to target vehicles parked at trailheads knowing their owners are off on a hike. Bluetooth scanners are simply apps you download legally. Choose from one of the dozen or so options, download, turn it on and it displays the...

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The first woman to walk all 21,500 km of the Trans-Canada Trail

After two years, 21,500 kilometers and hundreds of pictures, Sarah Jackson has finally made it from Victoria, B.C. to St. John’s, Newfoundland by walking the Trans-Canada Trail. She’s one of a small handful who have decided to tackle the whole length and the only woman to complete the whole thing from one end to the other. The trail (also known as The Great Trail) is the...

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New Zealand volcano: Hikers were inside crater just before eruption

Dramatic aerial footage shows tourists hiking inside a volcano crater on New Zealand’s White Island just minutes before a violent eruption killed at least five people. The image, shot by New Zealand’s Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, was taken about five minutes before the volcano erupted at 2:15 p.m. local time. A small group of people can be seen in the...

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Yosemite hikes off the well-beaten path

Dappled sunlight kisses the valley floor of Yosemite National Park. Granite monoliths, gushing waterfalls and giant sequoias abound. The wilderness is calling. But instead of hitting the trails in a place John Muir called “by far the grandest of all the special temples of nature,” you’re sitting in a traffic jam, vying for limited parking. More than 4 million visitors...

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Hikers united by lost hat connect over healing power of outdoors

Two men say a chance encounter on Mount St. Helens has given them a renewed perspective about the healing power of hitting the trails. Scott Brown made a post on a hiking Facebook page Friday hoping to return someone’s hat. The post said, “did you or your friend get hurt on Helens on Thanksgiving? I found your hat!!” Brown had no idea how special the hat was when...

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British Army Veteran Becomes First Double Above-Knee Amputee To Climb Kilimanjaro

  A British Army veteran who lost most of both his legs in an incident in Afghanistan recently became the first double above-knee amputee to make it to the summit of the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro. James Rose was on a tour of Helmand Province with the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment in 2009 when he stood on the pressure plate of an improvised...

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6 Trails with the Worst Weather—And Why You Should Go Anyway

You may want to plan your next hike for a warm, sunny day—but where’s the adventure in that? Besides, the most memorable hikes are rarely the picture-perfect ones. If you want real solitude, and a raw, visceral experience in nature, go where everyone else refuses. These six weather-beaten, heat-blasted, totally untamed trails are the perfect place to get started. A word...

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Winter Middle Tennessee hikes offer stark beauty and some good exercise too

Lots of people think the primo Middle Tennessee hiking is in the fall with all of the color of the changing leaves. Or maybe in the spring when the trees are starting to leaf out with their new growth. But there is a lot to be said for a winter hike too, according to state naturalist Randy Hedgepath, who says winter walks can offer some stark beauty and a few other...

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