News

Route Finding and Navigation for Hiking & Mountaineering

Posted by on Sep 23, 2020 @ 6:25 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Route Finding and Navigation for Hiking & Mountaineering

As promised yesterday, Meanderthals will shift gears for awhile and introduce you to shared information on the Internet that can help you be a better steward in the outdoors. Today, it’s how to improve your route finding from the REI Co-op. On many hiking or mountaineering adventures, you’ll leave the well-trodden trail behind to set off for the summit. Doing so is an exciting opportunity to explore new terrain and test your abilities. But to stay on course, travel efficiently and choose a suitable route up the mountain, you and your...

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A Commitment from Meanderthals to Do Better

Posted by on Sep 22, 2020 @ 6:27 am in Conservation | 0 comments

A Commitment from Meanderthals to Do Better

Have you been paying attention to social media in the Southern Appalachians region in recent days? No doubt you have seen the disturbing photographs from Max Patch, one of the iconic hiking locations along the Appalachian Trail, and in all of the South. Max Patch, and so many others of our favorite destinations, is being overcrowded to a slow, painful death. After any summer weekend you may find hundreds of pounds of trash discarded and left behind, spoiling the scenery for those that follow. It’s laziness plain and simple. Especially...

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Akron moves forward with ‘Rubber City Heritage Trail’ on abandoned elevated railway

Posted by on Sep 21, 2020 @ 6:54 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Akron moves forward with ‘Rubber City Heritage Trail’ on abandoned elevated railway

Akron and the Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition are moving forward with plans to design the six-mile “Rubber City Heritage Trail” on a stretch of an abandoned elevated rail line. The trail will be constructed on the former Akron-Barberton Belt elevated railway corridor, and is intended to resemble the High Line in New York City. It will be 10-feet wide and can accommodate hikers and cyclists. The Rubber City Heritage Trail will serve primarily the residents of Akron by making trail connections to libraries, schools, parks and grocery stores....

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The New American Perimeter Trail Will Be the Longest Hiking Route in the U.S.

Posted by on Sep 20, 2020 @ 6:43 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The New American Perimeter Trail Will Be the Longest Hiking Route in the U.S.

In June 2019, hiker Rue McKenrick left his home in Bend, Oregon, and headed into the Three Sisters Wilderness to then walk south along the Pacific Crest Trail. When he hit the end of the Sierras, he turned east, walking across the Mojave Desert in California through Death Valley. He’s kept walking and, in the last year, has averaged 20 to 30 miles a day, notching more than 8,000 miles total. But McKenrick isn’t on a casual cross-country hike: He’s scouting and mapping the American Perimeter Trail, informally considered the newest and longest...

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Are you ready, boots? Hiking do’s and don’ts in the age of COVID-19

Posted by on Sep 19, 2020 @ 7:03 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Are you ready, boots? Hiking do’s and don’ts in the age of COVID-19

Hiking is a wonderful thing. It’s great exercise and it’s good for the psyche. But with more newbies hitting the trail, and concerns about social distancing, it’s time to take a fresh look at trail etiquette. Many people aren’t riding together anymore due to COVID, so if four friends go hiking, they each drive a car. “This, along with more people seeking outdoor recreation, has resulted in a parking problem at the trailheads,” says a mountain guide. We’ve heard stories of 2-mile backups at popular trails, and trailside parking lots full by 7...

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Migration in Motion: Visualizing Species Movements Due to Climate Change

Posted by on Sep 18, 2020 @ 7:00 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Migration in Motion: Visualizing Species Movements Due to Climate Change

As climate change alters habitats and disrupts ecosystems, where will animals move to survive? And will human development prevent them from getting there? Now you can see those migrations in motion. New research from The Nature Conservancy and university scientists revealed that only 41 percent of the natural land area in the United States retains enough connectivity to facilitate species tracking their preferred climate conditions as the global climate changes. As part of that study, scientists modeled the distribution and habitat needs of...

