Hiking News

Garland man found safe after going missing for almost 4 days while hiking in South Carolina

Posted by on Aug 7, 2020 @ 6:24 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Garland man found safe after going missing for almost 4 days while hiking in South Carolina

The sheriff’s office in Oconee County, South Carolina, says a Garland man who went missing while hiking has been found safe. Richard Gonzalez was found before 11 a.m. August 6, 2020, and was being reunited with his family.

He was on a hike earlier this week in South Carolina. The 27-year-old hadn’t been seen for almost four days after becoming separated from the group while on a 76-mile hike from Oconee State Park to Table Rock State Park. Gonzalez was hiking with two other friends.

“They had gone for a swim somewhere in the area between Oconee and Table Rock,” said his friend David Weaver. “The two friends had gotten out of the water and he was kind of just gathering his stuff, they went on ahead, and they believe that maybe at that point when he was trying to catch up to them that maybe he went down the wrong area.”

Oconee County’s emergency management spokesperson said they believe Gonzalez went missing about 15 miles into his 76-mile hike. Friends were cautiously optimistic because Gonzalez had the essentials. He packed more than a week’s worth of food, and also had a tent, a blanket, extra clothes, a pocket knife and a flashlight.

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Enjoy late summer light on Hamilton Mountain in the Columbia River Gorge

Posted by on Aug 4, 2020 @ 6:43 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Enjoy late summer light on Hamilton Mountain in the Columbia River Gorge

Hamilton Mountain is one of the most scenic spots in the Columbia River Gorge, itself one of the most scenic destinations in the Pacific Northwest. The climb to the top is always nice, but it’s especially beautiful on summer’s late afternoons and evenings, when crowds are sparse and the light in the gorge can be downright glorious.

A 3-mile trail takes hikers from the busy trailhead in Beacon Rock State Park to the top of the mountain, where views of Mount Hood and Mount Adams rise above the gorge. Along the way are several scenic stops that serve as brief detours, or even destinations in their own right for those who don’t have the time or desire to hike all the way to the top.

There’s Hardy Falls, seen from a viewpoint just off the trail; Pool of the Winds, where a small waterfall pours into a pool nestled into a rocky alcove; Rodney Falls, which stair steps its way down a steep stream bed; and Little Hamilton Mountain, a rocky outcropping about 2 miles up the trail with views that outshine those on the main summit.

Savvy hikers willing to wait out the morning and afternoon rush can find plenty of open parking, and much more peace and quiet, by hiking up Hamilton Mountain in the late afternoon.

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The trials and tribulations of hiking Vermont’s grandest trail

Posted by on Aug 3, 2020 @ 7:01 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The trials and tribulations of hiking Vermont’s grandest trail

James Gordon Hindes had his summer all mapped out. Toting a 60-pound pack and wearing hobnailed boots, Hindes would spend most of July and much of August hiking north from the Massachusetts-Vermont line into Canada. The year was 1931 and Hindes planned to follow the entire 275-mile route of the just-completed Long Trail.

Reading Hindes’ journal, which has been published by the Green Mountain Club, it is easy to get caught up in the adventure, the lure of the open trail, the profound satisfaction of living in the simpler world that the trail inhabits.

The Long Trail that Hindes and his hiking companion, Dartmouth College fraternity brother John Eames, explored was the newest trail through the Vermont wilderness. The state had, of course, seen its share of such trails before, starting with paths created along the main waterways by the Native Americans.

Then came Revolutionary War routes, like the Bayley-Hazen Road and the Crown Point Road, that were slashed through the woods, followed by paths cut by early European settlers. But the Long Trail was a different thing entirely. It was Vermont’s, in fact the nation’s, first long-distance hiking trail, and would inspire the creation of the much longer and more famous Appalachian Mountain Trail.

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Some Of The Best Places In The United States To Plan A Hiking Trip

Posted by on Aug 1, 2020 @ 8:48 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Some Of The Best Places In The United States To Plan A Hiking Trip

Many Americans are rediscovering favorite pastimes during the COVID-19 pandemic, including exploring outdoor areas. Because you can breathe fresh air (so long as you aren’t in a crowd) and get away from enclosed spaces, this can be a great time to plan a hiking trip. Being outdoors is one of the most effective ways to avoid close contact but enjoy exercise and leisure.

It’s possible to explore a natural marvel in your backyard or scratch a national park off of your bucket list. You may also try to find little-known hiking trails to avoid large crowds and to make a memorable road trip.

A local hiking adventure can be a wise move to avoid domestic travel restrictions and potential hotspots. If your state has strict shelter-in-place orders, your only choice might be staying close to home. Some of your options will be local greenways that you might already be quite familiar with. Other options might require a country drive to access.

