News

Hiking Grand Tetons ‘a trip of a lifetime’

Posted by on Dec 17, 2017 @ 11:54 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking Grand Tetons ‘a trip of a lifetime’

Beyond the crystal clear lakes, past the pastel blooms, up the rock-strewn trails and over the snow-blanketed hillsides lie the canyons and campsites of the Grand Tetons National Park. With each step up the mountain while sporting a 40-pound backpack, a new vista of rushing waters and plunging waterfalls dashes into view. Run-ins with deer, elk, moose and marmots are not out of the question. After several miles hiking each day, the laborious trek yields its reward. Campsites look out onto snow-covered peaks, water spews down mountainsides...

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Creating new beaten paths

Posted by on Dec 17, 2017 @ 7:14 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Creating new beaten paths

The first time Jessica Johnson explored the Mushroom Caves in Solana Beach she was trespassing. It was 2013, a few years after the 35-year-old elementary school art teacher first started documenting her passion for adventurous, sometimes dangerous hikes on her increasingly popular website Hidden San Diego. Walking along the path recently, Johnson recalled that initial adventure into the network of narrow, water-carved canyons that rise above the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. “It was a crazy adventure, kind of scary,” she said, eyes...

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Arctic Temperatures Are Rising So Fast Computers Don’t Believe They’re Real

Posted by on Dec 16, 2017 @ 11:57 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Arctic Temperatures Are Rising So Fast Computers Don’t Believe They’re Real

320 miles north of the Arctic Circle, a weather station in America’s northernmost city of Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska, has been quietly collecting temperature data since the 1920s. Early this month, while preparing a report on U.S. climate, experts at the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) noticed something odd: They were missing data from Utqiaġvik for all of 2017, and some of 2016. It turns out the temperatures recorded at Utqiaġvik over that time were warmer than had ever been seen before. So much so, in fact,...

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Here’s a $17 billion blueprint for how to rebuild Puerto Rico’s electric grid

Posted by on Dec 16, 2017 @ 7:11 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Here’s a $17 billion blueprint for how to rebuild Puerto Rico’s electric grid

Called “Build Back Better,” the plan focuses on providing immediate relief while also making the island’s energy infrastructure more resilient to future storms. That means fortifying the electric transmission system and bulking up defenses at power plants and substations. The plan also envisions a Puerto Rico dotted with solar farms and wind turbines, linked by more than 150 microgrids. Of the 470,000 homes destroyed in Maria’s high winds, the report points out many could be built back with rooftop solar. New battery storage systems would...

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The Thorny Economics of Preventing Exotic Species Introductions

Posted by on Dec 15, 2017 @ 1:47 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

The Thorny Economics of Preventing Exotic Species Introductions

What if we lose tree species we know, love, and need? It has happened before. “Look at what happened to the American chestnut,” says U.S. Forest Service research forester Thomas Holmes. “Look at what’s happening right now to hemlock, redbay, and ash trees.” All three species, as well as many more, are threatened by non-native insects or pathogens. Non-native insects, pathogens, plants, and animals have been arriving for hundreds of years. Most fail to become established, but some thrive and rampage through their new homes. These non-native...

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The Best Microadventure In Every State

Posted by on Dec 15, 2017 @ 7:05 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Best Microadventure In Every State

“A microadventure,” says Alastair Humphreys, a former National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and founder of a global movement, “is an adventure that is short, simple, local, cheap – yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding.” Sounds good, right? More importantly, it sounds do-able. Microadventures, Humphreys argues, should fit in the 5:00 pm to 9:00 am window after each workday. Should you have a weekend free, they can also take a few days. They may involve wandering into the woods and setting up a camp or even having...

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Everything You Know About Hiking in Colombia is Wrong

Posted by on Dec 14, 2017 @ 12:08 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Everything You Know About Hiking in Colombia is Wrong

For decades, Colombia’s wild areas were a no-go zone because of guerilla fighters and narcos, who occupied and fortified rural areas across the country. To venture beyond the city limits was to risk being kidnapped and held for ransom, a lucrative scheme the outlaws called miracle fishing. Beginning around 2000, the government started negotiating peace deals with the armed rebels, all but putting an end to the practice. In 2016, Juan Manuel Santos, president of Colombia, brokered a peace deal with FARC, the main guerilla group, and...

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Major financial institutions rebuke the Trump agenda, announce big steps away from fossil fuels

Posted by on Dec 14, 2017 @ 7:09 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Major financial institutions rebuke the Trump agenda, announce big steps away from fossil fuels

Two major financial institutions — one public, one private — announced that they would be significantly paring down their investment in fossil fuel projects, signaling a shift in the way financial institutions assess the risks associated with fossil fuels and climate change. During the One Planet Summit taking place in Paris, France this week, the World Bank announced that it would no longer finance upstream oil and gas — meaning any projects that involve oil and gas exploration or production — after 2019, making exceptions only for extreme...

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U.S. national parks are drastically reducing free days in 2018

Posted by on Dec 13, 2017 @ 12:02 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

U.S. national parks are drastically reducing free days in 2018

Visitors to the America’s national parks will have far fewer free admission days to choose from in 2018. National parks in the U.S. will sharply drop the number of days they allow visitors to get in for free, a move that was criticized by opponents of the parks’ plan to raise entrance costs at other times of the year. After waiving fees 16 days in 2016 and 10 days in 2017, the National Park Service announced that it will have four no-cost days next year. They will be Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15), the first day of National...

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8 things to know about the winter solstice

Posted by on Dec 13, 2017 @ 6:48 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

8 things to know about the winter solstice

“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night,” quipped Steve Martin — and indeed, even a day with less sunshine can feel a bit dark. Our world depends on the light radiating from that big star we traipse around, and when it’s in short supply, we feel it. But if you count yourself among those who don’t love waking up before the sun rises and getting off work after it has set, things are about to lighten up. Hello, winter solstice! Although winter is really just beginning, we can at least say goodbye to these short little days we’ve...

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Make Sure You Are Drinking Clean Water

Posted by on Dec 12, 2017 @ 12:16 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Make Sure You Are Drinking Clean Water

Cases such as the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, demonstrate how tenuous our access to safe, clean drinking water can actually be—no matter where we live. In fact, thousands of potential contaminants can make their way into our drinking water, and the infrastructure across the U.S. can’t always keep up with water purification needs. That’s a tough pill to swallow, because as everyone knows we need clean water to survive. In order for us to stay healthy, it’s critical that our water is safe to drink. If we can’t always trust the safety of...

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A Trail Runner’s Paean to Bears Ears

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 @ 11:44 am in Conservation | 0 comments

A Trail Runner’s Paean to Bears Ears

Ultrarunner Bryon Powell spends nine days exploring the monument under siege The sun is still hidden below Owl Canyon’s south rim, and the cool October-night air lingers in the canyon bottom. I exit a hairpin bend and find myself facing a canyon wall. Dead ahead of me is a bright speck in the midst of broad shadow, the telltale sign of a rock window. “Nevills Arch?” I think. “No. Couldn’t be. Not yet.” Nowhere on my maps, nor in my guidebook, is there mention of a rock window here. From the looks of it, this window is likely “open” only for a...

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A Captivating Look at the “Big Four” North American Deserts

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 @ 7:09 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

A Captivating Look at the “Big Four” North American Deserts

Ah, the desert: the “land of little rain”, the house of haboob and flash flood, the thirsty wilderness, the barren void wandered by nomads, exiles, spiritual seekers, bandits, prospectors, and UFO hunters—plus sidewinders, scorpions, tarantulas, and vultures, of course. Taken collectively, the deserts of North America are still overshadowed sizewise by the Sahara—at 3.6 million square miles, the greatest (non-polar) desert in the world—as well as the Arabian, the Australian Outback, and several others. But in beauty, wilderness, and...

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Should people pay to play in Pisgah National Forest?

Posted by on Dec 10, 2017 @ 3:12 pm in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Should people pay to play in Pisgah National Forest?

