Duration

A lot more goes into planning a day hike than choosing your target elevation. Here’s a starter checklist. Consider the group. When choosing a route, think about the companions with whom you’ll be hiking. If you’re hiking with a novice, choose a trail that’s beginner-friendly; if you’re hiking with an experienced mountaineer, choose a hike…

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If you’re planning on backpacking with young kids, you really want them to enjoy the experience so they’ll keep coming back for more. After multiple trips taking my two young backpackers into the woods over the past two years (when they were between the ages of 4 and 8), here are a few key tips…

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If you think fireflies’ flashes are simply random, pretty bursts of light, think again. “They’re not just putting on a fantastic light show for our enjoyment,” says Sara Lewis, a professor of biology at Tufts University and the author of Silent Sparks: The Wondrous World of Fireflies. “Those are the silent love songs of the…

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Whipple Hill only stretches about a mile, north to south, and less than that east to west. But with three different blazed loops cutting back and forth between two parking lots, this rolling property in the easternmost corner of Lexington, Mass., makes up for what it lacks in acreage with variety. On an early-May morning,…

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The summer hiking season is fast approaching, which means that many folks will soon be pulling their boots out of the closet or shopping for a new pair. Here are three common (and easily avoided) mistakes people make that can lead to misery on the trail. Failing to break in a new pair of boots before…

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Road cyclists have an embarrassment of riches: Unlike mountain bikers, pretty much anywhere they go, they can ride. If you think about it, our nation’s roads essentially form a coast-to-coast trail system. But some routes beat others, whether that’s due to the terrain, the traffic, or the scenery. Here are three big, ambitious bike rides…

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Sometimes I set out with a specific loop and distance in mind. Other times I plan to wander. And sometimes I stumble from one into the other. A couple weekends ago I decided to take a friend’s recommendation and run through Arlington’s Great Meadow (AGM) over to Whipple Hill and back, making a loop of…

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Could a trail system be the key to aiding a region’s long-term economy while immediately benefiting its people by bringing them outdoors? It’s an idea that struck Benton MacKaye, the Appalachian Trail cofounder who envisioned a corridor of locally owned businesses dotting that path. More than 100 years later, it’s still an idea with legs—or…

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Cross-country skiers don’t need much to enjoy a winter day beyond some fresh snow and a few miles of trail. Throw in a shelter, a wood stove, a hot drink, and a warm bed and you have the makings of a perfect weekend. With a growing number of public and private landowners building yurts, such…

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Just as the foliage of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic reveals its more colorful side, so do the region’s orchards bear fruit of similar hues. For many, an October apple-picking trip begins with a hayride and ends with a mug of steaming mulled cider. Why not lace up your boots or hop on your bike and…

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