Hiking News

The Best Hike in Every National Park

Posted by on Sep 21, 2019 @ 7:10 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Best Hike in Every National Park

From Alaska’s remote bush to downtown Cleveland, our national parks provide us with millions of acres of public land to explore. We compiled a list of the best hikes in each park, according to the wilderness guides, park rangers, and hikers who know them.

Penobscot and Sargent Mountain Loop at Acadia. Summit two of the park’s highest peaks on this 9.5-mile loop through thick spruce forest that eventually gives way to pink-tinted granite crags. The route offers access to three carriage-road bridges.

Devils Garden Loop at Arches. You’ll see eight of the park’s stunning rock formations on this 7.9-mile tour through Devils Garden. It’s an easy stroll to the longest arch in North America, Landscape Arch.

Notch Trail at Badlands. An easy 1.5-mile round-trip, this trail tours the best of the Badlands’ otherworldly assortment of eroded rock and clay, splashed with a brilliant array of red, white, and black.

Lost Mine Trail at Big Bend. Soak in the solitude through the heart of the Chisos Mountains for 4.8 miles round-trip, past alligator junipers and piñon pines. The views of the Sierra del Carmen mountains in Mexico are spectacular.

Get details about these and much more here…

 

The World’s Most Thrilling Pedestrian Suspension Bridges

Posted by on Sep 19, 2019 @ 7:08 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The World’s Most Thrilling Pedestrian Suspension Bridges

Whether made out of steel, rope, wood, concrete, or glass, the natural rocking a pedestrian suspension bridge experiences with a big gust of wind, or a group of devilish tricksters jumping up and down on it, can shake the steadiest of nerves.

It’s a long way down as the bridge swings. Anyone with a good head for heights, and even those who avoid them at all costs know there’s a big difference between crossing a massive suspension bridge built for cars and trains, and one built for pedestrians.

In the mood for an easy-to-get-to family holiday destination, but still want to experience some dizzying, heart-pounding heights? If that’s the case, the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, close to Cañon City, Colorado, should do the trick. Apart from hosting music concerts, as well as zip lines and playgrounds for the kiddies, the park is home to the Royal Gorge Bridge. The bridge stands 955 feet above the narrow canyon carved out by the Arkansas River below. People addicted to the buzz that comes from high places can saunter across this 1,260-foot bridge and peer down at the river, or else take in craggy canyon views from the comfort of the park’s aerial gondola .

Depending on how you feel about heights (or more accurately, falling from them), this list of dizziness-inducing pedestrian suspension bridges will either give you a tingling thrill or make you want to curl up in the fetal position and go home.

 

Hikers share tips on keeping valuables safe while on the trail

Posted by on Sep 17, 2019 @ 6:56 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hikers share tips on keeping valuables safe while on the trail

Break-ins at popular hiking trails have hikers sending out warnings to their fellow outdoor enthusiasts. They want to make sure that everyone hiking is leaving their valuables at home because sometimes locking them in the car isn’t good enough.

A fun outing can turn into a bad trip if your car gets targeted because of something you left behind. “I always keep everything in my bag and I always keep my bag on me or within my sight,” said one hiker.

Another hiker knows her stuff isn’t always safe even when locked in a car. “I have had friends who have had issues when they have gone hiking, their car getting broken into and things getting stolen,” she said.

She has decided to leave her valuables at home and anything she does bring along, she carries on her. “My phone just because I’ve fallen a few times while hiking. That’s really it, my phone and my keys that’s what I bring with me usually.”

The Green Mountain Club advises hikers who go out this time of year to watch out for fallen leaves as they can hide tripping hazards and be slippery. They also suggest bringing a headlamp because days are getting shorter. And because temperatures are cooling down, they say to bring an extra jacket and hat and gloves for those windy summits.

Officials say if it’s possible, try not to hike alone. If you do go it alone, be sure to tell someone where you plan to be so they know where you are.

