Tag Archives: adventure

Winter Camping and Outdoor Recreation at ‘Base Camp Oswego County’ Feb. 25

WILLIAMSTOWN –Outdoor enthusiasts can learn winter survival skills and the basics of winter camping while exploring the grounds of Camp Zerbe at the second annual Base Camp Oswego County, a winter outdoor expo, Saturday, Feb. 25.

The event is sponsored by Pinnacle Builders USA Inc., Oswego Expeditions, the Oswego County Search and Rescue Team, Oswego County Division of Parks and Recreation, Oswego County Tourism Office, and several volunteers who are experienced in outdoor recreation.

Workshops will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside the lodge and on the grounds of the Oswego County Nature Park at Camp Zerbe, 253 State Route 104 East in the town of Williamstown.

Outdoor winter camping on the grounds of Camp Zerbe near Williamstown.

OUTDOOR WINTER CAMPING ADVENTURE – The second annual Base Camp Oswego County will take place Saturday, Feb. 25, on the grounds of Camp Zerbe near Williamstown. A variety of field trips and workshops will be held during the day, with optional overnight camping. For event information visit www.facebook.com/BaseCampOswego or call Oswego Expeditions at 315-561-0223. (Photo by Mary Ellen Barbeau.)

“The purpose of Base Camp Oswego County is to introduce people to the basics of winter camping and Oswego County’s great resources for outdoor recreation,” said event chairman and County Legislator Jake Mulcahey of Oswego.   “We have a full day of field trips and workshops scheduled. Overnight camping will be available Saturday night, Feb. 25, for those who bring their own winter camping gear and register in advance. This year we’ll have designated areas for family camping and adult only sites.”

Workshop topics include cross-country ski and snowshoe hikes, snow shelter building, winter survival skills, GPS and orienteering, working with sled dogs and skijoring, camp cooking techniques , fat bikes, and ice fishing. Admission to the workshops is free. There is a $10 registration fee per tent for overnight camping.

Food vendors will be on site during the day. Participants should dress for the weather and bring their own sleds, skis and snowshoes if they have them. A limited number of snowshoes will be available for loan.

Overnight camping will be available for those who pre-register and bring their own winter camping gear. To register, call Oswego Expeditions at 315-561-0223 or visit http://bit.ly/2kb8TJr

Two clinics will be held prior to the event for first-time winter campers. Jake Mulcahey and Barb Hartman will conduct “Introduction to Winter Camping” clinics at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7 at the Mexico Public Library, 3269 Main St., Mexico; and Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. at Murdock’s Bicycles and Sports, 177 W. First St., Oswego. Those planning to camp overnight should bring all of their own gear and food for Saturday night dinner and Sunday morning breakfast. Overnight campers will be asked to register and sign an insurance waiver.

The Oswego County Nature Park at Camp Zerbe is owned by Oswego County and overseen by the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, Division of Parks and Recreation. Any proceeds from the event will be donated to the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau for youth recreation programming.

For information, visit www.facebook.com/BaseCampOswego or call Oswego Expeditions at 315-561-0223.

Happy Birthday, NPS!

By now, you are probably aware that the National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday today, August 25th! And, it got us a present: free entry to all NPS parks and monuments today and for the whole weekend! Yessiree! The 124 parks that usually charge admission are completely free to enter, which takes a chunk of the cost out of more than 400 ways national park-goers have to explore something wild, imbued with history, AND awe-inspiring all at once.

[Image: www.nps.gov]

One hundred years of juuust enough development so you can explore, really branch out, and find genuine, quiet solitude (especially with a back country permit), but ideally not get completely lost. Cheers! [Image: www.nps.gov]

And not only is the NPS throwing its boom gates wide open, but there are state parks departments across the country also offering free admission today! New Hampshire State Parks are on board in the east, as Washington State Parks open their arms in the west.

