Hiking News

National Trails Day 2020

Posted by on Jun 5, 2020 @ 7:07 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

National Trails Day 2020

National Trails Day is held annually on the first Saturday in June (this year June 6th), and recognizes all the incredible benefits federal, state and local trails provide for recreation and exposure nature. Events held throughout the United States help promote awareness of the wide variety of services the trails systems offer.

We’ve temporarily experienced life with limited access to trails and public lands and, now more than ever, realize how much we need them.

Take American Hiking Society’s #NationalTrailsDay Pledge and commit to taking at least one action in 2020 to preserve trails and fight for equitable access to quality green space.

Once it’s safe to do so without fear of COVID-19 transmission, commit to taking a trash bag with you whenever you hike or go for a walk. Collect trash at a local natural space or trail or along your neighborhood sidewalk.

Tell your Member of Congress why trails and access to natural spaces are important to you and ask them to pass bipartisan legislation that supports trails, public lands, and access for all.

Trails don’t maintain themselves and greenspace for all doesn’t magically appear. Make a gift to a local trail nonprofit to help build an inclusive hiking community to protect your favorite trails and fight for access for all today and for future generations.

Learn more here…


You Should Be Downloading Your Trail Maps

Posted by on Jun 1, 2020 @ 6:32 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

You Should Be Downloading Your Trail Maps

On most trips and in most locations, to navigate hikers rely primarily on my paper topographic maps, ABC (altimeter, barometer, compass) or GPS watch, and magnetic compass. As both a backup and supplement to these tools, smartphones have GPS apps like CalTopo (good) or Gaia GPS (better), or AllTrails that you can use to access downloaded map data for offline use.

A GPS smartphone app has two purposes:

It acts as a map library, in case your printed documents are damaged or lost or if you unexpectedly hike off course.

It has the same functionality you’d expect of a traditional handheld GPS—like pinpointing its location and navigating to waypoints—but is lighter, less expensive, and more user-friendly.

Collectively, these four instruments constitute a hiking navigation system. Some hikers may consider some preferences old-fashioned, since it’s increasingly common to navigate exclusively or primarily with GPS. But it’s safe to value the reliability and efficiency of these more analog methods. To hone that art, consider downloading maps in your smartphone for offline use. This will preserve the app’s functionality, even in the backcountry without reliable cell service.

Learn more here…


Hiking Guide Gives New Meaning to ‘Rails to Trails’

Posted by on May 31, 2020 @ 7:08 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking Guide Gives New Meaning to ‘Rails to Trails’

In many ways, “Chicago Transit Hikes” is like any other trail guide on the market. It provides information on trail length, natural features and highlights, and difficulty level. Options range from short walks that are great for people with kids in strollers to multi-day backpacking adventures, and suggested itineraries even include routes for “the social media-inclined.” (Translation: The trails are “Instagrammable.”)

“I like to load 40 pounds onto my back and wander into the woods and that’s my idea of fun. But I understand that not everybody thinks that sounds like fun at all,” said author Lindsay Welbers. “So I tried to cast a very wide net. I tried to make it as accessible a document for as many people as possible.”

Where “Transit Hikes” differs from its counterparts is that each “trail head” is essentially a train station, be it the CTA, Metra or the South Shore Line.

Thirty stations serve as jumping-off points for all of the book’s hikes — some stations have multiple spinoffs — with Welbers providing directions on how to get from the transit hub to the nearest park or nature area, without using a car at any point in the process.



Paradise Falls Hiking Spot Closed Indefinitely After Crowds Leave Behind ‘Truckloads Of Trash’, Human Waste

Posted by on May 30, 2020 @ 6:35 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Paradise Falls Hiking Spot Closed Indefinitely After Crowds Leave Behind ‘Truckloads Of Trash’, Human Waste

  A scenic hiking destination in Thousand Oaks, CA has been shut down after visitors left behind large amounts of trash and human waste, authorities said.

Paradise Falls in Wildwood Park has been overrun with crowds “in the hundreds” in the past two weeks as the weather has started warming up and residents cooped-up by COVID-19 look to get outdoors.

According to Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA), rangers have collected “multiple truckloads of trash” left at the 40-foot canyon waterfall despite the presence of trash cans in the area.

