Yes, You Can Avoid the Crowds at (the Very Popular) Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Great Smoky Mountains is a mecca for millions of outdoor visitors each year. But as our 63 Parks columnist explains, that doesn't mean you can’t find solitude and peace. Often all it takes is a walk in the woods. Avoid crowds at Great Smoky Mountains National Parkoutsideonline.com
A Look Back at Hiking the Appalachian Trail Alone as a Black Woman
Rahawa Haile set out on the AT during one of the most tumultuous periods in our political history. The story she wrote about it for Outside in 2017 hit a nerve, and encouraged many others to get out on the trail. We followed up with her to find out what scared her the most, the one piece of gear she couldn’t live without, and why thru-hiking is always worth it in the end.outsideonline.com
Eye Opener: Chaos erupts at Astroworld music festival in Houston
At least eight people are dead and dozens more injured after chaos erupted at Travis Scott's Astroworld music festival in Houston. Also, President Biden gets a big win with the passing of America's largest infrastructure bill in 70 years. All that and all that matters in today’s Eye Opener. Your world in 90 seconds.news.yahoo.com
Brian Laundrie manhunt: Dog the Bounty Hunter seeking leads in Appalachian Trail after reported sightings
North Port, Fla. – Investigators working with Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman are honing in on portions of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina as they continue their search for Brian Laundrie, who is wanted on bank fraud charges after his fiancée, Gabby Petito, was found dead in Wyoming.news.yahoo.com
Hiking the Appalachian Trail: A Beginner’s Guide
The Appalachian Trail’s combination of wilderness, community, and legend have given it an iconic status and inspired the creation of long-distance trails in places as far away as Australia. To help others experience it, here’s my key advice on how to get started and give yourself the best shot at success.outsideonline.com
Dangerous conditions led to injured AT hikers and treacherous terrain for rescuers
ROANOKE, Va. – First responders raced to the rescue after three hikers were injured and stranded while hiking the Appalachian Trail over the weekend. Rockbridge County Fire & Rescue Chief Nathan Ramsey said it would have been too difficult to carry them out on foot. Saturday’s rescue took 10 hours. That rescue took two hours and 17 first responders, lugging thermal blankets, ropes, and more. “You figure you have a 180-pound patient and you’re trying to walk them out and you’ve got unstable conditions,” said Zaronsky.
Rescue teams assist two injured hikers on Appalachian Trail in the same day
BIG ISLAND, Va. – Icy conditions led to two separate rescues along the Appalachian Trail on Saturday. The longer rescue happened on the trail near Big Island and the James River Foot Bridge. It took a rescue team eight hours to free a hiker who injured his legs and suffered from hypothermia. UPDATE: At 1019 the Division III Technical Rescue Team was alerted about an injured hiker on the Appalachain Trail... Posted by Virginia Division 3 Technical Rescue Team on Saturday, February 20, 2021The second rescue happened in Roanoke County, where crews rescued a hiker who fell from the trail leading to McAfee Knob. At approximately 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, February 20, 2021 Roanoke County Fire and Rescue units were dispatched to the... Posted by Roanoke County Fire & Rescue Department on Saturday, February 20, 2021Some hikers still decided to travel the trail on Sunday, despite the icy conditions.
Crews rescue hiker that fell 200 feet off Appalachian Trail in Rockbridge County
Multiple crews at work to locate lost hiker on Appalachian TrailROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. – UPDATEFirst responders have rescued an injured hiker who fell from the icy Appalachian Trail, making this the third rescue like this along the trail over the weekend. Crews said the hiker fell about 200 feet off the mountain while hiking with a group. While a helicopter rescued the hiker, a few crews stepped through the snow to treat them on the ground. ORIGINAL STORYEmergency crews are working to locate a lost hiker Sunday afternoon in Rockbridge County. At about 3:15 p.m., the Big Island Volunteer Fire Company and Bedford County Special Operations Command were dispatched to another emergency rescue on the Appalachian Trail.