Over the weekend, you can have a first-hand encounter with some of the wonder preserved at our national parks, monuments, battlefields and historic sites. Among the many splendors at our national parks, you can take in waterfalls or tour earthwork forts. You can hike up mountains, or maybe see (and stay a safe distance from) bison, bighorn sheep, or elk. Maybe you’ll catch sight of an elusive wolf pack or share the shade of a stately saguaro. Or you could possibly even find yourself exploring caves, swimming in an ocean, lake, or river, engaged in watching a reenactment, or simply taking a stroll somewhere beautiful. The National Parks are the gateway to our heartland!

[Image: www.whitehousehistory.org]

Then-President Teddy Roosevelt undoubtedly squinting against the sun (it was really bright, okay?) as he looks at the future–the preservation of natural wonders that could almost bring tears to a Rough Rider’s eyes. Almost. [Image: www.whitehousehistory.org]

However we take in the splendor of our natural resources, it is important to remember that while the NPS centennial is an achievement that we’ve all had a hand in simply by visiting or voicing our appreciation for the parks, there is still work to be done. These priceless park landscapes have largely been pristine for millions of years, but they increasingly face challenges posed by our ever-changing world. Celebrating the NPS Centennial equally honors our nation’s conservation efforts, and draws attention to the action required to preserve it for another hundred years, and another hundred after that, for ourselves and the generations yet to come. Whatever your views on this journey we’re all on, visiting a national park this weekend is a great way to learn about the resources around you, our effect on them, and how we can work together to make them even better.

Onward!

[Image: www.whitehouse.gov]

President Barack Obama looks out at the Grand Canyon, and beyond taking in the awesome scenery, perhaps considers the next one hundred years of the National Park Service, to which he has added 27 new monuments during his presidency. [Image: www.whitehouse.gov]

If you aren’t able to celebrate in a park on the 25th or this weekend, National Park Service gates are open again for National Public Lands Day on September 24th, and on Veteran’s Day in November. For a full run-down on what all is going on at a national park near you, there’s a full events feed on the Pocket Ranger® National Parks Passport Guide mobile app!

California’s Most Beautiful State Reserves

California is home to some of the most iconic national parks in the United States. Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, and Death Valley are only a few of the more prominent parks of the state. Hailing thousands of visitors not only from the country but even internationally, it has made a name out of stunning geographical features and activities for outdoor enthusiasts. These parks have since heralded visitors due to their monumental beauty and careful preservation efforts.

But aside from its more acclaimed national parks, California also hosts some of the most breathtaking natural state reserves in the nation. Natural state reserves are dedicated preservation areas typically with historical, geological, or cultural significance to the state or country. Even when flanked with the impressive national and state parks in the state, these reserves can more than hold their own. Check out some of the most beautiful state reserves in California below!

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve

Ever wanted to feel like you’re being transported to another world entirely? If so, that’s just what you’ll experience when you visit Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve.

Mono Lake Tufa SNR [Image url: http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/514/images/P0074810_Sunset.jpg]

Mono Lake Tufa SNR is dazzling in the early sunset. Towers of tufas are seen adorning the scenery while gorgeous colors can be seen reflecting in the surrounding waters. [Image: http://www.parks.ca.gov/]

Mono Lake Tufa is a state natural reservation located in eastern California. While this seemingly out-of-this-world natural reserve is relatively near its more iconic cousin, the grand Yosemite National Park, Mono Lake can nevertheless hold its own candle. Surrounded by towering tufas—columns of calcium carbonate formed in carbonate-rich saltwater lakes—Mono Lake provides a dreamy sight for every visitor to marvel at.

The reserve’s preservation committee typically holds tours every weekend throughout the winter months for those interested in visiting this breathtaking place. Check their calendar of events for more information as inclement weather can effect the routine tour schedules. The best time to visit? Sunset. The clear waters and panoramic background paint a palate of dazzling brilliance over the scenery.

