News

Hear the William Bartram story

Posted by on Jun 15, 2019 @ 9:19 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Hear the William Bartram story

On Friday, June 21, 2019, a hike along part of the Bartram Trail will impart stories of the man who inspired it, with N.C. Bartram Trail Society member Brent Martin leading the adventure. The hike is one of HCLT’s series of EcoTours available to its members. Anyone can become a member on the hike. Reserve a spot by contacting hclt_ed@earthlink.net or 828.526.1111, or reserve online at www.hicashlt.org. At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, 2019, Martin will present a program at The Village Green in Cashiers titled “Blazing Trails: looking into the...

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How Much Nature Is Enough? 120 Minutes a Week, Doctors Say

Posted by on Jun 14, 2019 @ 7:23 am in Conservation | 0 comments

How Much Nature Is Enough? 120 Minutes a Week, Doctors Say

It’s a medical fact: Spending time outdoors, especially in green spaces, is good for you. A wealth of research indicates that escaping to a neighborhood park, hiking through the woods, or spending a weekend by the lake can lower a person’s stress levels, decrease blood pressure and reduce the risk of asthma, allergies, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, while boosting mental health and increasing life expectancy. Doctors around the world have begun prescribing time in nature as a way of improving their patients’ health. One question has...

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Celebrating Cosby in the Smokies: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Posted by on Jun 13, 2019 @ 6:50 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Celebrating Cosby in the Smokies: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials invite the public to attend “Celebrating Cosby: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” community programs on Fridays beginning June 14, 2019 through August 2, 2019 at the Cosby Campground Amphitheater. The programs honor the rich cultural and natural history of the Cosby area through music, storytelling, and history walks. “These programs offer incredible opportunities for visitors to discover Cosby by experiencing it firsthand with the people who live and work here,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “We...

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San Diego’s Greatest Hikes for Every Skill Level

Posted by on Jun 12, 2019 @ 7:26 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

San Diego’s Greatest Hikes for Every Skill Level

San Diego is known around the country as a beach haven, and for good reason: the county does, after all, have more than 70 miles of pristine, world-class coastline. However, those who actually live in the city know that its natural splendor extends far beyond its shores – the county is also home to some spectacular hiking. While San Diego’s mountains might not attract the same level of fame as its beaches, they provide a world of opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts looking to hike, mountain bike, climb, or simply get away from the...

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Smokies National Park Hosts 2019 Women’s Work Festival

Posted by on Jun 11, 2019 @ 7:30 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Smokies National Park Hosts 2019 Women’s Work Festival

Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host the annual Women’s Work Festival at the Mountain Farm Museum on Saturday, June 15, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The festival honors the vast contributions made by the women of Southern Appalachia. Park staff and volunteers will showcase mountain lifeways and customs that women practiced to care for their families in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As part of the celebration, demonstrations among the historic buildings will include hearth cooking, soap making, corn shuck...

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How to keep your tweens and teens interested in hiking and backpacking

Posted by on Jun 10, 2019 @ 9:12 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Spending time with your children is important no matter how old they get, but how can you keep teens and preteens engaged in outdoor recreation during their sometimes rebellious years? “Kids need to spend time outdoors — a fun, healthy, beyond-the-ordinary place. Backpacking is a great way to help them appreciate all the beauty and adventure that the natural world offers.” Here are some ways to keep your teens and tweens excited about hiking and backpacking: Parents can send negative messages when they use too many ‘don’ts’ leading up to a...

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The Maine Coast Heritage Trust has preserved many acres on Maine’s Frenchboro Island, saving it from second-home development

Posted by on Jun 9, 2019 @ 9:51 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

The Maine Coast Heritage Trust has preserved many acres on Maine’s Frenchboro Island, saving it from second-home development

In the late 1990s, 940 acres on Frenchboro, or roughly two-thirds of the island, was listed for sale. Frenchboro is an island of the coast of Maine, accessible by ferry. Fearing this spectacular property would be purchased for subdivision and seasonal home development, concerned island residents forged a partnership with the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the Island Institute and the Maine Seacoast Mission to conserve the land. A massive fund-raising effort ensued, and in 2000 the parcel was acquired by MCHT. In 2011, the entirety of Rich’s...

