A Chance to Bond on a Perilous Hiking Trail in Iceland

Landmannalaugar is a remote outpost in southern Iceland. This is the start of the Laugavegur Trail, a 34-mile trek through an astounding diversity of terrain — all of Middle-earth (minus the orcs) — plus, according to the guidebook, there is a shack, somewhere in the middle, that serves beer. The plan usually is to do it in four days and to stay in huts along the way....

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You Can Now Hike Around the Entire City of Chicago on One Awesome Trail

Last summer, a group of intrepid local hikers discovered a way to hike around the entire Chicago metro area in one go. It’s called the Chicago Outerbelt, an uninterrupted 210-mile nature trail that pieces together existing forest preserves and park land into one contiguous loop. With highlights along the trail ranging from scenic lakes and rustic campsites to forested...

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This Overlooked Region Has Some of the Loveliest Hikes in New England

The gentle hills of Greater Boston aren’t exactly known for their heart-pumping hiking trails. The same goes for the sloping dunes of Cape Cod — you’d be hard-pressed to find gaggles of Lands End-clad hikers trekking out to sandbars in Eastern Massachusetts the way some groups scale the mountains of Western Mass. And that’s exactly why it’s so wondrous to go hiking...

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The best inn-to-inn hikes in California

Tom Courtney had a revelation in 2006, while hiking up to the top of a ridge in the Marin Headlands for the spectacular view he knew awaited him. When he finally reached the summit, he was able to see 38 miles clear to the north, all the way to the enduring peninsula of Point Reyes, with endless stretches of green and blue between. It was a sight to behold, but Courtney...

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Why Lebanon’s 293-Mile Hiking Trail Is More Than a Trekking Route

Lebanon, a country on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean that predates recorded history, boasts remarkable geographic and cultural diversity despite being smaller than Connecticut. Eighteen religious sects live in its snow-capped mountains and fertile Bekaa Valley and along its rocky coast. For more than 10 years, intrepid hikers have been able to experience much of...

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What is proper trail etiquette? An expert lays out the do’s and don’ts of hiking

Every trail has rules, and often there are signs not just at the trailhead but also along the trail to remind hikers of what to do and what not to do to respect the environment. However, some of the guidelines for hiking seem to get overlooked time and time again, either out of lack of knowledge or intentionally. The State Trail Programs Manager for Colorado Parks and...

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Tips for Hiking With Young Kids

Going to the grocery store with small children can seem like a monumental task, never mind taking your brood on a wilderness journey. But with a little patience, some practice, and a healthy dose of expectation management, you can make hiking a family affair. Keep in mind, there will be good hikes, bad hikes, and “Why are you rolling in poison ivy?!” hikes. Treks with...

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Possibly the strangest hike you’ll ever take

You’re off for a ramble in the woods. The trail is narrow, the brush is thick. Everywhere you look – trees, bushes, greenery. Then you spot it, half-hidden, nestled against a fallen, rotting log. You go up for a closer look to be sure that what you think you’re seeing is what you’re really seeing. But there it is – a disembodied baby...

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Hiking 101: The Complete Guide to Hiking for Beginners

You’ve got your hiking boots on, your worries left at home and a trail in front of you. You’re surrounded by dense nature, no sounds of buses or chatter, just the calming sounds of birds singing and a breeze whistling through the trees. You can feel the sun on your skin, you fill your lungs with perfectly fresh air and can smell the environment around you. All the while...

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How Jocassee Gorges Was Saved

To appreciate what Bill Thomas did for Gorges State Park, think of it not as a stand-alone property but as part of the larger Lake Jocassee watershed. Also known as Jocassee Gorges, it is a freak of climatological and geologic nature that extends across the North Carolina-South Carolina line southwest of Asheville and has been named by National Geographic as one of fifty...

