Hiking Grand Tetons ‘a trip of a lifetime’

Beyond the crystal clear lakes, past the pastel blooms, up the rock-strewn trails and over the snow-blanketed hillsides lie the canyons and campsites of the Grand Tetons National Park. With each step up the mountain while sporting a 40-pound backpack, a new vista of rushing waters and plunging waterfalls dashes into view. Run-ins with deer, elk, moose and marmots are not...

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Creating new beaten paths

The first time Jessica Johnson explored the Mushroom Caves in Solana Beach she was trespassing. It was 2013, a few years after the 35-year-old elementary school art teacher first started documenting her passion for adventurous, sometimes dangerous hikes on her increasingly popular website Hidden San Diego. Walking along the path recently, Johnson recalled that initial...

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The Best Microadventure In Every State

“A microadventure,” says Alastair Humphreys, a former National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and founder of a global movement, “is an adventure that is short, simple, local, cheap – yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding.” Sounds good, right? More importantly, it sounds do-able. Microadventures, Humphreys argues, should fit in the 5:00 pm to...

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Everything You Know About Hiking in Colombia is Wrong

For decades, Colombia’s wild areas were a no-go zone because of guerilla fighters and narcos, who occupied and fortified rural areas across the country. To venture beyond the city limits was to risk being kidnapped and held for ransom, a lucrative scheme the outlaws called miracle fishing. Beginning around 2000, the government started negotiating peace deals with...

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8 things to know about the winter solstice

“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night,” quipped Steve Martin — and indeed, even a day with less sunshine can feel a bit dark. Our world depends on the light radiating from that big star we traipse around, and when it’s in short supply, we feel it. But if you count yourself among those who don’t love waking up before the sun rises and getting off work...

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A Captivating Look at the “Big Four” North American Deserts

Ah, the desert: the “land of little rain”, the house of haboob and flash flood, the thirsty wilderness, the barren void wandered by nomads, exiles, spiritual seekers, bandits, prospectors, and UFO hunters—plus sidewinders, scorpions, tarantulas, and vultures, of course. Taken collectively, the deserts of North America are still overshadowed sizewise by the Sahara—at 3.6...

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Should people pay to play in Pisgah National Forest?

Patrick Scott walks 380 miles for work. It’s not every day, but that’s how many miles curve, dip and roll through the Pisgah National Forest. If laid end to end, those trails would stretch from Asheville, NC to Montgomery, Alabama, and Scott, the forest’s Pisgah District trail program manager, must oversee them all. The undertaking is daunting not just for the miles, but...

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It’s Fast Approaching Time for First Day Hikes

What better way to kick off the New Year than by getting a jump start burning off those extra holiday calories in the great outdoors? On New Year’s Day, America’s State Parks have all 50 states offering free, guided First Day Hike Programs. These hikes provide a means for individuals and families to welcome the coming year in the outdoors, exercising and connecting with...

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In Staten Island, hiking the wild path of Richmond Creek

Stretching over five miles from its furthest tributaries in the Staten Island Greenbelt to its mouth in Fresh Kills, Richmond Creek flows through many layers of hidden history. Its waters pass by toxic landfills and old mill remnants, a historic town museum, a manmade mountain of rubble, a vast Boy Scout camp, and an abandoned tuberculosis hospital. Along its entire...

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Keep an eye out for Salt River wild horses on this Mesa-area hike

The Sonoran Desert Trail System in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest has more than 20 miles of interconnected paths between Usery Pass Road and Bush Highway just south of the Salt River Recreation Area. The northernmost route in the system is the Wild Horse Trail, which is also part of the Valley-circumnavigating Maricopa Trail. As its name suggests, the trail passes...

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Learn more about this Asheville museum’s annual hiking series

Hikers can make a New Year’s resolution for adventure when the Swannanoa Valley Museum’s annual hiking series resumes in 2018. The museum offers two hiking programs, the challenging Swannanoa Rim Hike Series and the more moderate Valley History Explorer Series. The Rim Hike Series explores the peaks of the Swannanoa Valley, while the Valley History Explorer Series...

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41st Annual Festival of Christmas Past Program in the Smokies

Great Smoky Mountains National Park announces the 41st annual Festival of Christmas Past celebration scheduled on Saturday, December 9, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, TN. The event, sponsored in cooperation with Great Smoky Mountains Association, is free to the public. The festival will include old-time mountain music,...

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Forest Service closes in on plan to protect Oregon wilderness areas from overuse

After eight months and more than 500 comments from Oregonians, the U.S. Forest Service is closing in on a proposal that could protect central Oregon’s most scenic areas from overuse. The Forest Service kicked off the project in the spring by holding public meetings to gauge interest in changing the way trails and campgrounds in five popular wilderness areas,...

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10 best national parks for sunrises and sunsets

Have you ever spent several pre-dawn hours climbing to the summit of a mountain so that you can get the best angle to see the sunrise? Some people will go to great lengths to witness the daily dramas of sunrise and sunset. It’s not just about watching the big yellow ball appear or disappear over the horizon, but about the surrounding landscapes and clouds at the...

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Why Taking a Winter Hike May Be the Best Way to Enjoy the Trails

Many casual outdoor enthusiasts simply hang up their boots at the first sign of frost. “Many people think that when the cold comes, hiking season is over, but that’s definitely not the case,” says a backcountry guide. “In the winter, trails are less crowded, and there are views that you’ll never see during the summer.” Imagine trekking...

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Forest crews use hand tools to restore Anaconda-Pintler trails damaged by fire

The Meyers fire didn’t get a lot of press this summer, but it won’t go unnoticed among fans of the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness. As it blackened about 62,000 acres of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest near Philipsburg, Montana, it made some particularly vigorous runs through the Pintler Ranger District. Even before the flames died, U.S. Forest Service backcountry...