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Hiking Spain’s luminous Lighthouse Way

Posted by on Jun 8, 2019 @ 7:45 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking Spain’s luminous Lighthouse Way

The Lighthouse Way, Camiño dos Faros in Spanish, traverses a stretch of coast that British sailors in the 19th century dubbed the “Costa da Morte” (Coast of Death) because so many of their compatriots died in shipwrecks there. The route goes between Malpica and Fisterra, Spain. Along the way it is marked by haphazardly painted shamrock-green arrows (that often look just like blobs of paint) on trees or rocks. A group of local friends started piecing the Camiño together in 2013, connecting fishermen’s paths, farm tracks, beaches, livestock...

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Colorado hikers, one blind and one in a wheelchair, use their strengths to help each other climb mountains

Posted by on Jun 7, 2019 @ 6:48 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Colorado hikers, one blind and one in a wheelchair, use their strengths to help each other climb mountains

Trevor Hahn has been legally blind since he was born. He suffers from macular degeneration, iritis and glaucoma. “Ten years ago, I could drive a car. Five years ago, it went downhill and I could only see light after that,” Hahn said. “I can only see light now. No shapes, really.” He learned how to hike using adaptive techniques like following the sound of bells or with voice commands from his hiking partners. That’s how he climbed the 17,575-foot summit of Gokyo Ri mountain in Nepal. In summer 2018, Hahn and his wife Mandy attended a function...

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1 Billion Acres At Risk For Catastrophic Wildfires, U.S. Forest Service Warns

Posted by on Jun 6, 2019 @ 7:44 am in Conservation | 0 comments

1 Billion Acres At Risk For Catastrophic Wildfires, U.S. Forest Service Warns

The chief of the U.S. Forest Service is warning that a billion acres of land across America are at risk of catastrophic wildfires like last fall’s deadly Camp Fire that destroyed most of Paradise, Calif. As we head into summer, with smoke already drifting into the Northwest from wildfires in Alberta, Canada, Vicki Christiansen said wildfires are now a year-round phenomenon. She pointed to the hazardous conditions in forests that result from a history of suppression of wildfires, rampant home development in high-risk places and the...

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Following environmentalist Edward Abbey’s footsteps in the Utah and Arizona deserts

Posted by on Jun 5, 2019 @ 6:55 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Following environmentalist Edward Abbey’s footsteps in the Utah and Arizona deserts

The road trip from Moab, Utah, to Ajo, Ariz., is a sunbaked ramble through about 600 miles of dreamy, lethal desert, beginning with the red rocks of Utah’s Arches National Park, skirting Monument Valley and the Colorado River, and ending in the cactus country of southern Arizona. Edward Abbey (1927-1989) was a desert rat, a chronic contrarian, a serial government employee with a penchant for anarchy. He spoke for the rocks, the sand and the snakes in a way that no one had. He made his reputation by exploring Arches in the nonfiction...

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Hiking with kids this summer? Follow these safety tips.

Posted by on Jun 4, 2019 @ 9:10 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking with kids this summer? Follow these safety tips.

If you’re planning on hiking with your children this summer, it’s important to be prepared. Whether you’re sticking close to home or heading to a national park for a day of fun, follow these safety tips for hiking with children: Keep children in your sight. Dress them in brightly colored clothing with multiple layers to accommodate the changing temperatures. Give them a whistle in case they get lost. A whistle can be heard farther than a child yelling. Have them carry snacks such as trail mix, raisins and candy bars. If a...

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How Tech Has Changed Hiking

Posted by on Jun 3, 2019 @ 8:57 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How Tech Has Changed Hiking

Before Jean Taggart left home to conquer the 800-mile Arizona Trail last year, she made a detailed spreadsheet to organize her resupply provisions. To update friends and family on her progress, she bought a Garmin inReach Mini, which is a GPS and satellite messenger. She poured over hiker blogs and absorbed detailed information about each section of the trail on the Arizona Trail Association’s website—which also connected her with “trail angels” who could help her cache water on exceptionally dry sections of the route. Taggart watched hikers’...

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Hiking the Bay Area’s epic Skyline Trail

Posted by on Jun 2, 2019 @ 7:29 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking the Bay Area’s epic Skyline Trail

Thru-hiking a National Recreation Trail isn’t easy. Preparing for it is even harder. Backpackers need the right combination of fitness, finances, luck and time. A Pacific Crest thru-hike will set you back about $6,000. Considering the John Muir Trail? Permits are assigned by lottery exactly 168 days in advance. Not to mention the Sierra Nevada snowpack is at roughly 160 percent this year — which is just fantastic after five years of drought, unless your plan was to hike there. But there is good news for those looking to enjoy the peace of a...