For adventure enthusiasts, you’ll find that the Mono Lake has quite an ecosystem. Multiple avian species like the mountain quail, calliope hummingbird, and American wigeon have been sighted in the vicinity. Canada geese, mallards, and other ducks are also frequent visitors during migration periods.

Canada Goose in Mono Lake

Canada geese can be seen flocking in Mono Lake during their migration months. [Image: http://static-myyosemitepark.s3.amazonaws.com/]

Hiking, photography, swimming, and boating are only a few of the activities offered in this area. For those that want to spend a night within its majestic grounds, be sure to read up on the rules and regulations regarding camping permits.

Mono Lake Tufa at night

Tufa can be seen standing regally against a backdrop of the Milky Way at night. During the spring and summer months, a stunning view of the stars make quite a memorable camping environment. [Image: http://goldpaintphotography.com/]

For more information regarding Mono Lake, please visit their park website.

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

With views sweeping over deep blue ocean, impressive rocky montages, noble trees, and crashing ocean foam, Point Lobos is a picturesque paradise located in the central coast of Monterey County. Flanked by rolling meadows of green, a thriving ecosystem, and ethereal scenery, this natural reserve is an ideal place to simply get lost in nature’s astounding beauty.

Point Lobos China Cove

One of Point Lobos’ celebrated sights is China Cove. It is a popular tourist sight due to its crystal clear waters along the shorelines. [Image: http://www.montereybayinsider.com/]

The reserve hosts an outdoor program for children and families, tours, diving excursions, hiking, and easy access to adventures all amidst its tranquil atmosphere. Volunteers are available throughout the area to provide information regarding the rich history of Point Lobos.

A section of Point Lobos where waves can be seen crashing in the inland shores. [Image: http://icons.wunderground.com/data/wximagenew/j/jimkv/460-800.jpg]

A section of Point Lobos where waves can be seen crashing on the inland shores. [Image: http://icons.wunderground.com/

If you intend to visit Point Lobos, layers of clothing are suggested due to the distance between the waters. The chilly ocean breeze is quick and eager to drive the heat away from your body, so it is best to bring extra clothing. Other suggested items include a camera to remember the stunning views with, as well as sunscreen and water.

Take a peek at the Point Lobos page for more information.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

On the southern side of California, between La Jolla and Del Mar and north of San Diego, lies Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. This state reserve is one of the last two abodes of the rarest pine treePinus torreyana.

Pinus torreyana

One of the rarest pine trees in the nation—Pinus torreyana—can only be found thriving in two locations: Torrey Pines SNR and in Santa Rosa, California. [Image: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/]

Torrey Pines is considered a fragile ecosystem. Rigorous preservation efforts have been expended to conserve this natural habitat. It is a popular place of refuge to a large waterfowl population as well as the mule and black-tailed deer. As it is an undeveloped area, it is privy to erosion. An example of this can seen through the Broken Hill, a huge, rugged geological wonder overlooking the ocean.

Broken Hill

Broken Hill provides an ideal place to hike for outdoor enthusiasts. Its impressive location offers an outstanding view of the ocean and lower La Jolla. [Image: http://media.sdreader.com/]

Crags of rock interlock to create a geologic sight prime for sightseeing within the park. For adventurers, Torrey Pines is a small trip to the wildness away from urban life. Its sensitive ecosystem that’s being carefully reserved features cliffs and ravines overlooking the seas. Activities available within the park include swimming at the beach, hiking, interpretive programs, and wildlife watching.

Torrey Pines overlooking the sea

Torrey Pines towering over the sea. It is easy to see how it stirs wanderlust among adventurers. [Image: http://s3-media2.fl.yelpcdn.com/]

It is highly encouraged to check with Torrey Pines SNR website regarding the rules and regulations applicable within the area. As it is a natural area, regulations are carefully placed to avoid any unnecessary disruptions to its ecological system.