National parks tend to have the best hiking trails, but state or local parks are hidden gems as well. You may try to explore lesser-known areas to avoid large crowds. You can still enjoy the great outdoors and the views may rival those of the most popular hiking trips.

See specific recommendations here…

 

Black Girl Hair Tips for Hiking and Backpacking

Posted by on Jul 31, 2020 @ 6:39 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Black Girl Hair Tips for Hiking and Backpacking

Nothing should hold a person back from getting on the trail when they feel ready for their next adventure…. not even your hair.

Leave the conditioner in your hair. This is a game-changer. The morning before a long hike wet your hair and put conditioner in but do not rinse it out. This will help keep your natural curl pattern and keep your hair looking moisturized and fresh even if it is really hot outside.

Protective styling is great anytime but it is a lifesaver on trail. Twists, braids, and cornrows are great for keeping your hair out of your face as well as showing you are proud of your culture. Braids are great because they can last several days. Pack a scrunchy or hair tie if you want to be sure that your longer braids do not get caught in any branches.

Throw on your favorite headwrap to protect your hair. There are so many ways to tie them, and it’s easy to cover your whole head or tie it as a headband. A headwrap is a great item to pack because it has multiple uses, like putting around your neck to avoid sunburn.

Hats are almost always the right move when going hiking. Not only do they help protect you from the sun or keep your head warm, but they can also cover up a ‘bad hair day’ while on trail. Having a hat is always a great thing to fall back on.

More tips here…

 

Five Things to Know Before Your First Outdoor Adventure With Kids

Posted by on Jul 30, 2020 @ 7:08 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Five Things to Know Before Your First Outdoor Adventure With Kids

Adventure really takes on a new definition after you become a parent, doesn’t it? Tasks that used to be a breeze now feel monumental (especially when you have a toddler who missed her nap). Remember when you used to run to the grocery store and didn’t have to deal with car seats, negotiate with a miniature troublemaker, and stealthily navigate past the toy aisle?

It’s really no surprise why so many parents are a little less active and adventurous than they used to be. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and wanting to spend some rejuvenating time with nature, here are some tips to help your next family forest adventure feel a little less intimidating.

While you might tend to think of a high alpine campsite or a far-off marvel of nature as a destination, think outside the box when planning your next trip. You might be surprised to find you have a National Forest close to your home, with plenty of dispersed camping and trails to explore.

You might be catching on to the fact that adventure with children rarely goes exactly as planned. Before heading out, have a backup plan, and even a backup backup.

See more here…

 

An injured hiker recorded himself while stranded at Joshua Tree National Park for 40 hours

Posted by on Jul 26, 2020 @ 6:46 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

An injured hiker recorded himself while stranded at Joshua Tree National Park for 40 hours

  A California man who got stranded in Joshua Tree National Park for 40 hours is already looking forward to his next hike.

Robert Ringo was hiking near Quail Mountain when he fell and broke his leg. Crying out for help, Ringo started recording his near-death experience.

“I started trying to at least turnover so I could get onto my back,” he told the affiliate. “And when I did, it was just unbelievable pain.”

Ringo, who had shared his location with his son before he left, knew there wouldn’t be service in the mountains. “That’s just something that I always do,” he said.

He brought two liters of water with him, but that was no match for the desert heat. Temperatures at the nearest weather station had highs in the 90’s.

In the video, Ringo calls for help and says, “It’s the first time in my life I’ve ever experienced no saliva.”

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Smokies superintendent hosting equality, diversity hiking series

Posted by on Jul 22, 2020 @ 7:08 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Smokies superintendent hosting equality, diversity hiking series

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Cassius Cash and the Great Smoky Mountains Association are drawing on the nature around them to provoke open conversation about race and a change in racial biases.

Smokies Hikes for Healing will be held August through December, 2020 in different locations across the park in Tennessee and North Carolina.

During the eight hikes, a facilitator will lead each group in discussion around race and equip participants with tools and ideas about how to identify biases through a deeper level of self-awareness and reflection so that participants can become intentional in addressing racism and race relations.

“National Parks have long provided a place of healing, and I believe the setting of this mountain sanctuary is a powerful space to bring us together to engage in crucial conversations,” Superintendent Cassius Cash said. “This year has brought a lot of uncertainty and fear that tends to draw people to their corners. Through this opportunity, I’m inviting everyone to step out and have real conversations about the history of racism locally and globally. In learning about our past, we open the doors to our future.”

Space is limited to up to 10 participants for each hike. Groups will follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing and wearing facial coverings when the appropriate distance cannot be maintained. Interested individuals can find more information on how to apply for the hikes by visiting smokieshikesforhealing.org.

 

‘Father’ of NC’s Mountains to Sea Trail reaches milestone, continues hike toward bigger goal

Posted by on Jul 21, 2020 @ 6:31 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

‘Father’ of NC’s Mountains to Sea Trail reaches milestone, continues hike toward bigger goal

At nearly 86 years old, Howard Lee isn’t slowing down.

Recently, he knocked a goal off his list by reaching about 120 miles hiked along North Carolina’s Mountains to Sea Trail. He’s been working on the milestone for five years.

“It’s such a delight to be a part of this,” Lee said. “To be here today, to be with friends and to continue to be able to hike the trail at my age, certainly is a blessing.”

Lee is considered the “father” of the 1,200-mile trail, which stretches across North Carolina in segments, as he first proposed the idea in 1977 as secretary of what is now the state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

“It allows you to get out and commune with nature,” he said. “To be able to get out here and see the trees and the flowers and to be able to see the animals and the natural areas is just so relaxing and so soothing. This is a way to escape from the pressures of the day-to-day grind and relax and feel human again.”

“On one of our low-use trails, we’ve seen over 100 percent increase in the traffic just over the last three months. … We work hard to maintain it and build it, so we want to see as many people as possible out enjoying it.”

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Lexington completes 22 miles of uninterrupted trails linking urban core to Bluegrass; more to come in fall

Posted by on Jul 19, 2020 @ 6:59 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Lexington completes 22 miles of uninterrupted trails linking urban core to Bluegrass; more to come in fall

Trails are bustin’ out all over Lexington, Kentucky’s downtown, as construction this summer on Town Branch Commons, the Legacy Trail, and Town Branch Trail completes 22 miles of uninterrupted walking.

“The trail plans we’ve been working on for decades are really coming together this summer,” said Mayor Linda Gorton. “There will be new, exciting opportunities to get outside, and get some exercise.”

The trails run through downtown, and link Lexington’s urban core to the beautiful Bluegrass beyond.

Town Branch Commons Trail is under construction downtown. The Trail will link Town Branch Trail and the Legacy Trail, creating 22 miles of uninterrupted trail. It will create a 5.5-mile loop downtown.

The final 2 miles of the Legacy Trail are under construction from Fifth Street at Jefferson Street, to the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden at Third and Midland streets. It is expected to be complete by September.

Work began in 2005 on Town Branch Trail, which will connect downtown to the Distillery District, McConnell Springs, and Masterson Station Park. Along the way there are historic sites, neighborhoods and parks.

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Spain’s new ‘Lord of the Rings’-inspired hiking trail is the epic alternative to El Camino

Posted by on Jul 18, 2020 @ 7:10 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Spain’s new ‘Lord of the Rings’-inspired hiking trail is the epic alternative to El Camino

New Zealand is typically considered the real-world Middle Earth, but in the off-kilter year that is 2020, when traveling to New Zealand is difficult, other countries are throwing their hat into the ring. Spain is unveiling a new mountain hiking trail inspired by Tolkien’s famous trilogy and Peter Jackson’s films. Called El Camino del Anillo, which translates to “The Ring Road,” the trail runs through the northern Sierra de Guadarrama, about an hour from Madrid.

An alternative to popular routes like the Camino de Santiago, the Ring Road takes hikers 76 miles through eight villages, landscapes, and ruins that resemble locations in The Lord of the Rings. The trail is designed to be completed in seven stages over the course of a week, and celebrates Spain’s natural landscape. A campsite in the village of Montejo de la Sierra is even hosting a Tolkien-themed exhibition to celebrate the trail’s opening.

The trail was created to reinvigorate tourism in a depopulated part of the country. In the same way people walk the Camino de Santiago, hikers on this trail are encouraged to stay in local hotels and hostels, eat at local inns along the way, and help boost the economy.

Hikers will be able to join organized tours, or travel on their own from an information center in the town of El Molar.

Cite…

 

Wayfinding signs are the perfect way to easily communicate with trail users and keep them safe and oriented on the trail

Posted by on Jul 17, 2020 @ 7:11 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Wayfinding signs are the perfect way to easily communicate with trail users and keep them safe and oriented on the trail

Wayfinding signs are simply any kind of sign that gives direction to those reading it. These signs exist not only for trails but in many everyday spaces such as city streets, retail establishments, and hospitals. The purpose of wayfinding signs is to help people be easily oriented to new spaces, find their destination with minimum stress and without getting lost, locate points of interest such as restrooms, and discover information in an easy to digest way.

