Walks

Access is key to enjoying the outdoors. For a mountain, that can mean clearing a trailhead; for a river, installing a boat launch. Accessibility also has a very literal definition: The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) uses detailed criteria to design trails accessible to people with disabilities. An increasing number of trails meet these specifications, creating…

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Here is a challenge for you parents of kids age 8 or older: The next time you are out on errands, stop by the local park and let your kids run around and play. Then leave them there. No, not forever. But give it 15 minutes. Go get your groceries and come back. Your kids…

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My first visit to the alpine zone in New Hampshire’s White Mountains was on Mount Washington. I was 15 years old, surviving day three of a high school orientation camping trip. The challenge of climbing several thousand feet to stand atop an iconic peak filled me with a sense of accomplishment. While the summit view…

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Kids are naturally curious, as any parent knows, and one great way to encourage their curiosity, while also having a lot of fun, is to participate in a citizen science project. Citizen science is usually defined as the practice of public participation in scientific research to increase scientific knowledge. This can be anything from counting…

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The Path of Life Sculpture Garden in Windsor, Vt., is one of those places that exceed expectations. Described to me as a sculpture garden, I thought it would be a cool place to check out while spending a weekend in nearby Hanover, N.H Located in a complex that includes Great River Outfitters, Vermont Farmstead Cheese,…

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Flipping pancakes with my 11-year old daughter Tasha on a cold December morning recently, we saw a group of wild turkeys outside pecking at the bittersweet berries along our stone wall. I grabbed my cup of coffee after breakfast and we headed out to watch them. We quickly found their three-toed tracks in the driveway,…

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Sara Sloan slips off her mitten and uses her thumb to dial in the right track on her iPod. She holds the tiny speakers up and hits play. Deep, resonant hooting wafts out: “Who. Hoot, who, who.” The call of a great horned owl. The 12 of us stand silently in the dark woods, waiting…

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Walking has long been recognized as an inexpensive and accessible form of physical activity. A new study finds that walking can also improve mental health—and that walking with a group can enhance this impact. Study co-authors Katherine Irvine, Melissa Marselle, and Sara Warber wanted to quantify the effect of nature on health and mental well-being…

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With new Apple watches and whiz-bang wearable devices that monitor your daily activity, you could spend hundreds on devices and programs to stay fit. Or you could just reach for your smartphone—all at once it can be your personal trainer, calorie counter, and route log, as long as you download the right apps. These five…

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Three large black walnut trees stand in a perfect line, parallel to the side of a home in Wenham, Mass. An old rope swing dangles from a lofty branch. The owner says her kids sometimes bounce on the swing to dislodge walnuts from high above. Hundreds of the nuts litter the lawn. Russ Cohen kicks…

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