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The Controversial Plan to Protect America’s Trails

There are 11 designated national scenic trails stretching across nearly 18,000 miles in the U.S. But there are more than 4,000 miles of privately owned “gaps” in the system that leave routes vulnerable to a change in ownership or a landowner’s whims. Typically, the government or nonprofit trail associations work to fill such gaps by purchasing land from willing sellers....

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‘Honeymoon Hikers’ complete fourth hike of Appalachian Trail

They call themselves the “Honeymoon Hikers” and they just completed their fourth hike of the Appalachian Trail. Winston and Marcia Terry have done a lot of hiking since they got married in 2010. The couple has hiked 14,000 miles together. While there are no official records, Marcia is believed to be the only woman who has made four complete trips on the AT. But how did...

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Great views, smooth ride on new cycling, hiking trail in Columbia Gorge

The long-awaited Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail is still at least a couple years from completion, but the latest trail segment to open to the public proves that patience can pay off. A new three-mile section of the trail opened to the public, connecting Wyeth State Park to Lindsey Creek where it meets up with another trail segment that opened in 2016. That...

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Be Vigilant Of Heat-Related Illnesses When Hiking

As the dog days of summer continue, temperatures continually reach or surpass the 90° degree mark. These temperatures bring about dangerous conditions if you don’t pay attention to heat-related illness signs. Heat-related illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn and heat rash. Symptoms of these illnesses can cause nausea, vomiting,...

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Lost on the hiking trail? 6 ways to improve your chances of getting found

It’s the time of year when summer hiking is at its peak — and so are streams of headlines about missing hikers. Wandering off the trail is the most common reason people get lost. You never want to be that person. And if you do get lost, you want to stay safe and get found. Quickly. The best advice, of course, is not to go missing in the first place. “We teach ‘stay...

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Hiking: Making new connections

The world is very connected now because of phones, tablets and computers. This allows people to be almost constantly connected to their families, coworkers and even strangers. While modern technology can help to improve efficiency, broaden knowledge, and widen social networks, it also has increased screen dependence, particularly on mobile phones. Hiking gives everyone...

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Hiking Boots Vs. Trail Runners: Two Loyalists Compare and Contrast

Hiking boots or trail runners? Years ago there wasn’t a choice. Leather hiking boots ruled the trail. But trail runners are now king of the mountains, and they far outnumber boots in outfitters’ displays. Still, footwear is a highly personal choice, and what works for one hiker may not work for another. The outsoles of boots give the bottoms of your feet a solid layer of...

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How to Hike the CDT: Big Agnes Launches Experiential Trail Guide

2018 marked the 40th anniversary of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), the 50th anniversary of the National Scenic Trails Act, and the year Big Agnes became a steward over 75 miles of trail. To celebrate, all 70 employees hiked and biked the 740-mile length of the CDT’s Colorado section. Now a year removed from that epic adventure, Big Agnes launched its own CDT trail...

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Hiking the Longs Pass Trail offers remarkable views of the Cascades

The Longs Pass Trail, on the east side of the Cascades Mountains Range, is seven miles round trip, with a net gain/loss of 2,100 feet. The pass itself is at an elevation of 6,250 feet. The well-marked and well-maintained trailhead is due east from the parking lot. It is a steady climb from its start in the cool forest of the valley. It slowly transitions to exposed rocky...

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How a Thru-Hiking Legend Is Getting City Kids Outside

Liz “Snorkel” Thomas set the women’s fastest known time for a self-supported hike on the Appalachian Trail in 2011 and has since become an urban-hiking advocate. She recently completed a nine-day, 225-mile thru-hike across New York’s five boroughs. Her goal was to visit 100 playgrounds to highlight the Trust for Public Lands’ (TPL) project to build such...

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Prescott National Forest Has It All for Recreationists

In the American Southwest, only 120 miles from one of the largest cities in the country, lies an outdoor and recreational wonderland of lakes, mountains, and desert just waiting for those who seek adventure and the chance to bring home a story. This astonishing place where “the desert meets the pines” is Prescott National Forest in Central Arizona, a...