Cite…

 

Take a tour of this canyon for a less-crowded, more in-depth experience than at Mesa Verde

Posted by on Sep 16, 2019 @ 6:43 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Take a tour of this canyon for a less-crowded, more in-depth experience than at Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado is an archaeological gem thanks to nearly 5,000 ancient sites. Founded in 1906, the park preserves the heritage of the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived in the dwellings for almost 700 years.

For a more peaceful journey through indigenous history, head to Arizona’s Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Situated in the northeastern part of the state in the Four Corners region, Canyon de Chelly is only 150 miles from Mesa Verde, but it feels like a separate world.

This territory reflects one of the longest continually inhabited regions on the continent. Various indigenous peoples including the Ancestral Puebloans and the Navajo lived in these canyons for nearly 5,000 years. Today, more than 2,700 known archaeological sites can be found in the canyons, including hundreds of Ancestral Puebloan villages and cliff dwellings.

The monument also represents a first-of-its-kind collaboration among the Navajo Nation, the National Park Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The entire park is located on Navajo tribal land, and 40 Navajo families still reside in the canyon. In 2018, the three parties signed an agreement that outlines their commitment to sustainably manage the monument together.

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New mountain biking, hiking trail added to southern Utah’s Iron Hills Trail System

Posted by on Sep 14, 2019 @ 7:36 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

New mountain biking, hiking trail added to southern Utah’s Iron Hills Trail System

Let’s say you’re looking for mountain biking, running or hiking options in southern Utah. There’s a new trail available that offers an extended ride in the southeastern portion of Cedar City.

Bureau of Land Management officials formally opened the Turnpike Trail, which is nearly a 4.5-mile route designed by the International Mountain Biking Association and added to the Iron Hills Trail System. It connects the Southview Trailhead with the Shurtz Canyon Trailhead east of Hamiltons Fort.

Unlike some of the other trails in the system, it’s rated as a green/easy trail, which means it’s a cross-country-type route open to all riding and hiking abilities and skill sets.

“I think what people can expect is a really high-quality trail riding experience,” said Dave Jacobson, outdoor recreation planner for the BLM’s Cedar City field office. “I feel like Turnpike now adds all of the elements out of the Southview Trailhead. You can either do a long hill climb if you want, or you can do a shuttle ride off of Greens Lake Drive into this same trailhead, or you can do downhill riding, or a traditional cross-country-type ride. It gives you a variety out of the same trailhead.”

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Two hikers found a message in a bottle and helped rescue a stranded family

Posted by on Sep 12, 2019 @ 7:08 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Two hikers found a message in a bottle and helped rescue a stranded family

Curtis Whitson has two strangers to thank for his family being alive today. Two brave hikers plucked a lime green bottle from a river and alerted authorities about the SOS message they found inside.

Whitson, his 13-year-old son and girlfriend, Krystal Ramirez, had decided to spend Father’s Day weekend backpacking the Arroyo Seco River. They spent their days boulder-hopping and floating the river on inner tubes, and their nights sleeping under the stars, bundled in lightweight mummy bags, with mesh bags over their heads to keep bugs at bay.

Whitson was in familiar territory: he takes as many as 20 backpacking trips to the central California coastal forest each summer.
Throughout the trip, the family’s goal was to reach the Arroyo Seco narrows, float through the water shoot and down the waterfall before joining friends to float the last couple of miles down to a campground.

After two and half days of lugging 50-pound packs, the family reached the narrows, a spot in the river surrounded by solid rock up to 40 feet high on each side, but the water currents were too strong for them to safely pass through.

After trying to hike up and over, Whitson and his son kept hitting dead ends. There was no way out. Whitson spotted a lime green Nalgene water bottle and carved ‘HELP’ into the durable plastic exterior. His girlfriend scratched out a quick note and popped the piece of paper inside the bottle. “With one lucky toss, it went right over the waterfall,” Whitson said.