California is one of the most urbanized cities in the United States, so state natural reserves are carefully cherished and taken care of to preserve the natural beauty that’s in danger of ever-expanding civilization. It is a great place to relax, think, and be away from the hustle and bustle of the city as well as get in touch with nature and its profound views.

If you’re thinking of visiting one of these SNR’s, let us help you! Our California State Parks app contains the most updated information for this park and can be found in the Apple and Google Play stores. Download now, and take advantage of the warm winter days this December to observe nature at its best in one of these parks!

Pocket Ranger® Video Channel: Yosemite Half Dome Day Hike

Some grey clouds making their way across the face of Half Dome.

An arresting, cloud-obstructed vantage; quite thrilling from down here! [Image: Telegraph Hiking Club]

A recent Pocket Ranger® in-app video features a Telegraph Hiking Club trip up Yosemite’s Half Dome. Half Dome, as you can see above, is a nearly sheer granite precipice that juts about 9,000’ into the sky of the Yosemite Valley, which was once deemed impossible to summit. Indeed, with its dynamic profile and gorgeous locale, Half Dome is easily one of the most identifiable natural features in Yosemite National Park. The 14- to 23-mile challenge is met regularly each year by thousands of bold explorers between late-May and mid-October. The trip is difficult even for seasoned hikers, but is possible because of the work of the National Park Service and certainly the equipment, experience, training, and will of the hikers themselves.

Joey Miller, our intrepid filmmaker and a Telegraph Hiking Club member, has taken the summit of the Half Dome 11 times to-date. Her most recent endeavor was one of the most formidable due to difficult weather conditions that made the surface of the granite especially treacherous. She was able to enjoy success because of a mindful approach and a practiced knowledge of the terrain—along with a fortunate break in the inclement weather. We asked her about the climb, and she imparted some valuable insight for those curious about Half Dome. Some of her quotes are below in italics.

Know Your Limits

two female hikers amid fog at half dome

Telegraph Hiking Club chums scale a foggy escarpment. And how! [Image: Telegraph Hiking Club]

“This was the first time we’ve encountered weather on the Dome. And, if you read the websites or any time you’re training, they’re very clear: If the Dome is wet, you just do not go up. So our plan, because of the weather, was just to get to the sub-dome, touch the cables and, you know, it was a lot of work and preparation, but our plan was just to turn around.”

It takes months of training to even make the base of Half Dome. If you make it, you might be focused on how hard you worked and how much you deserve to take the summit. But you have to consider temperature, precipitation, time of day, and many other factors—you might just feel like something is off, for instance. Listen to what your senses are telling you.

Do Your Homework

“Getting a permit can be very, very challenging. Start looking six months to a year in advance, and make sure you’re aware of what permits are needed and what time of year to apply. It’s usually going to be 4-6 months, sometimes more, before you can do the adventure…And if you can, choose a weekday. It’s much easier to get a permit on a weekday than it is on a weekend.”

The Half Dome preseason permit lottery occurs in March. Half Dome is a very popular destination, and only 300 permits per day are offered through the lottery system to both backpackers and hikers. The National Park Service confirms on its website that your chance of success is higher on weekdays, particularly in September and October. “For the entire season (2013), average success rate on weekdays is 56%, but only 31% on weekends.” This and other information about getting a Half Dome permit is available on the National Park Service website.

Trust Yourself

“We waited at Half Dome, and by the time the last two members of our team showed up, the storm started to clear and a little sun got on the granite. It started to dry pretty fast. Our plan just was to take a couple of photographs and turn around, but it actually felt pretty good…I wasn’t outside of my comfort zone. A woman behind me heard me guiding some people up the rocks and asked if I would take her to the top, and I told her I would take her as far as she could go. We ended up summiting.”

Though testing their limits, they were able to enjoy the summit on a day that might otherwise have been too dangerous by being aware of their personal safety and comfort as well as working as a team. They were lucky to have the sun on their side, too!

