Month: December 2020

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Joe Ryan for Bloomberg News:New York State is mounting a broad effort to reduce the cost of building a wind farm off the coast of Long Island, an ambitious push to generate clean power in U.S. waters.The state’s Energy Research and Development Authority plans to bid for a federal lease to develop a 81,000-acre (127-square-mile) site in the Atlantic Ocean. If it wins, New York would undertake initial site studies and pursue an agreement to sell the electricity. The state would then hold an auction of its own, selling development rights to the highest bidder.New York officials see offshore wind as critical for meeting the state’s goal to get half its power from renewable sources by 2030. By doing the initial planning and guaranteeing a buyer for the power, the state intends to make the project appealing to developers, driving down costs and making it more likely the wind farm will be built.“This is a resource that has to be, and will be, developed,” John B. Rhodes, president and chief executive of the New York State authority, said in an interview Friday. “It is our job to do it as surefootedly and cost efficiently as possible.”Offshore wind is among the most expensive sources of power in the world. While it has thrived in Europe, the technology has languished in the U.S. as utilities balked at the price. If New York succeeds in lining up a buyer, the state would remove much of the risk for developers, and ultimately make the power cheaper for consumers, said Willett Kempton, a professor at the University of Delaware who studies offshore wind.“This is New York telling the country that offshore wind is going to happen, ” Kempton said in an interview. “No other state has done this before.”Full article: New York Has a Plan to Make Long Island Offshore Wind Cheaper ‘This Is New York Telling the Country That Offshore Wind Is Going to Happen’last_img read more

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Washington Examiner:India’s lack of water will drive the need for solar and wind energy more than concerns over climate change will, according to a report released Tuesday.More than 80 percent of the subcontinent’s electricity comes from power plants that require freshwater cooling, which presents a problem since a lack of water was the prime culprit for some power plants shutting down over the last five years, according to the World Resources Institute, a nonpartisan environmental think tank in Washington.The plants include both coal and nuclear generators, called thermal plants because of the heat they produce to make electricity. “Thermal power plants have been forced to shut down due to inaccessibility of cooling water, losing tens of terawatt-hours of electricity generation in recent years,” the report said.The report is the first comprehensive study of how access to water is affecting India’s energy needs. India lost about 14 terawatt-hours of power generation because of water shortages in 2016, which canceled out “more than 20 percent of growth in the country’s total electricity generation from 2015,” according to the report.The scenario will only grow worse as India’s economy grows and the demand for fossil fuels and nuclear power increase, putting utilities and industries in a fight for water. One of the ways for India to avoid the increased water scarcity is to meet its aggressive goals for building photovoltaic solar panels and wind turbines, the report recommends to the Indian government.“Water consumption from India’s thermal power generation rose steadily every year between 2011 and 2016 but would stay below its 2016 level by 2027 if the country’s most ambitious renewable goals are successfully achieved,” the report stated.More: Green Energy Can Help Solve India’s Water Woes Green Energy Can Help Solve India’s Water Woeslast_img read more

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Offshore Wind Journal:By early 2019, Siemens Gamesa will have an ‘Asia Pacific’ version of its new SG 8.0-167 DD offshore wind turbine and should be ready to install the modified unit from 2020 onwards.Siemens Gamesa is modifying the turbine to fit local conditions in Taiwan and other Asia Pacific markets while accommodating local codes and standards regarding typhoon certification, seismic activity, 60 hertz operation and high and low ambient temperatures. For the time being, the new variant is aimed primarily at the fast-growing Taiwanese offshore wind market but it can be adapted to market needs in other countries.The SG 8.0-167 DD wind turbine has a rated capacity of 8.0 MW and a rotor with a diameter of 167 m. It has a swept area of 21,900 m2 and utilises the SGRE B81 blades, each measuring 81.4 m. By the time of its introduction, more than 1,000 SGRE Direct Drive offshore wind turbines will be installed globally. The modifications will ensure the turbine meets IEC Typhoon Class (T-Class) type certification by 2020, which will see it certified to handle elevated extreme wind speeds in typhoon conditions.Siemens Gamesa is working closely with local authorities and the certifying body to ensure all applicable standards are considered. The ability to operate in high and low ambient temperatures reduces thermal limitation, thus increasing annual energy production while preserving turbine lifetime.More: Siemens Gamesa tailors turbine for Taiwan and Asia Pacific market Siemens developing typhoon-certified turbine for Asia offshore marketlast_img read more