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Strong leaf season predicted for WNC

Posted by on Sep 11, 2019 @ 7:11 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Strong leaf season predicted for WNC

This autumn should yield vibrant fall colors in the mountains, according to Western Carolina University’s fall color forecaster Beverly Collins. Collins, a professor of biology, combines her knowledge of forest ecology with weather trend observations to assess the potential for a strong leaf color season.

From spring to mid-summer the area saw unusually warm and wet conditions, but precipitation returned closer to normal in late July. The long-term forecast through October is for average precipitation and warmer-than-normal temperatures — if that holds true, the mountain region should see typically bright colors this year.

Peak color is determined by changing sunrise/sunset times as well as weather conditions, with cooler nights resulting in less chlorophyll production and therefore less green in the leaves. If the long-term forecast for warmer weather holds and those cooler nights are delayed, peak color could hold off to the last weekend of October near WCU and the region’s many valley towns in the 2,000-foot elevation range. Peak color will happen sooner at the higher elevations, where the cool nights come earlier, though the very highest peaks tend to be covered with fir and spruce trees that stay dark green all year.

A wildcard in nature’s leaf color mix is the rogue hurricane remnants or big storms that could bring heavy rain and strong winds to the mountains and knock the leaves off the trees ahead of schedule — leaf peepers should cross their fingers and hope that doesn’t happen.

Cite…

 

Lost in Alaskan Wilderness, I Found My Anti-Home

Posted by on Sep 9, 2019 @ 7:31 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Lost in Alaskan Wilderness, I Found My Anti-Home

By Chia-Chia Lin for the New York Times

To say that Alaska is what you make of it suggests unconstrained entitlement; it’s something the colonizers could have said. At the same time, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Alaska is one of the last places in this country where you can wander millions of acres of land, doing whatever and sleeping wherever you please. If someone might have objected to your actions elsewhere, here he would simply never know.

All that summer, I thought I had ventured to Alaska to try on a different way of life, one that tested my self-reliance and competence. I wondered if I’d failed. Now, years later, I believe I was simply searching for a place I’ll clumsily call an anti-home. I mean an antithesis to my own childhood home — for in the backcountry I’d found quiet and stillness and the edge of happiness — but I also mean a place at odds with all notions of home. A place with no safety net, no walls, no sense of enclosure or intimacy or kinship. A place of exposure. It was not so much that I wanted to prove something to others, but that I had a question for myself: Who was I, in a place like that?

With trail hiking, the questions are limited: Is that the path? Which fork should we take? But in the backcountry, the questions are so numerous, so overwhelming, as to achieve a nearly rhetorical pitch. Forward or backward or right or left or any of the degrees in between? Where did that mountain come from? Will we ever see another human being?

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There’s One Catch to Hiking the Japanese Mountain Promising Rebirth

Posted by on Sep 8, 2019 @ 9:19 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

There’s One Catch to Hiking the Japanese Mountain Promising Rebirth

Highly revered in the Shugendo tradition of asceticism, the arduous trek to the top of Mount Mitoku in Tottori has been followed by pilgrims for centuries. Rewarded by the sight of the stunning Nagereido temple, hewn into the rockface and perched on stilts, they also seek to purify the six roots of perception, a process known as Rokkon Shojo. Training the ears, eyes, nose, tongue, body, and mind, the journey rewards self-discipline with natural harmonization and deep spiritual power.

Strewn with temples, the trail is known for root-covered paths and steep climbs, with occasional chains to help climbers along the way. With monks as guides, slowly but surely you ascend the mountainside, conquering the root-strewn slope known as kazurazaka and pulling yourself up the rocky-incline known as kusarizaka with the help of rusty chain links. Feeling triumphant but exhausted, you will reach Monjudo—a temple offering haunting views across the valley from its sheer-drop veranda.

