Taking a trip of exotic hiking in Iceland

You have to walk quite a few miles, climb your share of hills and wear out an army’s stock of shoe leather before getting to the point of considering backpacking in Iceland. Sixty-one-year-old Jim Foster, who refers to himself as a reformed attorney, has walked Patagonia, climbed Kilimanjaro, trekked New Zealand, backpacked the American west, and in 2007, hiked the...

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Wildfire shuts down 25 miles of Pacific Crest Trail

A large swath of the Pacific Crest Trail in the Southern Cascades will be shut down beginning August 23, due to the growing activity of the 790 Fire. The closure covers roughly 25 miles from Oregon Highway 140 north to the boundary of Crater Lake National Park, the U.S. Forest Service said. The closure includes most trails in the popular Seven Lakes Basin of the Sky...

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Parking Meters at Hiking Trailheads?

The Phoenix Parks Board meets next week to discuss a proposal to install parking meters in the parking areas of the city’s most popular hiking trailheads. The idea of “fee-based parking” was approved by the Parks Board in 2010 but never implemented. Now, with a looming city budget deficit, the idea is being revived to bring in extra revenue. Deputy...

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Hiking guide explores the trail less traveled

For adventurous hikers looking to traverse the paths less traveled, author Justin Rohde said his new book provides a detailed guide to the region that straddles the Oregon and California border, which contains the highest concentration of undammed wild and scenic rivers in the United States. Rohde, who worked as a guide on hiking trails near Cave Junction in...

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Changes at Streamside in the Southern Appalachians

The loss of eastern hemlock could affect water yield and storm flow from forest watersheds in the southern Appalachians, according to a new study by U.S. Forest Service scientists at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory (Coweeta) located in Otto, North Carolina. The article was recently published online in the journal Ecohydrology. “Eastern hemlock trees have died...

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NPS Implements Interim Policy Prohibiting Unmanned Aircraft on Appalachian National Scenic Trail

The National Park Service has developed an interim policy prohibiting the use of unmanned aircraft, also known as drones, on NPS managed lands of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. This is a new park use that could affect park resources, staff, and visitors in ways that the National Park Service has yet to identify, analyze and examine. It is the National Park...

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How a Health Guru Helped L.A. Discover its Hiking Trails

Long before yoga pants made their first appearance in Runyon Canyon, a health guru helped Angelenos discover their local mountain trails. Beginning in 1924, on the first and third Sunday of each month, members of the Wanderlusters Hiking Club followed Paul C. Bragg into the hilly terrain around Los Angeles. Dozens of them traipsed through Altadena’s Millard Canyon...

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Renville County, MN looks to develop more hiking trails

Provided you know how to find your way, there are miles of prairie and woodland trails offering scenic overlooks, opportunities to view wildlife, and areas to enjoy a picnic lunch alongside flowing water. It’s all to be found in the seven Renville County, Minnesota parks, where it soon could be a lot easier to find your way. Mark Erickson, community and environment...

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Restoring Acadia’s Historic Hiking Trails

Hiking Acadia is a pastime almost as old as the state of Maine itself. “People have been hiking Mt. Desert Island and these moutains since the mid-1800s,” said Gary Stellpflug, Trails Foreman at Acadia National Park. Between the 1890s and the 1930s some 130 miles of trails were cut in this park. But then… “Finances for the trails program dwindled over the course of the...

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Gunsight Pass: Cross Continental Divide on Glacier trail

If you want to cross the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park and are looking for more adventure than walking past the sign atop Going-to-the-Sun Road, take the trail over Gunsight Pass instead. The 20-mile trail connects Jackson Glacier Overlook on the east with Lake McDonald Lodge on the west, and can be done as a long day hike or as a backpacking trip. Along...

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Ken Burns shares secrets of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

“There is a great human story” of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, according to Ken Burns, the Emmy award-winning filmmaker. As co-creator of the PBS series America’s Best Idea: The National Parks, Burns and his team spent over six years filming in national parks across the United States. Burns sat down with USA TODAY and shared the secrets of Great...

