The Best Hiking Pants for Women

Hiking pants are an essential piece of any outdoor kit: they defend your legs against weather, UV rays, and many natural hazards. Some can even serve double duty as acceptable business-casual wear. But a good pair can be hard to find. This is especially true for women, since there are so many variables at play: leg length, hip width, thigh-muscle circumference, butt...

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In a mountain range too steep to cross, DHS is spending millions of dollars on five miles of border wall

Racing to fulfill President Donald Trump’s campaign promises, the Department of Homeland Security is dynamiting cliff sides and carving switchback roads up incredibly steep mountains to build a 30-foot-tall border wall through Guadalupe Canyon. Not only is the construction expensive, it will have little impact on undocumented immigration into the U.S. It will, however,...

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Bridge Repair Work Begins Across Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that the Federal Highway Administration awarded two construction contracts to replace seven bridges and repair seven others across the park. The work will continue through January 19, 2022 and necessitates several single-lane closures and a few full road closures to safely accomplish the repairs. Forge Creek Road in...

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Fees at national parks waived for veterans, Gold Star families starting November 2020

Starting next month, veterans and Gold Star families will be able to visit national parks and other public lands for free, under a new initiative from the Department of the Interior. Active-duty service members and their families are already granted free access to those sites under existing department rules. The new announcement broadens that benefit to more than 20...

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4-year-old breaks hiking record with medical missionary family on Appalachian Trail

  A volunteer physician family serving in the Northern African country of Chad took a seven-month break to hike the Appalachian Trail with their four children — their 4-year-old girl is believed to be the youngest to complete the iconic 2,193-mile hike from Georgia to Maine. Doctors Olen and Danae Netteburg, Loma Linda University School of Medicine graduates...

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12 Reasons You’ll Love (and Hate) Night Hiking

The second full moon of October, the Blue Moon, will fall on Halloween night this year. What better way to celebrate the convergence of a rare lunar phenomenon and the spookiest night of the year than with a moonlit night hike this weekend? Night hiking isn’t something to fear or avoid. In fact, it can be pretty darn glorious in its own way (think starry skies, moonlit...

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How the US could lead on climate change — in 8 simple steps

Imagine a green future for a hot second. The United States and the rest of the world have taken substantive action to slow (and even reverse) climate change. Crisis averted. You’re probably envisioning a lot of the following: snazzy yet affordable electric cars, smog-free city skylines, and an electrical grid powered by sweet, sweet, renewable energy. Well, you likely...

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How exploring the hikes and waterfalls of Taiwan connected this writer to her family’s immigration story

After a number of attempts trying to fictionalize her family history, nature writer Jessica J. Lee found that her academic work in environmental history actually helped unlock how to tell the story. “I had been trying for many years to write this story of my grandparents,” said Lee, the author of “Two Trees Make a Forest: Travels Among Taiwan’s Mountains and Coasts in...

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Here’s the Ultimate Guide to Vegan Hiking Snacks

One important part of planning a day hike is to make sure that you’re fueling yourself properly, especially for tough climbs or long treks. Packing the right food can help make the day that much more enjoyable. These vegan hiking snacks are portable, easy to pack, and satisfying during and after a long day on the trail. They also don’t contain any animal-derived...

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Lake Norman nature park to offer miles of hiking, biking

Outdoors enthusiasts from across the Charlotte, NC region are the target market of a 606-acre nature park underway on the northern tip of Lake Norman. Mountain Creek Park in Sherrills Ford will feature 19 miles of hiking and mountain bike trails when it opens next summer or early fall, along with kayaking and paddleboarding, picnic areas and a fishing pier. The $8.5...

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Being a Steward for the Smokies

The Smokies Service Days program will return with a slate of Saturday service opportunities in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, starting with a Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 session to be held 9:30 a.m. to noon at Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee. Other scheduled service days are: Oct. 31: “The Deep Creep” Litter Cleanup, 10 a.m. to noon at Deep Creek Picnic...

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All of RMNP closed to visitors due to wildfire activity

A full closure of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is now in place due to wildfire activity on the west side of the Continental Divide, a spokesperson for the park announced Thursday morning, October 22, 2020. Air quality in the park is hazardous and Trail Ridge Road is impassable on the west side due to downed trees on the road. High fire danger prompted the...

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The Scariest Encounters Women Have on the Appalachian Trail Aren’t with Wildlife. They’re with Men

Statistically the trail is one of the safest places in the U.S., but when a tent is all that separates you from a potential predator, the danger becomes terrifyingly real. As a 30-year-old nurse who works with terminally ill patients, Julia (who prefers to remain anonymous) asked herself one day what she would be proud of doing if she too were given a diagnosis of only...

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More Than 20 Rescued from Colorado Hiking Trail as Wildfires Continue in Western U.S.

Rescue workers with the Juan County Sheriff’s Department and The U.S. Forest Service evacuated 23 people and three dogs from the San Juan National Forest in Colorado as a wildfire tore through the area. The U.S. Forest Service deployed helicopters for the evacuation. According to the Office of Emergency Management in San Juan County, the blaze — dubbed the Ice Fire...