When planning a new trail or park project wayfinding signs should be part of the planning process. However, it is never too late to put in wayfinding signage. Listen to your trail users. If an issue continually comes up that could be helped with an easy to understand sign, that would be an ideal place for a wayfinding sign.

If users often express getting lost or confused at a certain area of the trail, this would be a great place to put up a wayfinding sign. If there are historic or culturally significant areas along a trail, such as a pioneer cemetery or bird watching lookout, wayfinding signs can help users easily find these areas without carrying cumbersome maps or trail guides.

Keep in mind amenities you would like to point trail users towards. If new amenities are added, such as new restrooms or picnic areas, these can be added to wayfinding signs. Local businesses are often aided by wayfinding signs pointing out amenities they provide, such as food, bike repair, or lodging. Some trail organizations are able to work with businesses to create signs and secure funding through this mutually beneficial arrangement.

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The allure of hiking and climbing Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks

Posted by on Jul 15, 2020 @ 7:16 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The allure of hiking and climbing Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks

With snow-capped summits, awe-inspiring faces and inherent danger, Colorado’s Fourteeners — peaks that reach 14,000 feet or more above sea level — have enraptured hikers and climbers for years. Every year, Colorado’s Fourteeners are hiked by more than 500,000 people, with locals and international visitors taking on the challenge. Ranging from well-marked hiking trails to exposed climbs, they offer a difficulty range that allows hikers of all abilities to attempt the high peaks.

While Colorado is one of the only U.S. states to embrace the Fourteener classification, other countries have similar regional mountain groupings. In Scotland, the Munros are the 282 peaks above 3,000 feet. Though 3,000 feet might seem nothing compared to the Fourteeners, hikers start their ascent closer to sea level while many of the trailheads for Fourteeners are already above 10,000 feet in elevation.

While the Fourteeners make up some of Colorado’s most famous peaks, sometimes the celebrated classification can overshadow other beautiful mountains that are just feet shy from making the cut. Colorado’s thirteeners don’t come with the same bragging rights, but they often offer the same challenging terrain, miles of views and fewer crowds. There are 647 thirteeners and over 1,000 12,000-foot mountains in Colorado.

The biggest dangers on Fourteeners are a result of changing weather conditions. It’s common that it may be warm and sunny in town and bitter cold and windy on top of the surrounding peaks. There are often afternoon storms, and it’s important to reach the summit and begin descending before 11 a.m.

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Cheoah Ranger District, Nantahala National Forest, designates two trails for Kids in Parks Program

Posted by on Jul 14, 2020 @ 6:20 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Cheoah Ranger District, Nantahala National Forest, designates two trails for Kids in Parks Program

The Cheoah Ranger District on the Nantahala National Forest now has two new Kids in Parks TRACK Trails, designed to turn an ordinary hike into a fun-filled, discovery-packed adventure.

At the Massey Branch Fitness Trail and the Cheoah Trail, both located across from the Cheoah Ranger District Office in Robbinsville, visitors will now find new trailhead signs with activity guides that allow young hikers to learn about and connect with the natural features found along the trail. On the Cheoah Trail, explore the historic site of the 1940s Civil Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp. The Fitness Trail has a variety of different exercise stations along the trail.

After their hike, kids can register their TRACK Trail adventures at kidsinparks.com to earn prizes designed to make their next outdoor adventure more meaningful and to encourage continued participation in the program.

The TRACK trails on the Cheoah Ranger District were created in cooperation with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation-Kids in Parks Program with funding and support provided by the Duke Energy Foundation, Graham County Travel and Tourism, and the Graham Revitalization and Economic Action Team.

The goal of Kids in Parks TRACK Trails is to engage children and families in outdoor recreation to foster lifelong wellness and meaningful connections to nature. Since the program’s inception in 2009, more than 1.5 million TRACK Trail adventures have been completed. Other trail locations, hiking tips, and information on nature and safety that is beneficial for parents, teachers, and people of all ages can be found at www.kidsinparks.com.

 

23 miles of hiking trails await across North Carolina’s beautiful Piedmont Environmental Center

Posted by on Jul 13, 2020 @ 6:57 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

23 miles of hiking trails await across North Carolina’s beautiful Piedmont Environmental Center

The Piedmont Environmental Center in High Point, North Carolina, could be the perfect place for families to start to explore nature while staying close to several cities, including Greensboro.