“I was a little apprehensive about the Dome this trip just because I’ve never encountered it in weather…But I guess just trust in yourself and trust in that you’ve prepared appropriately. And trust where you are; that you’re where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there.”

Two hikers at the summit of Half Dome

“We made it!” they are probably saying as they stand at the slippery edge of the world. [Image: Telegraph Hiking Club]

There’s No Time Like the Present

While summiting Half Dome takes time, planning, and training, there’s really no time like RIGHT NOW to get out and find adventures of your own! With Pocket Ranger® apps, you can access information and resources for all manner of outdoor thrills, including trail details, interactive GPS maps, weather reports, reservations, GeoChallenges, and, of course, the Pocket Ranger® in-app video channel to entertain and inspire your next wilderness excursion.

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Autumn and Accessible Trails

Autumn lends itself to outdoor adventure across much of the United States. The leaves are aflame, the air has become tinged with earthiness and the scent of woodsmoke, the mosquito population has dwindled, and it’s finally cool enough to be out and about in the middle of the day. In fact, with sweaters donned and knitted caps freshly retrieved from storage, it simply feels fantastic to be outside. With this in mind, coupled with the spirit of the 25th year of the Americans with Disabilities Act, now seems like the perfect time to highlight some trails that are accessible to nature lovers who happen to use wheelchairs or other adaptive equipment. These trails were chosen for their paved or highly compacted surfaces.

Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes—Mullan, ID

view of lake surrounded by trees at the accessible Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes

One of the many lovely vistas offered along the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes.
[Image: http://taimages.railstotrails.org]

This 72-mile trail is paved for its entirety, offering 20 developed trailheads and 17 wayside stations for rest, rehydration, or a scenic picnic between Mullan and Plummer, ID. The trail is accessible for persons who use wheelchairs as well as runners, cyclists, in-line skaters, and even the occasional moose.

Call (208) 682-3814 for more information.

Cumberland County Biker/Hiker Trail—Gardners, PA

The Cumberland County Biker/Hiker Trail is two paved miles along some of Pennsylvania’s Pine Grove Furnace State Park. The park is notable for being the approximate middle point of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Travelers will enjoy proximity to two lakes, the Michaux State Forest, and all the charms and wiles that make the Appalachian Trail one of America’s most beloved outdoor destinations. If you are looking to combine a jaunt into nature and some family-oriented fun, the park’s 7th Annual Fall Furnace Festival is on Saturday, October 17th and Sunday, October 18th.

Call (717) 486-7174 for more information. 

Paseo del Bosque Trail—Albuquerque, NM

Paseo del Bosque Trail is a 16-mile paved, rather level pathway through Rio Grande Valley State Park in the heart of Albuquerque. The trail offers a unique and brilliant Southwestern beauty with a dash of autumn color in the leaves of the numerous cottonwoods that line the Rio Grande River. But visitors should seize this opportunity soon—predictions are that the peak color changes are already taking hold!

Call (505) 452-5200 for more information.

Bearskin State Park Trail—Minocqua, WI

Flat and accessible.

Some autumn foliage on Bearskin Trail. [Image: http://www.erikgrinde.com]

Bearskin State Park Trail boasts the best of Wisconsin’s Northwoods and journeys through an area with one of the densest concentration of lakes in the world. The trail runs for 18 miles on a fine, hard, compacted granite that should prove a winning surface for people operating a wheelchair. An encounter with this trail is a delight for outdoor enthusiasts year-round.

Call (715) 536-8773 for more information.

While these are just a few examples, it holds that diversity and mindful inclusion are what make America such a wonderful place to live, work, and play. Our state parks reflect that wonder naturally, especially as we continue to grow toward better inclusion for people of all abilities. For more information on state parks near you, check out our Pocket Ranger® apps, or for wheelchair- and otherwise ADA-accessible trails and parks, please explore the following resources:

A List of Wheelchair-Accessible Trails by State

Information on ADA-Accessibility and Trails

Fees, permits, and reservations may apply. Visitors should check with their local park or trail organizers to be sure of a pathway’s accessibility before embarking.