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:Colorado is preparing to boost its use of energy storage, especially since Xcel revamped its energy plan, committing to completely eliminate carbon emissions by 2050, and regulators are beginning to lay out rules to ensure batteries are included in utility planning processes when they acquire supply-side resources. The order approved this week by the PUC codifies the intent of legislation passed earlier in the year.The new rules “establish requirements for a coordinated electric planning process that is to be conducted on a comprehensive, transparent, statewide basis.” The PUC noted in its order that the commission “does not currently treat all electric facilities alike from the perspective of planning or procurement.” The Energy Storage Association in a statement celebrated the PUC’s move, saying the new rules “raise the bar for including energy storage in utility planning.” Following the passage of the underlying legislation, ESA said the commission “took its own momentous step toward leveling the playing field for energy storage and other flexible technologies.” Requiring consideration of energy storage in utility planning processes will be a “critical ingredient to ensuring the greatest savings for ratepayers,” the group said.A previous bill passed by lawmakers directed the PUC to adopt rules governing the installation, interconnection and use of customer-sited energy storage systems, setting some parameters for interconnection reviews.Colorado’s legislature “has made it clear that storage must be considered as an option for cost-effective electric service,” ESA said in a statement.More: Colorado adopts rule to include storage in utility planning Colorado to require utilities to consider storage in long-range resource planslast_img read more

first_imgA solid link between global warming and polar bear mortality emerged in 2004 when researchers were surprised to find four drowned bears in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s North Slope. The meltdown of sea ice—the polar ice cap had retreated a record 160 miles to the north—forced the bears to swim unusually long distances to find solid ice, which they depend on as hunting and fishing platforms and for rest and recuperation. And more recently, USGS researcher Steven Amstrup published findings that polar bears are “stalking, killing and eating other polar bears” as competition for scarcer food heats up. SEND YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTIONS TO: EarthTalk, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; [email protected] Read past columns at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/archives.php. EarthTalk is now a book! Details and order information at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalkbook.200351383-001 Dear EarthTalk: Some say that polar bears are going to disappear in 50 years, but Alaskan officials insist their populations are recovering. What’s the real story?             — Harper Howe, San Francisco, CA The real story is that affording the polar bear endangered species protection would bring further regulations capping greenhouse gas emissions, a threat to Alaska’s main economic driver: oil revenues. Alaska professor Rick Steiner uncovered the misinformation in Palin’s claims when he found evidence that the state’s top wildlife officials agreed with federal findings that polar bears are headed toward extinction: “So, here you have the state’s marine mammal experts, three or four of them, very reputable scientists, agreeing with the federal proposed rule to list polar bears and with the USGS [United States Geological Survey] studies showing that polar bears are in serious trouble,” said Steiner. Beyond global warming, other risks to polar bear populations include toxic contaminants in the surrounding environment as well as in the fatty tissue of the prey they rely on, conflicts with shipping, stresses from recreational polar-bear watching, oil and gas exploration and development, and overharvesting through legal and illegal hunting. The erroneous notion that Alaska wildlife officials don’t believe the polar bear is in trouble was put forth by Alaska governor Sarah Palin when she initiated a suit against the federal government in hopes of overturning its decision to include the polar bear under the umbrella of endangered species protection. “I strongly believe that adding them to the list is the wrong move at this time,” Palin wrote in a January 2008 New York Times Op Ed piece. “My decision is based on a comprehensive review by state wildlife officials of scientific information from a broad range of climate, ice and polar bear experts.” The nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity presents an even more pessimistic forecast. If current warming trends continue, they say, two-thirds of all polar