Public Lands

November 7, 2018

Your Guide to Rocky Fork State Park

One of the closest state parks to downtown Asheville, North Carolina, is actually just across the border in Tennessee, and it encompasses some of the most rugged terrain in the Southeast. In 2012, the state of Tennessee established Rocky Fork State Park, more than 2,000 acres of mountains punctuated by cliffs and bisected by wild […]

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November 7, 2018

Your Guide to Rocky Fork State Park

One of the closest state parks to downtown Asheville, North Carolina, is actually just across the border in Tennessee, and it encompasses some of the most rugged terrain in the Southeast. In 2012, the state of Tennessee established Rocky Fork State Park, more than 2,000 acres of mountains punctuated by cliffs and bisected by wild […]

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November 5, 2018

Is the John Muir Trail Being Loved to Death?

On May 17, 1915, California Governor Hiram Johnson signed a bill authorizing  the allocation of funds to build the John Muir Trail (JMT). At the outset, the plan was to build a 211-mile alpine pathway that would span from Yosemite National Park to the summit of Mt. Whitney, meandering through rugged, untamed landscapes along the […]

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October 2, 2018

Headwaters State Forest Is Open to Hikers

A waterfall in Headwaters State Forest

In September, the state Forest Service cut the ribbon on Headwaters State Forest, opening to the public a 6,730-acre tract of mountains and streams along the North Carolina-South Carolina border. The land had been owned by former congressman Charles Taylor, and local and national land conservancies worked for nearly a decade to bring the forest […]

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September 22, 2018

West Ridge Nature Preserve: A Hidden Oasis at One of Chicago’s Busiest Intersections

There are precious few places in Chicago’s urban sprawl where you can truly lose yourself in green space. West Ridge Nature Preserve is one of them. Where most urban nature lovers have become familiar with large, well-kempt parks like Lincoln and Grant, West Ridge is overgrown and uncultivated. That’s by design. Though the 21-acre park […]

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August 30, 2018

One Writer’s Quest to Introduce Kids to Our National Parks

Man looking at Denali with a copy of a book in hand

Kate Siber remembers clearly the magic of her first national park visit: She was 10. And the cliffs of Grand Canyon National Park and the Havasupai Tribe’s adjacent land made a huge impact. “Coming from an urban upbringing, I was completely blown away by the cliffs, the red hue of the rock, the crazy waterfalls […]

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August 1, 2018

Rebuilding America’s Trails

Volunteer Working on a trail

On a secluded trail in the Gila National Forest, I could see 10,895-foot Whitewater Baldy shimmer in the distance. The highest peak in southwest New Mexico’s Mogollon Range, it was still capped with snow in early March. The plan was to summit an adjacent mountain for what seemed like a short but rewarding day hike […]

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March 7, 2018

The Solace of the Sierra

Sara Fry and her dog, Tank

Sara Fry can still remember a few moments from that day in the summer of 2005. Her water polo team faced a rival high school, which deepened her desire to win. The water cooled her body as she swam arm to arm with her teammates. Despite a shoulder injury, she felt driven. Just 15 years […]

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December 20, 2017

A Trailblazing Wildland Firefighter Provides Training for Women

wildland firefighter

Through our Keepers of the Outdoors series, we'll introduce you to people who protect and care for our wild places. Bequi Livingston is an old-school badass. She spent her career fighting fires alongside the most respected crews in the West. Today, she's dedicated to training more women in backcountry firefighting. She began working with the […]

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