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Go Exploring with Adventure Archives

The Pocket Ranger® video channel is the place to visit before you head out on your next outdoor trip. The video channel is easy to access, updated weekly, and is a great companion whether you are at work or just hanging out. Watch thrilling adventures from contributors like Adventure Archives where you’ll get in-depth videos into some of the best wilderness sites in North America.

Adventure Archives Member on a Canoeing at Mammoth Cave

Andrew Lin, Bryan Lin, and Bobby Huang take you to the backcountry for fun and education. Here is a teaser below for what’s in store with them:

With Adventure Archives, you’ll learn not only where to go for amazing experiences, but also how to prepare for the unexpected. Learn the important difference between edibles versus poisonous flora while meandering into the deep woods with your hosts. The show takes viewers through all of nature’s elements, from a torrential rainstorm in Red River Gorge to winter camping in Monongahela National Forest—their videos are filled with never-ending surprises. While it might not always be cotton candy and ice cream on the trail, Adventure Archives’ documentary style and original music compilations bring beauty into any outdoor adventure.

To give you a bigger taste of what they’re all about, watch the team tackle Red River Gorge here:

Want to learn more? Adventure Archives is a contributor to the Pocket Ranger® video channel. You can also subscribe to their YouTube channel and like them on Facebook. Enjoy listening to the tunes? Their Bandcamp showcases soundtracks from every one of their videos so you can continue to nod your head to their beats.

Before making plans for your next outdoor trip, be sure to download the Pocket Ranger® mobile apps for the latest information on weather, road conditions, and local activities in the area. Whether you are an avid adventurer or enjoy relaxing weekends in your backyard, the Pocket Ranger® video channel with Adventure Archives is essentials for fun, knowledge, and adventure.

Telegraph Hiking Club

Now is the time to stay even more connected to the outdoors with the new PocketRanger® video channel! Our contributor Telegraph Hiking Club couldn’t agree more. They’ve already posted how excited they are to share their adventures with you through the video channel on their Facebook page. The PocketRanger® video channel, which is accessible through all PocketRanger® Apps and online, showcases exciting adventures from contributors like Telegraph Hiking Club, whose stories are not to be missed.

Telegraph Hiking Club's logo

Image: http://www.telegraphhc.com/

Telegraph Hiking Club is a Sacramento-based company whose mission is to “explore the most beautiful urban and remote regions of California and the United States.” Over the years, Telegraph Hiking Club has gone on many adventures, allowing members to witness some of the most majestic views in the country, such as the ones seen below from their trip to Grinnell Glacier.

If you’re suddenly feeling inspired to go on a trek of your own, you’re not alone. In fact, so many non-members have expressed a desire to participate in some of the club’s adventures that it became necessary to create TelegraphHC. TelegraphHC is an extension of the original group that publishes trail uploads, videos, and blogs for all outdoor enthusiasts to use as inspiration for their next outdoor venture.

One of the club’s goals is to “share [their] adventures through photographs and video to inspire people to find their own new normal. [They] hope that by sharing [their] shenanigans—good, bad, and indifferent—Telegraph will inspire others to take their daily lives and problems a little less seriously, and spend a day or weekend to examine the beauty of our world from a new perspective.”

Check out the latest on their website, blog, Facebook page, and YouTube channel where Telegraph takes you to the summit with great stories and helpful information on hiking opportunities. And don’t leave home without your very own Telegraph hoodie available only on their website.

Before you get out your hiking poles and lace up your boots, like Telegraph on Facebook, follow them on YouTube, and check out the new PocketRanger® video channel for inspiration on your next trek! And remember to download the PocketRanger® App for the latest in weather, trails, and events happening around your next travel destination!