The Piedmont Environmental Center connects the High Point Greenway with Greensboro’s Bicentennial Greenway where walkers and cyclists can wind their way on wooden paths along a 23-mile stretch. The Piedmont Environmental Center offers an additional 400 acres with seven single track trails, including ones along lakes and streams.

This summer, the center is also offering guided “Creepy Crawling Hikes” for families.

“We take families out and roll over logs, wade in some of the creeks, turn over some of the rocks, looking for invertebrates and, for that matter, frogs, toads, salamanders,” the center’s director said.

People also visit the trails for physical exercise or a mental escape. “It relaxes me, helps me escape, detoxify my mind a little bit, and just kind of re-center,” one walker said.

The Piedmont Environmental Center is located on Penny Road in High Point, North Carolina, and is open from sunrise to sunset. The restroom facilities are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

The Most Effective Stretches to Prepare You for the Trail

Posted by on Jul 12, 2020 @ 6:59 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Most Effective Stretches to Prepare You for the Trail

Even what seems like the most benign hiking trail can result in a twisted ankle, pulled muscle, or worse if you don’t prepare properly. The most effective method of readying your body for the rigors of the trail is consistent stretching.

It is suggested stretching all of the main muscle groups used in hiking, but also pay attention to your particular needs, and take them into account. If you have weak ankles, make an extra effort to strengthen them. Same goes for calf muscles, tight hamstrings, and any other muscle group you may have issues with.

First up: activate and strengthen your core. Having a strong core is imperative for successful hiking, and affects every other part of your body. The core muscles consist of your abdomen, hips and lower back.

Second is what are arguably one of the most important muscle groups when it comes to hiking—the quadriceps. These are the muscles on the front of your thighs, and are responsible for most of the power generated during hiking. The quads also help extend and straighten your knee with each step, so it’s important to keep them limber.

Next up are the hamstrings, which work together with the quadriceps to carry you forward as you make your way along the trail. Tight hamstrings can result in extreme discomfort on the hiking trail, and in severe cases, can cause pulled or torn back muscles.

Last (but not least) on the list are calf muscles—a muscle group key for hiking. These powerhouses support each step, flexing and pivoting as you move along the trail.

Learn specific stretches here…

 

These Are The Most Dangerous Hiking Mistakes, According To Experts

Posted by on Jul 11, 2020 @ 6:23 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

These Are The Most Dangerous Hiking Mistakes, According To Experts

Overall, hiking is a relatively safe recreational activity – but when it goes wrong, the consequences can be severe.

Hiking is one of the greatest pastimes of the Great Outdoors and with so many magnificent views to be seen, there’s no question why. Some trails are far more difficult than others, while some offer maximum payoff with very little effort. Elevation, distance, and endurance all are factors that play into a hike but, surprisingly, none of these are what can make hiking trails so dangerous.

It’s not wildlife, either – although that is something to be aware of before hitting the trail. Rather, it’s common human error that can take a trip from a sunshine-filled day to one with devastating consequences.

Reading reviews about a trail is one thing, but setting out on one without having the slightest clue of what it entails is another entirely. With all the apps out nowadays, in addition to park guides and websites like Meanderthals available at a hiker’s disposal, there’s no reason this should even be a mistake. After all, Plan Ahead and Prepare is the first Leave No Trace principle for good reason.

Hiking solo, but without a locator device or leaving word with someone is simply dumb. The problem lies in not alerting people as to your whereabouts. The most common mistake is when experienced hikers head out, run into unexpected conditions, and have no way of rescue since they didn’t tell anyone beforehand. Think Aron Ralston and 127 Hours.

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Planning effort seeks to form WNC regional multi-use trail network

Posted by on Jul 10, 2020 @ 7:02 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Planning effort seeks to form WNC regional multi-use trail network

The French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization has a plan that would create a 150-mile-plus trail network through Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties in North Carolina that is now out for public comment.

The group has been working with local governments and community stakeholders over the last year to develop plans for the Hellbender Regional Trail, which knits together various bicycle, pedestrian and greenway plans in the region to illustrate existing and planned trails that may someday connect to form a regional bike and walking trail network.

The Hellbender Regional Trail Plan does not intend to usurp local brands or mandate designs, but rather to make the various sections of the planned and existing network greater than the sum of their parts through increased coordination and partnerships, focusing on regional connections for multi-use paths. It’s a long-range plan, with full buildout representing a nearly tenfold increase in the miles of multi-use trail miles currently in the region.

The draft plan is available at www.frenchbroadrivermpo.org/multimodal, with comments accepted through Friday, Aug. 21, 2020 using the form on the website or by emailing mpo@landofsky.org. An online workshop is planned for Friday, July 24, with more details forthcoming later.

Cite…