bears—including all of Alaska’s polar bears—will be extinct by 2050. Both organizations agree that the species as a whole will likely be wiped out completely within 100 years unless humans can get global warming in check. CONTACTS: International Union for the Conservation of Nature, www.iucn.org; Center for Biological Diversity, www.biologicaldiversity.org. There is no doubt that polar bears are in serious trouble. Already on the ropes due to other human threats, their numbers are falling faster than ever as a result of retreating ice due to global warming. The nonprofit International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which added the polar bear to its “Red List” of the world’s most imperiled wildlife back in 2006, predicts a 30 percent decline in population for the great white rulers of the Arctic within three generations (about 45 years).last_img read more

first_imgFemale adventurers fight for equalityHiking makes me feel beautiful, confident, self-reliant and free. So why do I feel the exact opposite as a female athlete and business professional in the outdoor industry?Anna Levesque, a professional paddler and owner of Girls at Play, has also noted the male culture of the outdoor scene. “The outdoor industry has traditionally been male dominated, and that lends itself to a culture in which acting and thinking like a man is the dominant paradigm.”Perhaps this male-dominated paradigm is most evident at Outdoor Retailer, a bi-annual national convention that brings together outdoor companies, media outlets, nonprofits, athletes, and enthusiasts.As an attendee I have memories of wading through the throng of beards, trucker hats, and flannel shirts while scanning the horizon and hoping to find another female athlete. I would love to come across a female buyer who isn’t solely responsible for selecting “cute” lifestyle apparel. And would it be impossible to find one booth where there is actually a female CEO as opposed to the endless number of hostesses who schedule meetings and hand out M&Ms?At the trade show several years ago, I recall rounding a turn to find a group of women—not athletes, buyers, or CEOs—but models clad in bikinis and crampons. As I stood behind a wall of ogling males, I watched the guy in front of me clink his craft brew against his neighbor’s bottle. “This is almost as good as the demonstration with those chicks in two-pieces doing yoga on stand up paddleboards.”I am not a prude or down on the modeling industry; I just would like to see equal standards. “I see women getting recognition because they pose half naked,” says Levesque. “It would be more egalitarian if men were expected to do the same.” Hear that, fellas? Anytime there are bikinis, we expect banana hammocks, too!But the gender discrepancy isn’t just at outdoor conventions. World class climber and instructor Lisa Rands recalls that, for many years, prize money at competitions was not equal for male and female winners. Now, thanks to women like Lisa, equal prize money is the climbing industry standard.But that doesn’t mean that women receive equal treatment. There are far more sponsorship opportunities for men. Anna Levesque says that once she contacted a paddling company about sponsorship, and they said they weren’t taking on anyone new. A week later, her husband got an email from them asking him to be on their team.Sometimes being married to someone in the industry makes the gender difference that much more stark. Anne Lundblad is a runner who competed at an international level while owning a running store in Asheville and raising a daughter. Her husband Mark is also an elite runner.She noted that after races, it’s not uncommon for blogs and magazine features to give the men’s results the headline while women’s results are an afterthought. The industry gender gap became more of a gender chasm once she had a child. “My husband and I were both running and competing, but I was the only one who had to answer work-life balance questions from the media. I’ve also observed moms getting criticized for the adventures they pursued while dads got praised for similar undertakings.”Personally, I’ll never forget the joy of being in the hospital clad in a bare-butt gown and nursing my newborn—when I learned that I’d been dropped by my biggest sponsor. “Really?!” I thought. “You’re telling a physically drained, sleep deprived, hormonally whacked-out woman that she’s been cut? Couldn’t this have waited a week?”Okay, after that rant, it’s important to highlight that none of the women I interviewed came off as indignant or resentful. Anna, Lisa, and Anne all made me see that navigating the outdoor industry is a lot like navigating a river, rock wall, or trail. If there’s an obstacle in your path, it’s up to you to find a way around it. These women haven’t let inequalities prevent them from starting companies or performing at the highest level; instead they’ve gained grace and wisdom by overcoming barriers.The future of the outdoor industry is not going to be found by marketing to the same group of lumbersexual men in mountain towns. It’s going to be found by expanding its reach to women, minorities, and individuals of all body shapes and sizes. Anna, Lisa, and Anne have already found success by doing that, more individuals are signing on, and eventually the industry will catch up with what these talented and intelligent women are doing.