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Thousands of acres in Kentucky and Tennessee will be protected as wildlife habitat

Posted by on Apr 25, 2019 @ 7:29 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Thousands of acres in Kentucky and Tennessee will be protected as wildlife habitat

The Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit aimed at conserving land and water, is acquiring 100,000 acres of forest split between southeast Kentucky and northeast Tennessee. It will be one of the largest land conservation and ecological restoration projects for the organization in the Central Appalachians. It will double the amount of Kentucky acreage the organization has protected, either through acquisition or conservancy easements that prevent certain development of the land. The group plans to manage the property, known as Ataya, as a working...

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Smokies Park Announces 2019 Synchronous Firefly Viewing Dates

Posted by on Apr 24, 2019 @ 7:40 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Smokies Park Announces 2019 Synchronous Firefly Viewing Dates

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have announced the dates for firefly viewing in Elkmont. Shuttle service to the viewing area will be provided on Thursday, May 30 through Thursday, June 6. All visitors wishing to view the synchronous fireflies at Elkmont must have a parking pass distributed through the lottery system at www.recreation.gov. Every year in late May or early June, thousands of visitors gather near the popular Elkmont Campground to observe the naturally occurring phenomenon of Photinus carolinus, a firefly species...

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How to backpack Arizona’s eerie Superstition Wilderness

Posted by on Apr 23, 2019 @ 8:11 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How to backpack Arizona’s eerie Superstition Wilderness

Arizona is home to some serious scenery: the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon. While those are far from any major city, just an hour from Phoenix sits an untouched swath of pristine Sonoran Desert. The Superstition Wilderness, with its eerie red spires and lanky saguaro cacti, offers equally stunning vistas, is full of wildlife, and has miles of trails to explore. Pristine Sonoran Desert habitat is getting harder to find in Phoenix. But within easy reach of the country’s sixth-largest city lie the Superstition Mountains. They’re...

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101 things to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Posted by on Apr 22, 2019 @ 7:20 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

101 things to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most-visited national park in the country for a good reason: there are countless things to do spread across two states and thousands of acres. But sometimes it can be difficult to pick just one thing to do in the park. Other times you may find yourself in a rut doing the same thing over and over. So here is a list of 101 things to do in the Smokies to give you a little inspiration, a lot of suggestions, and maybe help you create your next adventure. Here are a few to get you started: 1. Visit the...

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Earlier Springs Heighten Allergy Misery in East Tennessee

Posted by on Apr 21, 2019 @ 7:40 am in Conservation | 0 comments

In the heart of South Knoxville sits one of eight Allergy and Asthma Affiliates clinics scattered across Tennessee. Allergist and immunologist Dr. Trent Ellenburg is already being kept busy at his family-owned business, where patients have started coming in suffering from spring allergy symptoms. “As we’re seeing warmer, milder weather, and lots of rain, we do see earlier seasons that are occuring in our region,” Ellenburg said. “Patients have longer to be exposed, but also the pollen they are being exposed to is actually stronger.” For...

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Hiking through history: Little Cataloochee offers a window to the past

Posted by on Apr 20, 2019 @ 8:38 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking through history: Little Cataloochee offers a window to the past

One hundred years ago, the parking area and campground just past the fields in Cataloochee Valley where elk often hang out was better known as Nellie, a remote community in what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As anybody who’s ever driven the steep and narrow access road from Jonathan Creek can imagine, it was hard to get in and hard to get out in the days when horsepower came mainly from actual horses. People didn’t have much, partly because of how difficult it was to transport outside goods up and over the ridge. When...

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Hiker’s Handbook: Best U.S. Hiking Cities

Posted by on Apr 19, 2019 @ 9:22 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Most of us will never have the time for a 6-month thru hike, but a good day hike can be as refreshing as a week in the backcountry. And if you know where to look, trails abound—even near a concrete jungle. Here are some of the best U.S. cities for getting that backcountry fix in easy-access doses. Portland Smack in the middle of town, Forest Park, Portland’s 5,200-acre urban wilderness, is laced with 80 miles of hiking trails. An hour’s drive to the south, in Silver Falls State Park, the 7.8-mile Trail of Ten Falls hosts ten waterfalls that...

