October 16, 2019

How a Bike Park Helped Berkshire East Perfect the Mom-and-Pop Resort

The New England Lost Ski Areas Project is a charmingly antiquated website with lots of information on exactly 604 New England ski hills that have come and gone. Berkshire East, a mountain in western Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley, could have easily been on that list. It was founded in the mid-1950s and featured two rope tows […]

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October 11, 2019

Alexandera Houchin is the People’s Champion of Bikepacking

On September 16, 2017, Alexandera Houchin woke up from a fitful sleep cocooned in a sleeping bag and a blue tarp on the side of the road. Her body felt sluggish, numb from the sub-freezing Idaho air. She fumbled with her watch to check the time: 1:30am It was her 28th birthday. It was also […]

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October 11, 2019

Alexandera Houchin is the People’s Champion of Bikepacking

On September 16, 2017, Alexandera Houchin woke up from a fitful sleep cocooned in a sleeping bag and a blue tarp on the side of the road. Her body felt sluggish, numb from the sub-freezing Idaho air. She fumbled with her watch to check the time: 1:30am It was her 28th birthday. It was also […]

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October 10, 2019

Hiker Trash: A Love Letter to the Appalachian Trail

An illustration of the Appalachian Trail.

It takes just under six months for most backpackers to complete the world’s longest hiking-only footpath, but you can get a glimpse of the highs and lows of a thru-hiker’s journey without leaving home this fall with the new book, Hiker Trash: Notes, Sketches, and Other Detritus from the Appalachian Trail. Author and artist Sarah […]

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October 4, 2019

Tested: The Best Hiking Sandals of 2020

There was a time when sandals were reserved for the beach or the public shower. Blessedly, those days are long gone. Outdoor-oriented companies have taken the same core DNA of your standard flip-flops and leveled it up with features like a beefier sole, more secure webbing, greater arch support or some combination of all three. […]

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October 4, 2019

Good Gear: Smartwool’s Intraknit base layers will revolutionize your closet

Smartwool Intraknit

For years, Smartwool designers stared at socks’ innards and saw the potential to revolutionize apparel construction. In a technical sock, cushiony, plush zones transition into meshy, sweat-venting zones without seams for improved comfort. Designers dreamed of bringing that variable construction to base layers—if only there was a machine that could knit complicated pants and shirts. […]

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October 1, 2019

Best Places to See Stars

A version of this story appeared in the fall 2019 issue of Uncommon Path.  Look to the night skies outside your house or apartment and maybe you’ll see the faint outlines of the Big Dipper beyond the street lights, or the glimmering North Star past a row of headlights on the nearest highway. Head into the […]

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October 1, 2019

Re-Riding History

Tour participants stand in front of a historic wall with writing on it in Atlanta

A version of this story appeared in the fall 2019 issue of Uncommon Path.  Hidden under a magnolia tree at the Georgia State Capitol is a bronze statue depicting a complex chapter of the state’s history. It shows the 33 Black legislators who were elected to the General Assembly during Reconstruction only to be expelled by […]

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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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