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The Great Ocean Walk: 104 Kilometers of Stunning Variety in Victoria, Australia

Posted by on Jun 1, 2019 @ 7:03 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Great Ocean Walk: 104 Kilometers of Stunning Variety in Victoria, Australia

Starting in Apollo Bay and ending at the Twelve Apostles, this coastal trail packs a lifetime of experiences into four to eight days. Trek through Great Otway and Port Campbell National Parks, sharing verdant hills with cows and kangaroos alike. Wind through thick forests and catch a glimpse of a koala clinging to a eucalyptus tree, and marvel at the Southern Ocean in action as it carves out jagged seaside cliffs. For those who don’t have the luxury of living down under, the Great Ocean Walk (GOW) is the best way to connect with the terrain...

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Free, guided National Trails Day hikes planned at sites across West Virginia

Posted by on May 31, 2019 @ 9:27 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Free, guided National Trails Day hikes planned at sites across West Virginia

Free guided hikes and other outdoor activities will be offered on public lands across West Virginia on Saturday, June 1, 2019, in recognition of National Trails Day. Begun in 1993 by the American Hiking Society as a way to introduce people to trails in their area, National Trails Day drew nearly 110,000 people in 50 states to nearly 1,200 hikes and other activities. This year, National Trails Day events will take place at more than a dozen West Virginia locations, including four in Kanawha State Forest. Two of the Kanawha State Forest hikes...

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The Big Bend 100: The Newest Long-Distance Trail in Texas

Posted by on May 30, 2019 @ 7:03 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Big Bend 100: The Newest Long-Distance Trail in Texas

The newest trail in Texas, the Big Bend 100 looks to give the Lone Star State a strong long trail of its own. The brand new route highlights everything the area has to offer with mountain peaks, low lying canyons, sandy desert paths and plenty of desert heat. When most people think of Texas, they cannot help but imagine flat ranch land, cowboy hats and pickup trucks. It’s fair to say the state is not known as a hiking destination. The Big Bend area, in far west Texas, combines both the National Park and Texas’ Big Bend Ranch State Park,...

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We’ll soon know the exact air pollution from every power plant in the world

Posted by on May 29, 2019 @ 7:49 am in Conservation | 0 comments

We’ll soon know the exact air pollution from every power plant in the world

  A nonprofit artificial intelligence firm called WattTime is going to use satellite imagery to precisely track the air pollution (including carbon emissions) coming out of every single power plant in the world, in real time. And it’s going to make the data public. This is a very big deal. Poor monitoring and gaming of emissions data have made it difficult to enforce pollution restrictions on power plants. This system promises to effectively eliminate these problems. And it won’t just be regulators and politicians who see this data;...

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Praise Song for the Unloved Animals

Posted by on May 28, 2019 @ 6:59 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Praise Song for the Unloved Animals

Even the most maligned creatures of backyards and roadsides have a potent purpose in the world. Sing, O muse, of the lumbering opossum, of the nearsighted, stumbling opossum, whose only defenses are a hiss, a hideous scowl and a rank scent emitted in terror. Let us rejoice in the pink-nosed, pink-fingered opossum, her silvery pouch full of babies, each no bigger than a honeybee. May your young thrive to ride upon your back. May they fatten and grow large and stumble off on their own to devour cockroaches and carrion and venomous snakes. May...

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Even avid hikers can find themselves in peril. Here’s how to stay safe on the trail.

Posted by on May 27, 2019 @ 6:50 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Even avid hikers can find themselves in peril. Here’s how to stay safe on the trail.

By all accounts, Amanda Eller is an avid hiker. The trail she chose the day she disappeared was one she had hiked before. Eller, a Maui resident who went missing for 16 days before being found, is a fit yoga instructor and physical therapist, yet she still found herself in a life-or-death situation on what was supposed to be a pleasant, three-mile hike. No one sets out to run into trouble, but even experienced hikers can lose their footing, encounter a threatening wild animal or simply get turned around on the trail. Hiking organizations such...

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How to Handle Your Period While Hiking and Camping

Posted by on May 26, 2019 @ 9:36 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Going outside inevitably impacts the environment, whether all that remains are your footsteps—as Leave No Trace (LNT) would encourage—or you’re treating nature as your personal trash can and compost pile. And having your period while backpacking or camping only makes it harder to reduce that impact. In accordance with Leave No Trace principles, don’t leave anything not created by your body—including tampons and toilet paper—in nature. Keep this in mind if you’re going on a trip where you won’t see a garbage can for a while, as you’ll have to...

