Category: Hiking

BMT Day 22 – 17.5 miles (366.4 total)

When I got up to pee in the middle of the night I saw that the incessant rain was starting to form puddles under part of the tent. Oh the horror! I was thrown back to the worst camping incident of my hiking life when I had been flooded out of my tarp on the Tahoe Rim Trail one September. I was on my way to a week at Patagonia’s tools training conference for environmental activists, and thought I’d squeeze in a quick thru-hike of the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail before the conference started. Despite my best efforts everything got wet that night, and when the heavy rain turned to heavy snow that started to collapse the liveable space in my ultralight tarp (pitched with one hiking pole) to a space I could only occupy curled in the fetal position, well, that memory was what drove me to bring a free-standing double-walled tent on this trip.

The rain had turned to snow during the night, but it was only the faintest dusting. I made some hot tea to sip on during the day and was hiking soon afte..

When I got up to pee in the middle of the night I saw that the incessant rain was starting to form puddles under part of the tent. Oh the horror! I was thrown back to the worst camping incident of my hiking life when I had been flooded out of my tarp on the Tahoe Rim Trail one September. I was on my way to a week at Patagonia’s tools training conference for environmental activists, and thought I’d squeeze in a quick thru-hike of the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail before the conference started. Despite my best efforts everything got wet that night, and when the heavy rain turned to heavy snow that started to collapse the liveable space in my ultralight tarp (pitched with one hiking pole) to a space I could only occupy curled in the fetal position, well, that memory was what drove me to bring a free-standing double-walled tent on this trip.

The rain had turned to snow during the night, but it was only the faintest dusting. I made some hot tea to sip on during the day and was hiking soon after first light.
Several miles into the day I turned onto a decommissioned road that was to take me along Little Meadow Creek to the East Fork of the Grande Ronde River, then to the main Grande Ronde itself, but the going got so difficult so fast that after about half an hour I crossed the creek and hiked back towards the maintained gravel road I had just left. That was frustrating, but so was a wet riparian area tree obstacle course.

I sat down at the junction and debated what to do. In Jared’s notes he warns of unimproved or missing trail up ahead for almost 7 miles, and that didn’t include the three miles I had just decided not to do. There was another road I could walk around the section I just left that looked long, but the unmaintained trail still loomed…and I could discern no other options to get me out if the going got bad. Ugg. I know there is no right or wrong way path to hike out here; the goal is continuous footsteps across the Blue Mountains, so ultimately I decided this 10-mile section was probably best scouted over a long dry and sunny weekend, not on my attempted thru-hike. So I backtracked.

I had to backtrack 7 miles to get to the dirt Ladd Canyon Road which would deposit me at the doorstep of the Anthony Lakes Ski Area. Ok, decison made, lets do this.

The forecast was for snow most of the day, then single digit temps tonight. Brrr. I decided to camp near the base of the Elkhorn Crest Trail and wait for tomorrow when there were five solid days of sun and temps in the balmy 20 degree range. I wanted to see this magnificent mountain range I would be hiking through!

About halfway down my dirt road I heard a holler and looked up to see Charlie and Suzie walking towards me! Oh joy!!! Charlie brought me a hot mocha and some sweet crepes….the BEST!!!! We walked together for the next few hours, Suzie bounding around in the snow as playful as a puppy, me, grinning ear to ear at the unexpected kindness.

Charlie offered to drive me back to town if I wanted to sit the cold night out in a hotel room, bringing me back in the morning, but I decided I had all the gear to keep me warm, plenty of food, and with the clock on the hike running out, I knew in a week when I was done hiking that I’d be longing for a few cold nights in my tent (I know, most of you are probably thinking that I’m nuts). As it was, the day had already provided so much more than I was expecting. If I had gone ahead with the bushwack I wouldn’t have run into the dynamic duo. So, as much as I berated myself for turning around and taking the easy way, I knew it was the right move.

At the yurts on Anthony Lake Charlie decided to take a short hike up to Hoffer Lakes, and offered that I could sit in his warm car and eat lunch while he was gone (COVID has been at the heart of every interaction on this hike, and I appreciated that we were both on the same page about not wanting to expose each other.) Now that I could do! He had more treats in the car and I melted into the heated seats for my break.

