Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Brewpub Seeks "Chief Hiking Officer"

Hard to believe, but this is no joke! In fact, this just might be dream come true for one lucky, beer-loving hiker! The Devils Backbone Brewing Company is currently accepting applications for a "Chief Hiking Officer". Located in Lexington, Virginia in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Devils Backbone is seeking one person to thru-hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail in 2021, and will pay them $20,000 to do so. Below is some additional information on the position from the brewers website, including a short video:
Devils Backbone is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, just a few miles from the Appalachian Trail, so we can get our fill of fresh air any time. But folks always tell us how they wish they had the time to trek the AT from Georgia to Maine. So, why couldn’t we sponsor one lucky hiker and help them check “conquer the AT” off their bucket list?

Well, that’s what we’re doing! This spring we’re accepting applications for our 2021 Chief Hiking Officer. That’s right: we’re going to pay someone to hike the Appalachian Trail in 2021. We’ll outfit our CHO with gear, fly ‘em to the trail head, and throw some big ol’ beer parties along the way. Plus, there’s a $20k stipend.

Qualifications? You’ve gotta love hiking and beer. We mean really love it. We’re talking 2,200 miles, camping under the stars, pack-in-pack-out for 5-7 months love it. If this sounds like your dream job, read up on exactly what we’re looking for in our CHO below.


For more information on this unique opportunity, and how to apply, please click here.



Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Monday, June 1, 2020

National Trails Day® 2020 Goes Virtual

Each year people all across the country unite on the first Saturday of June to celebrate American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day®. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, events won’t be held in person this year on June 6, but American Hiking is still fighting for trail preservation and equitable access to the outdoors. On National Trails Day® 2020 American Hiking Society will partner with land managers, volunteers, and the public to take actions from home that preserve trails and public lands and help ensure access for all to quality natural spaces.

“While the COVID-19 quarantines have put into sharp focus how much our minds and bodies need time outside every day, the trails and parks we value are under-resourced and not everyone has easy access to quality green space,” explains Kate Van Waes, Executive Director of American Hiking Society. “In honor of National Trails Day®, we are encouraging everyone to take American Hiking’s #NationalTrailsDay Pledge to preserve trails and parks and fight for equitable access.”

In addition to taking the #NationalTrailsDay Pledge, American Hiking is encouraging the public to join the National Trails Day® digital movement and share on social media why access to trails and natural space are important to them. Tag photos with #NationalTrailsDay and @AmericanHiking to be entered into a photo contest with a chance to win one of multiple prize packages of outdoor gear.

In the upcoming weeks, American Hiking will provide easy actions the public can take to preserve trails and fight for equitable access to the outdoors, even while social-distancing.

American Hiking’s National Trails Day® is made possible by the generous support of Corporate Sponsors – Athletic Brewing Co., Merrell, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., REI Co-Op, Popular Mechanics, Adventure Medical Kits. Federal Partners include the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Federal Highway Administration, and U.S. Forest Service.







Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Guidance Issued to Help A.T. Hikers Minimize COVID-19 Risks

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) recently released updated guidance for visitors seeking to visit the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) while minimizing the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. The guidance covers a wide range of topics and considerations for hikers, including keeping hike locations local, minimizing time spent in towns, and using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitizer in addition to standard hiking gear.

“As warmer weather takes hold and some states’ stay-at-home orders are rolled back or expire, we understand that many people are anxious to return to public lands like the Appalachian Trail,” said Sandra Marra, ATC President & CEO. “We believe the scientific information has become clearer on how to keep yourself and those around you safe from COVID-19, though we still encourage everyone to use an abundance of caution and practice social distancing wherever possible.”

The guidance also recommends that A.T. thru-hikers continue to postpone their journeys for the time being, as thru-hiking typically requires travel through dozens of towns across state lines, presenting multiple opportunities for COVID-19 to be spread in Trailside communities. However, the ATC has also identified three scenarios, any one of which would lead to a review of this recommendation: the removal of all A.T. closures in place due to the pandemic, a flattening or reduction of the COVID-19 infection rate in all A.T. states for a period of two weeks, and the availability of an effective COVID-19 vaccine.

This guidance was developed by a task force convened by the ATC with the specific purpose of finding the safest ways for Trail users, volunteers, and staff to re-engage with the A.T. during the COVID-19 pandemic. The task force is comprised of representatives from ATC staff, federal and state agency partners, Trail maintaining clubs, A.T. Communities, local leaders and medical experts to help ensure multiple perspectives are represented in any guidance issued.

To view this guidance and learn more about the ATC’s efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the A.T., please visit appalachiantrail.org/covid-19.







Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Monday, May 25, 2020

Daniel Boone National Forest moves up reopening of Red River Gorge

The Daniel Boone National Forest opened the Red River Gorge and Redbird Crest Off-Highway Vehicle Trail System on Friday, May 22. The forest had previously announced a June 3 opening date.