Solving the mystery of the Appalachian hiker "Mostly Harmless"
Solving the mystery of the Appalachian hiker "Mostly Harmless" He was a mystery who intrigued thousands: Who was the hiker who walked almost the entire length of the Appalachian Trail, living completely off the grid, only to be found dead in a tent in Florida? It took years, and the persistence of amateur sleuths. to crack the case. Nicholas Thompson of The Atlantic Magazine tells the tale of the man who went by the name "Mostly Harmless," and about the efforts stirred by the mystery of his identity to give names to nameless missing persons.cbsnews.com
Injured hiker rescued from McAfee Knob in Roanoke County
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Roanoke County Fire and Rescue units rescued an injured hiker Saturday afternoon. At about 12:15 p.m., crews were dispatched to the McAfee Knob parking lot for reports of an injured hiker who had fallen off the Sawtooth Trail, the Appalachian Trail connector trail from McAfee to Dragon’s Tooth. Authorities said the hiker was about a mile away from the parking lot and had fallen off the trail down a steep embankment, sustaining a head injury. The hiker was carried out and off the trail through steep, icy terrain and over a creek, exiting near The Homeplace Restaurant. According to Fire and Rescue, the patient was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries at about 2:40 p.m.
Trial date set for 2019 Appalachian Trail murder
ABINGDON, Va. – We now know when the trial of James Jordan, the man charged with killing an Appalachian Trail hiker and attacking another with a hunting knife in Wythe County, will begin. It’s scheduled to begin in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon on Sept. 7 at 9 a.m.James Jordan, of West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, is scheduled to go on trial in January in the 2019 killing of Ronald Sanchez Jr., 43, of Oklahoma City, and the wounding of a female hiker. He has a history of mental illness and was originally declared incompetent to stand trial, but a judge in June 2020 found that he is now competent and the case against him can move forward. Ad[’Out of a horror movie’: Wythe County tactical team describes hunt for Appalachian Trail suspect]Pretrial motions are scheduled for July 2 and Aug. 24.
Crews respond to search and rescue call at Hay Rock on Appalachian Trail
Several local crews worked on a search and rescue call Monday night for someone on the Appalachian Trail at Hay Rock in Botetourt County. BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. – Several local crews worked on a search and rescue Monday night for someone on the Appalachian Trail at Hay Rock in Botetourt County. Crews were still at the scene as of 10:24 p.m., according to the Troutville Volunteer Fire Department. 10 News is working to learn more. Check back for updates.
Insanity defense planned in Appalachian Trail murder case
RICHMOND, Va. – A Massachusetts man charged with killing an Appalachian Trail hiker and attacking another with a hunting knife in Wythe County, Virginia, plans to use an insanity defense at his trial. Jordan’s attorneys filed a notice in federal court this week saying they intend to use an insanity defense. [‘Out of a horror movie’: Wythe County tactical team describes hunt for Appalachian Trail suspect]Jordan, 31, has a history of mental illness. Jordan’s lawyers and a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the plan to use an insanity defense. On the weekend of the killing, Jordan threatened four hikers, an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit filed in court.
VDOT wants your feedback on Appalachian Train bridge over Rt. 311
of Transportation is looking for feedback on the construction underway of a pedestrian bridge that would bring the Appalachian Trail over Rt. In order to reach the McAffee Knob trailhead of the Appalachian Trail, hikers have to cross Rt. As a solution, a bridge crossing Rt. Participants have until July 18 to fill out the online comment form. Click here for the comment form and more information.
Backpacking with Brooke: Sawtooth Ridge
CATAWBA, Va. Sawtooth Ridge is a short but rewarding hike on the Appalachian Trail. On the trail map youll see that youre going to head in the opposite direction to the ridge. That trail will start at the back of the parking lot with the at signs heading south. The terrain of the trail is pretty smooth, as you can see I hiked in my chacos and was fine. For a short hike, this part definitely got our heart rate up!
Justices revive permit for pipeline under Appalachian Trail
WASHINGTON The Supreme Court sided with energy companies and the Trump administration Monday in reinstating a critical permit for a proposed natural gas pipeline that would cross under the Appalachian Trail. The justices ruled 7-2 to throw out a lower court ruling that had canceled the permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. It would bring natural gas from West Virginia to growing markets in Virginia and North Carolina. The pipeline would run in part through the George Washington National Forest, where a 0.1-mile segment of the pipeline would cross about 600 feet (about 183 meters) beneath the Appalachian Trail. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the environmentalists in 2018 and threw out a special-use permit for the 605-mile (974-kilometer) natural gas pipeline.
