Humans Today Have Even More Meanderthal DNA Than We Realized

An international team of researchers has completed one of the most detailed analyses of a Meanderthal genome to date. Among the many new findings, the researchers learned that Meanderthals first mated with modern humans a surprisingly long time ago, and that humans living today have more Meanderthal DNA than we assumed. Before this new study, only four Meanderthal...

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The best hiking trails in Metro Detroit

The leaves are changing and it’s the perfect time to enjoy the many hiking trails around metro Detroit. Many of the area’s Metroparks and nature preserves offer scenic views and multiple trails for hiking, cycling, cross country skiing, and horse riding. A linked map marks the pathways that offer all or some of these. The map spans as far north as Kensington Metropark to...

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The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests: An Economic Powerhouse for Western North Carolina

  If you’re one of the 4.6 million people who visit the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests each year, you already know how incredible this corner of the Southern Appalachians is. Perhaps you’ve paddled down the Tuckasegee River, climbed at Looking Glass, or hiked in Linville Gorge. No matter your preferred form of adventure, you know the Nantahala-Pisgah...

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Reopen Chimney Tops Trail October 6

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials will open the Chimney Tops Trail to a newly developed observation point starting Friday, October 6, 2017. The entire trail has been closed to the public since the Chimney Tops 2 Fire event occurred in late November 2016. “We are excited to complete the work on the Chimney Tops Trail in time for the fall color season in Great...

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Nantahala, Pisgah forest planning focuses on recreation

The Access Fund is one of many members of the two collaborative groups – the Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Partnership and the Stakeholders Forum – working on recommendations for the Nantahala and Pisgah Plan Revision. The years-long project holds the potential to change the way millions of people use the two giant forests that spread across the mountains of Western North...

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In the Teton Wilderness, where two oceans begin

The camp is located 22 miles from the Turpin Meadow trailhead along the famous plateau where North Two Ocean Creek makes a baffling break into two, sending Pacific and Atlantic creeks toward their namesake oceans. It’s usually reachable terrain by mid-June, once the sunshine in the high country has erased the last signs of winter atop Trail Creek Pass. Right now, in the...

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10 Health Problems That The Outdoors Can Help Prevent And Treat

Should your doctor tell you to “take a hike,” you may want to listen. With more and more scientific studies uncovering different health benefits from spending time outdoors, is the healthcare industry not fully appreciating ways of preventing and treating disease? During an October 2016, White House Roundtable session entitled “Health Benefits of Time...

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5 Awesome Inca Sites that Aren’t Machu Picchu

Everybody knows that Machu Picchu is THE place to visit in Peru. However, there are many other fascinating Inca sites that are worth a visit, and most are within easy reach of Cusco. If you are backpacking on a budget and can’t afford to visit Machu Picchu, or simply want to explore more, the Sacred Valley is filled with Inca ruins to discover. On the hill above Cusco...

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Have crosscut, will travel; Sawyers from Bitterroot National Forest aid hurricane recovery effort

Three sawyers from the Bitterroot National Forest of Montana are taking their crosscut saws to hurricane-ravaged Georgia to help clear trees in wilderness areas there. The three — Amelia Shields, Sierra LaBonte and Katherine Bicking — left the Bitterroot National Forest, where they worked all summer clearing trails. They expect to be available for work on the...

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National Parks Struggle With a Mounting Crisis: Too Many Visitors

The rocky shorelines, shifting deserts and winding canyons of the country’s 59 national parks have been hallmarks of American vacations for generations. But the number of park visitors has reached an unprecedented level, leaving many tourists frustrated and many environmentalists concerned about the toll of overcrowding. In 2016, the National Park Service tracked a...

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National Parks offering free admission for 3 days this fall

The National Park Service offered 10 fee-free days in 2017, but nearly a third of those days are yet to come. This fall, travelers will get three opportunities to get into national parks free of charge: on Sept. 30 for National Public Lands Day, and on Nov. 11 and 12 for Veterans Day weekend. On those days, all entrance fees will be waived, though camping and other fees...