I was basically at my destination for the night, and we were parked near some walk-in campsites. After we said our goodbyes (Charlie, I don’t even have words for all you have done for me, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!), I walked past the sites, but kept walking. My legs took me to the start of the trail, and I ended up walking a little further to find the very same campspot at Black Lake that Kirk and I and our friends Brooke and Adryon had camped at a few years ago. We came up over Labor Day with intentions to backpack along the crest trail, but only a few miles in, some panicked hikers came jogging from the other direction, explaining they had just seen a fire start near the trail. Wanting no part of that on a hot dry late summer day, we turned around and camped at Black Lake. Now I was here again, this time in the snow.

I spent the extra daylight hours reading another book I had downloaded from the Deschutes library, Ta-Nehisi Coats’ The Water Dancer.

I bundled up as best I could to keep the cold at bay, and shut my eyes when it got dark. These are longer and longer nights now!

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Family Holidays in Rokua

Autumn is a busy time for us, as a lot of garden work needs to be done, we celebrate two birthdays, days get shorter and Oh, there’s all the usual work, too!. So a weekend get-away might seem like not the best idea, but indeed our small vacation in Rokua recharged our batteries and we had a lot of fun together as a family.

Disclosure: This trip was supported financially by the Rokua Health & Spa Hotel. There are Affiliate links in this article which are marked with an ∞ Infinity Sign 😊 You can use these AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU but I get a small provision from the company. As you know: I’m keepin’ it real and tell you how it is – I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on affiliate links & blogger transparency.

Days get shorter, mushrooms and berries are everywhere in the forests, and of course the trees start to be their prettiest 🍁🍂 Autumn is my favourite time of the year, and the possibil..

Autumn is a busy time for us, as a lot of garden work needs to be done, we celebrate two birthdays, days get shorter and Oh, there’s all the usual work, too!. So a weekend get-away might seem like not the best idea, but indeed our small vacation in Rokua recharged our batteries and we had a lot of fun together as a family.

Autumn colours in Rokua GeoPark 3

Disclosure: This trip was supported financially by the Rokua Health & Spa Hotel. There are Affiliate links in this article which are marked with an ∞ Infinity Sign 😊 You can use these AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU but I get a small provision from the company. As you know: I’m keepin’ it real and tell you how it is – I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on affiliate links & blogger transparency.

Days get shorter, mushrooms and berries are everywhere in the forests, and of course the trees start to be their prettiest 🍁🍂 Autumn is my favourite time of the year, and the possibility to share this special season with my family at the Rokua Health & Spa Hotel was very welcome, despite the busy times we usually have between the end of summer and the Holidays. So early on a Friday morning we packed our one ∞ Arc’teryx V110 Rolling Duffel into a loaned car and started the drive North to Rokua. It is situated a wee bit from Oulu, and it was a beautiful, scenic drive along colourful trees to our destination.

We arrived early in the afternoon at the Hotel, checked in and then went to see both our room and the Kids Playroom. The Playroom was definitely a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ facility, not only did they have toys for kids of all ages (and for both boys and girls equally!), but they also had a small Movie Theatre, a game room with XBoxes & PlayStations, lots of board games and what our kids enjoyed the most, the little “gym”. Over the course of the weekend our two kids never got tired to go play here, and it definitely did set the bar really high for future hotel visits.

Kids have fun at the Rokua Helth & Spa Hotel

Kids Room at Rokua Helth & Spa Hotel

Kids Room at Rokua Health & Spa Hotel

Game Room at Rokua Health & Spa Hotel

Back at our Superior Room I changed into my old & tested ∞ Norrøna fjørå bike outfit and met up with Hannu, a local Mountainbike Guide.

Welcome to the Rokua Helth & Spa Hotel

Our room at the Rokua Helth & Spa Hotel

Sefie at Rokua Helth & Spa Hotel

Since I learned to Downhill MTB in Åre a few years ago I really love to ride bikes on Single Trails in the forest and hills. Mountain biking in Rokua is really enjoyable, as there’s a dedicated Team of locals who establish and maintain a superb trail network, and also in the Rokua GeoPark and the Rokua National Park you are allowed to drive on marked MTB Trails.