Centuries ago, the founder of Shugendo—En no Gyoja—had thrown three lotus petals into the sky to seek out new spiritual lands. As legend has it, they landed in Nara, Ehime, and here on Mt. Mitoku—claiming them as spiritual homes for the gods.

Next, you we come across Shorodo temple, home to a three-ton bell with mysterious origins. Rung to calm the spirit and purify your ears, how the bell was dragged up to its location remains unknown.

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Oregon Dunes hike is a strange, sandy adventure on the coast

Posted by on Sep 5, 2019 @ 7:12 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Oregon Dunes hike is a strange, sandy adventure on the coast

The 40-mile stretch of sand dunes on the central Oregon coast can feel like an alien world (and, in fact, was the inspiration for classic sci-fi novel “Dune”). Because the dunes are always shifting with the wind, no permanent trails lead through them, forcing hikers to navigate through the sand.

Whether you’re planning to follow the markers or wander on your own, it’s wise to carry lots of water and a trail map. Sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses are also useful whether it’s sunny or not, as a lot of light reflects off the sand. And bear in mind that hiking in loose sand is a lot more tiring than hiking on a dirt trail.

Most hiking areas in the dunes are marked with wooden posts that show a path through, but it can be easy to lose sight of them. Footprints of hikers who came before you can sometimes be useful, but they’re not a reliable resource. The path snakes around tree islands – remnants of old forests that were swallowed by sand – leading up, down and back up several dunes to the next trail marker.

While you can theoretically walk in a straight line across the dunes, it’s unwise to try to cross the tree islands. This brush can be dense and impassable, and if you don’t lose your way you can at least waste a lot of energy trying to pick your way through.

The silent sand, sun and struggle are all part of the appeal of hiking through this alien landscape. There’s no adventure in Oregon quite like wandering through the dunes.

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New Trail Opens in Brevard’s Bracken Mountain Preserve

Posted by on Sep 4, 2019 @ 7:25 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

New Trail Opens in Brevard’s Bracken Mountain Preserve

  A new trail for hiking and mountain biking just opened in Brevard, NC’s Bracken Mountain Preserve. The approximately 1.5 mile trail, called the Pinnacle Trail, offers a steep climb with 500 feet of elevation gain and creates a new loop. It brings the trail system in Bracken Mountain Preserve to nearly nine miles. These trails create a direct connection between Brevard and Pisgah National Forest.

Volunteers were instrumental in the construction of these new trails. Professional trail builders with Long Cane Trails collaborated with two service groups organized by Conserving Carolina—Friends of Brevard Area Trails and Summer of Service. These trail crews hiked for miles, carrying heavy tools, just to reach the trail building sites.

Volunteers with Friends of Brevard Area Trails included many community members who helped build the original Bracken Mountain trails. Summer of Service, an AmeriCorps program for local 17-to-20-year-olds, completed the work needed to open the new trail to the public. In all, volunteers and Summer of Service members contributed 239 hours to create the Pinnacle Trail.

Todd Branham, the owner of Long Cane Trails, says, “The Bracken trail project has been a great example of how trails connect communities. With the efforts of the community we were able to deliver the trail at 50% less than usually cost to fully construct a trail. Hikers, bikers as well as outdoor enthusiasts joined in the efforts to make the Bracken Trail come to fruition. This project is a model to use as an example of how any community can get more trails on the ground while engaging the members of their community.”

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In fall, experience the awe and adventure in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks

Posted by on Sep 3, 2019 @ 6:39 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

In fall, experience the awe and adventure in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks

The giant trees of Sequoia National Park will fill you with awe — and give you a crick in your neck from staring up at them. The wild backcountry of Kings Canyon National Park will bring you over-the-top adventure — and muscle cramps from walking too far with a 35-pound pack on your back.

Shoulder-season visitors (September-November) avoid the hustle and bustle of peak times. Traffic lessens, autumn leaves appear and it becomes easy to find a parking spot. The campgrounds that were always full during the summer now have vacancies.