Patrick Scott walks 380 miles for work. It’s not every day, but that’s how many miles curve, dip and roll through the Pisgah National Forest. If laid end to end, those trails would stretch from Asheville, NC to Montgomery, Alabama, and Scott, the forest’s Pisgah District trail program manager, must oversee them all. The undertaking is daunting not just for the miles, but for the rapidly growing number of people who take to the trails to hike, mountain bike, rock climb, run, ride horses and use off-road vehicles. Annual visitation reaches 4.6...

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It’s Fast Approaching Time for First Day Hikes

Posted by on Dec 10, 2017 @ 6:30 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

It’s Fast Approaching Time for First Day Hikes

What better way to kick off the New Year than by getting a jump start burning off those extra holiday calories in the great outdoors? On New Year’s Day, America’s State Parks have all 50 states offering free, guided First Day Hike Programs. These hikes provide a means for individuals and families to welcome the coming year in the outdoors, exercising and connecting with nature. Last year nearly 55,000 people rang in the New Year, collectively hiking over 133,000 miles throughout the country on the guided hikes. Numerous others hiked state...

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Interior Department’s return to the ‘Robber Baron’ years

Posted by on Dec 9, 2017 @ 6:36 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Interior Department’s return to the ‘Robber Baron’ years

In 1921, President Warren G. Harding, R, at the behest of the oil barons who financed his election, appointed Albert Bacon Fall to be his secretary of the Interior. Fall had vowed not only to transfer all public lands to private interests, but also to abolish the Interior Department altogether. As a Cabinet member, he set out to dismantle the conservation ethos that Republican President Theodore Roosevelt had brought to Washington and to open federal fossil fuels and other resources to unfettered development, effectively handing the keys to...

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Utah Parks Set Attendance Records Once Again

Posted by on Dec 8, 2017 @ 11:45 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Utah Parks Set Attendance Records Once Again

With a month to spare, Zion National Park has set a new record for visitation this year, heightening concerns about overcrowding just as park managers consider a controversial fee hike and requiring visitors to go through an online reservation system. The park had counted 4,365,946 visitors through the end of November, representing nearly a 5 percent increase over last year’s record numbers. Since 2010, the park has seen visitation increase nearly 70 percent. Zion wasn’t alone among Utah parks in drawing record numbers of crowds....

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In Staten Island, hiking the wild path of Richmond Creek

Posted by on Dec 8, 2017 @ 6:36 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

In Staten Island, hiking the wild path of Richmond Creek

Stretching over five miles from its furthest tributaries in the Staten Island Greenbelt to its mouth in Fresh Kills, Richmond Creek flows through many layers of hidden history. Its waters pass by toxic landfills and old mill remnants, a historic town museum, a manmade mountain of rubble, a vast Boy Scout camp, and an abandoned tuberculosis hospital. Along its entire course, the creek is a fascinating blend of natural and engineered landscapes, simultaneously operating as a stormwater drainage system and a wildlife sanctuary for several rare...

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Keep an eye out for Salt River wild horses on this Mesa-area hike

Posted by on Dec 7, 2017 @ 11:55 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Keep an eye out for Salt River wild horses on this Mesa-area hike

The Sonoran Desert Trail System in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest has more than 20 miles of interconnected paths between Usery Pass Road and Bush Highway just south of the Salt River Recreation Area. The northernmost route in the system is the Wild Horse Trail, which is also part of the Valley-circumnavigating Maricopa Trail. As its name suggests, the trail passes through the domain of wild horses. The elegant and sometimes controversial beasts can be spotted wading in the river, poking around in the riparian corridors and grazing in...

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Learn more about this Asheville museum’s annual hiking series

Posted by on Dec 7, 2017 @ 7:13 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Learn more about this Asheville museum’s annual hiking series

Hikers can make a New Year’s resolution for adventure when the Swannanoa Valley Museum’s annual hiking series resumes in 2018. The museum offers two hiking programs, the challenging Swannanoa Rim Hike Series and the more moderate Valley History Explorer Series. The Rim Hike Series explores the peaks of the Swannanoa Valley, while the Valley History Explorer Series revisits the past of local communities across the valley. Prospective hikers can learn about the programs at three free informational meetings. The first will be at the museum on...