“In light of the Governor’s decision to lift the travel ban on May 22, we felt we could move up the reopening of the Red River Gorge and Redbird Crest OHV Trail to the same date, while still emphasizing safety,” Daniel Boone National Forest Supervisor Dan Olsen said. “We look forward to seeing our recreation sites being enjoyed by the people from the communities we serve.”

Most day-use sites, such as picnic areas and shooting ranges, as well as the White Sulphur Off Highway Vehicle Trail System will tentatively reopen on June 3.

Most developed campgrounds are tentatively scheduled to reopen on June 11. Visitors who already have campground reservations through www.Recreation.gov will be notified via email or text message if there are any changes.

The general forest area and most boat launches and trails have remained open to hiking, biking, horseback riding, boating, dispersed camping, hunting, fishing, etc.

Although not accepting in-person visits, offices remain open and operational. Visitors are encouraged to call the local Forest Service office for general information or assistance with obtaining maps and passes.

As recreation sites begin to open, the Leave No Trace 7 Principles are more important than ever. Make a plan, be prepared and leave no trace. If a trailhead parking area is full, please consider another location.

“We encourage you to go outside and enjoy the fresh air, but take extra steps to do this safely, Olsen said. “Be extra cautious and avoid high-risk activities that might require health care or rescue.”

The Daniel Boone National Forest continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation. Please review current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with local and state guidelines for social distancing and cloth face coverings.

For up-to-date information and the projected opening schedule on the Daniel Boone National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/dbnf/



Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Four National Forests Reopen Trailheads and Access Points to Appalachian National Scenic Trail

The USDA Forest Service will open a series of trailheads and access points to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail yesterday, May 22. The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests in Georgia, Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests in North Carolina, Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee and George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in Virginia will participate in the coordinated reopening.

The Triple Crown in Virginia will remain closed, which includes Dragon’s Tooth trailhead.

To recreate responsibly outdoors, avoid congregating at parking areas, refrain from gathering in large groups and maintain a 6 feet distance from others, especially when passing other hikers.

Visitors to our National Forests are urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For tips from the CDC on preventing illnesses like the coronavirus, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html. Bathroom facilities may not be available. Shelters will remain closed at this time.

While work continues opening trails and roads, staffing may remain limited to encourage safe distancing. This may also cause a delay in rescue operations. It is not recommended that visitors engage in risky recreation activities at this time.

Find the latest recreation information for each national forest at: Georgia, Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, www.fs.usda.gov/conf  North Carolina, Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc Tennessee, Cherokee National Forest, www.fs.usda.gov/cherokee/ Virginia, George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, www.fs.usda.gov/gwj







Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Friday, May 22, 2020

Backcountry Campsites Now Open at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park as Phased Accessibility Continues

Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park’s (NHP) five backcountry campsites along the Ridge Trail are now open. The National Park Service (NPS) continues to work servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities in closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners are paramount. At Cumberland Gap, we are examining each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance,” said Park Superintendent Charles Sellars. “We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.”

The park’s 19-mile long Ridge Trail “zigzags” along the spine of Cumberland Mountain following closely the Kentucky/Virginia border. The backcountry campsites include Gibson Gap, located 5 miles east of the Pinnacle Overlook; Hensley Camp, Martins Fork and Chadwell Gap, all near the historic Hensley Settlement; and White Rocks, situated near the far eastern end of the park. The campsites provide a perfect respite after exploring gorgeous geologic and historic features along the trail. “Backcountry campers are treated to the spectacularly colored Sand Cave rock shelter with a waterfall cascading over its lip, can gaze afar into Virginia from high atop the White Rocks Overlook, and meander down fence-lined lanes amongst the richly weathered chestnut hewn cabins at Hensley Settlement,” shares Park Ranger Brittony Beason, adding “Happy trails to you!”

Backcountry campsite reservations are required and must be made by calling 606-248-2817 daily between 9 am and 4 pm or via Facebook messenger. Group size maximum is 10. Only one party will be assigned to each campsite. There is no potable water along the trail. Water must be carried in or purified. Bear proof storage cable systems, located at each campsite, must be utilized. Social distancing guidelines must be followed. “Leave No Trace,” including pack it in, pack it out should be the mantra of all backcountry users.

Backcountry permits will be issued electronically.

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on the park’s website www.nps.gov/cuga and social media channels.



Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Bicyclist Fatality on Foothills Parkway

Michael Barker, age 59 from Seymour, TN, was riding his bicycle approximately 5 miles east of Walland when he suffered a cardiac arrest. Emergency responders and medically trained bystanders performed CPR on site before Barker was transported to Blount Memorial Hospital and pronounced deceased.

In addition to National Park Service employees, emergency responders with American Medical Response (AMR) and Blount County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene. No additional details are available at this time.



Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park