The organization also cited issues involving human waste after “many used areas along the creek both upstream and downstream as a toilet.”

“COSCA has worked diligently to encourage visitors to be respectful of the environment and fellow visitors, and to obey posted rules, but many have not answered these calls,” a spokesperson said.

Paradise Falls will be closed starting Friday “until further notice.” The Thousand Oaks Police Department will be on site and will issue citations for anyone entering the posted closure area, according to COSCA.

Note: This can happen anywhere if we don’t behave. Please follow Leave No Trace principles. Be a good steward.



New Mexico Wild Launches New Online Hiking Guide Featuring More Than 100 Trails

Posted by on May 29, 2020 @ 7:04 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

New Mexico Wild Launches New Online Hiking Guide Featuring More Than 100 Trails

New Mexico Wild has launched an online Hiking Guide featuring descriptions of more than 100 trails, at least one in each Wilderness area in the state.

The New Mexico Wild Hiking Guide is the first known online resource dedicated exclusively to hiking trails in New Mexico’s Wilderness areas.

The New Mexico Wild Hiking Guide provides a detailed description of each hiking trail, including driving instructions, the types of ecosystems present and an overview of the Wilderness area containing the trail.

Users may narrow searches to find trails that fit their interests using seven different filters: distance, route type, difficulty, water, natural features, activities and solitude. Users may also create a profile to share trail conditions and upload photos of their hikes to improve the accuracy of descriptions. Each trail features a downloadable PDF trail map.

Please heed the advice of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and public health officials when planning your next hiking trip. These guidelines include limiting long distance travel and practicing physical distancing when on a hiking trail until the state’s stay-at-home order has been fully lifted.



Tips for handling harassment on the trail

Posted by on May 28, 2020 @ 6:31 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Tips for handling harassment on the trail

Numerous reports in recent years provide staggering numbers on the amount of sexual harassment in the outdoor community:

A 2016 investigative report by the Department of the Interior showed that women in the rafting industry have been the victims of sexual misconduct for years;

In a 2016 poll, Runner’s World found that 84 percent of women surveyed have been harassed while running;

A 2017 report by Outside Magazine found that 53 percent of women have been sexually harassed while recreating; of that percentage, 93 percent were catcalled, 56 percent were followed by someone, 18 percent were flashed, and 4 percent were attacked.

A 2018 special report by The American Alpine Club found that 47 percent of the 5,000 women surveyed reported at least one incidence of sexual harassment or sexual assault behavior while engaged in a climbing activity.

As humans, a healthy dose of skepticism of strangers is important when you’re alone in the outdoors. It’s true that solo female activities could draw unwanted attention to yourself just for being outdoorsy, but that shouldn’t stop you from adventuring your heart out.

Here are some practical tips on how to stay safe when recreating in the outdoors alone…


All hikers trapped by rising flood waters at Devil’s Bathtub rescued

Posted by on May 26, 2020 @ 6:28 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

All hikers stranded by rising flood waters at a popular hiking trail in southwest Virginia have been rescued.

According to Duffield Fire Chief Roger Carter, all of the hikers were rescued on trails around the Devil’s Bathtub before 10 a.m. Monday, May 25, 2020.

Emergency crews responded to the scene around 7:15 p.m. Sunday. Emergency crews say 20 people were rescued after being trapped on the trails after heavy rains that caused flash flooding.

Crews from multiple departments were called in to assist with the rescues, requiring various locations during the rescue operations.

At least two swift water rescue teams were called in from across southwest Virginia, including Appalachia Fire Department and Bristol, Virginia Fire Department.

Carter said only minor injuries, like mild hypothermia, were reported. Carter said they were treated at the scene.

According to the Fort Blackmore Volunteer Fire Department, the U.S. Forest Service closed Devil’s Bathtub for the remainder of the day.



On prairie hiking trails, social distancing comes baked into the experience

Posted by on May 25, 2020 @ 7:04 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

On prairie hiking trails, social distancing comes baked into the experience

It’s not just out-of-staters finding a new experience at the vast Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. As the pandemic has shut down most other attractions and public spaces, more locals and first-timers are making their way out to hiking trails, which wind through some of the last remaining tallgrass prairie in the world.