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N.C. Arboretum receives $1 million grant for statewide outreach

Posted by on Apr 18, 2019 @ 9:34 am in Conservation | 0 comments

N.C. Arboretum receives $1 million grant for statewide outreach

All across Western North Carolina, teachers and students are headed outdoors to find, observe and photograph local wildlife as a part of ecoEXPLORE, a citizen science program developed by The North Carolina Arboretum. Kids in grades K-8 who participate in ecoEXPLORE can earn prizes and help professional researchers by cataloging the plants, animals and insects that they find in the wild — or even their own backyards. The project has been so popular that this year the N.C. GlaxoSmithKline Foundation donated $1 million to the arboretum with the...

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The disease devastating deer herds may also threaten human health

Posted by on Apr 17, 2019 @ 7:42 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The disease devastating deer herds may also threaten human health

Scientists have called this neurodegenerative disease, which attacks deer, elk and moose, a “nightmare” and a “state of emergency.” Lately, the media’s been calling it “zombie deer disease.” Lawmakers are calling it a “crisis” and currently considering at least three bills at the national level to combat it. Researchers, resource managers and others worry it could hurt hunting, alter the landscape, or even jump across species to infect people. Mountain lions know that something is wrong. A number of years ago, ecologists studied which deer...

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Time’s running out to hike this amazing hot springs trail near Las Vegas

Posted by on Apr 16, 2019 @ 7:33 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Time’s running out to hike this amazing hot springs trail near Las Vegas

Las Vegas visitors who like a challenge will find rejuvenating hot springs, spectacular vistas and, right now, abundant wildflowers on an arduous hiking trail along the banks of the Colorado River that’s about an hour’s drive east of the Strip. Go now if you want to catch spring because the trail closes in mid-May and doesn’t reopen until September. The Gold Strike Hot Springs Trail near Hoover Dam is a challenging 6-mile out-and-back route that descends nearly 1,500 feet through steep and narrow crevasses. Rated as “difficult” on hiking...

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Hiking to the Summit of Bulgaria’s Belogradchik Fortress

Posted by on Apr 15, 2019 @ 10:28 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking to the Summit of Bulgaria’s Belogradchik Fortress

One of Bulgaria’s most interesting historical monuments is the Belogradchik Fortress. It’s located on the slopes of the Balkan Mountains, and the area’s phenomenal rock formations serve not only as natural protection but also as an integral part of the fortification itself. It’s believed that these ancient rock formations were formed over a period of more than 200 million years, and they’ve now become unique obelisks, reddish sandstone castles, and oversized stone figures that soar high into the sky. A fortress has existed here since Roman...

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Who is responsible for Hong Kong’s disappearing trails?

Posted by on Apr 14, 2019 @ 8:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Who is responsible for Hong Kong’s disappearing trails?

Hong Kong is dense with trails criss-crossing the territory. There are the major ones, like the MacLehose, Wilson, Hong Kong, and Lantau trails, then the minor ones and their tributaries. What we may be less aware of is that many unofficially designated trails are at risk of disappearing for good. For centuries, residents of the territory have inscribed their marks onto its topography by walking the land over and over again. As the city developed, trails took shape when construction teams erected pylons for overhead cables and built cable car...

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Next Level Trails in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Posted by on Apr 13, 2019 @ 8:38 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Next Level Trails in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee, may have the coolest backyard ever. Less than 10 miles from the city center, Mountain Creek Park will offer the community an urban recreation experience with 8 to 12 miles of natural surface trails for beginner to expert mountain bike riding, exceptional bouldering, and hiking trails for scenic exploration. With 800 feet of vertical drop and swarms of gnarly rock formations, the park will also provide some serious stoke with the first advanced downhill-style trails in the Chattanooga region. Mountain Creek Park is the...

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Poetry graces popular park trails

Posted by on Apr 12, 2019 @ 8:27 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Poetry graces popular park trails

Nature is pure poetry, judging by the artwork on Olympic National Park trails. The North Olympic Library System (NOLS) has teamed up with Olympic National Park to offer a sixth season of Poetry Walks. This year’s will continue through May 31, 2019. It features inspiring poetry along four park trails. During Poetry Walks, poems are placed on signs on the Hall of Mosses Trail, the Living Forest Trail, the Madison Creek Falls Trail and the Peabody Creek Trail. With the exception of the Hall of Mosses Trail, access to these trails is free. The...