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International Mast Cell Diseases Awareness Day, October 20

Mast cells, a type of blood cell, play an important role in the body’s immune system. They reside in all body tissues and form part of the body’s initial defense system. Mast cells react to foreign bodies and injury by releasing a variety of potent chemical mediators, such as histamine, when activated. In a healthy person these chemicals will act beneficially to protect...

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America’s Best and Most Beautiful Winter Hikes

From Colorado to Oregon to Maine, these incredible winter hiking trails offer beautiful views, wildlife-spotting opportunities, and fewer crowds. If you have a habit of stashing your hiking boots the moment cooler temperatures arrive, you’ve been missing out. In the winter, the nation’s best hiking trails clear out and you can walk for miles without seeing another soul....

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Paths to the past: National Historic Trails lead travelers through time, US history

One of the best ways to learn history is to literally follow in the footsteps of those who were there, says Karen Berger, author of the new book, “America’s National Historic Trails.” “These are historic routes – a trail version of the National Park system,” she says. The 19 federally recognized trails range from 54 to 5,000 miles, and pass largely through...

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New hiking trails near Sedona, AZ hint at bigger things to come

Occupying a hilly slice of high desert below the east flanks of Mingus Mountain, the new Blowout Wash trail system is shaping up to become a prime Verde Valley hiking destination. The remediation project is a multi-agency collaboration of local, state and federal land agencies working together to improve recreational opportunities in Prescott National Forest southwest of...

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Teaching Kids to be Great Trail Stewards

Trails help keep us happy and healthy. No one wants to stay inside all the time, so we need places to go outside and explore. On trails you can get all your energy out, see cool plants, trees, and wildlife, and spend time with family and friends. It’s important we keep trails nice so everyone can enjoy them for years to come. Trails are an important resource, but...

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REI and National Forest Foundation Announce New Partnership to Plant 1 Million Trees

  A new partnership between the National Forest Foundation (NFF) and REI Co-op (REI) will plant 1 million trees on National Forests across the U.S. over the next decade. Each project will prioritize immediate reforestation to restore ecosystems adversely impacted by severe wildfire, pests, diseases, blowdown, or other natural disturbances. These efforts will...

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New polling on climate change: Denial is out, alarm is in.

Americans are now nearly four times more likely to say they’re alarmed about the climate crisis than to be dismissive of it. That’s the highest ratio ever since the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC) first began gathering data on American attitudes about climate change back in 2008. According to survey data, more than a quarter of the U.S. adult...

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Maine town apologizes after criticizing anonymous hiker who fixed bridge along its trail

There’s a Maine town trying to identify the hiker who built a replacement bridge next to a collapsed one along a hiking trail on a popular 308-acre preserve. “When outside entities create trails and structures without notifying our department, that leads to confusion for hikers and others” using the Lowell Preserve, Windham town manager Barry Tibbetts posted on...

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Easy ways to improve your safety while hiking

Two recent deaths on Katahdin, Maine’s tallest mountain, have stirred conversation about hiking safety, raising questions like: “What kind of safety gear should you carry besides water, snacks and a headlamp?” First of all, accidents happen, and sometimes they’re entirely out of our hands. On occasion, the most prepared hiker can become injured or worse. But there are...

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Forest Service in home stretch on draft Pisgah, Nantahala forests plan

James Melonas, deputy supervisor of the National Forests in North Carolina (NFsNC) office addressed a crowd of Forest Service colleagues at an April national training in Denver to share his thoughts on the ongoing Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests plan revision effort in Western North Carolina. His message: be transparent and build trust. “Really focusing on...

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The Best Winter Hiking Boots for Men and Women

In the past, once chilly temperatures and snowy days started to arrive, hikers used to pack up until spring came along. But now that hiking gear is warmer and more weatherproof than ever, they can enjoy the Great Outdoors year-round. If you plan on immersing yourself in nature this season, there are a few items that you should invest in prior to hitting the trails. In...

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Pair sets new hiking record with Tour de Smokies

Nancy East and Chris Ford were greeted by an entourage of fans and supporters when they emerged from the woods in the Big Creek section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, setting a new record for a unique long-distance hiking challenge. The pair hiked all 900 miles of trails in the park in just 30 days. East, from North Carolina, said she is still getting used to...

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Nature Conservancy buys 2,110 acres in heart of Superior National Forest

More than 2,000 acres of private land within the Superior National Forest will remain undeveloped under a real estate deal announced by the Nature Conservancy. The 2,110 acres of private land is surrounded by national forest land and includes six wild lakes, 3 miles of trout streams, 972 acres of wetlands and tracts of old-growth white spruce and white cedar. It’s also...

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New hiking challenge involves bringing your dogs to the Adirondacks

  A new hiking challenge called “ADK-9” asks hikers to bring their dogs with them on the outdoor adventure and take a picture of them on the peak. The ADK-9 hiking challenge provides 9 dog friendly hikes with views and offers a chance to explore lesser traveled peaks of the region. Once you have hiked all 9 peaks, you are eligible to become an ADK-9...

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