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The Best and Most Comfortable Leggings for Hiking

Posted by on Sep 17, 2020 @ 6:30 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Best and Most Comfortable Leggings for Hiking

OK ladies, whether you’re a seasoned hiker or new to the trails, it doesn’t take long to realize that the right gear, from hiking boots to hydration packs, will make a trip exploring the great outdoors much more comfortable. Same goes for apparel — as we creep closer to the fall and winter seasons, it’s just about time to exchange your favorite shorts for a pair of durable, comfortable leggings that will keep up with you on the trails. This is a review of six pairs of leggings that are specifically designed for hiking and...

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National Public Lands Day September 26, 2020

Posted by on Sep 16, 2020 @ 6:54 am in Conservation | 0 comments

National Public Lands Day September 26, 2020

NEEF’s National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands. Established in 1994 and held annually on the fourth Saturday in September, the event brings out thousands of volunteers to help restore and improve public lands around the country. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended many aspects of daily life in this country, and our public lands are no exception. Due to social distancing requirements remaining in place for the foreseeable future, many public lands sites will be unable...

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A guide to hiking for novice hikers

Posted by on Sep 15, 2020 @ 6:31 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A guide to hiking for novice hikers

On a recent hike, John Gallen Jr. came across an injured hiker. The hiker had stumbled, fallen and was bleeding. With his first aid kit, Gallen was able staunch the bleeding from what appeared to be a small severed artery. He helped the hiker to safety. Falls can happen to anyone on the trail, but being prepared can make a difference. Gallen, an experienced hiker, said the first aid kit is something he never hikes without, whether it’s a familiar local stroll or a trek through the Andes or Himalayas. “I think she was younger than...

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Studies show North Carolina’s river otters are thriving, and that’s good news for all of us

Posted by on Sep 14, 2020 @ 6:28 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Studies show North Carolina’s river otters are thriving, and that’s good news for all of us

Most people would agree: River otters are adorable. But beyond their playfulness, the otters have an important role in determining the health of a river system. At N.C. State University, scientists this year released studies on river otters that they plan to use as baselines for future research. The first study examined the toxicological effects that metals, such as mercury, cadmium, arsenic and lead, are having on the otters. North Carolina’s river otter populations are relatively healthy compared with populations in other areas of the...

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The Best Hiking Snacks to Pack No Matter What Distance You’re Trekking

Posted by on Sep 13, 2020 @ 6:27 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Best Hiking Snacks to Pack No Matter What Distance You’re Trekking

The moment your stomach starts rumbling and your energy levels take a nosedive, your instinct’s to comb through your snack stash for whatever — be it a sugar-filled granola bar or bag of pretzels — excites your tastebuds. But if you’re trekking up a mountain or through a secluded pine tree forest, you’ll need to be a little more strategic with your snack choices — and when you eat them in the first place. In fact, hikers should consider eating a snack every 60 to 90 minutes between meals, depending on the intensity of the hike, says a...

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How apocalyptic this fire season is

Posted by on Sep 12, 2020 @ 6:43 am in Conservation | 0 comments

How apocalyptic this fire season is

It’s still 2020 and the pandemic-/-climate change apocalypse just got even worse. The West Coast is burning. Residents of the San Francisco Bay Area awoke to dark orange skies, as a thick layer of smoke settled over Northern California. (Smoke scatters blue light, allowing only red and yellow to reach the ground.) It’s hard to overstate how really, terribly bad this fire season has been. In California alone, wildfires have blown through 2.5 million acres of land since the beginning of the year — about 10 times more than last year, and much...

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Parcels donated by CTNC to National Park Service near Waterrock Knob

Posted by on Sep 11, 2020 @ 6:27 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Parcels donated by CTNC to National Park Service near Waterrock Knob

Conservation Trust for North Carolina recently donated three properties totaling 123 acres to the National Park Service for addition to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The land, made up of three tracts, contains a significant section of Woodfin Creek upstream of the Woodfin Cascades, between Parkway mileposts 446 and 450 in Jackson County. Each of the tracts adjoin other properties protected by CTNC that will also be donated to NPS for inclusion in the Blue Ridge Parkway. All of the land is highly visible from Waterrock Knob and is part of a growing...