“The river is empowering in so many ways. It’s a metaphor for life: Look where you want to go, trust yourself. Do something that scares you, allow yourself to jump and the net will appear and, of course, go with the flow.”—Anna Levesque“Don’t let your frustrations get the best of you. Turn your frustrations into motivation.”—Lisa Rands“When you’re in the woods, you’re not comparing yourself to anyone. You’re not trying to be better, prettier, smarter. It’s just you and the wild and you are learning what makes you, you. And you learn to value your body for what it can do, for its potential, rather than its looks.”—Anne Lundblad “The trail is there for everyone at every phase of life.”—Jennifer Pharr Davislast_img read more

first_imgIf you’re in the market for a top-notch education with adventure opportunities and an outdoorsy setting, we’ve lined up the best-situated schools in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic for those times when you simply need to ditch the books and #gooutsideandplay.Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, N.C.Student Body: 893Public/Private: PrivateOutdoor-related degree(s): Outdoor Leadership (BA and minor)Tuition: $33,260Academics, work, and service. Those are the pillars, or the Triad, of Warren Wilson College, a small private school nestled in the forested mountains outside of Asheville, N.C. While the Triad largely dictates each student’s time at Warren Wilson, so, too, does the college’s environmental ethos and pledge of sustainability. Students here are encouraged to connect with the natural world. There’s a 275-acre working farm, a 625-acre forest with over 25 miles of trails, and the quiet banks of the Swannanoa River, all of which is open and accessible to the school. The campus itself hosts nearly 10,000 trees, making it one of only 254 college campuses across the country recognized as a “Tree Campus USA” by The Arbor Day Foundation.Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 2.06.01 PM“The campus has all that western North Carolina has to offer,” adds Dr. Marty O’Keefe, Chair of the Outdoor Leadership Department at Warren Wilson. “Mountains, rivers, hiking, paddling, and biking opportunities, and a multitude of organizations that use the outdoors for educational, therapeutic, and recreational means.”Warren Wilson also has its own climbing wall and challenge course. Within a 15-minute drive, students can be on the nearby Kitsuma and Heartbreak Ridge trails for classic western North Carolina riding. Another 15 minutes farther grants them access to Bent Creek Experimental Forest and the French Broad River in Asheville. Expand that radius to 90 miles and you have Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Forest, Linville Gorge Wilderness, and the ski hills at Beech, Sugar, Wolf Laurel, and Cataloochee. It’s the perfect setting, and the perfect recipe, for getting your weekend (and weekday) adventure fix.Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C.Student Body: 17,932Public/Private: PublicOutdoor-related degree(s): Hospitality and Tourism Management (BS/BA), Recreation Management (BS and minor) with a concentration in Commercial Recreation and Tourism Management, Outdoor Experiential Education, or Recreation and Park ManagementTuition: $7,416 (in-state) $21,932 (out-of-state)Most students who come to App State know what they’re signing up for. Surrounded by rolling ridgelines and densely wooded forests, App State’s campus is at the heart of North Carolina’s High Country. Grandfather Mountain towers in the distance. The Blue Ridge Parkway weaves along the horizon. Rivers like the Watauga and New spring to life from their forested wombs. Interest in the outdoors, even if you’re just an artist drawing on the mountains for inspiration, is mandatory if you want to be a Mountaineer.“Boone is nestled in a unique area of North Carolina where summers are cool and winters cold, therefore providing students the opportunities to embrace four seasons and their specific adventures,” says Outdoor Programs Coordinator Andrew Hawley.OP Trip Staff Training 2014 090_FIXWith three ski resorts (Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain, and Appalachian Ski Mountain), Rocky Knob Bike Park, and thousands of acres of protected land less than an hour’s drive away, (including, but not limited to, Linville Gorge Wilderness and Pisgah National Forest) students certainly have the resources to take advantage of those four seasons. And with for-credit opportunities to journey beyond the Blue Ridge to the Grand Tetons, Canadian Rockies, and this winter, the headwaters of the Amazon River, App State can satisfy just about any appetite for adventure. But according to Hawley, the allure of this Blue Ridge university is more than just the destinations—it’s the people, too.“The campus also draws highly respected professors in geology, environmental science, sustainability, recreation management, and other disciplines that inspire our students to seek out and explore our wilderness areas,” he says. “App State’s campus is unique in that it naturally radiates its own outdoor identity through the students, staff, and mission.”Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Va.Student Body: 2,264Public/Private: PrivateOutdoor-related degree(s): N/ATuition: $47,280Cradled between the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests to the east and the Central Blue Ridge Mountains to the west, the city of Lexington, Va., hosts a wealth of natural beauty and history. Established in 1778, the town has long held a reputation for its dedication to education—Washington and Lee (W&L) was founded in 1790 and its neighbor campus the Virginia Military Institute enrolled its first students in 1893—but according to W&L Director of Student Activities and Outdoor Education James Dick, the city should be more widely regarded as an outdoor destination.“No one else is out there,” he says. “It is empty and is accessible 12 months of the year.”Within a half-hour’s drive of Lexington’s business corridor, there are caves and natural bridges, steep creeks and placid rivers, warm and cold water streams. With regional icons like the Blue Ridge Parkway, Appalachian Trail, and Goshen Pass Natural Area Preserve, the area’s diversity is an ideal setting for adventure outings. The W&L campus itself has its own eight-mile trail system, complete with a Henry David Thoreau-style timber-framed cabin for students wanting to disconnect and seek solace with nature’s simplicity.“It’s meant to encourage current students to tune out,” Dick says. “No running water…no electronics allowed, it’s single person use. [The cabin] is an ideal mental break and recharge space.”Among the W&L Outing Club’s offerings are a five-night backpacking pre-orientation trip on the Appalachian Trail, Appalachian Adventures, a sea kayaking trip to Florida’s 10,000 Islands, and a student-led and self-supported bike tour on the 185-mile C&O Canal.Ferrum College, Ferrum, Va.Student Body: 1,500Public/Private: PrivateOutdoor-related degree(s): Recreation Leadership (BS and minor), Outdoor Recreation (minor), Ecotourism (minor)Tuition: $29,680Ferrum College’s rural setting in southwestern Virginia inevitably lends itself to an abundance of natural and recreational resources. The 600-acre campus houses three miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, with plans in the works for more, as well as an 18-hole disc golf course, a climbing tower, a lake, and a low and high ropes course. Not far from campus is the DeHart Botanical Gardens, a nature preserve gifted to the college where students can explore four miles of trails, soak in the expansive mountain views, and learn more about the preserve’s diverse population of plant and animal species. Not bad for a small school, says Aaron Conover, Director of Ferrum Outdoors, and the going only gets better the more you delve beyond Ferrum.Salkantay Trail Peru E-term_FIX“Just a short distance from campus, Philpott Lake and Fairy Stone State Park offer canoeing and kayaking, mountain biking, hiking and camping, as well as some of the best fishing and hunting in the state,” Conover says. “Close by, the Franklin County Blueway system has eight access points between the Blackwater and Pigg Rivers.”And the list keeps growing. The Appalachian Trail, Roanoke, James, Smith, and New Rivers, Blue Ridge Parkway, Jefferson National Forest, Carvins Cove Nature Reserve, and Smith Mountain Lake are less than 100 miles away from Ferrum’s classrooms. Recreation Leadership majors at Ferrum can even intern with Virginia State Parks as part of the Park Ranger Skills Development Program or with a Santiago-based university to study ecotourism in the Patagonia region.West Virginia University, Morgantown, W.Va.Student Body: 31,514Public/Private: PublicOutdoor-related degree(s): Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Resources (BS, minor, and MS)Tuition: $6,384 (in-state) $20,184 (out-of-state)Positioned at the heart of Morgantown, the fourth-largest city in West Virginia, the West Virginia University (WVU) campus maintains a surprisingly natural feel. The Monongahela River runs right through downtown with the greenery of public lands like Coopers Rock State Forest and Little Indian Creek Wildlife Management Area making their mark on an otherwise urban canvas. Through WVU’s Adventure WV, the university is striving to showcase the outdoor amenities that are more than just easily accessible—they are world-class.“There are 790 navigable rivers in the state,” says Matthew Shreve, Multimedia Specialist and Communications/Marketing Manager for Adventure WV. “Because of that, it’s made West Virginia a whitewater mecca.”Coopers Climbing-8_FIXWithin an hour’s drive, students can be on the Youghiogheny River in Ohiopyle, Penn., largely considered the birthplace of whitewater in the country, or on the Cheat River in northern West Virginia, an environmental and recreational pearl in the Mid-Atlantic. There’s Tygart Lake, Cheat Lake, Summersville Lake, Deep Creek Lake, all within a similar driving radius, and all with stellar creeks and rivers as tributaries.A little farther south puts you in Fayetteville, W.Va., home to the New River Gorge and nearby Gauley River National Recreation Area. An internationally respected destination for climbers and paddlers alike, the New River Gorge is conveniently located near West Virginia University’s new Institute of Technology campus in Beckley, W.Va., set to have its first students this fall.