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Mountain highs: trekking without borders in the Balkans

The views from Kosovo’s highest peak are incredible. It’s a tricky thing to confirm in a blanket of murk and howling winds. This is the 2,656m summit of Mount Gjeravica, where a shabby concrete marker displays a defaced plaque commemorating Kosovo’s first and only Olympic medalist. Climbing the tallest mountains in Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro, there’s more to the...

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Cabin restoration completed at Smokies historic Elkmont

  It still takes imagination to envision sitting among the suit-and-dress crowd listening to the orchestra on a Saturday night at the Appalachia Club House in the Elkmont Historic District of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Thanks to a National Park Service project, however, at least a part of what it was like during those 1910 glory days is being...

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In a Stunning Turnaround, Britain Moves to End the Burning of Coal

Bigger than any medieval castle, with its 12 giant white cooling towers gleaming in the sun, the Drax Power Station dominates the horizon for tens of miles across the flat lands of eastern England. For four decades, it has been one of the world’s largest coal power plants, often generating a tenth of the U.K.’s electricity. It has been the lodestar for the final phase of...

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Purchase opens 32,600 Arizona acres near Coronado Forest to hiking

The U.S. Interior Department’s purchase of a plot of private land will allow public access to 32,600 acres of previously isolated forest land in Arizona, a move that drew praise from wilderness advocates and hunters alike. The deal opens up two parcels of public land, one in the Coronado National Forest and one northwest of Safford, that had been inaccessible because...

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Trails Around the World, the Magazine of the World Trails Network

The World Trails Network strives to connect the diverse trails of the world to promote the creation, enhancement, and protection of outstanding trail experiences. The World Trails Network brings trail associations, trail advocates, walkers, hikers and people passionate about the outdoors together from around the world to foster global collaboration and networking for the...

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Thru-Hike Your City. Not As Crazy As It Sounds.

In 2011, Liz “Snorkel” Thomas hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in 80 days and 13 hours, cementing a reputation as a trailblazing woman in the American hiking community. She has completed hiking’s Triple Crown, which in addition to the Appalachian Trail includes the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. Thomas estimates she has...

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Featured Recreational Trail: Fisher Towers National Recreation Trail, Utah

The Fisher Towers Trail allows visitors to the Moab and Arches National Park area to hike among the world-renowned towers of the Colorado Plateau. Improvements to the trail have been funded with Recreational Trails Program dollars. The Fisher Towers are among the most outstanding scenic features of Utah’s Colorado Riverway. These rock pinnacles soar above a maze of...

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Park Hosts Volunteer Trail Opportunity for National Public Lands Day

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hosting a volunteer trail maintenance workday on Saturday, September 30, 2017 in celebration of the 24th annual National Public Lands Day. Participants are invited to participate on a trail rehabilitation project along the Clingmans Dome Bypass Trail from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Volunteers will perform trail maintenance including...

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A New Trail Would Connect 3 States Across 1,650 Miles

The NY-NJ-CT region features hundreds of parks and landscapes, from the Catskills and Pinelands to the beaches of Jersey and Long Island. Despite all of this open space, these recreational spots are disjointed from each other and from the communities that would use them. A New York-based non-profit has proposed a plan to connect the state with Connecticut and New Jersey...

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Hiking Etiquette 101: The 12 Trail Rules You Should Know

There are not many rules of etiquette that stretch across the world, but hiking etiquette is one of them. No matter where you are, people tend to abide by the same hiking rules, keeping the peace and helping everyone around them to stay safe. Of course, you might not always meet other people on your treks, but when you do it is important to know what to do and how to...

