Science program goes statewide: ecoEXPLORE program for kids now available in N.C. State Parks

  A program that’s been getting Western North Carolina kids outside since 2016 is now a statewide offering, with a whirlwind tour of 10 North Carolina state parks over the next couple weeks celebrating ecoEXPLORE’s arrival at all 41 park units. “There’s a lot of benefits to being outdoors,” said Jonathan Marchal, youth education manager at the N.C. Arboretum in...

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These Apps Will Help Keep You From Getting Lost in the Outdoors

Ah, the great outdoors. The flora, the fauna, the welcome mystery of the open trail stretched before you. You’ve left it all behind (no cell service, no problems!) until … Wait. Where’s the map? Did you mean to turn left back there? What direction is the campsite anyway? Is it starting to get dark? Don’t lose yourself out there. Every outdoor explorer needs...

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The Best Hiking Sandals for Women

Summer means sandal time, even on the trails. Swap out your hiking boots for a pair of sturdy hiking sandals to allow for significantly more breathability than closed shoes and faster drying times when you’re fording a stream or getting splashed by rapids. Look for a pair that not only matches your aesthetic but also offers sufficient sole traction and arch support — and...

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The 15 most iconic hikes on the Oregon coast

In a lot of other states, warm sunny days mean lazy afternoons spent lounging on the beach. Leave it to Oregonians to pack hiking shoes with their bathing suits. From towering Neahkahnie Mountain to the chasms of Cape Perpetua, there are hiking trails that run up and down the gorgeous coastline, exploring the forests, dunes, tide pools and beaches that make it up. The...

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Forest Service might limit public comments

Under President Donald Trump, federal agencies have chipped away at the reviews and permitting required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), one of the nation’s bedrock environmental laws. Earlier this month, the Forest Service proposed a significant overhaul of the NEPA process for logging and development on millions of acres of federal forest and...

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The complete guide to hiking the Cliffs Of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher is Ireland’s top tourist attraction, drawing nearly 1.5 million per year. But while the majority of visitors take in these stunning bluffs overlooking the wild waters of the North Atlantic in one of two common ways, there is a third, less traveled route you can take. This hike is the highlight of the Wild Atlantic Way and among the most stunningly...

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Tips to stay Bear Aware when camping and hiking

With warmer weather and melting snowpack, outdoor enthusiasts are enjoying camping and hiking trips in Colorado’s many scenic locations. Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff are frequently asked what someone should do if they encounter a bear while out camping or hiking. Whether you are visiting Colorado for a vacation or are a long-time resident, it’s important to be aware...

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Pisgah View Ranch, west of Asheville, looks poised to become newest NC state park

State Sen. Chuck Edwards, R-Henderson, introduced Senate Bill 535 in April, 2019 that authorizes the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to add Pisgah View State Park to the North Carolina State Parks System. It was passed unanimously by the Senate and referred to the House on June 24, where it is processing through appropriate committees. “It’s been in our...

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Park and DLiA Host Smokies Species Day

Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the non-profit partner Discover Life in America (DLiA) are celebrating the diversity of life in the park by hosting “Smokies Species Day” at Sugarlands Visitor Center on Saturday, June 29, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Attendees can learn about fungi, slime molds, beetles, moths, butterflies, and other creatures of the Smokies...

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Best National Parks and Hiking in New Zealand

It’s undeniable that New Zealand has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, much of which is found in its 13 national parks that span over 11,000 square miles. Any of these parks will have you recharging your camera battery at the end of a full day. If you’re a fan of the landscapes featured in any of the Lord of the Rings films, Fiordland National Park will...

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Best Dog-Friendly Public Lands

Don’t worry about finding a dog sitter when you head out for an outdoor adventure. You can bring your furry companion along for all kinds of fun on America’s public lands. Service dogs are permitted on all public lands, while most national parks allow pets in developed areas. Other locations – such as national wildlife refuges, national forests, and wild and scenic...

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Red-cheeked Salamanders Are Great Smoky Mountain National Park Superheroes

The Red-cheeked Salamanders of Great Smoky Mountains National Park are superheroes. Found only in this unique park, research has revealed that the salamanders can secrete a special, toxic substance to keep predators away. Ranging from 3.5 to 5 inches long, the Red-cheeked Salamanders are generally dark gray in color, making their red cheeks and/or red legs really pop....

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Appalachian Trail Finishers Share 99 Tips for Aspiring Thru-Hikers

  If you’re thinking about hiking the Appalachian Trail, you probably have a lot of questions. Who better to answer them than the people who have already been there and done that? Experienced thru-hikers were surveyed to get their best advice about hiking the Appalachian Trail. It can be difficult to get friends and family on board, but reassure them the best...

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Your Guide to Summer Hiking

Many of us hike all the time, and so going out for an afternoon jaunt is not cause for long, detailed preparation. We take a water bottle and hit the trails. However, for beginners and those planning hiking trips in new locations, it’s important to put safety first. “Depending on where you hike, if you’re not digging the trip because of weather or you feel tired,...

