Hiking News

El Fin del Mundo

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016 @ 9:30 am in Hiking News | 1 comment

Patagonia: land of refugees and romantics, restless souls and wilderness crusaders. What it is about this place that compels people to gamble all that they know for the chance to explore its volatile nature?

Rare are the places in the world that are as evocative as Patagonia, where the raw solitude of wilderness mingles with a certain sense of potential, where refugees from oppression, wilderness crusaders and restless souls seem to congregate in a vast cathedral of fjords, glaciers, mountains and grasslands.

The scale is such that you could point a compass south on the Carretera Austral from Puerto Montt, Chile, where Patagonia approximately begins, and drive 1,200 kilometers to the highway’s terminus at the dusty town of Villa O’Higgins near the Argentine border, and not have reached its furthest corners.

It is a place of soaring tangerine coloured granite towers, windswept plains of pampas grass, estancias (ranches) the size of small countries and weather systems that can turn cobalt blue skies into a surging turmoil of cloud in the time it takes to down a glass of Malbec and a meal of freshly grilled meat.

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Heather Anderson Is the Best, Most Badass Athlete You’ve Likely Never Heard of

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016 @ 1:45 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Deep in the southwestern desert, Heather Anderson’s signal is skittish and broken. She’s been in the backcountry for nearly three weeks, checking off summits on the Sierra Club’s list of premier desert peaks—the final miles of the 4,000 she’s hiked in the past year. By the time her backcountry call made it to the cell in my mother’s kitchen, we’d been forced to break phone dates due to poor reception and unabashed confusion regarding what time zones she was straddling—a mixup that says more about Anderson’s unconventional and nomadic lifestyle than her organizational skills.

On the trail, she goes by Anish, but within hiking communities, 34­-year­-old Heather Anderson is also known as “the ghost,” for how she seems to appear out of thin air. It was late summer of 2013 when she set the record for the fastest self­-supported hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. She covered the 2,654 miles from Mexico to Canada in 60 days, 17 hours, and 12 minutes, a distance the trail’s association recommends allowing five to seven months to complete and only about a third of hopefuls complete. Alone, she put in consecutive 18-hour days, hiking between 40 and 50 miles in daylight and darkness. This quiet and consistent rigor secured Anderson’s status as an elite athlete. Yet still, she kept walking.

This past August, Anderson set the record for the fastest known time on the Appalachian Trail, shaving four days off the men’s record and a whopping 36 off the women’s when she trekked the 2,180 miles from Maine to Georgia in 54 days, 7 hours, and 48 minutes. Take gender out of the question, she is the first person in history to simultaneously hold the self­-supported record for both trails.

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NGO to Build Hiking Trails and Eco-camps in Southern Armenia

Posted by on Mar 15, 2016 @ 8:48 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

NGO to Build Hiking Trails and Eco-camps in Southern Armenia

Armen Kazaryan says adamantly, “I don’t need to see the route, I feel it by my feet,” as he swiftly navigates the lush terrain of Southern Armenia for an afternoon hike. Armen is probably the only blind hiking tour guide in the world, or at the very least, the only one in Armenia.

It was in Kapan, capital of the Syunik region, surrounded by some of Armenia’s most breathtaking landscapes that made Armen realize perhaps he had gained more than he had lost. His senses rejoiced in the healing powers of nature and he reconnected with the people and landscapes that so profoundly shaped his youth.

Recognizing the incredible potential of Southern Armenia to provide joy and healing to others, it wasn’t long before Armen and his wife made the bold decision to launch an NGO called ARK Armenia, which immediately started marking hiking trails in the region, making various landmarks accessible to the tourists passing by. Before long, they were acquiring volunteers, who provided valuable labor, helping build the region’s first eco-camp and marking more hiking trails.

Armen says, “Too long it’s been neglected as a touristic destination by the international community. The situation needs to change, needs to become more sustainable and encourage eco-friendly practices. Tourism is a great place to start for that.”

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Fields Pond preserve among Maine Audubon’s many gems

Posted by on Mar 13, 2016 @ 12:17 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Fields Pond Audubon Center is a 192-acre sanctuary in rural Holden, a short drive southeast of Bangor in Penobscot County. The center is owned by Maine Audubon, one of the eight such properties.