Randy Bilbeisi, superintendent at the preserve about an hour south of Manhattan, Kansas said the park has seen an uptick in visitors, even after he made the difficult decision in March to shut down the park’s restrooms and visitor center.

“I realized there were going to be a lot of people still wanting something to do, so I left the 41 miles of trail open to the public,” he said. “It gave people a place to come and spend time without having to spend money.”

Beyond hiking, the park’s trails also offer people the opportunity to see bison, bird watch or even go fishing at some of the preserve’s ponds and creeks. On the prairie preserve, which was formerly ranchland, there’s a historic ranch house, limestone barn and one-room schoolhouse. Visitors can make their experience whatever they’d like, with hiking loops that take less than an hour to traverse or loops that take the better part of a day.

Read full story…


Do you need to wear a face mask while hiking?

Posted by on May 22, 2020 @ 6:23 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Do you need to wear a face mask while hiking?

Outdoor spaces have begun to reopen while the coronavirus pandemic carries on, bringing up an important question for hikers eager to get back outside: Do you need to wear a face mask while hiking?

As hiking trails and other outdoor space reopen across the country, some researchers and medical experts, as well as state park officials, now recommend hikers carry face coverings with them, and to wear them whenever in close contact with people from outside their household.

Advice varies based on individual risk factors and the outdoor environment in question, but what the recommendations come down to is this: Hikers should cover their faces when passing others on the trail, while hiking with friends or family they don’t live with, or any time they encounter large groups of people.

While not always necessary, a face mask is now considered to be a smart precautionary item to bring with you when outside. Hikers are already accustomed to carrying essentials like first aid kits and extra clothing – face coverings and hand sanitizer are common sense additions now to any day pack.

More info here…


This well-dressed trio serves free drinks on hiking trails, bringing joy to hikers

Posted by on May 20, 2020 @ 7:11 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

This well-dressed trio serves free drinks on hiking trails, bringing joy to hikers

Talk about your fancy trail magic.

What if someone was magically able to greet you with a refreshing beverage at the end of a strenuous hike? It’s not something you see every day. But that’s what David Weber, Jack Petros and Dylan Skolnik do. They formed the Summit Sippers, and even they say the concept is absurd.

Dressed in suspenders, and even top hats, the well-dressed trio sets up a table to hand out drinks to hikers, whether on top of a cliff, next to a waterfall or even in the snowy rocks of Yosemite.

“The reaction is what we do it for. The shock value is amazing, seeing people laugh is incredible,” said Weber, of the reaction they get from hikers.

The Summit Sippers bring their enticing drink menus to some incredible places. Skolnik says their signature is watermelon juice, club soda, lime and fresh mint.

“The look on these hikers faces when we hand them a beverage, priceless,” Skolnik said. It is quite priceless. And free.

Read full story…


Walk this way: Carolina Thread Trail

Posted by on May 19, 2020 @ 6:22 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Walk this way: Carolina Thread Trail

  If you’re getting bored from spending too much time at home and need a change of scenery, outdoor exercise is permitted under North Carolina and South Carolina COVID-19 community safety guidelines.

If you’re ready to get in some steps, go for a hike or just connect with nature, here is just the thing for you: The Carolina Thread Trail.

The thread trail, a regional network of connected greenways, trails and blueways that generally surround Charlotte, features more than 260 miles of trails and 170 miles of blueway.

With the trails stretching through 15 counties, it can be hard to decide where to go first. Thankfully, there’s an interactive map available online so you can plot your course of action.

The map also includes helpful details about each trail, such as if it’s suitable for walking, hiking, biking or running, whether it’s paved, the length of the trail and the difficulty level.



Hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon is the trip of a lifetime

Posted by on May 18, 2020 @ 7:08 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon is the trip of a lifetime

Because it’s one of the most famous national parks in the country, hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon is a prize on most outdoor lovers’ lists, and overnight permits must be secured well in advance. Getting to the bottom is like stepping back in time—two billion years back in time—to be precise.

To reach your destination, you have to descend nearly a vertical mile along precipitous switchbacks sliced into the very edge of the rust-colored canyon walls.