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An Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker On The Need To Protect Our Wild Spaces

Posted by on Apr 11, 2019 @ 8:05 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

An Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker On The Need To Protect Our Wild Spaces

This year on her birthday, Carolyn Burman decided to do a solo hike in one of her favorite state parks in Connecticut. She has magical memories of that trek. She grew up hiking it — her mother even went into labor with her while walking the path. She looked forward to a peaceful, reflective experience in nature. Instead, she found something else. “There was so much garbage in the park,” 26-year-old Burman says. “Plastic seltzer bottles in the stream that floats by the trail, a Dunkin’ Donuts cup…. I go out on this joyful hike on my birthday,...

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The Adirondacks: Hiking America’s Original Wilderness

Posted by on Apr 9, 2019 @ 10:19 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Adirondacks: Hiking America’s Original Wilderness

Many are those who say the Adirondacks are unique. That may be an overused word, but in numerous ways the region is distinctive, and in some cases even certifiably unique. Let’s consider some of those ways. The Adirondacks are big. Not vertically, which is what most people think of when they hear the word “big” associated with mountains, but horizontally. Consider the Adirondack Park, for all intents and purposes the most useful packaging of the region. The park is defined by its famous Blue Line, so-called because somebody drew the original...

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Hiking Mississippi’s Scenic Trails

Posted by on Apr 9, 2019 @ 8:41 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking Mississippi’s Scenic Trails

Searching for the best places in Mississippi for hiking and camping? A University of Mississippi staff member knows exactly where to find the best trails. Shannon Richardson, assistant director of campus recreation, has been supervising Ole Miss Outdoors for the past 14 years. Through her position, the Oakwood, Georgia, native has been on countless Mississippi trails. “My parents were avid campers and hikers, and I grew up going to state and national parks and other natural areas,” Richardson said. “I’ve hiked trails from the Grand Canyon to...

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‘The Hiking Vikings’ Make Appalachian Trail Signs

Posted by on Apr 8, 2019 @ 6:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

‘The Hiking Vikings’ Make Appalachian Trail Signs

Appalachian Trail thru-hikers agree that the sign on Mount Katahdin in Maine signifies the pinnacle of a journey that changes you forever. A local couple who completed their thru-hike in 2015 found there were signs along the way that held life-altering messages too. Nate and Sharon Harrington, known to those on the trail as “The Hiking Vikings,” started their hike on Feb. 10, 2015 and reached the summit at Mount Katahdin on July 12. That’s 153 consecutive days of togetherness that, according to Nate, “sealed the deal.” Many AT hikers start...

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What are the Best Restaurants on the Appalachian Trail?

Posted by on Apr 7, 2019 @ 9:56 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

What are the Best Restaurants on the Appalachian Trail?

From the perspective of a thru-hiker, there are few things that matter more than the meals to be devoured upon reaching the next town. After a few consecutive days of cold tuna, ramen, and beef jerky, hikers’ dreams are infiltrated with visions of bacon cheeseburgers, pepperoni pizzas, and Ben and Jerry’s. When you’re few hundred miles south of Catawba, you start hearing the legend of The Homeplace. The vivid imagery painted by fellow hikers (many of whom haven’t even been there) caused your mind to go single-track in the...

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Bill to preserve 400,000 acres in Colorado would be biggest deal in 25 years

Posted by on Apr 6, 2019 @ 6:58 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Bill to preserve 400,000 acres in Colorado would be biggest deal in 25 years

An ambitious effort to preserve mountain wilderness and historic landscapes in Colorado will launch April 8, 2019 with the introduction of a bill in Congress that aims to protect 400,000 acres of public lands in the state. It would pay special homage to Camp Hale, home to the historic 10th Mountain Division. The bill — dubbed the Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy Act — is spearheaded by U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, both Democrats. “Public lands are really who we are in Colorado,” Neguse, who was recently elected...

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Five hikes in Colorado that are best done in the spring

Posted by on Apr 5, 2019 @ 8:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Five hikes in Colorado that are best done in the spring

As temperatures gradually warm up and flowers peek through the snow, Coloradans know what time of year has arrived. No, not springtime: hiking time. Snow-wary outdoorsmen are beginning to dig out their hiking boots again, ready to stretch their legs across the state’s many trails. But with all those options, it can sometimes be difficult to choose which trail to set out on, especially because of lingering snow. A new Colorado guidebook, “Base Camp Denver: 101 Hikes in Colorado’s Front Range”, comes out this month, and with it information on...

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Smokies Park Hosts Trail Volunteer Opportunities in April

Posted by on Apr 4, 2019 @ 7:26 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Smokies Park Hosts Trail Volunteer Opportunities in April

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced several volunteer workdays during the month of April, 2019 on popular trails as the park prepares for the busy summer season. These opportunities are ideal for people interested in learning more about the park and the trails program through hands-on service alongside experienced park staff. Volunteers will help clear debris from trails and work to repair eroded trail sections. Workdays will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in North Carolina on April 6, April 20, April 22, and in...