The Meadow Path leads to a summer boat launch on Fields Pond, the 85-acre central feature of the preserve. The Marsh Trail investigates the wetlands north of the modern visitor center, which houses a nature store, a reading room, interactive exhibits and a taxidermy collection.

The Ravine Trail leads gently uphill into a dark grove of hemlocks, while the Brook Trail traverses the riparian zone along a small stream that empties into the pond below. From numerous points along the Lakeshore Trail you will look over the pond.

According to Cyndi Kuhn, the center’s coordinator and lead educator, deer, porcupines, foxes, weasels, squirrels, small rodents, and even fishers and mink make their home here, plus 175 species of birds at some point during the year.

“This place is a real gem that showcases diverse habitats, the importance of those habitats and why they need to be protected,” said Kuhn. “It’s a precious textbook classroom environment.”

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Hiking couple makes pitch to revitalize Idaho Centennial Trail

Posted by on Mar 12, 2016 @ 2:06 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking couple makes pitch to revitalize Idaho Centennial Trail

Clay Jacobson of Boise, Idaho has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. So he sees no reason that Idaho can’t make its 900-mile trail from the Nevada border to the Canada border into another thru-hiking destination.

But he learned firsthand last summer that the remote Idaho Centennial Trail — named the state trail as part of a centennial celebration in 1990 — is far behind its famous counterparts.

“It’s more of an idea than a trail,” Jacobson said, “but I came away convinced that it’s very possible. … The missing piece of keeping this trail going is the need for a care-taking organization. All these trails that are successful have a group of people working hard to make sure the trail survives and improves. It’s going to come down to people who care about the trail and want to see it grow.”

Jacobson is one of fewer than 10 people to thru-hike the ICT, which is to hike it end to end. His girlfriend, Kelly Bussard, accompanied him for about 400 miles of the trip before she had to return to college.

They are making presentations around the state about their journey, the hardships they faced and the potential they found in a unique trail that runs through the heart of Idaho.

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Forest Service rerouting damaged Bogachiel Rain Forest Trail after river shifts

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 @ 11:02 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Forest Service rerouting damaged Bogachiel Rain Forest Trail after river shifts

Heavy winter rains continue to wreak havoc on trails and roads in the Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park. The latest victim is the Bogachiel Rain Forest Trail, where 350 feet of trail about one mile from the trailhead has been damaged or destroyed by the shifting Bogachiel River, the U.S. Forest Service said.

“With the help of partners, we expect to have the trail rerouted soon. We know it is important access as day-use for hikers and fishermen as well as those journeying into and out of the park,” said District Ranger Dean Millett.

The trail is a portion of the 1,200-mile Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, and leads from the trailhead on Undi Road 10 miles south of Forks through a portion of National Forest before continuing more than 25 miles into the national park.

It is currently open to hikers, who are warned to use extreme caution and avoid areas of the trail that have been undercut by the river.
There are also trees down across the trail as a result of the river’s incursion.

According to the Forest Service, the trail is normally fully wooded with side trails leading to fishing areas and overlooks at the Bogachiel River. In many areas, the river is now fully within view of the trail, said Molly Erickson, Forest Service permit administrator. She has hiked the damaged trail.

The Forest Service is planning to create a new route and is fast-tracking the process to locate a new location for a repair. The repair would bypass a 300-foot section of trail at the one-mile mark and a 50-foot section at the 1.5 mile mark.

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Yosemite’s Half Dome hiking permit lottery open through March 31

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 @ 8:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The pre-season lottery for Yosemite’s Half Dome hiking permits runs through the end of March, 2016.

Those who submit applications this month will be in the pool when Yosemite National Park issues 225 day-hike permits for each day of the hiking season. Lottery winners will be notified by email in mid-April. Preseason applicants can request permits for up to six people and up to seven dates, ranked by preference. After the preseason round of permits is assigned, about 50 additional permits per day will be available by lottery. Hikers can apply two days before their desired date.

Weather permitting, the 2016 Half Dome season is expected to run from May 27 through October 11.