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These hikers wanted a pandemic getaway. They ended up barely escaping the Creek fire.

Posted by on Sep 10, 2020 @ 6:31 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

These hikers wanted a pandemic getaway. They ended up barely escaping the Creek fire.

When Mandy Keathley began hiking the John Muir Trail, she expected the over 200-mile journey to take about 18 days. The 32-year-old hadn’t made plans for the summer. So when she got a month off from work, she figured it was the perfect time to spend a few weeks in the open air. She packed a 45-liter backpack with her tent, sleeping bag, stove, food, water filtration and clothes. What she didn’t expect was for her solo hike to go up in smoke and end — about a week after it started — in a predawn evacuation on a military helicopter. Hundreds of...

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Nantahala National Forest to grow with land conserved by Asheville land trust

Posted by on Sep 9, 2020 @ 7:07 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Nantahala National Forest to grow with land conserved by Asheville land trust

When you stand on a ridge or mountaintop in Western North Carolina, maybe from Wayah Bald in the Nantahala National Forest or Waterrock Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway, it might look like miles of rippling green and blue mountains. But what you’re really looking at is a checkerboard, said Carl Silverstein, executive director of the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, an Asheville-based nonprofit land trust. Visualize these forests as black and white boxes of public lands and private lands, he said. And blending them into a beautiful,...

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Fleeing the trolls for the grizzlies of the Pacific Northwest Trail

Posted by on Sep 8, 2020 @ 6:50 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Fleeing the trolls for the grizzlies of the Pacific Northwest Trail

In 2009, President Barack Obama signed legislation creating the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail — known informally as the Pacific Northwest Trail. It runs from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, hugging the Canadian border, but it sometimes exists more on paper than on the ground. Some 1,200 miles long, the Pacific Northwest Trail was cobbled together from existing trails and forest roads, so every now and then you get to the end of a trail and the guidebook tells you: Bushwhack seven miles until you get to the next trail. That’s...

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A small town outside Zion National Park copes with COVID-19 changes

Posted by on Sep 7, 2020 @ 6:24 am in Conservation | 0 comments

A small town outside Zion National Park copes with COVID-19 changes

Trish Jennings watched customers dining 6 feet apart outside her Bit & Spur Restaurant and Saloon on an evening in mid-August, missing the usual gregarious chatter of outdoor adventures. Springdale, a small southwest Utah town sits just outside the gates of Zion National Park, and most of the restaurant’s customers arrived after a day exploring the park’s 2,000-foot-deep canyon. Jennings, 53, and her staff are accustomed to swapping hiking and camping stories with thousands of visitors every summer from all over the world,...

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Liz “Mercury” Anjos Sets Northbound Appalachian Trail Fastest Known Time

Posted by on Sep 6, 2020 @ 6:46 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Liz “Mercury” Anjos Sets Northbound Appalachian Trail Fastest Known Time

While she’s been captivated by the Appalachian Trail since she was young, Elizabeth Anjos, who ran cross country at Greeneville College, mostly sticks to road racing. But in 2015 when Scott Jurek broke the AT record, she started thinking more seriously about going for the record for the 2,190 miles stretching from Georgia to Maine, most recently set by Belgian dentist Karel Sabbe, who did it in 41 days, 7 hours, and 39 minutes. She had ideas between that mark and Jennifer Pharr Davis’ 2011 record, which still stands as the women’s record, of...

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Subaru, National Parks Conservation, and National Park Foundation Team Up to Reduce Waste at National Parks

Posted by on Sep 4, 2020 @ 6:49 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Subaru, National Parks Conservation, and National Park Foundation Team Up to Reduce Waste at National Parks

Subaru of America, Inc., the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), and National Park Foundation (NPF) announced that through an innovative partnership three of America’s most iconic national parks are at the forefront to reduce the amount of waste that parks send to landfills. As part of the multi-year Don’t Feed the Landfills Initiative led by NPCA, Subaru of America Inc., NPF, and park concessionaires, Denali, Grand Teton and Yosemite national parks have made incredible progress to shrink the environmental footprint in...