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Here’s a closer look at what Trump cut out of Bears Ears National Monument

Posted by on Apr 3, 2019 @ 8:58 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Here’s a closer look at what Trump cut out of Bears Ears National Monument

When President Trump reduced the size of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument by more than 1.1 million acres, his administration assured the public “important objects of scientific or historic interest” would still be protected. Many areas the Trump administration removed from Bears Ears are rich in uranium and oil deposits and may eventually become more accessible to developers. They had been off-limits under Barack Obama’s 2016 proclamation creating the monument. And many sites significant to the Native American governments that...

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North Carolina orders Duke Energy to excavate all coal ash

Posted by on Apr 2, 2019 @ 7:10 am in Conservation | 0 comments

North Carolina orders Duke Energy to excavate all coal ash

The country’s largest electric company was ordered to excavate coal ash from all of its North Carolina power plant sites, slashing the risk of toxic chemicals leaking into water supplies but potentially adding billions of dollars to the costs consumers pay. Duke Energy Corp. must remove the residue left after decades of burning coal to produce electricity, North Carolina’s environmental agency said. The company had proposed covering some storage pits with a waterproof cap, saying that would prevent rain from passing through and carrying...

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Yosemite is changing Half Dome hiking permits this year

Posted by on Apr 1, 2019 @ 9:48 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Yosemite is changing Half Dome hiking permits this year

The route up Half Dome that John Muir climbed in 1875 is the same one you’ll ascend today — if you’re lucky enough to score the special permit required to hike Yosemite’s most recognizable feature. After years of traffic jams on the cable-lined path up Half Dome — and several related deaths — the park put in place a permitting system in 2010. That eased the crowding somewhat, but in the intervening years, computer programmers essentially have rigged the online-permit system, making it exceedingly difficult for average tourists to land a...

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Springtime in the Great Smokies means synchronous firefly extravaganza is coming soon

Posted by on Mar 31, 2019 @ 7:51 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Springtime in the Great Smokies means synchronous firefly extravaganza is coming soon

Synchronous fireflies – the hottest ticket outside the flashing lights of Broadway – are about to get the party started. The chance to see Photinus carolinus, a firefly species whose males display synchronous flashes to attract mates, is so hotly anticipated and so rare, that the National Park Service had to limit the hordes of humans and now holds a lottery for tickets to the show. The lottery for vehicle passes will open at 9 a.m. April 26, 2019 and close at 8 p.m. April 29, said park spokeswoman Dana Soehn. But exactly when the flashy bugs...

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‘Doomsday vault’ threatened by climate change

Posted by on Mar 30, 2019 @ 7:37 am in Conservation | 0 comments

‘Doomsday vault’ threatened by climate change

The site of the so-called ‘Doomsday vault’, designed to safeguard millions of the world’s most genetically important seeds from nuclear war, asteroid strikes and other disasters, is at threat from climate change, a new report has warned. Longyearbyen, the Arctic home of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, faces potentially devastating avalanches, rockfalls, and floods over the coming decades as it warms faster than any other town on earth, according to the report Climate in Svalbard 2100. When the Svalbard Global Seed Vault was...

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Walking in Wales: New trail complete as final stage opens

Posted by on Mar 29, 2019 @ 6:41 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Walking in Wales: New trail complete as final stage opens

For more than 150 years, the Heart of Wales railway has meandered through some of the most breathtaking scenery in Britain. Now walkers can enjoy one of the UK’s longest fully-waymarked footpaths, loosely following the line, from Shropshire to Carmarthenshire. The last stage of the 141-mile trail opened this week. One tourism expert said Wales was “ideal” for such walking tourism due to its nature and heritage, and the predicted rise in visitor numbers is expected to provide a “major boost” to the local economy....

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National Park Week 2019: Celebrating America’s National Parks

Posted by on Mar 28, 2019 @ 6:40 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

National Park Week 2019: Celebrating America’s National Parks

National Park Week, running from April 20 through 28, 2019, has something for everyone. Join the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation for nine days of fun, including National Junior Ranger Day and National BARK Ranger Day. Visit www.NationalParkWeek.org for more information and a list of special events. “National parks are sources of inspiration, recreation, and education for everyone,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “During National Park Week, a wide variety of creative programs and events...