Triple Crown on Appalachian Trail is open again
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. 27 miles of Appalachian Trail was re-opened Saturday after being closed due to the Coronavirus. The section includes a part of Central Virginia known as the Triple Crown. The Triple Crown area includes all National Park Service owned land between VA Route 624 (Newport Road) and VA Route 652 (Mountain Pass Road), including McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs. The National Park Service (NPS) is working Service-wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis. Visitors should plan on carrying hand sanitizer, as hand-washing facilities are not available on the Trail. The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases including not:
Devils Backbone searching for Chief Hiking Officer
One lucky hiker who wants to take on the Appalachian Trail will get paid $20,000 to do it. Devils Backbone Brewing Company is accepting applications for what it calls its Chief Hiking Officer.The person who lands this gig will trek the entire 2,200-mile trail from Georgia to Maine, consuming and sharing plenty of brews along the way. The job even comes with a $20,000 stipend and free travel to the trail-head. Devils Backbone estimates it will take five-to-seven months to complete the assignment which starts next year. Even though the brewer didnt explicitly say it, were going to assume travel home from the end of the trail is also included.
Backpacking with Brooke: Rice Fields Hike
NARROWS, Va. – The Rice Fields hike is located near Narrows and is a steady five mile out and back hike with stunning views from the top. You’ll park just off of Pocahontas Road on a gravel pull-off, then backtrack a few paces down to the beginning of the Appalachian Trail. This hike is marked with white blazes, and follows the AT 2.5 miles around the mountain. The beginning of the hike traverses back and forth as you steadily ascend. After you’re done basking in the sun and enjoying the view, head back down the way you came.
Southwest Virginia pipeline fighters travel to DC for possible landmark Supreme Court case
WASHINGTON, DC – On Monday the Supreme Court started on what could be a landmark case affecting pipelines in our area and across the East Coast. An environmental group is challenging the permit issues to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross the Appalachian Trail, and it could affect the Mountain Valley Pipeline because it, too, crosses the Appalachian trail on federal land. Protesters rallied outside the Supreme Court, while inside lawyers got just one hour to argue before the judges. His land is slated to be crossed by the Mountain Valley Pipeline and he wants that to change. “I’m not counting on the supreme court to win this fight for us," Satterwhite said.
Agrument preview: Supreme Court pipeline case nears
Thomas FarrellMONTEREY Is a trail considered land, or not? The question of whether a wilderness trail could actually be land lies at the heart of a legal appeal case going before the U.S. Supreme Court next week. The court will hear an hour of arguments on the question Monday, Feb. 24, on whether the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline can cross under the Appalachian Trail. Solicitor General Noel Francisco, the fourth highest official in the Department of Justice, represents the governments side...therecorderonline.com
Local woman wins national award for conservation efforts
SALEM, Va. - A local woman has won a national award that brings with it money to help maintain the beauty of the Appalachian Trail. Diana Christopulos is the national winner of $60,000 in total grant money, which she will hand over to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to go toward conservation efforts in Virginia. It means that a lot of people love the Appalachian Trail, and we're going to have some money to help protect the land along the trail," Christopulos said. Earlier this month, Christopulos was named one of nine national finalists for the award, an honor for which she received a $10,000 grant. Christopulos works with the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club, which handles about 120 miles of the Appalachian Trail, and she's the president of the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy.
Local woman recognized for environmental conservation efforts
ROANOKE, Va. - A local woman is being recognized for her work on the Appalachian Trail. Diana Christopulos received a $10,000 grant through Cox Communications' parent company. She's giving the money to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to go toward conservation efforts in Virginia. Christopulos is one of nine national finalists who could win another $50,000 in grant money, which, if she wins, could go toward buying land visible from trail overlooks in order to preserve its beauty. She works with the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club, which handles about 120 miles of the Appalachian Trail, and she's the president of the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy.
HIV-positive Maryland man charged with raping, giving meth to boy on Appalachian Trail
- Authorities say an HIV-positive man has been charged with raping a boy on the Appalachian Trail in western Maryland. The Herald-Mail reports that 43-year-old Jason Henry Cochrane, of Millersville, is charged with sex abuse of a minor, second-degree rape and other counts in Washington County. Maryland Natural Resources Police said in court documents that officers were called Saturday morning to the Pine Knob Shelter on the Appalachian Trail near the border with Frederick County. Officers found Cochrane and an adolescent boy in a camping tent north of the shelter that contained condoms and sex toys. Police say DNA tests confirmed sexual contact and that Cochrane gave the boy crystal meth.