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Pacific Crest Trail Association postpones 2021 permits

Posted by on Sep 3, 2020 @ 7:17 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Pacific Crest Trail Association postpones 2021 permits

The nonprofit that helps organize long-distance hiking trips on the Pacific Crest Trail announced that applications for the 2021 permitting cycle will not open as planned this October. Organizers with the Pacific Crest Trail Association wrote on their website that because of the ongoing pandemic and continuing spread of the coronavirus they’re not opening permits in October. Instead they’ll be monitoring the situation for next year and will reevaluate 2021 permits by mid-January. They cited the fact that, so far, more than 14,000 people have...

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Trump administration plan makes drilling and fracking easier in national forests

Posted by on Sep 3, 2020 @ 6:23 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Trump administration plan makes drilling and fracking easier in national forests

The U.S. Forest Service released a proposal that would fast-track fracking and drilling across the country’s 192 million acres of national forests and grasslands. The proposed rule would reduce requirements that the Forest Service approve oil and gas leasing plans, sidestep National Environmental Policy Act review, and prevent public involvement before the public lands are leased out for fossil-fuel extraction. “This proposal would basically make the Forest Service a rubber stamp for the fossil fuel industry,” said Michael Saul, a senior...

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Blue Ridge Parkway teen volunteer wins National Park Service excellence award

Posted by on Sep 2, 2020 @ 6:16 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Blue Ridge Parkway teen volunteer wins National Park Service excellence award

At age 4, Virginia Ward could identify every tree in the woods near her home. By age 12, Ward was rappelling off the highest cliffs in Western North Carolina, helping Blue Ridge Parkway plant ecologist Dr. Chris Ulrey in his important work to study rare plants. Now 15, Ward, a sophomore at Nesbitt Discovery Academy who lives in Fairview, has won the prestigious 2019 Youth Award as part of the George and Helen Hartzog Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service, an annual recognition of volunteer excellence in the National Park Service. Ward was...

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Out hiking? Here’s why you should leave those stones unstacked and those stacks untouched

Posted by on Aug 30, 2020 @ 6:17 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Out hiking? Here’s why you should leave those stones unstacked and those stacks untouched

Cairns are rock stacks that can serve as critical trail markers, and some carry cultural significance, as well. Others are purely decorative, built by visitors who enjoy designing these towers in nature, often for the sake of sharing images of delicately balanced stones on social media. Besides the fact that it violates the Leave No Trace program’s ethos that should be honored by visitors to our national parks and other public lands, here’s why you should resist the urge to create a rock pile, during a pandemic or otherwise. Trail designers...

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A 500-mile hiking trail across Alaska? Advocates say the pandemic is a perfect time to start

Posted by on Aug 29, 2020 @ 6:53 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A 500-mile hiking trail across Alaska? Advocates say the pandemic is a perfect time to start

Since the pandemic started, storefronts in towns around Alaska may have emptied, but trails? “They’re jammed with people, and that’s all the trails — trails up in the Chugach all the trails here in town,” said former Alaska Governor Tony Knowles, standing on the Coastal Trail near downtown Anchorage. Park use around Alaska is up over 150% since the start of the pandemic, according to data from Google, which is why Knowles says now is the perfect time to start thinking about a trail project even more ambitious than the Coastal Trail. It’s...

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North Carolina Young Adults Work with Volunteers to Restore Black Mountain Crest Trail

Posted by on Aug 28, 2020 @ 7:21 am in Conservation | 0 comments

North Carolina Young Adults Work with Volunteers to Restore Black Mountain Crest Trail

  A Conservation Corps North Carolina (CCNC) crew of young adults worked with volunteers from the North Carolina High Peaks Trail Association to complete high priority trail work on the Black Mountain Crest Trail in the Nantahala National Forest. The CCNC crew consisted of five 18 to 24 year-old AmeriCorps Members led by a trained Crew Leader. The crew worked on the Black Mountain Crest Trail project August 3-12, 2020. Together, crew members and volunteers completed 7.3 miles of trail maintenance from the base of Celo Knob at...

