Category Archives: Hiking

Hungry black bears close campsites

In the past couple of weeks, the U.S. Forest Service has had to close backcountry campsites and issue warnings about bear activity in certain areas. Specifically:

  • Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness — specifically, the Haoe Lead, Stratton Bald, Hangover Lead and Hangover trails
  • Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee, where camping has been banned on the Appalachian Trail between Double Springs Shelter and the intersection with Backbone Rock Side Trail.
  • Pisgah National Forest along the Appalachian Trail, from Pisgah Grassy Fork Road, mile marker 245, to Max Patch Road, mile marker 253, including the Groundhog Creek Shelter. 

The reason? Campers have been sloppy with their food, specifically with not storing it properly. read more

Big adventures in small places

About 12 percent of the United States is protected as natural area. That’s roughly 456,000 square miles of the nation’s total land mass of about 3.8 million square miles.  

Now, when most of us think of land set aside to protect nature, at least here in the Southeast, we think of National Parks, we think of National Forests, we think of State Parks. Yet nationwide those three entities only account for about 10 percent of total protected land. What about those remaining 3.3 million square miles?  read more