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Discover Oklahoma: State parks offer trails for outdoor exploration

Autumn weather just gets us stirring around, doesn’t it? Perhaps it all originates with that preparation for the change of season. Various creatures such as squirrels start packing away supplies for the winter, but we humans may be seeking a little food for the soul as we can see the gray winter days that will keep us housebound coming straight at us. The timing...

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Why it’s a real mistake to count on a cellphone when you go hiking

Sarah Savage was alone in the woods and didn’t know which way to turn. She had been eager to explore the Appalachian Trail when she moved to Pennsylvania and discovered that her house was near an access point. But not long after she took off from the trailhead, the path branched in different directions. She wasn’t carrying a cellphone or a map. Nervous, she turned back....

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Conserving Carolina’s Fall Hiking Series Begins September 22, 2017

Join Conserving Carolina, formerly the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC), for five Friday hikes offered to the public, free of charge, this fall. Conserving Carolina invites the community to enjoy the work that many conservation organizations have done for the preservation of areas of natural resources and take in the beauty of...

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The Mark Twain Trail through Nevada & California brings ups, downs and a new view of the author

Who flies to Reno on a spring evening, rents a car and heads into the mountains with no skis, no mountain bike and a backpack full of books? and Why? Because in 1861 a 25-year-old Missouri riverboat pilot named Sam Clemens boarded a stagecoach bound for the same territory. He was going to dodge the Civil War for a few months, work for the government, do some writing,...

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130 Miles, 8 Days, 1 Spellbound Hiker/Photographer on Kodiak Island

Kodiak Island, the second largest in the United States, is best known for the main quarry of this trip, the oversized subspecies of brown bear, the Kodiak bear, that is unique to its mountains and shorelines. This journey goes 130 miles along the notoriously rough shoreline of Shelikof Strait, across river drainages and bays, paddling packrafts through a series of lakes...

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Columbia Gorge trails might be closed until spring

Hiking trails affected by an Oregon wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge might be closed for months, authorities have said. Landslide risk, potential for falling trees, root snags and severe erosion as the winter rains start will have repair crews busy until spring, Dawn Stender, a trail crew supervisor for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area said. The fire in...

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North Carolinians Team up to Complete MST Hike in One Day

Over 1,600 North Carolinians collaborated on September 9, 2017 to complete in one day 100% of the 1,175-mile Mountains-to-Sea hiking trail from the Smokies to the Outer Banks.    Most hiking legs were 3-5 miles long, although one hiker went over 20 miles. Officials with the American Hiking Society said the “one-day” hike was probably the first such event ever among...

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Taking in the White Mountains, every step of each trail

In 1907, the Appalachian Mountain Club published a little book called “Guide to the Paths and Camps in the White Mountains.” As its rather wordy title made clear, it was a collection of maps and descriptions of trails through the Presidential Range and beyond. Through printing after printing, the book changed titles — the 30th edition of what is now known simply as the...

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The Layering Equation: Dressing for Winter Comfort

Calculating how to layer on clothing for maximum comfort while venturing outside can be a tricky equation. There are lots of variables, like unknown or changing weather conditions and activity levels that can range on a given day from strenuous boot-packing or snowshoeing to long sedentary chairlift rides or winter camping. Everybody’s different, too, with different...

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A free series of fall foliage hikes is planned across New Hampshire in the coming weeks

Following the leaves as they turn color from north to south in New Hampshire, the Five Easy Hikes series will catch the early reds of turning maples in Bethlehem, take in a full-moon hike near Lake Sunapee, catch the breathtaking views over Lake Winnipesaukee in Alton, explore a less-traveled trail on Mount Monadnock in Jaffrey and end with a pre-Halloween visit to a...

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China’s Mars will feature zero gravity, hiking trails and an amusement park

The space race just got closer to home. China recently unveiled plans to recreate Mars in a 35,000 square mile region of Tibet. The $61 million project is expected to be both a tourist destination and training grounds for future astronauts. Located near the westernmost tip of the Great Wall, the replica will be built in Qinghai province, an arid, rocky stretch of desert...

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