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September 27, 2019

Best Hiking Near Birmingham

A wide trail heads into the trees.

Welcome to the Magic City. Tucked in the Appalachian foothills, Alabama’s largest metropolis earned it's nickname after it seemingly appeared overnight in the 1870s when mining companies and iron foundries sought the ore deposits in its low mountain ridges. Today, those mines are gone, leaving behind a historic downtown, important cultural sites, vibrant culinary scene […]

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September 23, 2019

Best Hikes in Joshua Tree National Park

The sun sets behind a classic park landscape highlighting the iconic Joshua Trees.

Nestled deep within two distinct deserts in southern California, Joshua Tree National Park is within easy reach of Los Angeles, San Diego and even Las Vegas, making it a convenient spot for weekend adventures. However, with numerous campgrounds, ranger programs and recreational activities like hiking and rock climbing, the park deserves much more than a […]

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September 20, 2019

Tourism Organizations Reckon With Wildfire

Smoke over Oregon's Rogue River

Stretching from the northern edge of Crater Lake National Park to the Pacific Ocean, the 215-mile Rogue River serves as the lifeblood of the southern Oregon tourist economy, reliant on whitewater rafters, hikers and anglers each summer. Brad Niva purchased Rogue Wilderness Adventures in 2006 and grew the company's presence in that tourist economy, offering […]

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September 20, 2019

Get Ready To Wear Hemp

Move over, cotton: Hemp is here to challenge your throne. Now that hemp is no longer considered an illicit drug, fabric manufacturers are figuring out how to turn this notoriously scratchy fiber into soft, ultracomfy clothing. It’s showing up in T-shirts, shorts, fleeces, jackets, hats and even shoes. Even better? Hemp’s sustainability scorecard makes it […]

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September 19, 2019

Camp Recipe: Peach Panzanella Salad

Stirring panzanella salad

Combining all the greatest flavors of summer, this Panzanella is the perfect side dish for any outdoor occasion.  Panzanella is a traditional Tuscan salad that includes fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and stale bread. In this version, we lean into summer a little more with the addition of sliced peaches. It’s bright, zesty, sweet and completely […]

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September 17, 2019

Uncommon Challenge: Go Backpacking Out Your Front Door

Urban Backpacking

July 28, 2019, mile 8.92: I am inside my tent’s vestibule in the front yard of my ex-roommate’s single-story, beige house in the semi-industrial part of Seattle called Georgetown. The thin tent fly separates me from the morning chill, though it does little to drown out the sound of cars flying up the on-ramp to […]

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September 13, 2019

Chesapeake Bay’s Vanishing Island

A landscape shot of Tangier Island surrounded by water

A version of this story appeared in the fall 2019 issue of Uncommon Path.  Tangier Island, Virginia, sits in a 30-mile breadth of the Chesapeake Bay, a dozen miles from Crisfield, Maryland, its nearest mainland port. The isle’s residents—some 475 at most—are mainly crabbers, or families of crabbers, who speak a distinct patois virtually untouched by […]

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September 12, 2019

Where’s Debbie? A Look at the Volunteer Force Behind Northern California’s Downieville Classic

The Start Mountain bikes are everywhere: on car racks, in truck beds and vans, leaning against buildings, and pedaling up and down both lanes of this rural mountain highway. The ones with bibs zip-tied to the handlebars are about to race a 26.5-mile course that climbs 4,500 feet and descends 5,700 feet. It’s the first […]

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September 11, 2019

Dog-Friendly Hikes in Colorado

A dog hikes through a field of wildflowers.

Although it's difficult to officially poll them, we're pretty sure Colorado's dogs are some of the happiest pups around: There's no shortage of dog-friendly hikes to tackle in the Centennial State with your four-legged hiking buddy. With so many options to choose from, we turned to Hiking Project, REI’s digital trail guide and online hiking […]

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