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Like rock and sunlight and wind and wilderness — out there is a different world, older and greater and deeper by far than ours, a world which surrounds and sustains the little world of men. - Edward Abbey

National Park Service plans 9 free days in 2015

The National Park Service wants you to visit our National Parks for free.

The NPS is offering free admission to its parks on nine days in 2015. The days are Jan. 19 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), Feb. 14-16 (Presidents Day weekend), April 18-19 (National Park Week’s opening weekend), Aug. 25 (National Park Service’s 99th birthday), Sept. 26 (National Public Lands Day) and Nov. 11 (Veterans Day).

O…

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Little Rock Pond on Long Trail, perfect spot for hikers

Little Rock Pond, located in the quaint little village of Mount Tabor, Vermont is a perfect hiking destination. Situated along the Long Trail, Little Rock Pond is a pristine mountain lake with crystal clear water nestled in the iconic Green Mountain Range.

The hike is quick, easy, and relatively flat, with only 350 feet of elevation gain over two miles. The terrain is forgiving and is easy to…

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Film chronicles rigors of walking Continental Divide Trail

New Mexico is often described as lying along the “backbone” of North America — that is, the Rocky Mountain chain and the Continental Divide that separates the river waters of the Pacific Ocean from the Atlantic Ocean.

A rough foot trail — the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, often simply called the Continental Divide Trail or CDT — now parallels this backbone, running 3,100 miles from…

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38 years after her solo hike, ‘trail angel’ helps at end of Pacific Crest Trail

There were no cellphones when Carolyn “Ravensong” Burkhart, at age 21, hiked the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail alone in 1976. She wore heavy mountaineering boots, carried a 50-pound pack and went for days at a time without seeing another human being. It took her six months, and when she finished on Sept. 30, 1976, she was one of 12 hikers who had signed the register naming those who completed…

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The story of Dakota Joe, a jailbird on the Appalachian Trail

It was the winter of 2013, and Dakota Joe thought he was about to die. Hail was beating a crater into the mountain’s bald face, and his Kmart jacket had stopped keeping the cold out a long time ago. His pants were soaked through to the skin—wet denim is slow to dry and wearing it on the Appalachian Trail is generally a bad idea. Every muscle in his body was tense from miles of hiking through the…

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CTNC’s Orchard at Altapass Project Receives State Funding

During a September, 2014 meeting in Raleigh, the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) approved funding for 23 land conservation projects that will safeguard water quality, provide recreational opportunities, and preserve important cultural sites and wildlife habitat. This includes approval of Conservation Trust for North Carolina’s full request of $180,444 to place a lasting…

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Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests Plan Revision Meeting Schedule

The National Forests in NC will be holding the next round of public meetings this October and November to share information about the proposed Forest Management Plan, including potential management areas and desired conditions. The meeting will open with a presentation on significant issues, management areas, and the development of plan components. The Forest Service planning team will share some…

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Trekking Along the Nuclear Waste Adventure Trail

If the idea of standing on top of a mammoth pile of nuclear waste sounds appealing, then Weldon, Missouri, is the place for you.

The waste lies beneath a structure that resembles an enormous ancient burial tomb. There’s even a platform at the top of the 7-story-high mound where visitors can take in the view.

The American government refers to the area as the Weldon Spring site, but it’s also known…

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Autumn National Park Tours: Color At Every Turn

Mattering little whether you start in the south and drive north, or start in the north and drive south; the fall finery that cloaks the Appalachian Range has few peers when the climatic conditions converge in mid-October.

Oaks, maples, beech, sweetgum, and hickories collaborate to dazzle you with hues of Cabernet, cranberry, orange, gold and rust, some of which are set against the greenery of…

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10 great stops along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Picture the Blue Ridge Parkway as a crooked spine running through the Appalachian Mountains. Government stewardship of public lands is splashed across the map in confusing variety – a national park at either end, national forests, historic sites, monuments and state parks along its 469 miles.

The road snakes through some of the most glorious fall color in North America and wraps around some of…

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