Permit applications can be submitted at Recreation.gov or by calling (877) 444-6777. The phone line is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific time. The non-refundable processing fee is $4.50 online or $6.50 by phone. An additional fee of $8 per person is charged when the permit is issued.

Backpackers whose multi-day trip includes the Half Dome trail should include the route on their wilderness permit application.

The 14-mile round trip tops out 4,800 feet above Yosemite Valley. Waist-high cables and wooden planks on the dome’s surface aid hikers in climbing the last 400 feet up the steep granite shoulder. Most years, the cables are put up the Friday before Memorial Day and removed the day after Columbus Day.

 

Students explore beautiful Santa Barbara trails with hiking course

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 @ 7:39 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Sitting by the edge of a stream in the hills above Montecito, CA, students take a moment to catch their breath and have a drink after a steep hike up to a waterfall. “Should we do our quiet time?” asks instructor Randy Moharram. “I think we should. Everyone get comfortable, we’re going for a minute and a half of silence.”

The only sounds remaining while the class goes silent are the gentle babbling of the San Ysidro Creek and a chirpy conversation between two birds.

For City College students in search of an adventure, a fun way to exercise or a source of motivation to wake up before noon on a Friday, Physical Education Class 227 is the ideal class. Every Friday morning the class meets briefly on campus to clarify directions and arrange car pools, and after that, it’s off to the trailhead and on to the dirt.

“You never regret getting out of bed to go hiking,” said student Lauren Hugenroth. “It’s hard to find time to get outdoors between school and work, but if you can do it as part of a class it becomes a lot easier.”

Each week, Moharram, the instructor and Santa Barbara local, picks a new destination for the class.

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Victor Hiking Trails plans for next steps in NY community

Posted by on Mar 7, 2016 @ 8:06 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

It was nearly 25 years ago that a small group of hiking enthusiasts huddled for the first time. Their passion: enjoying and preserving Victor’s natural beauty. Their goal: to create a system of multi-use trails that would preserve open space and provide an educational and recreational experience for everyone in the town of Victor, New York. Mission accomplished. Although founding members of Victor Hiking Trail Inc. would say it’s a mission begun.

In September 1991 there was one town park with a few miles of trails that were maintained by the town Water Department, said VHT Chairperson David Wright. “I went to the first meeting,” he said. “There were about 25 of us, and we decided we’d become a 501c3. We started meeting monthly and mapped out a plan of where we thought trails needed to go.”

Indeed they did. Thanks to the passion and hard work of many, there are now more than 55 miles of maintained, non-motorized trails within the town and village. And based on a recent statewide survey, an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 users travel the Lehigh and Auburn trails alone each year.

Wright and other board members would like to see the next generation embrace the mission and continue on. The plan calls for small trail improvements, maintenance, boardwalks and bridges over creeks and even some new trails “to make the trail experience more enjoyable,” said Wright.

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32 most enjoyable hikes in Switzerland

Posted by on Mar 6, 2016 @ 7:26 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

32 most enjoyable hikes in Switzerland

Switzerland is a mountainous Central European country, home to numerous lakes, villages and the high peaks of the Alps. The country is also a destination for its ski resorts and hiking trails.

Self guided walking tours in Switzerland are a wonderful and relaxed way to explore the Swiss alpine countryside. Crisp mountain air, rich colorful meadows and dramatic snow capped peaks prevail as you explore this wonderful country on foot. Switzerland is a walkers paradise with many waymarked paths and great trails to follow.

The Swiss Alps, or Central Alps, represents just a small portion of the entire Alps range however it is home to Europe’s greatest concentration of 4,000m mountains. Often we think of stereotypes – alpine pastures, contented cows grazing lush grass, wooden chalets and snow-capped mountains. Although there is much truth in this narrow view, it does little justice to the spectacular variety of terrain that Switzerland is able to offer the active traveler.

Swiss mountains are among the most dramatic and challenging of all the Alpine ranges however you don’t have to be a skilled mountaineer or climber to enjoy a walking holiday in Switzerland. The Swiss Alps is home to some of Europe’s finest walking terrain, with enough variety to suit every taste and fitness level. Rustic inns and a network of alpine or mountain huts provide simple dormitory accommodation, generally with meals too.