MTBing in Rokua GeoPark 1

Hannu rode a short 15 km loop with me, showing me a lot of beautiful, scenic spots along the way. From a Kota and a Laavu, to silent lakes which are surrounded by yellow birches, and lovely little trails through the GeoPark, I had a big smile on my face riding with Hannu, and really thankful that he went out with me. During the weekend he went on to coach a course at the Hotel about Mountain biking, and I am certain the participants came away with an equally big passion for riding on forest trails as him.

MTBing in Rokua GeoPark 010

Autumn MTB in Rokua GeoPark 03

Kota at Saarinen

Rokua GeoPark Lake Views

Autumn MTB in Rokua GeoPark 02

If you want to see more MTBing in Rokua, you should go watch my Video from Rokua where there’s quite a bit of footage of riding – this was the first test of my new ∞ GoPro HERO 9 and I have to say that the image stabilization is pretty amazing!

My MTB 3

On Saturday it was my turn to take care of the kids during the morning and afternoon, as M joined a Mushroom course. Having two people in the family who can identify mushrooms is better than one person, and M enjoyed the company and instructions at the course. Every participant got a small mushroom knife and a basket, and then they set off into the forest around the Hotel to collect. The Guide was around to help with identifying, but at the end the group went to the Kota next to the Hotel, where they went through all the mushrooms everyone had collected, and the Instructor explained what are the really delicious mushrooms, tasty mushrooms, edible mushrooms, and mushrooms you shouldn’t pick or eat 🍄 After that the instructor prepared a tasty dish from the really delicious mushrooms the whole group had collected!

Mushroom Course at Rokua Health & Spa Hotel

Mushroom Basket

Mushrooms

Lake Views

Atmosphere

Food

While M was at the course the kids and me packed our backpacks and went for a short hike. I am very happy that our two kids like to go hiking – and they especially like it if there’s a 🔥 and marshmallows involved! We hiked a small loop, and used what would be the XC skiing loipe in winter for the way to the Jaakonjärvi Laavu. It’s an easy trail with some good views, but on the way back we decided to hike on and next to the abandoned rail track. This was a lot more fun and we saw more – more reindeer moss, more mushrooms, more berries and even a lovely orange-coloured swamp, as well as plenty of nice, little side trails.

Hiking in Rokua GeoPark

Three Pairs

Tasty!

Signs

At the Laavu I made a fire, we drunk hot juice and while the kids explored the surroundings I prepared them their sticks for grilling their marshmallows. It’s funny how such a small extra – molten sugar, basically! – can make from a simple hike a very memorable little trip.

Making Marshmallows

Perfect Marshmallows

Hiking in Rokua GeoPark

Upsidedown

Happy Hiker in Rokua GeoPark

The afternoon all four of us met up again, and we went together to the Spa and swimming pools. Our kids love to play in the water, and with a Sauna next door it is easy to go warm up in between swimming and so stay longer in the water!

Pool at Rokua Health & Spa Hotel

Pool at Rokua Health & Spa Hotel

Early on Sunday morning, after we had breakfast together, I sneaked out for another little MTB trip. This time I decided I wanted to ride to the southern-most Kota which could be reached on the cycling trails, at Rokuanjärvi. It was easy to follow the yellow dots of the MTB Trail from the Hotel till the Kota, where I met two young women which had camped out here. It’s a beautiful, scenic spot and I was happy they had a wee fire going and welcomed me inside, so I could drink a bit of water.

MTB at Rokua National Park

MTB & Trails

Rokuanjärvi Kota

Views over Rokuanjärvi, 03

GoPro HERO 9 sideback

We chatted about cycling and hiking at Rokua National park and GeoPark, and then I said Farewell and cycled back to the Hotel – it was time to check-out and head home, after all. I filmed a lot with my ∞ new GoPro HERO 9, and looking at the footage I am really amazed about this small camera, and can’t wait to take it skiing and packrafting! But that will be another story =)

While the kids enjoyed the last moments at the Playroom I packed up and got everything into the car, happy that we have an organized and lightweight packing approach when we travel. That way packing is a breeze and soon we were on the way back south.