Most begin their trek on the South Kaibab Trail, a steep gash on the eastern edge of the gorge that plummets 4,860 feet to the Colorado River below. The sun played funny games with our eyes. Shadows move and fade.

Down through layers of bright-red dirt. Down through cracked blue rocks like broken robin’s eggs. Down past mule trains and men wearing unironic cowboy hats. It is like hopping into a time machine to the Wild West.

You camp at the famous Bright Angel Campground, a small cluster of 33 sites with surprising amenities for the backcountry. Flush toilets, sinks with running water, food-storage lockers, and picnic tables are all a stone’s throw the campsites.

One of the great wonders of the Grand Canyon is Phantom Ranch, situated at the intersection of the North and South Kaibab Trails. It’s near impossible to score one of its coveted cabins or dorm rooms via the lottery, but hungry campers can make a reservation there for breakfast or dinner.

Read full story…


How to Prepare for Your First Day Hike

Posted by on May 16, 2020 @ 7:06 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How to Prepare for Your First Day Hike

Spring is in the air, and now is the perfect time to pull on your best hiking boots and get on the trails. If you’re new to hiking, check out this infographic guide for top tips on how to plan your first day hike. This guide offers advice for beginners on hiking footwear, gear and clothing. It also gives 20 tips to bear in mind before, during and after your first day hike.

My new friend Paula with Gabor Shoes offered this for all of us to learn more about hiking. Thanks Paula.



The AT Legend Passing on Wisdom to Young Thru-Hikers

Posted by on May 14, 2020 @ 6:38 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The AT Legend Passing on Wisdom to Young Thru-Hikers

With nine thru-hikes and nine section hikes of the Appalachian Trail under his belt, Warren Doyle, 70, is a legend in the trail community. When he set the first known speed record of 66.3 days on the AT in 1973, he did it wearing blue jeans.

The 38,000-miler has even been arrested for civil disobedience, an incident that occurred on Mount Katahdin in the late 1970s when he climbed the Maine peak to protest a rule that prohibited summitting it during rainy weather (at the time, it was the only American mountain with such a policy). He chose to spend a night in jail rather than pay a fine, but it was worth it: Baxter State Park eventually changed the rule.

However, Doyle’s accomplishments don’t end where his footsteps do. In 1983, he founded the American Long Distance Hikers Association. And in 1989, he created the Appalachian Trail Institute (ATI), which offers courses to prepare thru-hikers.

Doyle has worked tirelessly to bring others to his sanctuary, to give back to the trail by inspiring generations of thru-hikers and leading others into the mountains. And even with the thru-hiking season on hold, the trail icon’s message continues to resonate.

Read full story…


Flash flood in Utah slot canyon sweeps two young hikers away

Posted by on May 13, 2020 @ 7:05 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Flash flood in Utah slot canyon sweeps two young hikers away

  A 7-year-old girl has died and her 3-year-old sister is missing after flash flooding sent torrents of water into a narrow canyon in the Utah desert on May 11, 2020.

At least 21 others escaped the flooding in Little Wild Horse Canyon, where the curving sandstone walls are so close at points that hikers must turn sideways to walk through.

The girls were hiking with their parents when the storm hit. The father found the body of the 7-year-old before authorities were called to the scene. Search-and-rescue crews found a piece of clothing believed to belong to the missing 3-year-old in a wash miles from the canyon, the sheriff’s office said. Dozens of searchers were combing the area with the help of helicopters.

Flooding hit after an isolated thunderstorm storm crossed nearby Goblin Valley State Park, known for its otherworldly natural formations.

Little Wild Horse Canyon is about 60 miles west of Moab, and between Capitol Reef and Canyonlands national parks. The trail along the Muddy Creek wash is a popular, family-friendly hike through colorful slot canyons, but flash flooding is a risk.


Learn more about my hike in Little Wild Horse Canyon in 2014…


How to tell if it’s time to replace your old gear

Posted by on May 10, 2020 @ 6:40 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How to tell if it’s time to replace your old gear

Spring is finally here, bringing longer days and warmer weather along with it. Normally, that means it’s time to lace up your boots, hit your favorite trail, and enjoy a nice long hike.