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Prescott, AZ 7th annual hiking spree starts Sept. 6 at Highlands Center

This year’s Hiking Spree enthusiasts will start their morning at the Highlands Center at 9:00 AM, September 6th with a free presentation by Sam Frank, Central Arizona Director for the Arizona Wilderness Coalition (AWC), in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. “This presentation will include inspiring photos, history of the AWC, take-home maps, and a...

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Trekking in Yunnan China, where dragons stand guard

For sheer dramatic natural beauty, Tiger Leaping Gorge in China’s Yunnan province takes some beating. Situated around 60km west of the historic city of Lijiang, the 15km-long gorge carves its way through steep-sided and snow-capped Himalayan peaks that line up like a rugged roll-call of nature’s tough guys. Most people walk part or all of the one-day Low Way, a 21km flat...

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Itinerate hiker: Retired surgeon explores, volunteers on CDT

Eric White has hiked 8,500 miles. And his favorite mileage has been along the Continental Divide Trail. It’s what brings him to Butte, Montana every summer to volunteer on crews improving the trail. White, a retired orthopedic surgeon who lives in Williamstown, Mass., spends part of his summers in Butte volunteering with AmeriCorps to improve the trail. He first became...

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Take a Hike Across Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains

Hauling yourself up a stony path, the air thins with every breath. Ribbons of mist weave past and a vulture circles overhead. Just when you think your legs can’t take it anymore, you reach the top. Your guide warns you not to step any closer to the edge. It is the most terrifying sensation—and one of the most rewarding. All around similar hills rise like turrets in...

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A short drive from Seattle, the hiking is spectacular

This summer’s devastating wildfires in eastern Washington have cast a smoky pall over some of the state’s premier hiking destinations, but those trails have been largely untouched by flames. So “best days” can be had in abundance throughout the Cascade Mountains, on trails within easy driving distance of the city. And you don’t have to...

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Explore hiking trails of former military base

Since the closure of Fort Ord in 1994, the 28,000 acres that comprised the military base have been spun off into various civilian uses. As a part of that process, on April 12, 2012, President Obama signed a declaration setting aside 14,650 acres—half of the former base—as Fort Ord National Monument. The Bureau of Land Management currently oversees 7,200 acres, and the...

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Minnesota’s secret hiking trails

Minnesota’s “Land of 10,000 Lakes” moniker evokes lasting memories of fishing, paddling and campfires at the edge of a shore. But being on the water isn’t the only way to enjoy the outdoors. Thousands of miles of hiking trails crisscross Minnesota, with some seeing more foot traffic than others. From well-maintained, easy-to-access trails to narrow footpaths ­hidden deep...

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Vanilla cookie trees and other hiking surprises

A group of hikers pause along a heavily wooded trail in the Lincoln National Forest. One leans into a Ponderosa pine, sniffs the trunk and proclaims, “Vanilla cookie tree! Who wants to smell vanilla!” The other hikers raise their eyebrows, wondering if their companion has gone mad, but you can’t resist. Feeling slightly foolish, you lean into the tree,...

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Tunnel Creek: Nevada’s hidden hiking gem

No shortage of stunning scenery exists in the Lake Tahoe Basin, but while the majority of sightseers flock to the southwestern portion of the lake to take in the postcard-picture-perfect vistas afforded by Emerald Bay, the northeastern portion of the lake offers a quieter and equally spectacular experience. Tunnel Creek, just outside of Incline Village, is a popular...

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White People Love Hiking. Minorities Don’t. Here’s Why.

White people simply love to spend their free time walking up and down mountains and sleeping in the forest. Search “hiking” in Google Images and see how far you have to scroll to find a non-white person. Ditto rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing, and so on. That white people love the outdoors is so widely accepted as fact that it’s become a running joke....