Rowan

The Bottomline is that we had a relaxing and adventurous family weekend at the Rokua Health & Spa Hotel and are ready for the remaining busy autumn! With its location right in the middle of the National Park and GeoPark – the only of its kind in Finland, by the way! – we could walk out of the Rokua Health & Spa Hotel and be right in the middle of nature. Hiking, mushroom picking, Mountain biking, Trailrunning: It’s right in front of the door. As is a Playground, an Adventure Trail for kids, a lake in which you can go rowing, swimming and fishing, and in case the weather is not ideal for outdoor adventures: Stay indoors! With the modern Spa and swimming pool facilities, as well as the large gym, and not to forget the Kids Playroom you don’t have a reason to sit on your room when it rains outside. So if you too need a relaxing weekend away to recharge your body & mind – head to Rokua!

See more photos on Flickr!

Swamp Monster

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Reindeer Moss

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America’s Best and Most Beautiful Winter Hikes

From Colorado to Oregon to Maine, these incredible winter hiking trails offer beautiful views, wildlife-spotting opportunities, and fewer crowds.

If you have a habit of stashing your hiking boots the moment cooler temperatures arrive, you’ve been missing out. In the winter, the nation’s best hiking trails clear out and you can walk for miles without seeing another soul. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and stomp across glittering, snow-covered fields, or avoid the snow entirely and head south, where you’ll find plenty of dry terrain that’s too hot to brave in the summer.

The secret to winter hiking is making sure you have the gear necessary to stay warm, kick through snow, and outsmart the sun. Appropriate footwear and versatile lightweight layers are key. And since the days are shorter, you’ll want to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to finish your hike before darkness falls and the views you came for disappear.

To get you started, here are some favorite winter hiking trails..

From Colorado to Oregon to Maine, these incredible winter hiking trails offer beautiful views, wildlife-spotting opportunities, and fewer crowds.

If you have a habit of stashing your hiking boots the moment cooler temperatures arrive, you’ve been missing out. In the winter, the nation’s best hiking trails clear out and you can walk for miles without seeing another soul. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and stomp across glittering, snow-covered fields, or avoid the snow entirely and head south, where you’ll find plenty of dry terrain that’s too hot to brave in the summer.

The secret to winter hiking is making sure you have the gear necessary to stay warm, kick through snow, and outsmart the sun. Appropriate footwear and versatile lightweight layers are key. And since the days are shorter, you’ll want to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to finish your hike before darkness falls and the views you came for disappear.

To get you started, here are some favorite winter hiking trails…

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International Mast Cell Diseases Awareness Day, October 20

Mast cells, a type of blood cell, play an important role in the body’s immune system. They reside in all body tissues and form part of the body’s initial defense system. Mast cells react to foreign bodies and injury by releasing a variety of potent chemical mediators, such as histamine, when activated. In a healthy person these chemicals will act beneficially to protect and heal the body, but in a person with MCAS these same chemicals are inappropriately triggered and released and have a negative effect on the body. Amongst the triggers are a variety of different foods, exercise, chemicals, fragrances and stress. Many sufferers struggle to identify their triggers and continue to discover new triggers for many years after diagnosis.

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome [MCAS] causes a wide range of unpleasant, sometimes debilitating, symptoms in any of the different systems of the body, frequently affecting several systems at the same time. The onset of MCAS is often sudden, affecting both ch..

Mast cells, a type of blood cell, play an important role in the body’s immune system. They reside in all body tissues and form part of the body’s initial defense system. Mast cells react to foreign bodies and injury by releasing a variety of potent chemical mediators, such as histamine, when activated. In a healthy person these chemicals will act beneficially to protect and heal the body, but in a person with MCAS these same chemicals are inappropriately triggered and released and have a negative effect on the body. Amongst the triggers are a variety of different foods, exercise, chemicals, fragrances and stress. Many sufferers struggle to identify their triggers and continue to discover new triggers for many years after diagnosis.