U.S. Forest Service crews work to battle Cliff Fire
BEDFORD, Va. - Hikers called the Bedford County fire responders after they saw a fire on the mountain near the Appalachian trail. Officials with the U.S. Forest Service are calling it the Cliff Fire' because of the steep terrain. Many people couldn't help, but to stop and look as they saw thick smoke fill the sky in Bedford County Friday. "This is actually early in what we consider the fall wildfire season in Virginia," Peter Irvine, information officer with U.S. Forest Service, said. Given the hot and dry weather we've been having, fighting the fire has not been easy for U.S. Forest Service crews.
Court to weigh fight over Mountain Valley Pipeline across Appalachian Trail
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Supreme Court will consider reinstating a permit that was tossed out by a lower court that would allow construction of a natural gas pipeline through two national forests, including parts of the Appalachian Trail. The justices said Friday they will hear appeals filed by energy companies that want to build the 605-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Trump administration, which initially approved the project. The federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, ruled in December that the U.S. Forest Service has no power to authorize the crossing of the popular trail and had "abdicated its responsibility to preserve national forest resources" when it approved the pipeline crossing the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests, as well as a right-of-way across the Appalachian Trail. Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Things to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
By Niagara66 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51711800(CNN) - It's not the largest US national park, but with more than 11 million guests in 2018, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is certainly the most visited. From fishing to watching synchronized fireflies, there is plenty to do in this national park. Here are some suggestions of things to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park on your next visit:DrivingFirst things first: How will you be navigating the park? HikingGreat Smoky Mountains National Park is a hiker's paradise: There are 150 official trails in the park. -- Mouse Creek Falls: Accessible by Big Creek Trail, 45-foot Mouse Creek Falls are off the beaten path.
Virginia couple hikes entire Appalachian Trial; gets engaged at the end
Stuarts Draft man, Daniel Gayle proposing to Laura Klein after reaching their final destination of the Appalachian Trail. (Source: WHSV)STUARTS DRAFT, Va. - A couple from Stuarts Draft just finished their 2,200 mile hike of the Appalachian Trail, according to NBC 12. Over the past five months of the journey, Daniel Gayle was carrying a little surprise with him for his girlfriend, Laura Klein. Gayle sewed a special pocket into his backpack, and proposed once they reached the end of the hike in Maine at Katahdin. They say reaching the end of the trail was already an overwhelming and emotional feeling.
Dominion seeks reversal on pipeline decision
MONTEREY In a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court last week, Dominion Energys legal team seeks high court action to reverse the U.S. Court of Appeals Fourth Circuit decision that is claimed to convert the Appalachian Trail into a 2,200-mile Park-Service barrier separating critical natural resources from consumers along the East Coast, the petition states. Many have questioned if the case has been reduced to politicization. Fourth Circuit judges, appointed by President Obama, threw out a perm...therecorderonline.com
Man charged in deadly Appalachian Trail attack found not competent to stand trial
ABINGDON, Va. - The man accused of killing one Appalachian Trail hiker and hurting another in May was foundmentally incompetent and will not stand trial at this time, according to WCYB. Federal judge Pamela Sargent ruled Wednesday that James Jordan doesn't meet the legal standard of mental competency. The results of a psychiatric evaluation ordered by the court remain sealed after Sargent's ruling. WCYB reports that Jordan will be transferred to a federal health mental facility for treatment. \While he won't go to trial at this time, if it's later determined that he meets competency standards, his case would be put back on the docket.
Big Island Volunteer Fire Company wants volunteers to help with search and rescues
BIG ISLAND, Va.- - The Big Island Volunteer Fire Company is looking for more volunteers to help with search and rescues. The fire chief says more people are needed because of an increase in the number of calls on the Appalachian Trail. The specialized team within the company will help out during trail and water rescues, searches, recoveries and possibly brush fires. And because of that we need more people to help spread the workload," said Brandon Cocke, Fire Chief. Volunteers will need to have some experience on local trails.