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Littering and Following the Crowd

Posted by on May 25, 2019 @ 7:07 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Littering and Following the Crowd

Loretta Brown walked along Bishop’s Beach near Homer, Alaska, looking for plastic bottles, Styrofoam cups, beer cans, cigarette butts, and old fishing nets. “You tend to find things among the driftwood, since the same tide that washes up the driftwood washes up the trash,” she said, stooping to pick up a plastic water bottle. “It’s kind of like an Easter egg hunt.” Brown is a marine debris education and outreach specialist with the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, a nonprofit organization based in Homer that educates the public about...

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The one sure way to convince a climate denier

Posted by on May 24, 2019 @ 6:51 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Back in 2007, South Carolina Congressman Bob Inglis rebelled against the Republican party and his conservative state: He told the world that climate change was real, that it was caused by humans, and that his party would “get hammered” if they didn’t step up and do something about it. Then, unlike other Republicans who gave the issue lip service at the time, he actually tried. Why would a dyed-in-the-wool Republican take such a strong stance? Inglis’s son said he’d vote against him if he didn’t. Apparently, his son’s vote wasn’t the one he...

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‘Unlikely’ Hikers Hit the Trail

Posted by on May 23, 2019 @ 7:04 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

‘Unlikely’ Hikers Hit the Trail

Jenny Bruso is a 37-year-old, plus-size, queer hiker living in Portland, Ore. She went on her first hike seven years ago after a person she was dating asked her to join. On the 5.8 mile loop trail she felt self-conscious, walking slowly and sweating because she wasn’t used to working out. “I really didn’t know what to do except walk,” she said. “But I felt something kind of unlock, this feeling of possibility like I was seeing nature for the first time.” Ms. Bruso became obsessed with hiking. But the more she hiked, the more she saw that the...

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Photography In The National Parks: Is There In Truth No Beauty?

Posted by on May 22, 2019 @ 7:09 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Photography In The National Parks: Is There In Truth No Beauty?

Quite a few stunning photographs have undergone their fair share of editing. For instance, the starry night photos you may see of the Watchman and the Virgin River in Zion National Park with the perfect lighting on both river and mountain even in the dark of night. Those are composites of two or more images blended together. Some photographers will state how many shots it took to create that composite, while others remain silent about it. Is it a beautiful image? Yes. Is it an honest image, true to the original scene? Well … sure. The...

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Collaborative works to reduce I-40 animal deaths

Posted by on May 21, 2019 @ 7:44 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Collaborative works to reduce I-40 animal deaths

The Pigeon River Gorge Wildlife Connectivity Project is a joint effort of at least 19 nonprofit and governmental groups working to bring the death rate of wildlife on Interstate-40 through the gorge down. The many groups under the connectivity project umbrella, including the N.C. and Tennessee Departments of Transportation, U.S. Forest Service, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, recognize the increasing hazards of vehicle collisions. Since the 28-mile stretch of I-40 between the Maggie Valley exit...

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How to protect yourself on hiking trails

Posted by on May 20, 2019 @ 10:12 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How to protect yourself on hiking trails

Alarming headlines about missing hikers, or worse, can trigger panic about trail safety and the risks of exploring remote areas. The potential for danger exists no matter where you are, but the best way to guard against it is to be prepared and alert. Here are some tips for how to stay safe while hiking in remote areas, culled from the National Park Service and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Whether you’re alone or in a group, it’s wise to tell someone else where you’re going and when you intend to return. Establish a...

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The Quest to Complete the Greater Patagonian Trail

Posted by on May 19, 2019 @ 3:06 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Quest to Complete the Greater Patagonian Trail

In late 2017, German engineer Jan Dudeck was just completing a decade-long quest to create a new long trail through South America. The Greater Patagonian Trail (GPT), as he named it, would come to be 1,900 miles, stretching through the southern Andes from Santiago to the Argentinean climbing mecca of Mount Fitzroy. “This trail rewards the humble,” Dudeck says, “and humiliates the proud.” Stories were emerging from some of Dudeck’s collaborators of glacial river crossings, trailblazing, and frontiersman-like bushwhacking on the GPT. These...

