Sunday, October 21, 2018

N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation Launches New Trails Website

The N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation announced this past week the launch of the N.C. Trails website. The website is a hub for the N.C. Trails Program and offers quick and easy access to information on state trails and trails in state parks as well as guidance for funding, creating and maintaining a trail.

The new website is simple, user-friendly, and provides information for grant applicants, trail users, and trail developers and maintainers. The new website goes live today, and can be accessed at http://trails.nc.gov.

"We are thrilled to make this site available to trail enthusiasts near and far," said Scott Crocker, manager of the N.C. trails program. "This dedicated site will provide guidance and technical assistance for trails program grant applicants while providing detailed information and improving our trails visibility statewide."

The new state trails website will be updated regularly with trail development news, project updates, volunteer and funding opportunities, milestones, and events. Users can plan hikes, learn how to get a trail segment designated, and explore expert tips on managing existing trail segments.

Previously, all N.C. trails program information was housed on the N.C. state parks website, ncparks.gov. The new site was developed due to increased demand for more detailed and accessible trail-specific information.



Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Friday, October 19, 2018

Some Fees at Big South Fork NRRA are to be Waived for Veteran’s Day 2018

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will be observing Veteran’s Day on Sunday, November 11, 2018. Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas has authorized a night of free camping at the Alum Ford Campground as well as for all backcountry permits during this time.

Alum Ford Campground, located at Big South Fork, offers a serene camping experience near the edge of the Big South Fork River on the Kentucky side of the park. This campground has six sites available on a first come-first served basis. Amenities include an accessible vault toilet and recently renovated gravel tent pads, grills, picnic tables, food storage lockers, animal-proof garbage receptacles, and lantern hooks. The Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail passes through this campground providing access to the magnificent backcountry areas of the park.

On Veterans Day, or any day, honor those that have served and sacrificed for our country with a visit to a National Park Service site near you. More information may be found at: http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.



Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Announcing The Release of My New Book on The History of Hiking

I’m very excited to announce the release of my brand new book on the rich history of hiking! Ramble On: A History of Hiking is the first broad historical overview of hiking in one volume. Among the variety of topics discussed about the early years of hiking, the book also includes anecdotal stories of trail development in some of our oldest and most iconic national parks, including Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To give you a better idea of what the book encompasses, I've copied the introduction to the book (below), which is now available on Amazon.


Ramble On:

How did hiking evolve from the upper-class European sport of alpinism and the publication of an English travel guide into an activity that now has millions of participants all over the world? Who built the thousands of miles of trails that now crisscross America? What did early hikers wear, and what were some of the key inventions and innovations that led to our modern array of hiking gear and apparel? How was information about hiking, trails and gear disseminated in the early years? And what were some of the reasons why people hiked, and how have those changed over time?

Ramble On, a general history on the sport of hiking (also known as rambling, tramping, walking, hillwalking, backpacking or trekking), attempts to answers these questions, as well as many others. This book chronicles hiking’s roots in alpinism and mountaineering, the societal trends that fostered its growth, some of the early hikers from the nineteenth century, the first trails built specifically for recreational hiking, the formation of the first hiking clubs, as well as the evolution of hiking gear and apparel.

When I first considered writing this book two years ago I wasn’t really sure how much relevant information I would be able to find, or how compelling of a story could be written about the history of hiking. I feared that I wouldn’t have enough material to write a full book. However, after diving into the project I soon realized that hiking actually has a very rich and compelling history, and has been profoundly influenced by a series of events that had nothing to do with hiking. I was continuously amazed by how much hiking has been molded by societal trends, as well as national and international events. The story of hiking took me in many directions that I never would’ve considered, from Romanticism and Transcendentalism, to the Industrial Revolution and the labor movement, to the rise of automobiles, environmentalism, club culture, and even art, to name just a few.

However, what intrigued me the most were the anecdotal stories of trail development in some of our oldest and most iconic national parks, as well as the peculiar and quirky traditions of some of the early hiking clubs. One of the most compelling stories was the apparel women were forced to wear during the Victorian Era, and the danger those fashion standards posed to women who dared to venture into the mountains.

This book also takes a look at some of the issues that currently impact hikers and trails, such as overcrowding and social media, and takes a peek into the future on how some of these trends could unfold. I also explain some of the solutions public land managers are currently considering, and offer a few suggestions myself.

My hope is that you will you come away with a better understanding of what it took to make hiking one of the most popular activities in the world, and what we need to do to preserve our trails and the spirit of hiking for future generations to come.

To order your copy now, please click here. Thank you very much!



Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Body of Missing Hiker Found in Smokies (Updated)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced earlier that the body of the hiker, missing since last Tuesday, was found earlier today. Here is the statement from the park's Facebook page:
Search crews located the body of Susan Clements in Great Smoky Mountains National Park late this afternoon. Her body was found approximately two miles west of the Clingmans Dome parking area and ¾ miles south of the Appalachian Trail.

Our hearts are with the family and friends of Ms. Clements. The park would like to extend our appreciation to the many agencies and organizations that participated in the search effort.

Further details will be provided when they become available.
On Wednesday, October 3rd, the park published this press release with that additional information:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced last night that search crews found the body of Mitzie Sue “Susan” Clements, 53, from Cleves, Ohio, after an extensive, week-long search. Clements had been missing from the Clingmans Dome area of the park since Tuesday, September 25. A large-scale search operation was launched, which included trained searchers, canine teams, helicopters, and drones with advanced technology from around 50 local, state, and federal agencies and professional search and rescue groups.

Late yesterday afternoon, Clements' body was found off-trail, in a rugged, heavily wooded area of the Huggins Creek drainage, approximately two miles from Clingmans Dome parking area and three-fourths mile south of the Appalachian Trail. The cause of death is under investigation, however foul play is not suspected at this time.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends, and co-workers of Susan during this difficult time,” said park Superintendent Cassius Cash. “We are grieving with the family and hope that yesterday’s recovery helps provide some closure as they begin their own grieving process.” He added, “I am inspired by, and extremely grateful for, the tireless work of our park staff, as well as the generous assistance provided by dozens of agencies and well-trained search and rescue organizations.”

Clingmans Dome Road remains closed to allow staff time to remove the infrastructure brought in to help manage and support the search operation. The road and Clingmans Dome parking area are expected to reopen by tomorrow morning.

The family of Susan Clements provided this statement to share with the public:

“I want to specifically thank the National Park Service for their incredible efforts. The cooperation shown between more than 50 agencies was amazing, comforting, and very supportive. Every piece of the operation, including the scientific fronts, logistical parts, and the emotional support provided to us was very impressive. The children, her sisters, and I want to especially thank Jared St. Clair (Chief Ranger), Joe Pond (Incident Commander), James Latendresse (Operations Chief), and Florie Takaki (Family Liaison) for their dedication and support. We also want to thank the countless other people who helped look for Susan. This includes the ground searchers, pilots, drone operators, dog trackers, technicians, EMS providers, the many teams of tactical climbers and rescuers, and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. The kids, her sisters, and I greatly appreciate the intense work they performed for us, and we will be eternally grateful.”



Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking