Blog > Lscott1027
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Apr 05, 2012

By Leigh Scott, American Hiking Society

The pastoral countryside and peaceful rolling hills near Sharpsburg, Maryland, belie the fact that this beautiful landscape was the site of the bloodiest one-day battle in U.S. history. Were it not for silent platoons of sobering historical plaques, stalwart rows of strategically-placed cannons, and stoic legions of intricately-carved memorials, a hike through the Antietam battlefield would seem like a typical walk through the picturesque fields and farmlands along the Blue Ridge.

Blog > Sara Baker

The Guinness Book of World Records confirmed yesterday that surfer Garrett McNamara has indeed broken the world record for longest wave surfed. McNamara surfed a 90 foot wave in Praia do Norte, Nazare, Portugal. The previous record was held by Mike Parsons, who surfed a 77-plus foot wave at Cortes Bank, west of San Diego. In surfing this wave, Garrett also won the Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Award for 2011 with a prize of $15,000.

“It’s amazing we get to do what we do, I am so grateful” Garrett says on his blog.

Blog > jtanner61

by JD Tanner

I would guess that many of us are familiar with the Devil’s Tower National Monument, one of the filming locations for 1977’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, in northeast Wyoming? The volcanic neck tops out at 5,112 feet above sea level and juts up 865 feet from the ground with nothing but grasslands and pine forests surrounding it. Such an odd formation to be in this location that it is known as a sacred site to the Lakota and over twenty other tribes in the area. The tower is a popular destination for rock climbers and park tourists alike.

Learning about edible wild plants not only will provide you with some extra food but will also inevitably lead you on a path of discovery about the natural world and our connection to it. Many of the plants we walk past daily, see as ornamentals, or destroy as weeds are indeed edible, delicious, and filled with nutrients.Here, from Edible Wild Plants, by Todd Telander, are five plants you should know about:

Blog > Sara Baker

Alex Honnold makes the first ever solo link up of Yosemite's Triple Crown- Mt. Watkins, El Capitan, and Half Dome, climbing 95 percent free solo with few points of aid. He finished the solo triple in 18 hours 50 minutes. Honnold began his epic solo endeavor on Mt. Watkins at 4 PM on Tuesday of this week and finished up on top of Half Dome 10:45 AM the following day. Check out the video- precarious and amazing!...

by National Wildlife Federation

Welcome to June 2012, a month that has been designated Great Outdoors Month by President Barack Obama and by dozens of states across the country.

National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is gearing up to celebrate the great outdoors with Great American Backyard Campout, scheduled for June 23. You can join the Great American Backyard Campout, whether you are an experienced outdoor enthusiast or a first-time camper. Spend the night sleeping under the stars and give back to American children what they don’t even know they’ve lost—their connection to the natural world. We have all you will need to get you ready to camp at your fingertips on the official website at

If you participate in the Campout, consider nocturnal wildlife-watching as an activity that will keep you and the family entertained even without your computer or TV. Once the sun sets, the cast of critters that roams your yard changes completely. Depending on where you live, here are five species you may be able to spot:

By J.D. Tanner and Emily Ressler

Ah, the cactus—one of the most interesting and beautiful plants in the desert. Don’t be fooled though, cacti are found in many places other than the Southwest. There are numerous species of cactus spread throughout the United States. We have encountered them on hikes in Missouri, Illinois, and North Dakota, to name a few places. None of the cacti we have encountered though are nearly as cuddly, cute, and dangerous as the semi-aptly named Teddy Bear Cactus.


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