“The big point is we’re close to a lot of outdoor resources but they’re not just nice resources—they’re resources that are international destinations,” says Shreve. “West Virginia has been an energy hub for the U.S., and that’s where a lot of its identity and reputation has come from, but people forget just how rich we are in outdoor resources.”Adventure WV Outdoor Experiences seeks to show upcoming freshmen, in-state and out-of-state alike, just that. From two to seven days, upwards of 1,100 freshmen join Adventure WV’s staff every fall on outdoor excursions throughout the state. From the New River Gorge to Seneca Rocks, Shreve says the goal is to give these students a sense of place.Berry College, Rome, Ga.Student Body: 2,245Public/Private: PrivateOutdoor-related degree(s): N/ATuition: $33,330In the northwestern corner of Georgia, the city of Rome is nurturing a vibrant outdoor scene. Brick buildings climb amid a backdrop of Appalachian ridges, its downtown sector made partial by the confluence of three rivers—Coosa, Oostanaula, and Etowah. The coliseum of Rome, Berry College encompasses nearly 27,000 acres of the city, making it the world’s largest contiguous college campus. Even better? That 27,000-acre spread is mostly woodlands, streams, and meadows.If you’ve ever seen the movies Sweet Home Alabama and Remember the Titans, you’ll likely recognize the campus’ English Gothic architecture with its sweeping archways and manicured lawns. Berry College has consistently ranked high on top 10 lists of the country’s most beautiful colleges by Travel+Leisure, Buzzfeed, and Southern Living, but the campus offers more than a pretty setting in which to study.“Our many hiking, biking, and horseback trails offer easy to moderate terrain, isolated nature experiences, and beautiful vistas,” says Assistant Director of Recreation at Berry College Amanda Highfield. “Many students choose Berry because of the pristine campus and opportunity for outdoor recreation.”Included in those 27,000 acres is the 16,000-acre Wildlife Management Area, managed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, where students can bike, run, ride horses, play disc golf on two designated courses, overnight camp at the on-campus campsite, and even hunt. The college even has its own bald eagle population, a testament to the unspoiled wilderness students have access to while still being only an hour’s drive from metropolitan hubs like Atlanta and Chattanooga.Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va.Student Body: 31,242Public/Private: PublicOutdoor-related degree(s): N/ATuition: $13,130 (in-state) $32,287 (out-of-state)At first glance, Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) city setting might deter some nature lovers from even considering this nationally recognized school in the heart of Richmond. But look closer, and you’ll see salty raft guides, gritty climbers, and lean road cyclists, indicative of a resident outdoor species amid the city bustle.140614_147_aj_ar_t_FIX“Being in an urban environment might be a disadvantage for some outdoor programs, but that doesn’t limit the OAP [Outdoor Adventure Programs],” says Joey Parent, VCU’s Assistant Director for Outdoor Adventure Programs. “The James River Park System is our backyard. We have over 20 miles of singletrack trails, class IV whitewater, and [an] outdoor climbing all within a half-mile of campus.”Combine that with close proximity to Wintergreen Resort, Shenandoah National Park, George Washington National Forest, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and any number of beaches along the eastern Virginia seaboard, and you’ve got year round access to any type of adventure, whatever the weather.And while students can join OAP on weekly afternoon trips and clinics or rent gear and venture into the urban wilds on their own, one of the most popular flagship programs of OAP is Footprints on the James, a collaborative, four-week trip along the James River that gives students a biological, historical, and real-world educational experience.Brevard College, Brevard, N.C.Student Body: 705Public/Private: PrivateOutdoor-related degree(s): Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education (BA and minor)Tuition: $27,550For a quaint town of 7,500, the residents of Brevard, N.C., most certainly know how to harness their natural assets. More than 50 percent of the land in Transylvania County, of which Brevard is the seat, is covered in public forest. There’s an in-city trail system that connects to Pisgah National Forest, the confluence of the French Broad and Davidson Rivers, and 250 waterfalls right out the front door.In effect, Brevard serves as the gateway to a world of adventure, from down-the-road destinations like DuPont State Forest and Gorges State Park to Caesar’s Head and Table Rock State Parks in South Carolina. This, says Dr. Jennifer Kafsky, Brevard College (BC) Professor of Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education (WLEE) and Experiential Education Division Chair, makes Brevard College the epitome of a basecamp for adventure in the Southeast.