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Controlled Burns Planned in Cades Cove

Posted by on Mar 5, 2016 @ 7:50 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Appalachian Piedmont Zone fire staff plan to conduct a series of controlled burns in Cades Cove on Monday, March 7 through Friday, March 11, 2016. Weather depending, these prescribed fire treatments will take place in four field units totaling 502 acres between Sparks Lane and the Cable Mill Visitor Center area.

The goal of the controlled burn treatments in Cades Cove is to use fire to maintain open meadows, improve critical habitat for wildlife, reduce shrub and tree intrusion and exotic plant species, and to preserve the historic landscape of Cades Cove.

The Cades Cove loop road and historic structures will remain open to visitor use during controlled burn operations; however brief delays and temporary closures of adjacent roads and trails may occur to ensure public safety during fire operations. Visitors should expect to see fire activity and smoke during fire operations. Fire managers ask that motorists reduce speed in work zones. If smoke is present, keep windows up and headlights on. Please do not stop on roadways. Staff members will be present at overlooks to answer questions during the controlled burns.

For more information on fire activity, temporary closures, and safe viewing areas, please visit the park’s website.

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New Zealand’s hiking trails offer one spectacle after another

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 @ 9:00 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Other than the danger of overextending yourself, hiking New Zealand’s abundance of trails is almost never disappointing. In fact, if you come all this way and don’t take advantage of them, you’ve truly missed out.

And the Kiwis work hard to make hiking attractive. The maintenance on the trails is impressive: crushed-rock trail beds; comfortable clearance even in the most dense areas of the beech- and fern-dominated rain forests; boardwalks that meander over wetlands; and well-built, if sometimes unnerving, suspension bridges that span the roiling creeks.

Richard Davies, a recreation manager for New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, said about $65 million is pumped into the country’s park areas annually. Much of that money is devoted to trail development and making sure they are maintained properly.

The spectacular scenery this island nation has to offer is unsurpassed. Director Peter Jackson didn’t just film his J.R.R. Tolkien epics here because he didn’t want to leave his home country. The vertical landscapes, whether they anchor themselves in mountain rivers, broad lakes or the Pacific Ocean, perfectly lend themselves to fantasy.

The knife-edged ridges on the mountains, with their steep faces frequently laced with waterfalls. The dense, verdant forests filled with calling birds and towering giant ferns that make you feel as if you’ve stumbled into some prehistoric world. The glittering lakes, where the water is so clear you can see the bottom until reflection gets in your way many yards from shore.

All of these, and more, make this a country of constant surprises. And hiking is one of the best ways to see it.

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Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club seeks new volunteer Ridgerunners

Posted by on Mar 3, 2016 @ 8:32 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club seeks new volunteer Ridgerunners

Last spring, the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club created a McAfee Knob Task Force to focus on resource protection and management challenges around the region’s most beloved and iconic A.T. landmark, McAfee Knob. Rapidly increasing visitation has led to an increase in avoidable environmental impacts, such as litter, graffiti, trail erosion and problematic bear behavior.

Eighteen McAfee Knob Volunteer Ridgerunners help mitigate these problems with outreach and maintenance. Volunteer Ridgerunners engage hikers in friendly conversations to educate them about the natural and cultural significance of the area and tips on best-practices for enjoying the trail safely and responsibly. They report on trail conditions and perform light trail maintenance to prevent small problems from getting worse – such as dismantling illegal fire rings, packing out trash and blocking social trails to discourage shortcutting. The group made a big difference last year and hopes to grow this year by adding new volunteers.

Do you have what it takes to be a Volunteer Ridgerunner? You don’t have to be an athlete – many of the most important conversations and maintenance happens right in the parking lot or within the first mile. If you want to join the lively group of dedicated stewards, The next Volunteer Ridgerunner Training Day is Saturday, March 19, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Roanoke Regional Fire and Rescue Center, 1220 Kessler Mill Road, Salem. There will also be a Training Day on June 11.

To sign up, join the McAfee Knob Task Force MeetUp group and RSVP, or email Kathryn Herndon at kherndon@appalachiantrail.org. Herndon will email participants prior to the training with details about the agenda and what to expect.