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Rockefeller and the secret land deals that created Grand Teton National Park

Posted by on Dec 6, 2017 @ 11:52 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Rockefeller and the secret land deals that created Grand Teton National Park

The audacious plan was hatched in secret. In the 1920s, John D. Rockefeller Jr. — son of the Standard Oil founder, ardent conservationist and one of America’s richest men — agreed to surreptitiously acquire thousands of acres of breathtaking scenery around Jackson Hole, Wyo., and donate them to the federal government for a national park. At the behest of Horace Albright, the future director of the National Park Service, Rockefeller formed a company called the Snake River Land Co. to buy up property around the Snake River. Rockefeller knew...

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Pilfered artifacts, three suicides and the struggle over federal land in Utah

Posted by on Dec 6, 2017 @ 7:10 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Pilfered artifacts, three suicides and the struggle over federal land in Utah

For decades, the empty desert region at the junction of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico — known as the Four Corners — was a free-for-all for treasure hunters looking to pick the region clean of Native American artifacts. Then on the morning of June 10, 2009, federal agents arrived in force in Blanding, Utah. Just as the morning light was creeping in on the tiny town, more than 100 agents reportedly fanned out. They pounded on doors at eight houses in town, while other members of the FBI and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) executed...

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41st Annual Festival of Christmas Past Program in the Smokies

Posted by on Dec 5, 2017 @ 11:57 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

41st Annual Festival of Christmas Past Program in the Smokies

Great Smoky Mountains National Park announces the 41st annual Festival of Christmas Past celebration scheduled on Saturday, December 9, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, TN. The event, sponsored in cooperation with Great Smoky Mountains Association, is free to the public. The festival will include old-time mountain music, traditional shape note singing, mountain craft demonstrations, and a living history walk. Visitors can also experience these traditions through hands-on activities such as...

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Forest Service closes in on plan to protect Oregon wilderness areas from overuse

Posted by on Dec 5, 2017 @ 6:57 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Forest Service closes in on plan to protect Oregon wilderness areas from overuse

After eight months and more than 500 comments from Oregonians, the U.S. Forest Service is closing in on a proposal that could protect central Oregon’s most scenic areas from overuse. The Forest Service kicked off the project in the spring by holding public meetings to gauge interest in changing the way trails and campgrounds in five popular wilderness areas, spanning up to 530,000 acres in the Deschutes and Willamette national forests, are managed. Today, officials are optimistic a decision for the project — known as the Central Cascade...

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Trump scales back two huge national monuments in Utah, drawing praise and protests

Posted by on Dec 4, 2017 @ 3:03 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Trump scales back two huge national monuments in Utah, drawing praise and protests

President Trump announced that he is drastically scaling back two national monuments established in Utah by his Democratic predecessors, the largest reduction of public lands protection in U.S. history. Trump’s move to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments by more than 1.1 million acres and more than 800,000 acres, respectively, immediately sparked an outpouring of praise from conservative lawmakers, and protests from activists outside the White House and in Utah. It also plunges the Trump administration into...

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Climate Change Is Increasing Regional Conflict and Creating Millions of Refugees Across the Globe

Posted by on Dec 4, 2017 @ 6:35 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Climate Change Is Increasing Regional Conflict and Creating Millions of Refugees Across the Globe

Those who are least to blame for climate change are those who are all too often affected first and worst. The world’s least developed countries produce only a fraction of global greenhouse gas emissions and have had far fewer of the benefits reaped by the developed world from their carbon-based economies, yet they are the most vulnerable and the least able to respond effectively to the impacts of climate change. From the imagery of climate change, you might be mistaken for thinking it is all about polar bears. It is so much more: it is...

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10 best national parks for sunrises and sunsets

Posted by on Dec 3, 2017 @ 8:53 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

10 best national parks for sunrises and sunsets

Have you ever spent several pre-dawn hours climbing to the summit of a mountain so that you can get the best angle to see the sunrise? Some people will go to great lengths to witness the daily dramas of sunrise and sunset. It’s not just about watching the big yellow ball appear or disappear over the horizon, but about the surrounding landscapes and clouds at the same time. A handful of the most dramatic dawn and dusk destinations are inside U.S. national parks. Some sun-viewing spots are well known and filled with photographers each...