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Help with packing the perfect hiking bag for every adventure

Knowing what to bring with you on a hiking adventure can be daunting, because there are so many factors that might influence what you should pack and such a variety of products to choose from. Beginners may find the process of matching a walk in the woods with the right gear overwhelming at first, but even an expert might be daunted when preparing for a hike that is...

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Best Sections of the Appalachian Trail to Hike in the Summer

Say hello to 15+ hours of daylight, refreshing mountain streams, and endless miles of green tunnel. That’s right. It’s summer in the Appalachians which means hiking season is in full swing. While summer on the AT can be one of the best times of year, certain parts of the trail are better than others to hike during the warmer months. With 2,200 miles of trail, it can be...

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Want to go hiking with small kids? Here’s where to take them.

Hiking with a child won’t be the same as hiking with adults. The goal with kids is much more about the journey than the destination. Here are four basic ideas to keep in mind: Modify your goals. You may not reach the end of the trail. You may not even hike a mile. Adjust your hike to the enjoyment and comfort level of children. Pack patience and flexibility. If you see a...

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Hawaii Struggles To Maintain Its Worn-Out Hiking Trails

By almost any standard, Hawaii’s hiking trails are a world-class recreational resource. The state’s trail system alone encompasses 855 miles of trails and access roads, from epic, remote routes like the Kalalau trail on Kauai’s Napali coast to easily accessible day hikes like the 2.5- mile Makiki loop trail. And that doesn’t count trails run by the counties or the...

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Is a Green Future Worth Spoiling the Appalachian Trail?

  A proposed hydropower transmission line in Maine would impact the AT, wildlife, recreation, and tourism. Is it worth it? The proposed project, known as New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC), is a 145-mile transmission line winding down from the Canadian border through Maine’s forests, and would ferry hydroelectric energy from Canadian dams to the New...

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Walking the Walk

William O. Douglas was the longest-serving justice on the US Supreme Court. He’s also the only Supreme Court justice to lead a 185-mile hike through a national park. Whenever he needed to think deeply about a case before the Supreme Court, Associate Justice Douglas would take a long walk on the towpath of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. For Douglas, the C&O was...

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Hiking with dogs: How to protect them from ticks, injuries and overheating

  If you love your dog and love being active and outside, taking your pup hiking is about as good as it gets. As summer gets into full swing you may be just as likely to meet a four-legged fellow hiker on the trail as another person. So what should you know first before hitting the trail? Know your dog, and know how prepared they are. The basic things to...

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Five tips to help you keep your cool while hiking on a hot summer day

Hiking during the summer can feel like walking across a hot griddle with a blow torch aimed at your face. That’s why park rangers, who encounter lots of park visitors suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration, want to share some tips to keep hikers safe during the hot summer months. 1. Drink plenty of water. Hydration makes it easier to tolerate heat. Carry extra...

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Havasupai Falls hike: 6 essential questions answered

The dry and barren trail through Havasu Canyon refuses to give up the secret of what waits just eight miles away: an oasis of tumbling waterfalls and lush greenery, with turquoise pools that would seem more at home in Hawaii than in a remote corner of Arizona. That’s precisely the draw of Havasupai Falls, a roughly four-mile gorge in the Grand Canyon carved over the eons...

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Day hikers are the most vulnerable in survival situations. Here’s why.

According to research, wandering off trail is the number one reason, ahead of injury and bad weather, that adult hikers require search and rescue. A study analyzed 100+ news reports over the past 25 years to identify the most common ways adults in North America got lost while hiking in national parks and wilderness, what they did to survive, and how they made it out...

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Hiking This Arctic Canyon Comes with a Spectacular Payoff

Consider brushing up on your Norse mythology before venturing to northern Norway for one of Europe’s most surprising hikes. “It’s like God himself took his ax and made a mark in the Earth.” That’s how adventurer Trygve Nygård prepares his guests for the views during walks to the rim of Northern Europe’s largest canyon, which stretches more than 7 miles in length. If...

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