But hitting the trail for that first hike of the season isn’t the only spring tradition that outdoor enthusiasts look forward to each year. For many hikers, this is a time to take last year’s hiking gear out of storage, and judging whether or not it might make it through another season.

Start by assessing the tread on your hiking boots and the condition of your rain jackets, two incredibly important parts of your kit. If the tread looks worn down, years of hiking (and sore feet) says it’s always better to get a fresh pair.

The same goes for an aging rain jacket. Some regions are soggier than others during the spring months, so it’s important to be able to rely on a rain jacket to handle its namesake. Make sure to check all seams as leaking zippers and small tears compromise its ability to keep you dry.

Even backpacks should get the fine-tooth comb treatment. If any straps are fraying or the suspension system isn’t providing the correct support, it’s time for an upgrade. You never want to be several miles into a backpacking trip and realize you’re uncomfortable and should’ve sprung for a different pack.

Read full story…


New hiking permits for Oregon’s central Cascades are delayed until 2021

Posted by on May 8, 2020 @ 6:26 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

New hiking permits for Oregon’s central Cascades are delayed until 2021

Those hoping to set off into Oregon’s central Cascade Mountains this summer won’t need to scramble for a hiking permit after all – once trailheads closed due to the coronavirus reopen to the public.

New hiking permits set to roll out this month in Oregon’s central Cascades will be delayed until 2021, the U.S. Forest Service announced, due to the ongoing pandemic.

“Given many logistical constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are delaying our implementation until next year,” Holly Jewkes, supervisor for the Deschutes National Forest, said in a news release.

Originally scheduled to begin May 22, 2020 the new permitting system is now expected to take effect around the same time next year.

The permits are aimed at reducing the number of hikers allowed into the Mount Jefferson, Three Sisters and Mount Washington wilderness areas, as a response to overcrowding and human impact on what are supposed to be pristine natural spaces.

Otherwise, wilderness areas in the central Cascades will continue to be managed as they have been in the past, with no limits on entries and free, self-service wilderness permits at the trailheads.



Great Day Hikes on North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail & The 40 Hike Challenge

Posted by on May 6, 2020 @ 6:33 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Great Day Hikes on North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail & The 40 Hike Challenge

Great Day Hikes on North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail is out! Edited by Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail resource manager Jim Grode and published by UNC Press, Great Day Hikes is available from the web store and your local booksellers, many of whom are providing delivery or curbside pick up while their doors are closed. All of Jim’s author events have unfortunately been cancelled, but they hope to reschedule if possible.

The Watauga Democrat newspaper wrote, “An obvious labor of love…[the book] is meticulously organized and user friendly – whether those friends are new to outdoor treks or seasoned hikers. Offering 40 hikes that are grouped and move through the three geographical regions of the state, each detailed journey is a self-contained adventure including a hike summary with notes such as degree of difficulty and trail type, hike overview, driving directions, hike directions, and full-color maps and photos.” The whole review is here.

Many of the hikes in the book are open, and for that reason, you are invited to get started on the 40 Hike Challenge. More are likely to open again soon.

Can you complete every hike outlined in the guide within the next three years? You will experience a fantastic cross section of the state and the MST, and by taking on the challenge, you will receive a special patch when you finish all 40 hikes.


National Park Service asks hikers to be mindful of nature after vandalism incidents

Posted by on May 5, 2020 @ 7:14 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

National Park Service asks hikers to be mindful of nature after vandalism incidents

As people head outdoors to escape cabin fever during this stay at home order, local trail systems are seeing more garbage and even vandalism. The National Park Service recently posted pictures on their social media, showing graffiti on trees and rocks. This was done on several parts of popular trails, throughout the United States.

NPS Chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services, Eve West, stressed this is not acceptable. She is encouraging people to be mindful in nature, or suggests being a virtual visitor.

“There are a lot of national park areas that have webcams set up,” West said. “If you go on our website, that is kind of a window into the world of national parks and all the virtual videos that are out there as well.”

West said if you do plan to visit any of the National Parks or Rivers, remember to follow ‘leave no trace’ policies, practice social distancing, and plan accordingly since most public restrooms are currently closed during the pandemic.

There are consequences and fines issued for littering and vandalism. #beagoodsteward