 

‘Missing Link’ bridges on Foothills Parkway on schedule for completion in 2017

Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 @ 6:20 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Over the past three decades a 1.65-mile section of the Foothills Parkway known as the “Missing Link” has come to epitomize the setbacks and delays that have beset the project as a whole.

When completed, the Foothills Parkway will stretch 72 miles between Cosby, Tenn., to the east, and U.S. Highway 129 to the west. Congress authorized the project in 1944, but so far, only three segments totaling 22.5 miles are open to the public. Of the seven congressionally mandated scenic highways, the Foothills Parkway is the only one that remains unfinished.

The parkway’s most vexing challenge has been the Missing Link, where nine bridges are required to span a series of steep ravines on the south-facing slope of the mountain. Only 1.65 miles long, the Missing Link has been a major engineering challenge since 1989 when construction was halted due to structural fill failures and erosion problems.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which administers the Foothills Parkway, had hoped to have the Missing Link bridges finished this year in time for the National Park Service’s centennial celebration, but geological conditions caused delays. The new target date for the completion of the Missing Link bridges is June 5, 2017.

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Northampton, Williamsburg may collaborate on hiking trail to historical disaster site

Posted by on Mar 1, 2016 @ 8:35 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

It was rainy Saturday morning in 1874 when a massive stone-and-earth dam in the woods of Williamsburg, MA gave way, sending 600 million gallons of water and a wall of debris plummeting into Haydenville and Leeds, killing 139 people and destroying factories and five villages along the Mill River.

The remains of that ill-fated dam still stand, but the site is hard for hikers to find because a private landowner has blocked access to the traditional trailhead at the end of Judd Lane in Williamsburg.

Now the city of Northampton, which owns the dam site as part of its drinking water protection land, may collaborate with Williamsburg to create a new trail to the site. Other private landowners have agreed to let the trail cross their property instead.

According to the proposed memorandum, Northampton will allow the construction and public use of the trail by the Williamsburg Woodland Trails Committee, which will monitor and maintain the path, including a wooden pedestrian bridge.

The dam, completed in 1866, was 600 feet long and 43 feet high, holding back a 100-acre reservoir. It had been built by 11 manufacturers who formed the Williamsburg Reservoir Company.

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Chinook Trail group looks to attract hikers to Columbia River Gorge

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 @ 8:29 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Chinook Trail Association is learning that the mantra “if you build it, they will come” isn’t so simple.

After working for 27 years to create a 300-mile hiking loop through the Columbia River Gorge, the organization needs to let more hikers know that the trail system is ready to use, the board president during the trail association’s annual meeting in Vancouver.

The trail system is more or less connected, and some hikers already have tested the loop, which encircles the Gorge from the Portland-Vancouver metro area to Maryhill. Supporters hope that the Chinook Trail will become a worldwide hiking destination similar to the Pacific Crest Trail, which it intersects, and that the Chinook Trail will bring hikers through the wineries and small-town restaurants and lodges in the Gorge.

The demand for hiking trails is there, Gala Miller of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest told the association’s meeting. The Chinook Trail passes through the Gifford Pinchot forest, which draws more than one million visitors annually to its 1,500 miles of trails, 4,000 miles of forest roads and more than 200 recreation sites, including campgrounds, she said.

“Three million people live within a two-hour drive from the (Gifford Pinchot) forest,” said Miller, who works as a community engagement coordinator for the U.S. Forest Service. The Chinook Trail will continue to improve over the years.

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Checking conditions crucial when hiking along Kauai’s Kalalau Trail, or any trail for that matter

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 @ 8:22 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A group of at least a dozen hikers and backpackers spent an unplanned extra night camping in the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park along Kauai’s Kalalau Trail earlier this month after the Hanakapiai Stream flooded.

The decision to remain overnight was reinforced after one couple tried to cross the turbulent, flood-swollen stream, using a makeshift rope line, and nearly drowned. By the next day, the Hanakapiai flood conditions had subsided, and the stranded hikers were able to make it back to their cars, according to the Hawaii DLNR.

the executive director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau, said it’s crucial that people planning to hike along the Kalalau Trail, which is renowned for its stunning access to the Garden Isle’s jaw-dropping Napali Coast, check weather conditions and forecasts.