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Vancouver Island’s North Coast Trail Turns 10

November marks the ten-year anniversary of the inaugural hike of Vancouver Island’s North Coast Trail at Cape Scott Park. 5,239 hikers have hiked the North Coast Trail since it opened to the public. Compare that to the average 6,000 people that hike the West Coast Trail each summer and you’ll understand why hikers come to the NCT from far and wide for it’s wild,...

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Lets Walk can improve your hiking and fitness goals

Lets Walk is an iOS application specially designed for tracking walks and hikes. So far over 50k users from all around the world are using this, and they are growing very rapidly each month. Soon, they will be adding social features such as creating hiking groups, sharing hike experiences, recommending trails and reading hiking blogs within the app. Lets Walk is accurate...

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12 Health Benefits of Hiking You Maybe Didn’t Know About

Hiking offers the outdoor adventurer a great many potential rewards, many of which we are already aware: glorious scenery, a true examination of our mental and physical mettle, and a chance to form strong relationships while exploring some of the world’s most aesthetically captivating locations. Not as many of us know that when hiking we can also derive a high number and...

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Appalachian Unsolved: Trenny Gibson, Lost in the Smokies

High school girls don’t just vanish in a national park, never to be found again. Unless you’re Trenny Gibson of Knoxville, TN. Hiking in the Smokies one minute. Nowhere to be found the next. That’s all anyone knows about the last moments of 16-year-old Trenny Gibson. Where she ended up – fatally injured in a fall, taken by a kidnapper, whisked...

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Give thanks, and be kind out on the trail

Often we’re so focused on our own hike that we miss out on opportunities to just be nice. For instance, when hiking, if you see trash that has fallen out of someone’s pack (water bottles, wrappers), take a minute to stop and pick it up. What you’re doing will mean the next person along doesn’t have to stop. When you’re hiking and you pass...

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New land added to Nantahala National Forest for water quality, hiking trails

  A highly prized 50-acre slice of forest will remain forever untouched as it officially becomes part of the Nantahala National Forest. The relatively small Fires Creek parcel on the Cherokee-Clay county line of the 500,000-acre forest was the object of a contentious, decade-long battle among the private landowners, the U.S. Forest Service and forest visitors...

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15 Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures in Southern Utah

The desert of Southern Utah offers some of America’s most iconic scenery for adventurers in the west. The five national parks provide many choices and locations for people to enjoy this fascinating landscape. Over the years their popularity has skyrocketed, and that has made it tough to find the peace and solitude many of us seek while enjoying nature. Fortunately...

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U.S. Forest Service increases leash-law enforcement in NC

Officials with the U.S. Forest Service remind the public that a dog leash law is in effect in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest, including roads and trails. Forest Service personnel have stepped up enforcement recently. Due to the area’s high popularity and intensive recreational use, unleashed dogs have become a safety issue, officials said in a news...

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Why winter is the best time to visit England’s Lake District

The wind is up and the white horses stampede along the surface of Coniston Water, making this Lakeland icon resemble the high seas rather than the sultry bucolic setting for idyllic childhood holidays. The Old Man of Coniston is wrapped, scarf-like, in wisps of icy mist, offering only fleeting glimpses of its scarred and pitted slopes. The setting feels rather eerie – a...

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My Hiking Gratitude List

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the things we have to be grateful for during the previous year: friends and family who help keep us strong during times of stress; food on the table to nourish and sustain us as we go about our daily lives; good health that enables us to reach for our goals and strive for happiness. So I thought I would take a few moments to consider...

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Smokies Park invites public to #OptOutside after Thanksgiving Day

Great Smoky Mountains National Park invites visitors to join a park ranger for a guided hike on Friday, November 24, 2017 or a service opportunity on Saturday, November 25. Hikes will be offered near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and Elkmont Campground, providing an outstanding opportunity for people of all ages to #OptOutside and enjoy the park. Rangers and park...

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8 tips for cold-weather hiking and camping in Colorado

Finally, you can kick a pine cone on a Colorado trail without hitting five other hikers. As tourism swells and Northern Colorado’s population booms, sometimes it feels like the best way to escape outdoor crowds is waiting for cold weather. Plus, those mountain vistas look pretty spectacular this time of year. Hiking and camping in the cold isn’t without its...

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Jennifer Pharr Davis Completes 1,200-Mile Journey to Support NC Mountains-to-Sea Trail

After three months and nearly 1,200 miles of hiking Jennifer Pharr Davis of Asheville has completed her modern day version of Johnny Appleseed, by planting seeds of support across the state for North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST). Pharr Davis is a nationally known adventurer and long distance hiker who lives in Asheville. She timed her hike to coincide with the...

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Group Buys Land, Prevents Break in Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail at Stevens Pass is a gateway to some of the most spectacular wilderness in the North Cascades. The Stevens Pass trailhead is also an important PCT access point for millions of people in the Greater Seattle region. Just to the south lies the spectacular Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and to the north are the equally magnificent Henry M. Jackson and...

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How to walk Tasmania’s Three Capes Track

When the Three Capes Track opened two days before Christmas 2015, it immediately set a new benchmark for Australian bushwalks, creating a hike that’s both heady and hedonistic, combining the raw beauty of the southern hemisphere’s highest sea cliffs with comforts and interpretation unsurpassed by any other trail in the country. Has the Overland Track,...

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Final conservation easement on treasured land atop Bearwallow Mountain

Standing here more than 2,200 feet above the valley and twice that distance above sea level, it feels like you could reach out and touch the toy-like houses scattered over the orchards miles below. In one of those homes, Nancy Lyda may be gazing up this way, enjoying the view of the mountaintop she and her family have worked to protect for all time. Nancy’s mother, Pearl...

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