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome [MCAS] causes a wide range of unpleasant, sometimes debilitating, symptoms in any of the different systems of the body, frequently affecting several systems at the same time. The onset of MCAS is often sudden, affecting both children and adults, sometimes in family groups, mimicking many other conditions and presenting a wide-range of different symptoms that can be baffling for both the patient and their physician. Often there are no obvious clinical signs since MCAS confounds the anatomy-based structure underpinning the traditional diagnostic approach. Very often Mast Cell Activation Syndrome is hiding in plain sight.

Today, October 20th, is International Mast Cell Diseases Awareness Day. It aims to raise awareness for the need of more accurate diagnostics, better treatments, further investments in research… A day that will lift up the hopes of mast cell patients all over the world in dreaming for a brighter future.

The Mast Cell Disease Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting patients affected by Mastocytosis and Mast Cell Activation Diseases as well as their families, caregivers and physicians through research, education and advocacy. You can learn more here, and make a donation to aid the search for a cure.

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More Than 20 Rescued from Colorado Hiking Trail as Wildfires Continue in Western U.S.

Rescue workers with the Juan County Sheriff’s Department and The U.S. Forest Service evacuated 23 people and three dogs from the San Juan National Forest in Colorado as a wildfire tore through the area. The U.S. Forest Service deployed helicopters for the evacuation.

According to the Office of Emergency Management in San Juan County, the blaze — dubbed the Ice Fire — started on Monday, October 19, 2020 just after 1 p.m. local time in the South Mineral Creek area above the park’s Ice Lakes trailhead, and burned 320 acres by 5 p.m.

Per their last update, the U.S. Forest Service had air and ground “wildland fire crews” working on containing the Ice Fire with “tanker planes and a hotshot squad.”

Just last week, thousands of Colorado residents were forced to evacuate their homes as the Cameron Peak Fire and the CalWood Fire ravaged the state along the Front Range.

The Cameron Peak Fire became the largest fire in Colorado state history — and has burned 204,404 acres.

Cite…

Similar Pos..

Rescue workers with the Juan County Sheriff’s Department and The U.S. Forest Service evacuated 23 people and three dogs from the San Juan National Forest in Colorado as a wildfire tore through the area. The U.S. Forest Service deployed helicopters for the evacuation.

According to the Office of Emergency Management in San Juan County, the blaze — dubbed the Ice Fire — started on Monday, October 19, 2020 just after 1 p.m. local time in the South Mineral Creek area above the park’s Ice Lakes trailhead, and burned 320 acres by 5 p.m.

Per their last update, the U.S. Forest Service had air and ground “wildland fire crews” working on containing the Ice Fire with “tanker planes and a hotshot squad.”

Just last week, thousands of Colorado residents were forced to evacuate their homes as the Cameron Peak Fire and the CalWood Fire ravaged the state along the Front Range.

The Cameron Peak Fire became the largest fire in Colorado state history — and has burned 204,404 acres.

Cite…

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All of RMNP closed to visitors due to wildfire activity

A full closure of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is now in place due to wildfire activity on the west side of the Continental Divide, a spokesperson for the park announced Thursday morning, October 22, 2020.

Air quality in the park is hazardous and Trail Ridge Road is impassable on the west side due to downed trees on the road.

High fire danger prompted the closure of the National Forest Service lands in Clear Creek County earlier and Denver Parks and Recreation closed all Denver Mountain Parks properties located in Clear Creek.

This comes after the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) closed administered land in Boulder and Larimer counties earlier this week.

All lands in those counties that are managed by the Royal Gorge Field Office will be temporarily closed for entry. The field office manages about 600,000 acres of public lands on the Front Range, all of which are east of the continental divide.

Closures for the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Gra..

A full closure of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is now in place due to wildfire activity on the west side of the Continental Divide, a spokesperson for the park announced Thursday morning, October 22, 2020.

Air quality in the park is hazardous and Trail Ridge Road is impassable on the west side due to downed trees on the road.

High fire danger prompted the closure of the National Forest Service lands in Clear Creek County earlier and Denver Parks and Recreation closed all Denver Mountain Parks properties located in Clear Creek.

This comes after the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) closed administered land in Boulder and Larimer counties earlier this week.

All lands in those counties that are managed by the Royal Gorge Field Office will be temporarily closed for entry. The field office manages about 600,000 acres of public lands on the Front Range, all of which are east of the continental divide.