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Why Hiking Is Surging in Popularity in the U.S.

Posted by on Mar 27, 2019 @ 8:36 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Why Hiking Is Surging in Popularity in the U.S.

Hiking is now the fourth most-popular outdoor activity in the U.S., after running, fishing and biking, according to The Outdoor Foundation’s 2018 Outdoor Participation Report. The report noted that 44.9 million people hit the trails in 2017, up from 30 million in 2006. The biggest jump in participation came between 2015 and 2016. Trail experts say no definitive study has been conducted to determine why hiking has exploded in popularity over the last few years. But many do believe “Wild,” the Cheryl Strayed book about the...

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Smokies Park and Eastern Band Cherokee Indians Finalize Agreement Allowing Sochan Gathering

Posted by on Mar 26, 2019 @ 7:34 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Smokies Park and Eastern Band Cherokee Indians Finalize Agreement Allowing Sochan Gathering

Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians (EBCI) finalized a gathering agreement that allows the gathering of sochan (Rudbeckia laciniata) for traditional purposes by 36 permitted tribal members. Park Superintendent Cassius Cash and Principal Chief Richard Sneed were joined by tribal council members as they signed the historic agreement at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center on Monday, March 25, 2019. “The signing of this agreement allows both governments to strike a better balance in honoring the rich...

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Three decades after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Alaska’s coast faces an even bigger threat

Posted by on Mar 25, 2019 @ 9:39 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Three decades after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Alaska’s coast faces an even bigger threat

For three days in March 1989, the oil — at least 11 million gallons of it, though some say much more — had lain like a still pool around the ship, virtually untouched by cleanup efforts. Now the storm clawed the oil across the sound’s tracery of rocky islands, into their infinite crevices, and ultimately over more than 1,000 miles of rich coastal wilderness. The story isn’t over. Indeed, the tragedy of that coastal Alaska paradise is only deepening as it enters another, even darker act. Experts at the time said a comeback would take decades,...

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Linville Gorge: A Sparkle of Rekindled Joy

Posted by on Mar 24, 2019 @ 9:35 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Linville Gorge: A Sparkle of Rekindled Joy

That faraway gaze sprinkled with a sparkle of rekindled joy in his eyes was becoming more familiar these days as he reflected and reminisced of past memories – memories of a simpler time when laughter, friendship, and camaraderie was never in short supply, especially when in the presence of those who did life together – a family in a sense. That family consisted of Dad and his close friends whom he would take to his favorite camping spot – Linville Gorge. Life is a challenge and journey of its own, and sometimes a brief respite for the soul...

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The Cradle of Forestry in America historic site will begin the 2019 season on April 6

Posted by on Mar 23, 2019 @ 10:31 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

The Cradle of Forestry in America historic site will begin the 2019 season on April 6

The Cradle of Forestry’s living history demonstrators and crafters will bring the Pink Beds community along the Cradle’s Biltmore Campus Trail to life by re-creating an early 1900’s community busy at work and play. Guests can visit the cozy King House to smell the wonderful aromas of open-hearth cooking, help with laundry without the modern conveniences, talk with blacksmiths as they work their trade, visit Mr. Jenny in the old general store and enjoy traditional music and dancing. Visitors can find crafters including wood...

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New Verde Valley hiking trails show off views all the way to Flagstaff

Posted by on Mar 22, 2019 @ 9:19 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

New Verde Valley hiking trails show off views all the way to Flagstaff

Just a few miles north of Camp Verde, Arizona, Wet Beaver Creek cuts a meandering course through high-desert plains and sparse mesas on its way to the Verde River. For thousands of years, the perennially flowing stream has been the life blood for peoples who settled near its green corridor. The communities of Rimrock and Montezuma Lake are the most recent to evolve around the reliable water source. The tiny towns are a mix of ranch homes, antique shops, cafes and honey stands that sit at the hub of several important heritage sites off...

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Your shedding dog can help birds this spring

Posted by on Mar 21, 2019 @ 9:24 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Your shedding dog can help birds this spring

When birds start constructing their elaborate nests in spring, they look for all sorts of building materials. They search for twigs and leaves, moss and fluff, writes the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and will look for various items wherever they can find them. You can help provide nesting material by either growing them in your yard or by making them easily accessible and, if you’re a dog owner, one fluffy material that can provide warmth and softness is dog hair. There are benefits to your four-legged friend’s furry...

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