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Himalayan glacier melting doubled since 2000, spy satellites show

The melting of Himalayan glaciers has doubled since the turn of the century, with more than a quarter of all ice lost over the last four decades, scientists have revealed. The accelerating losses indicate a “devastating” future for the region, upon which a billion people depend for regular water. The scientists combined declassified US spy satellite images from the...

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Trump’s EPA just replaced Obama’s signature climate policy with a much weaker rule

The Environmental Protection Agency killed President Obama’s signature climate change policy, the Clean Power Plan. It’s one of the few definitive wins in the Trump administration’s full-court press to undo and weaken environmental regulations. With the release of a replacement plan before an audience that included coal miners wearing reflective shirts and hard hats, EPA...

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New hiking trails in Korean DMZ offer rare access to forbidden areas

For most South Koreans, a chance to enter the demilitarized zone, the heavily fortified buffer that has divided the peninsula since the end of the Korean War in 1953, has been rare. However, a series of newly opened DMZ Peace Trails is allowing curious civilians to get a closer glimpse of North Korea. On a recent guided tour at the first Peace Trail to open, in Goseong,...

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Be a Saturday Volunteer at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Smokies Service Days begin on June 29th, 2019. Individuals and families are invited to work alongside staff to care for park trails, picnic areas, campgrounds, and historic sites. Make new friends, earn service hours, and gain invaluable experience as you help keep our National Park clean and green. A segment of each Service Saturday is dedicated to insider-enrichment...

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Tips and Tricks to Keep You Safe While Hiking This Summer

With the official start of summer right around the corner many people are excited about hiking in the mountains. “Well it starts with a good plan and research at home, first and foremost,” DEC forest ranger Howard Kreft said. He says the outdoors are full of surprises and you can never be too prepared. “You want to make sure you have good sturdy...

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Visiting the nation’s newest national park: Indiana Dunes

West Beach is sand — and not just a dusting of the stuff either, but the soft, deep, undulating variety you’d expect to find near a beach. In honor of its designation in February as the 61st and newest national park, this would be a good place to work across Indiana Dunes — formerly a national lakeshore. It’s a popular place to catch some rays and swim from Memorial Day...

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Hear the William Bartram story

On Friday, June 21, 2019, a hike along part of the Bartram Trail will impart stories of the man who inspired it, with N.C. Bartram Trail Society member Brent Martin leading the adventure. The hike is one of HCLT’s series of EcoTours available to its members. Anyone can become a member on the hike. Reserve a spot by contacting hclt_ed@earthlink.net or 828.526.1111, or...

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How Much Nature Is Enough? 120 Minutes a Week, Doctors Say

It’s a medical fact: Spending time outdoors, especially in green spaces, is good for you. A wealth of research indicates that escaping to a neighborhood park, hiking through the woods, or spending a weekend by the lake can lower a person’s stress levels, decrease blood pressure and reduce the risk of asthma, allergies, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, while boosting...

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Celebrating Cosby in the Smokies: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials invite the public to attend “Celebrating Cosby: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” community programs on Fridays beginning June 14, 2019 through August 2, 2019 at the Cosby Campground Amphitheater. The programs honor the rich cultural and natural history of the Cosby area through music, storytelling, and history walks. “These...

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San Diego’s Greatest Hikes for Every Skill Level

San Diego is known around the country as a beach haven, and for good reason: the county does, after all, have more than 70 miles of pristine, world-class coastline. However, those who actually live in the city know that its natural splendor extends far beyond its shores – the county is also home to some spectacular hiking. While San Diego’s mountains might not...

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Smokies National Park Hosts 2019 Women’s Work Festival

Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host the annual Women’s Work Festival at the Mountain Farm Museum on Saturday, June 15, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The festival honors the vast contributions made by the women of Southern Appalachia. Park staff and volunteers will showcase mountain lifeways and customs that women practiced to care for their families in the...

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How to keep your tweens and teens interested in hiking and backpacking

Spending time with your children is important no matter how old they get, but how can you keep teens and preteens engaged in outdoor recreation during their sometimes rebellious years? “Kids need to spend time outdoors — a fun, healthy, beyond-the-ordinary place. Backpacking is a great way to help them appreciate all the beauty and adventure that the natural world...

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The Maine Coast Heritage Trust has preserved many acres on Maine’s Frenchboro Island, saving it from second-home development

In the late 1990s, 940 acres on Frenchboro, or roughly two-thirds of the island, was listed for sale. Frenchboro is an island of the coast of Maine, accessible by ferry. Fearing this spectacular property would be purchased for subdivision and seasonal home development, concerned island residents forged a partnership with the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the Island...

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Hiking Spain’s luminous Lighthouse Way

The Lighthouse Way, Camiño dos Faros in Spanish, traverses a stretch of coast that British sailors in the 19th century dubbed the “Costa da Morte” (Coast of Death) because so many of their compatriots died in shipwrecks there. The route goes between Malpica and Fisterra, Spain. Along the way it is marked by haphazardly painted shamrock-green arrows (that often look just...

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