Closures for the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland went into effect earlier this week for five counties due to the same drought conditions.

Cite…

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The Scariest Encounters Women Have on the Appalachian Trail Aren’t with Wildlife. They’re with Men

Statistically the trail is one of the safest places in the U.S., but when a tent is all that separates you from a potential predator, the danger becomes terrifyingly real.

As a 30-year-old nurse who works with terminally ill patients, Julia (who prefers to remain anonymous) asked herself one day what she would be proud of doing if she too were given a diagnosis of only six months to live. Shortly after, she left Pittsburgh to start hiking the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail—a highly coveted peacock feather in the cap of outdoor adventurers. But this epic odyssey from Georgia to Maine proved to be far more challenging for Julia because of one factor. Being female.

The Appalachian Trail is a microcosm of American culture but with far higher stakes. Statistically, women are way safer on the trail than on college campuses or in even their own homes. There’s only one rape reported every few years on the trail and the chance of getting murdered there is 1,000 times less than in America as a w..

Statistically the trail is one of the safest places in the U.S., but when a tent is all that separates you from a potential predator, the danger becomes terrifyingly real.

As a 30-year-old nurse who works with terminally ill patients, Julia (who prefers to remain anonymous) asked herself one day what she would be proud of doing if she too were given a diagnosis of only six months to live. Shortly after, she left Pittsburgh to start hiking the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail—a highly coveted peacock feather in the cap of outdoor adventurers. But this epic odyssey from Georgia to Maine proved to be far more challenging for Julia because of one factor. Being female.

The Appalachian Trail is a microcosm of American culture but with far higher stakes. Statistically, women are way safer on the trail than on college campuses or in even their own homes. There’s only one rape reported every few years on the trail and the chance of getting murdered there is 1,000 times less than in America as a whole. And yet, the absence of deadbolts to lock oneself behind or of multiple witnesses around to deter violent men from attacking means the occasional trail creeper can be a million times scarier and more dangerous.

The only thing protecting a woman alone in a tent from that sketchy stranger she previously encountered on the trail or the seemingly cool one she’s been hiking with for weeks is a thin piece of nylon. “I physically ran into a bear,” says Julia, “and I’d take that over running into a crazy drunk dude any day.”

“Despite having overwhelmingly great experiences with trail men, all of the other women I spoke with encountered men, especially older white ones, who either made sexist, condescending comments or made them feel unsafe. I even got ‘smile more,’” Julia says. “It’s exhausting.”

Read full story…

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Being a Steward for the Smokies

The Smokies Service Days program will return with a slate of Saturday service opportunities in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, starting with a Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 session to be held 9:30 a.m. to noon at Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee.

Other scheduled service days are:

Oct. 31: “The Deep Creep” Litter Cleanup, 10 a.m. to noon at Deep Creek Picnic Area near Bryson City. All ages.

Nov. 7: Historic Landscape Management in Daisy Town, 9 a.m. to noon at Elkmont in Tennessee. Ages 15 and up.

Nov. 14: Vegetation Management at Historic Voorheis Estate, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Twin Creeks Science Center in Tennessee. Ages 12 and up.

Nov. 21: Campground Cleanup, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Smokemont Campground near Cherokee. Ages 10 and up.

Volunteer projects last between two and four hours. Tasks are available appropriate to a wide range of abilities, with some age restrictions. Tools and safety gear, including gloves and high visibility safety vests, will be provided by p..

The Smokies Service Days program will return with a slate of Saturday service opportunities in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, starting with a Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 session to be held 9:30 a.m. to noon at Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee.

Other scheduled service days are:

Oct. 31: “The Deep Creep” Litter Cleanup, 10 a.m. to noon at Deep Creek Picnic Area near Bryson City. All ages.

Nov. 7: Historic Landscape Management in Daisy Town, 9 a.m. to noon at Elkmont in Tennessee. Ages 15 and up.

Nov. 14: Vegetation Management at Historic Voorheis Estate, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Twin Creeks Science Center in Tennessee. Ages 12 and up.

Nov. 21: Campground Cleanup, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Smokemont Campground near Cherokee. Ages 10 and up.