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Redwood grove being loved to death

Posted by on Dec 2, 2017 @ 11:50 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Redwood grove being loved to death

Awhile back, it used to be that the grouping of eight old-growth redwood trees deep within Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park near Crescent City, California could be reached only by following clues in a book about tree hunters. There were no direct hiking trails, and the nearest road was miles away. Then, in 2011, someone uploaded a geotag marking the trees’ location online. As many as 50 people a day began finding their way to the grove and loving it to death. The onslaught of tourists bushwhacking through the rain forest is slowly killing...

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Why Taking a Winter Hike May Be the Best Way to Enjoy the Trails

Posted by on Dec 2, 2017 @ 8:40 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Why Taking a Winter Hike May Be the Best Way to Enjoy the Trails

Many casual outdoor enthusiasts simply hang up their boots at the first sign of frost. “Many people think that when the cold comes, hiking season is over, but that’s definitely not the case,” says a backcountry guide. “In the winter, trails are less crowded, and there are views that you’ll never see during the summer.” Imagine trekking through a giant snow globe with fields of white-dusted Douglas firs and silence so deep it warms your soul. It’s like that. You might be surprised to learn that winter...

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Indiana Dunes could be next national park: Here is how it compares

Posted by on Dec 1, 2017 @ 12:07 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Indiana Dunes could be next national park: Here is how it compares

Should the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore becomes the 60th national park, it would be the first in Indiana, and at about 40 miles from downtown, the nearest to Chicago by a large distance. The U.S. Senate must vote on the proposal, and it then needs to be signed by President Donald Trump. Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly said he is hopeful the Senate will pass the measure soon. The U.S. House unanimously passed the bill in early November. “The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of our state’s most beautiful natural resources....

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Forest crews use hand tools to restore Anaconda-Pintler trails damaged by fire

Posted by on Dec 1, 2017 @ 6:59 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Forest crews use hand tools to restore Anaconda-Pintler trails damaged by fire

The Meyers fire didn’t get a lot of press this summer, but it won’t go unnoticed among fans of the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness. As it blackened about 62,000 acres of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest near Philipsburg, Montana, it made some particularly vigorous runs through the Pintler Ranger District. Even before the flames died, U.S. Forest Service backcountry workers started inventorying the damage to their trails and campsites. Their to-do list showed 40 miles of trail covered with downfall, burned bridges and erosion trouble. The...

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Solar panel prices plunge by a shocking 26 percent in one year

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 @ 11:41 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Solar panel prices plunge by a shocking 26 percent in one year

Prices for new wind and solar plants continue to plunge at an astonishing pace. Driven by steadily improving technology and the use of auctions to set prices, the cost of solar and wind dropped 25 percent this past year — and even more in some key emerging markets like China. That drop comes on top of an 80 percent reduction in the previous 10 years, which is why building new renewable energy sources is now cheaper than just running old coal and nuclear plants. China’s electricity price on a solar deal for Inner Mongolia plunged 44 percent...

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Vancouver Island’s North Coast Trail Turns 10

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 @ 7:16 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Vancouver Island’s North Coast Trail Turns 10

November marks the ten-year anniversary of the inaugural hike of Vancouver Island’s North Coast Trail at Cape Scott Park. 5,239 hikers have hiked the North Coast Trail since it opened to the public. Compare that to the average 6,000 people that hike the West Coast Trail each summer and you’ll understand why hikers come to the NCT from far and wide for it’s wild, untouched feel. A visit to the Cape Scott Lighthouse is generally a triumphant moment for hikers of the trail who want to check off a visit to the most Westerly point of...

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Lets Walk can improve your hiking and fitness goals

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 @ 12:19 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Lets Walk can improve your hiking and fitness goals

Lets Walk is an iOS application specially designed for tracking walks and hikes. So far over 50k users from all around the world are using this, and they are growing very rapidly each month. Soon, they will be adding social features such as creating hiking groups, sharing hike experiences, recommending trails and reading hiking blogs within the app. Lets Walk is accurate tracking your steps. Lets Walk uses Moves API to access your walking activity and track all your steps, distance, time and calories. Lets Walk can improve your daily exercise...

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