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Rocky Mountain National Park considers closing Crater Trail

Due to excessive erosion and damage to sensitive natural and cultural resources, the Crater Trail, a short trail located on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park, will remain closed to use for the remainder of this year, according to the National Park Service. The Crater Trail is a 1-mile dead-end that is normally open to visitor use by mid-August each year after...

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Bottled water comes from the most drought-ridden places in the country

Bottled-water drinkers, we have a problem: There’s a good chance that your water comes from California, a state experiencing the third driest year on record. The details of where and how bottling companies get their water are often quite murky , but generally speaking, bottled water falls into two categories. The first is “spring water,” or groundwater that’s collected,...

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Joseph McConaughy Smashes Pacific Crest Trail Speed Record

53 DAYS 6 HOURS 37 MINUTES Come back here for more details as information becomes available.   A 23-year-old Seattle man has smashed the speed record for hiking the full length of the Pacific Crest Trail. Recent college grad Joe McConaughy crossed into Canada on Sunday, exactly 53 days, 6 hours and 37 minutes after leaving the Mexican border on the storied trail....

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Popular Smokies hiking trail under reconstruction

While some crew members pounded rock into gravel with sledgehammers, others used pry bars to skid granite boulders into place. A hand-powered cable winch capable of pulling 4,000 pounds was strapped to a buckeye tree at the top of a steep flight of steps, and everyone was covered in mud. The crew members were 1½ miles up the Chimney Tops Trail, one of the rockiest,...

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Hiking requires right mix of food, water

One aspect of hiking that differs from other endurance sports such as running is it’s easier to eat almost anything while you hike. But that’s not to say you should. Hiking often is a lower intensity workout than running, but it can still include several hours of continuous aerobic activity. It is often done at elevation, carrying a pack up and down steep...

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Hiking to Granite Basin, Alaska

There are two principal ways to get to Granite Basin, and on a wonderfully warm and sunny day in early August, the Parks and Recreation Hiking Group used both of them. Nine strong hikers aimed for Mount Juneau and the Juneau Ridge; they spent 10 hours on the loop from the top of the mountain, along the ridge and down through Granite Basin. They reported seeing goats and...

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Restoring Acadia’s Trails

By PORTER FOX for the NY Times A 120-foot white pine shaded what was left of the trail. The best indication of which way to walk was an auburn arc of fallen pine needles, bending to the right. Then a small clearing. Then flecks of blue filtering through the branches and the muted growl of the Atlantic meeting the shore of Mount Desert Island, in Maine. My guide,...

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Hiking the Janapar Trail in Karabagh, Armenia

The Janapar Trail in Armenia is a nearly 300-km. (186-mile) hiking route that weaves through the mountains of Nagorno-Karabagh (Artsakh) from Hadrut all the way to Vardenis. Marked for the first time in 2007, the trail brings visitors to many of Artsakh’s natural and historical landmarks, including the alluring monasteries of Gtichavank, Dadivank, and Gandzasar, the...

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Building the Blue Ridge Parkway

Early in the 20th Century, there were very few National Parks in the eastern portion of the United States. Forward-thinking dreamers in the government purchased the lands for Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the late 1920’s, and that led to the idea of a plan for a scenic motor road that would connect the two parks and their...

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Tellico Wild: Explore Cherokee National Forest on land and in the water

Great Smoky Mountains National Park may have wider name recognition, but at 655,598 acres, the Cherokee National Forest is Tennessee’s largest tract of public land. The forest is split into two sections along the Tennessee-North Carolina line north and south of the Smokies. When organizers of this weekend’s Wilderness Weekend began brainstorming ways to...

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High in the N.C. mountains, prominent hikers bridge political differences

The politically odd couple striding up a rocky trail in the Roan highlands came to celebrate a conservation landmark, and to plot its rebirth. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Sen. Richard Burr, the conservative North Carolina Republican, are unlikely partners in promoting the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. The fund turns 50 in September and, to survive,...

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