The weather also cools off, a big plus. Many days top 100 degrees during the summer. Weather like that is brutal if you’re hiking — or even just taking a quarter-mile nature walk with the kids. Skip the sizzling July and August weather and visit in October when average highs are in the 60s.

Sequoia has the largest trees on the planet and Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the Lower 48. Kings Canyon is by some measures considered the deepest canyon in the country. It’s a place that can make visitors feel very small. It also can bring a sense of tranquility to complicated lives.

The adjacent parks, which are administered together, offer beautiful rivers and waterfalls, lush valleys, vast caverns, snow-capped peaks and terrain ranging from 1,300 to 14,500 feet.

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Oahu’s Best Hiking Trails Have One Thing in Common — Breathtaking Ocean Views

Posted by on Sep 2, 2019 @ 6:41 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Oahu’s Best Hiking Trails Have One Thing in Common — Breathtaking Ocean Views

When it comes to outdoor adventure, Oahu packs a punch. Within its 597 square miles, visitors to the island can find stunning beaches to unwind on, delicious local foods to enjoy, and miles upon miles of hiking trails to explore.

According to Best of Oahu, there are close to 50 different hiking trails to choose from around the island. From beginning to expert, the island’s hiking trails have it all. The one thing they all have in common is the fact that they each end with a spectacular view of Oahu and the Pacific Ocean below.

Located on the eastern side of Waikiki’s coastline sits the Diamond Head State Monument, one of the island’s most recognizable landmarks. The monument, which takes up a whopping 475 acres of land, has plenty for visitors to see and do, including hike to the summit. The summit trail, first built in 1908, is just .8 miles long. Though short, it’s still difficult — on that quick walk you’ll gain 560 feet of elevation — but the view is well worth the huffing and puffing.

The hike to Waimea Falls is more of a leisurely stroll than a workout, but it’s stunning just the same. Upon entering the park guests can take a paved road on a quick one-mile walk through a gorgeous botanical garden. At the end, visitors are rewarded with a glimmering lake and waterfall. Those adventurous enough can even hop in for a quick swim before hiking back out again.

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Where to go hiking in Nashville: Great spots to get outdoors this September

Posted by on Sep 1, 2019 @ 8:53 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Where to go hiking in Nashville: Great spots to get outdoors this September

Now that fall is just around the corner, you may be thinking about taking a hike. September offers plenty of opportunities, with Public Lands Day hikes at all state parks, plus plenty of other chances to get out and enjoy beautiful Middle Tennessee on foot.

All 56 Tennessee state parks have free, ranger-led hikes or volunteer park and trail cleanup programs on National Public Lands Day, Sept. 28, 2019.

Rugby State Natural Area has a free guided hike starting at 10 a.m. Eastern time from the Historic Rugby Visitor Centre Porch, 1331 Rugby Parkway in Rugby. This is a 3-4 mile, moderate but family-friendly hike. Dogs on a leash are welcome.

At Harpeth River State Park, Ranger Bill Morton will combine a hike through the historic Narrows of the Harpeth with some trail cleanup. “We will pick up trash, trim branches and learn the history of the area along the way,” Morton said.

And if you want an urban hike, head for Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, where you can “immerse yourself in Nashville history and culture” with a hike through downtown.

Walk at your own pace on the Greenway at Butler Field along the Little Harpeth River to witness fall wildflowers in bloom and lots of butterflies. Warner Parks also has brochure-led hikes for the Hungry Hawk Trail and the Nature Loop, too.

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19-Mile Rail Trail Could Link Hendersonville and Brevard

Posted by on Aug 31, 2019 @ 6:35 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

19-Mile Rail Trail Could Link Hendersonville and Brevard

North Carolina House Rep. Chuck McGrady, Conserving Carolina, and Friends of the Ecusta Trail are pleased to announce that Conserving Carolina was awarded a $6.4 million purchase grant for the rail corridor known as the TR Line or Proposed Ecusta Trail. “This is a very big next step for the Ecusta Trail”, said McGrady. “There is still a lot of work to be done and a lot of processes to work through that will take time, but this is a large step forward.”