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Celebrate the Mountains-to-Sea Trail’s 43rd birthday during the month of September

Posted by on Aug 27, 2020 @ 6:25 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Celebrate the Mountains-to-Sea Trail’s 43rd birthday during the month of September

Friends of the MST Has announced plans to celebrate the Mountains-to-Sea Trail’s 43rd birthday during the month of September. This year, four new challenges help hikers and trail friends celebrate in a socially responsible and safe way. The trail runs 1175 miles across North Carolina, from Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky National Park to Jockey’s Ridge on the Outer Banks, and passes through areas of natural beauty, historical significance and cultural interest. The three hiking challenges use Great Day Hikes on North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea...

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USFS And CDC Issue Safe Hiking, Mountain Biking Guidelines For Virus

Posted by on Aug 26, 2020 @ 6:48 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

USFS And CDC Issue Safe Hiking, Mountain Biking Guidelines For Virus

Hiking is a wonderful way to see and experience the many wonders of the nation’s forests. As summer transitions into fall, the weather and scenery this time of year provide near perfect hiking conditions. It is important to consider however, that the weather at higher elevations may be much colder, harsher and wetter, especially as the season changes. The best way to make sure you and your family return home safely from any hike, no matter the length is to consider the Forest Service’s Hiking safety advice. Obtain a trail map to...

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Virginia woman sets new Adirondack 46 High Peaks record

Posted by on Aug 25, 2020 @ 8:50 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Virginia woman sets new Adirondack 46 High Peaks record

An athlete from Virginia has set a new women’s record for summitting all of the Adirondack 46 High Peaks. Alyssa Godesky finished her supported hike at the base of Giant Mountain a little after sunset on Thursday, clocking in at 3 days, 16 hours and 16 minutes. Godesky began her journey at 4 am on Monday, August 17, 2020 near Tupper Lake. Over the next three and a half days, Godesky would cover 160 miles and more than 67,000 feet of elevation gain. She got just a few hours of sleep each night and took quick naps on the drive between...

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Costa Rica has doubled its tropical rainforests in just a few decades. Here’s how

Posted by on Aug 24, 2020 @ 6:56 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Costa Rica has doubled its tropical rainforests in just a few decades. Here’s how

Years of unchecked logging laid waste to two-thirds of Costa Rica’s tree canopy, leaving its tropical rainforests facing an uncertain future. But the trees have returned and the resurrected forests support a thriving eco-tourism industry. Towards the middle of the 20th century, indigenous woodland – predominantly tropical rainforest – covered all but a quarter of the country. But then the loggers arrived. The forests were cleared as crews of lumberjacks freely converted Costa Rica’s natural resources into profits. By the early 1980s, the...

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Celebrate the birth of the National Park Service with fee-free day August 25th

Posted by on Aug 23, 2020 @ 6:59 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Celebrate the birth of the National Park Service with fee-free day August 25th

As a way to celebrate the 104th birthday of America’s National Parks System, parks will be open to the public free of charge on August 25, 2020. On Aug. 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act, establishing the National Park Service as a bureau in the Department of the Interior responsible for maintaining national parks and monuments. Today, the NPS manages 419 of what they call “units,” which includes parks, monuments, battlefields, memorials, lake shores, historic sites and more. According to the National Park Service, the...

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Woman hiking Colorado Trail to bring attention to diversity in the outdoors

Posted by on Aug 22, 2020 @ 6:40 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Woman hiking Colorado Trail to bring attention to diversity in the outdoors

The Colorado Trail runs from Waterton Canyon clear across the state to Durango – 485 miles of mountain passes and adventure that you certainly need to have a good reason to finish. Patricia Cameron has a reason. “I’m not doing it with the lightest gear, not doing it the fastest, but I’m still out here,” she said. Cameron is the executive director of a nonprofit called Blackpackers. It addresses the economic issues that come with exploring the great outdoors and encourages a more diverse group of people to see what Colorado has to offer....

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