Volunteer projects last between two and four hours. Tasks are available appropriate to a wide range of abilities, with some age restrictions. Tools and safety gear, including gloves and high visibility safety vests, will be provided by park staff, but participants should wear closed-toed shoes and bring their own food and water. Due to COVID-19 safety measures, the number of volunteers for each project is limited.

Sign up with Project Coordinator Madison Ficca by emailing madison_ficca@partner.nps.gov ahead of the scheduled event date with “SSD Registration” in the subject line.

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Here’s the Ultimate Guide to Vegan Hiking Snacks

One important part of planning a day hike is to make sure that you’re fueling yourself properly, especially for tough climbs or long treks. Packing the right food can help make the day that much more enjoyable. These vegan hiking snacks are portable, easy to pack, and satisfying during and after a long day on the trail.

They also don’t contain any animal-derived ingredients, so you can enjoy the great outdoors knowing that you aren’t contributing to the suffering of cows, pigs, chickens, or other animals used for food. The best snacks are those with a good combination of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates that will keep you full and give you lasting energy.

Trail mix is a classic hiking snack that is super simple to make at home, and you can customize it to include your favorite ingredients (even vegan chocolate chips) If you go for store-bought, double check the ingredients for honey and cow’s milk. Most trail mixes have the perfect mix of sweet and salty.

Vegan jerky can be..

One important part of planning a day hike is to make sure that you’re fueling yourself properly, especially for tough climbs or long treks. Packing the right food can help make the day that much more enjoyable. These vegan hiking snacks are portable, easy to pack, and satisfying during and after a long day on the trail.

They also don’t contain any animal-derived ingredients, so you can enjoy the great outdoors knowing that you aren’t contributing to the suffering of cows, pigs, chickens, or other animals used for food. The best snacks are those with a good combination of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates that will keep you full and give you lasting energy.

Trail mix is a classic hiking snack that is super simple to make at home, and you can customize it to include your favorite ingredients (even vegan chocolate chips) If you go for store-bought, double check the ingredients for honey and cow’s milk. Most trail mixes have the perfect mix of sweet and salty.

Vegan jerky can be made out of many different things, from mushrooms to soybeans. It’s great for a quick, salty snack, and the high protein content will give you sustained energy.

The protein and healthy fats in nuts and seeds are great for keeping your energy up during a day hike. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are just a few kinds that you might want to keep in your pack.

There are lots more suggestions here…

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Lake Norman nature park to offer miles of hiking, biking

Outdoors enthusiasts from across the Charlotte, NC region are the target market of a 606-acre nature park underway on the northern tip of Lake Norman.

Mountain Creek Park in Sherrills Ford will feature 19 miles of hiking and mountain bike trails when it opens next summer or early fall, along with kayaking and paddleboarding, picnic areas and a fishing pier.

The $8.5 million Catawba County park, on Little Mountain Road off N.C. 150, also will include dog parks, playgrounds, pickleball courts and a park office-educational center. The park is 40 miles from uptown Charlotte.

For more than a decade, Catawba County officials have envisioned the public park as a regional draw offering the types of outdoor recreation found in North Carolina state parks.

Much of the trail network will accommodate hikers, runners and bird watchers, officials said. Seven smaller segments will be for mountain biking only. A 1.2-acre mountain bike park will include a pump track and kids’ track.

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Outdoors enthusiasts from across the Charlotte, NC region are the target market of a 606-acre nature park underway on the northern tip of Lake Norman.

Mountain Creek Park in Sherrills Ford will feature 19 miles of hiking and mountain bike trails when it opens next summer or early fall, along with kayaking and paddleboarding, picnic areas and a fishing pier.

The $8.5 million Catawba County park, on Little Mountain Road off N.C. 150, also will include dog parks, playgrounds, pickleball courts and a park office-educational center. The park is 40 miles from uptown Charlotte.

For more than a decade, Catawba County officials have envisioned the public park as a regional draw offering the types of outdoor recreation found in North Carolina state parks.

Much of the trail network will accommodate hikers, runners and bird watchers, officials said. Seven smaller segments will be for mountain biking only. A 1.2-acre mountain bike park will include a pump track and kids’ track.

Cite…

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