The proposed greenway will run from Kanuga Road in Hendersonville to the old Ecusta Plant property in Brevard, between Ecusta Road and Old Hendersonville Highway. This rail line has been inactive since the Ecusta cigarette paper plant closed its doors in 2002.

Friends of The Ecusta Trail was founded in 2009 as a volunteer organization to study, educate and advocate for the acquisition and development of the proposed Ecusta Trail. Their efforts over the years have included garnering endorsements for the trail by the Cities of Brevard and Hendersonville, the Town of Laurel Park and the Henderson County Commissioners in addition to nearly 50 other non-profits and organizations throughout western North Carolina.

Representatives of Friends of the Ecusta Trail asked Conserving Carolina to take the lead in grant application process. Conserving Carolina submitted the grant application to NCDOT in July, 2019. The grant was approved this month.

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Explore Kentucky’s Red River Gorge

Posted by on Aug 30, 2019 @ 6:52 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Explore Kentucky’s Red River Gorge

Nestled in the heart of the Daniel Boone National Forest, the Red River Gorge attracts thousands of outdoor recreation enthusiasts year round. Rock climbers, hikers, canoeists and campers are among those who come to enjoy and explore this rugged landscape, often referred to as simply “The Red” by its most frequent visitors.

Across its steep terrain, miles of towering cliffs line the upper slopes of forested ridges. Along the cliffs, unique rock formations randomly appear as huge monuments withstanding the test of time. Artfully sculpted by wind and water over millions of years, more than 100 sandstone arches and other natural rock features are formed as part of this geographic masterpiece. Chimney Top Rock, Half Moon, and Sky Bridge are just a few of Mother Nature’s most impressive creations that you’ll find here.

In the valleys below, boulder-strewn creeks and streams flow through densely shaded coves of hemlock and rhododendron, eventually reaching their destiny as part of the scenic Red River. These cool, clear waters support a diverse array of aquatic species, as well as sport fish for anglers. In its swift upper reaches, paddlers find challenging stretches of Class I to III whitewater rapids to test their skill.

The scenery alone is enough reason to visit this remote and remarkable place, but a spellbinding sense of adventure seems to be what draws people back again and again. Their secluded journey takes them to a place that feels untamed and untouched by modern progression.

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Hiking safety tips for the fall – Always a good reminder

Posted by on Aug 29, 2019 @ 7:06 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Appalachians are full of many natural wonders, and with a long holiday weekend ahead of us (and great weather predicted), it is a good time to get outdoors and reconnect with nature. Hiking is one of the ways many of us do that. As you hit the trails this fall, remember to keep safety in the forefront of your mind.

Often, hiking is a more strenuous activity than walking. You should consult with your physician before beginning any hiking or exercise program. If you are a beginner hiker, start slow and choose paths with shorter distances and gradually work your way up to more difficult ones. Many times, especially at State Parks, hikes will be rated easy, moderate or difficult. Pay attention to the hike rating before starting down the path. Wear comfortable shoes with good soles.

If you carry a backpack, remember it can add 10 to 15 pounds to your frame. The added weight will require you to exert more energy, so you may want to hike a shorter distance until you are used to carrying the extra weight.

Steer clear of noxious plants like poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. Avoid walking in high grass or weeds, as these areas commonly have ticks and chiggers. Always check yourself for ticks during and after returning from a hike. Wear light-colored clothing, so ticks are easy to spot. Be on the lookout for mosquitoes, particularly if you are hiking in areas with a lot of stagnant, standing water.

Also, it’s always a good idea to carry a first-aid kit with you for emergencies. If you are going on a short hike, store the kit in your car. Take it with you on longer hikes.

