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Hiking the Hidden Gems to Find Peace – Snowy Range Mountains

  We drive through Laramie, Wyoming and turn west toward our destination. Antelope dot the horizon in every direction, herds gracefully graze together. Before long we arrive in Centennial, Wyoming population 200 something; the hub for the Snowy Range Ski Resort. We stop for firewood at the local grocery store, feeling as if we have stepped back in time. It’s mid-September and we know it’s a risk heading up to 11,000 feet elevation. Already the sky toward the Mountain peaks is clouded in white: Snow. The 60 degree change in temperature, from where we came from, is quite noticeable. As we head up into Medicine Bow National Forest, the leaves are already transforming with vibrant oranges that stun the eyes. Beauty ... Read more

Hiking to the Solar Eclipse

Imagine a morning hike for a purpose, for a reason you’ve never hiked before. You start out early, the crisp air an energy shot from nature. Perhaps the birds are acting a little different today, and you sense a buzz of something you can’t quite explain. The calendar says August 21, 2017. This is the day to be in Nature, to witness a celestial occurrence that people have been waiting 38 years for. The day when a total solar eclipse will sweep across parts of the continental United States. If you are in the path of the 70 mile wide ribbon that stretches from Oregon to the South Carolina; you will be able to witness the total eclipse. If ... Read more

Kid’s Hiking Poem or Prose Contest

When we hike with children, we see the world through their eyes. The patterns on the wings of a beetle, towering peaks peeking through swirling clouds, the earthy smell of leaves on a muddy trail. The places we have hiked over and over are suddenly new, vivid, and alive when we explore with young hikers. Do these young’ns ever wax poetic? We want to know what they have to say when they get out on trails surrounded by nature. Submit the following and your young hiker (up to age 18) could be featured in the Fall edition of American Hiker, American Hiking Society’s quarterly publication for members: a poem (a haiku is a fun simple option!) or prose under ... Read more

Executive Order Threatens National Monuments

In April, President Donald Trump issued an executive order calling for the review of all national monument designations occurring after January 1, 1996, where the monument exceeds 100,000 acres. Shortly after, the Department of the Interior confirmed that Giant Sequoia National Monument is on that list along with 26 others. This administration’s actions reveal a great deal about its perspective on the purpose and value of our public lands. People come from around the globe to stand in awe under the largest living things on Earth. Giant Sequoia National Monument — designated by President Clinton in 2000 and spanning over 328,000 acres — shelters a large portion of the giant sequoia forests remaining in the world today. Since 1906, both Democratic ... Read more

#HikingMakesMe Interview – Kathryn Van Waes, Ph.D.

American Hiking Society's Executive Director, Kathryn Van Waes, responds to our #HikingMakesMe interview. I go by the name Kate. When I go on a hike, I never leave home without being really excited to finally get out on the trail. My favorite book is anything by Hemmingway In addition to hiking, I love spending time climbing, camping, skiing, and generally being outdoors; curled up with a good book; or cooking. I would love to trade places with no one else because my Nana always said, “If everyone put their problems in a hat, you’d probably end up just wanting to draw your own.” Being stuck on the couch or in bed frustrates me, more than anything in the whole ... Read more

Introducing AHS Ambassador Michael Lanza

American Hiking Society is thrilled to welcome Michael Lanza to the Ambassador Program of AHS- where he hopes to inspire families to discover the powerful emotional payoff and bond achieved through sharing outdoor experiences. Michael Lanza is the creator of The Big Outside, where he blogs about his outdoor adventures, including many with his wife and children. The Big Outside has made numerous top blog lists, including USA Today’s Readers Choice list of Top 10 Hiking and Outdoors Bloggers in 2014. Michael was the Northwest Editor of Backpacker magazine for 11 years and continues to write for the magazine. His book Before They're Gone—A Family's Year-Long Quest to Explore America's Most Endangered National Parks, winner of a National Outdoor Book Award ... Read more

Wildfire Suppression Addressed in New Bill

June 9, 2017 – A bill (HR2862) that would address the critical issue of funding for wildfire suppression has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR). Currently, when the fire suppression budgets at the US Department of the Interior (DOI) and the US Forest Service (USFS) are exhausted, the only way either agency can continue to fund the critical work of wildfire suppression, is by “borrowing” funds from other in-house programs – sometimes the very programs which would help alleviate future wildfires. This bill, if passed, would ensure that the suppression of large wildfires is funded similarly to other natural disasters. While this bill is important for DOI and the National Park ... Read more

You’re Invited to #FindYourTrail

In 2018, America will celebrate the 50th anniversary of our National Trails System and Americans everywhere are being encouraged to #FindYourTrail! When the 1968 National Trails System Act was signed into law, America was given a gift – the creation of the National Trails System and the protection of some of our favorite places where we can enjoy the great outdoors. While there have been changes over the years, today the National Trails System includes a variety of trails such trails as the Appalachian Trail, the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, and thousands of others. We have these trails because those who came before us had the courage to dream big. Identifying and protecting a narrow strip of land where ... Read more

Administration’s Budget Proposes Catastrophic Cuts to Trails

June 7, 2017 – The Administration recently released its budget for fiscal year 2018 (October 2017 – September 2018) revealing what are nothing less than catastrophic cuts to programs that directly impact trails and the places where Americans hike. The proposed budget for trails and the federal agencies that manage and maintain trails on federal lands fails to provide for even the most basic necessities to maintain and manage these critical recreation resources. In addition to being used by hikers, bikers, and equestrians, trails are the gateway to nearly every other facet of outdoor recreation, including fishing, hunting, and camping. A failure to maintain and manage our nation’s trails directly impacts park visitation, visitor safety, the ability for people to ... Read more

GirlTrek Kicks Off Summer Hikes with National Trails Day

National Trails Day® continues to grow each year thanks to all the local clubs and organization that rally together to connect more people to trails. This year, American Hiking Society is proud to connect with another national organization, GirlTrek, to continue to grow the reach and impact of National Trails Day.  GirlTrek has organized more than a dozen National Trails Day events in cities from L.A. to New York, and their mission to inspire Black women to walk and hike in their communities makes them a natural fit for National Trails Day. We asked GirlTrek a few questions about what they love about getting women outside and on local trails. From GirlTrek’s perspective, why is it important to get groups (especially ... Read more
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