“Interior rain is a big deal,” she explained. “It can be sunny on the south shore and storming on the interior of the island, and that fills everything up that flows to ocean. Before you know it, what started out seeming like a good day for hiking turns into flash flooding.”

Hanakapiai, and other streams across the Aloha State, are incredibly dangerous during periods of heavy rain, in part, because flooding can occur so suddenly, but also because visitors don’t realize just how deadly crossing these waterways can be. Keep this in mind whenever hiking near streams no matter where you are.

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New hiking trail planned in Santa Fe area

Posted by on Feb 28, 2016 @ 9:27 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Juan de Oñate, colonial governor of New Mexico, once used El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro to travel from Mexico City to a new Spanish settlement near San Juan Pueblo, now called Ohkay Owingeh, where he established the first capital of the province of New Spain.

Now a portion of that route — the Royal Road of the Interior Lands — is set to be part of a new 15-mile trail linking the Santa Fe River Trail to the Municipal Recreation Complex on Caja del Rio Road and to recreation sites farther north, along Old Buckman Road, such as the popular trail through Diablo Canyon.

Once the new segment of the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail and the MRC Trail are complete, along with the final stretches of the River Trail, “People will be able to go from downtown Santa Fe out to Cajo del Rio and Diablo Canyon on bike or foot.”

The new trail also will link to hundreds of miles of other trails on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.

“The Big Friggin Loop” is the Grand Unified Trails System, an initiative to develop a loop of connecting trails around the greater Santa Fe area by 2020. Some of those trail systems include the La Tierra Trails, the Dale Ball Trails and trails in the Arroyo Hondo Open Space.

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Doctors Tell Us How Hiking Can Change Our Brains

Posted by on Feb 28, 2016 @ 6:52 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

“Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves,” wrote John Muir in Our National Parks. Clearly, John Muir understood the intrinsic value of spending time in nature.

Along with Muir, many of us recognize that hiking in nature is good for the body, mind, and soul. Walking through the woods while observing colorful birds and foliage, smelling the aroma of spruce and pine trees, and listening to a soothing running stream simply clear our mind and make us feel good. Lucky for us, doctors agree. Study after study shows there are many mental health benefits to spending time hiking in nature.

Those who ruminate or focus too much on negative thoughts about themselves can exhibit anxiety, depression, and other issues, such as binge eating or post traumatic stress disorder. In a recent study, researchers investigated whether spending time in nature affects rumination, and they found that hiking in nature decreases these obsessive, negative thoughts.

In this study, researchers compared the reported rumination of participants who hiked through an urban environment and a nature environment. They found that those who walked for 90 minutes in a natural environment reported lower levels of rumination and also had reduced neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, which is associated with mental illness. Those who walked through an urban environment didn’t enjoy these benefits.

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Granite Staters make hiking history on Cohos Trail

Posted by on Feb 27, 2016 @ 8:16 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Granite Staters make hiking history on Cohos Trail

New Hampshire hikers braved everything El Nino could throw at them — frigid temperatures, harsh winds and snow — to accomplish something no one had done before.

Swanzey brothers Collin, 22, Ian, 26, and Ryan Hart, 24, along with their friend Matt Miller, 24, of Wilmot, became the first people to ever thru-hike the Cohos Trail in winter, according to Kim Nilsen, the founder of the Cohos Trail Association.

They began their trek on Feb. 2 at southern Crawford Notch in the White Mountain National Forest. Eleven grueling days and 170 miles later, they arrived at the Canadian border in Pittsburg. “When you’re hiking the Cohos Trail, you’re hiking with more moose than people,” Nilsen said.

Trail features include elevations between 3,000 and 4,000 feet, climbing 40 peaks and crossing three major rivers, according to Nilsen.

The trail itself is not difficult in terms of terrain, but Nilsen said its remoteness presents logistical challenges for hikers to resupply. “There’s places where it’s so remote that you’re not gonna be anywhere near population for several days,” he said.

Nilsen praised the Hart brothers and Miller for their preparation and skill, which allowed them to complete the feat.

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