Tips from the 4-H Cooperative Extension Service

 

10 Things People Do On Hiking Trails That Park Ranger Can’t Stand

Posted by on Aug 28, 2019 @ 7:11 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

10 Things People Do On Hiking Trails That Park Ranger Can’t Stand

When preparing to go on a hike, there are a lot of things to think about. You want to make sure you are prepared with supplies and that you know the area well enough. You also have to consider how difficult the hike will be and how long it will take. While these are all important things to think about, it’s also important to keep in mind how you act when on the trail. There are some things that hikers do that are rude as well as harmful to the environment.

Overall, be considerate and remember to read any signs that are posted and follow the rules. People who ignore signs can get themselves into a lot of trouble.

They could find themselves in a dangerous area or too close to wild animals. Not reading and listening to the instructions on the signs while on a hike can lead to a lot of trouble for the park rangers (and you).

When on a hike, it’s important to respect and understand the animals around you. Remember that this is their home, and you are visiting. Some wildlife, even those that you might not think are dangerous, can hurt you if they feel threatened.

These are things that park rangers can’t stand and wish that visitors would avoid doing…

 

Hiking in the Fairy-Tale ‘Narnia’ Hills of the Czech Republic

Posted by on Aug 27, 2019 @ 7:18 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking in the Fairy-Tale ‘Narnia’ Hills of the Czech Republic

Stepping out above the treeline to the eagle’s nest lookout behind Pravčická brána, the sweeping, 360-degree views include the soaring Elbe Sandstone Mountains that make up the border between the Czech Republic and the German state of Saxony. Its crowning jewel is the Pravčická brána rock bridge, the largest in Europe and one of the Czech Republic’s most impressive, and yet lesser-known, natural attractions.

This is the Bohemian Switzerland National Park, almost 30 square miles of hills and enchanted forests where the Narnia movies were fittingly filmed. And while an estimated 250,000 people (mostly Czechs and Germans) visit Pravčická brána each year, few venture beyond the site and delve into the dense network of hiking trails that traverse the protected landscape.

Most people access Pravčická brána from the busy tourist village of Hřensko, but Mezní Louka, the next hamlet over, is thankfully little more than a bus stop next to a handful of modest pensions and wooden cabins. Several trails intersect here, and the red trail heads toward Pravčická brána.

This 4-mile stretch of densely forested switchbacks is increasingly sandy underfoot — thanks to its origins millions of years ago as the Cretaceous Sea — and shaded by the towering sandstone cliff faces, which provide ample natural seating for a picnic. The rock formations were sculpted from the former seabed by volcanoes during the Tertiary period, and this trail was first waymarked in 1870.

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Pennsylvania Has An Ice Cream Trail With 32 Glorious, Sugar-Filled Stops

Posted by on Aug 25, 2019 @ 7:14 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Pennsylvania Has An Ice Cream Trail With 32 Glorious, Sugar-Filled Stops

Sure hiking trails are great, but don’t you think they’d be even better if they included scoops of ice cream instead rocks and bugs and stuff? Well, Pennsylvania just made that dream into a sweet, sweet reality with their massive, statewide ice cream trail.

The trail is made each year by Discover PA, and this year it features a whopping 32 creameries and ice cream shops for you to enjoy. If that sounds like a lot to you, you can break the big journey into three smaller trails, segmented by region. The Western trail features nine stops, the South Central trail features 13 stops, and the Eastern trail features nine stops.

In case eating delicious ice cream doesn’t seem worth your time, you can also get rewarded just for taking part in the trail. Participants until September 2, 2019 to visit five stops on the list of their choosing and mail their ice cream “passport” in to get a free T-shirt.

If you still need some inspiration before hitting the trail, know this: yo might find three goats named Frosty, Dip, and Scoop at one ice cream trail location. That alone is reason enough to set off on your merry way.

Cite…