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Plastics are sealing the planet’s fate

Posted by on May 18, 2019 @ 6:59 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Plastics are sealing the planet’s fate

It’s impossible to imagine modern life without plastics. From the moment the day begins, we are using plastic. It’s in our toothbrushes, our shower curtains and our phones. We use it on the way to work in bus seats, car dashboards, and bicycle helmets. We see it at lunch in takeout containers and disposable utensils. Whether you’re in your living room controlling the TV with a plastic remote or on the top of Mount Everest wearing cold-weather gear made with plastics, it’s there. We rarely think about where it all comes from, but we should....

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This lodge in the Oregon wilderness is anything but wild

Posted by on May 17, 2019 @ 9:09 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

This lodge in the Oregon wilderness is anything but wild

Minam River Lodge is a rare piece of private property within Oregon’s 360,000-acre Eagle Cap Wilderness, which itself is located within the 2.3 million-acre Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. It was founded as a hunting camp in 1950 and even today the only ways to get here are to hike, ride a horse or have local rancher Joe Spence fly you there in his three-seat Cessna 206. Once at the lodge, which is open from late May into October, there is no cellphone reception, Internet or television; power in the cabins and main lodge comes from an array...

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Help Make History on National Trails Day June 1, 2019

Posted by on May 16, 2019 @ 7:37 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Help Make History on National Trails Day June 1, 2019

By pledging to improve a trail you’ll join a nation-wide movement to set a world record and (more importantly) sustain America’s remarkable trails system. With your help, we can preserve beloved trails for future generations. Plus, everyone who commits to improving trails will be entered to win weekly giveaways of awesome outdoor gear. How does this pledge work? Make your commitment to improving a trail by simply submitting the online pledge. After National Trails Day®, we’ll ask you how many miles of trail you helped to improve to establish...

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Bears Ears’ only visitor center isn’t run by the feds

Posted by on May 15, 2019 @ 7:17 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Bears Ears’ only visitor center isn’t run by the feds

With the monument facing stripped-down protections and sky rocketing visitation, a local nonprofit built its own guerrilla visitor center to educate the masses. The terracotta mesas and umber buttes reveal that this is an exceptional place. Yet not one sign from the Bureau of Land Management or the U.S. Forest Service, the two federal agencies that jointly manage Bears Ears National Monument, indicates where it’s actually located. There are no federal facilities dedicated to the rising tide of visitors. “It’s managed by Google,” says Josh...

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How to Prevent and Treat Blisters While Hiking

Posted by on May 14, 2019 @ 7:11 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Keeping yourself healthy while hiking requires playing the long game, especially when it comes to blisters. You should do everything you can beforehand to prevent them and then stop them from completely hobbling you when they do pop up. “Socks are almost as important, if not more important, than shoes,” former women’s Appalachian Trail speed record holder Liz Thomas says. “I know people who like more padding. It really depends on your body, hiking style, how much you weigh, how your feet turn when you walk, and what sort of trail you’re on.”...

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Epic 3,700-mile nature trail will one day allow you to hike coast-to-coast

Posted by on May 13, 2019 @ 7:19 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Epic 3,700-mile nature trail will one day allow you to hike coast-to-coast

Outdoor enthusiasts rejoice. An ambitious, historic new plan will one day allow you to run, bike or even rollerblade coast-to-coast. Rails to Trails Conservancy (RTC) unveiled its 3,700-mile off-road trail this week. When fully completed, the “Great American Rail Trail” will become the nation’s first cross-country multi-use trail. The trail will travel from Washington D.C. through 12 states: Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington. RTC settled on the entirely...

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Study finds 96% of national parks have hazardous air quality

Posted by on May 12, 2019 @ 7:15 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Study finds 96% of national parks have hazardous air quality

Millions of tourists will head out into America’s national parks this summer in search of fresh mountain air. But according to a new report they should instead expect dangerous levels of pollution; roughly 96% of the nation’s parks are struggling with significant air quality issues. The report, released by the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), found that some of the most popular parks, including Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Joshua Tree national parks and Mojave national preserve, were among the worst offenders. Last year, these...

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2 men endure 71-day hike to document the Grand Canyon

Posted by on May 11, 2019 @ 7:22 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

2 men endure 71-day hike to document the Grand Canyon

This year is the 100th anniversary of Grand Canyon National Park. Six million visit each year, but fewer than 5 percent actually hike into the canyon. More people have walked on the moon than have walked the entire length of the Grand Canyon, 750 miles, the vast majority without trails. “It’s a hostile place and water is the key,” said photographer Pete McBride. It took McBride and writer Kevin Fedarko 71 excruciating days to complete their journey. “I came in with some attitude. Like, ‘We’ll just –...

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