“Many college [and] university outdoor programs must travel long distances to their outdoor classrooms,” says Kafsky. “Brevard College is fortunate to be located in Transylvania County which provides a wealth of outdoor opportunities in our own backyard.”The college has active cycling and climbing teams for those with that competitive edge, while the BC Outing Club and Voice of the Rivers 21-day academic expedition cater to even the most beginner of students. Yet for those who are seriously considering a future career in the outdoors, Brevard’s WLEE program should seriously be considered. Its reputation is well known for providing students with a thorough, hands-on foundation on topics ranging from risk management to recreational therapy. The pinnacle of the WLEE program, the Immersion Semester, requires 10 students to work together on the planning and execution of a 21-day expedition.“With dedication and commitment both in and outside of our classes, we have had students come in the door with little to no experience and leave as competent instructors in various outdoor adventures,” Kafsky says. “Living and working together in the field for the [Immersion Semester] 21-day trip is a powerful experience. There are learning adventures daily, both planned and unexpected.”Garrett College, McHenry, Md.Student Body: 900Public/Private: PublicOutdoor-related degree(s): Adventure Sports Management (B.S., 2+2 program with Frostburg State University)Tuition: $2,744 (in-state and in-county) $6,160 (in-state and out-of-county) $7,280 (out-of-state)For a small, two-year Mid-Atlantic school, the reputation of Garrett College and its surrounding outdoor resources is highly regarded not just domestically, but internationally as well. The Savage River in Garrett County served as the site for the 1989 International Canoe Federation (ICF) Whitewater Canoe and Kayak World Championships as well as the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Whitewater Slalom Canoe and Kayak. In 2014, the Adventure Sports Center International, a manmade whitewater course also in Garrett County, was the setting for the ICF Whitewater Canoe and Kayak Slalom World Championships.Elite-level athletes, especially paddlers, have been coming out of this corner of Maryland for decades, and this, says Garrett College’s Adventure Sports Management Executive Director Michael Logsdon, is just the icing on the cake. Situated within a 200-mile radius of 32 million people yet just minutes away from wild places like Garrett State Forest, Swallow Falls State Park, and the Youghiogheny River, Garrett College’s campus is prime for four-season adventurers.Less than a mile away is Maryland’s largest freshwater lake, Deep Creek Lake, and the state’s only alpine ski and snowboard area, Wisp Resort. For a recently launched four-year program in Adventure Sports Management (completed in collaboration with Frostburg State University), the setting is picture-perfect.“Our ability to program on weekdays and avoid crowded weekends and [access] a variety of challenge levels accommodating absolute beginners through highly accomplished participants, helps us greatly in introducing students to a wide variety of outdoor adventure activities,” Logsdon says.Students in the Adventure Sports Management program are in the classroom some, but the foundation of the major is built upon experiences in the field and lessons that can’t be absorbed from a textbook. During the week, students are often mountain biking or cross-country and telemark skiing in West Virginia’s Canaan Valley, whitewater kayaking on the upper and lower stretches of the Youghiogheny River, or preparing for upcoming trips to destinations like the Catskill Mountains for ice climbing, the Adirondacks for mountaineering, or Cumberland Island for sea kayaking.New for 2016-2017? Stand-up paddleboarding and a college-wide wilderness orientation program for incoming freshmen. Students interested in the competition side of adventure can also participate in the Adventuresports Institute Competition Team, which placed first at the United States Adventure Racing Association National Championships in 2007 and 2014.Sewanee: The University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn.Student Body: 1,793Public/Private: PrivateOutdoor-related degree(s): N/ATuition: $35,200Perched atop the Cumberland Plateau, Sewanee’s campus is mostly known by students and staff as the “Domain.” Its 13,000 acres are crisscrossed by trails, the topography studded with jewel-like lakes. Only 1,000 acres of the property are developed—take a look at Sewanee’s 50-mile mapped trail system and you will likely mistake this university campus for a Tennessee state park.Sewanee October 2008Tracing the property’s boundary is the aptly named Perimeter Trial, a 20-mile multipurpose trail where students, and even the public, can ride bikes and horses, hike or run, and even camp (the latter reserved for school-affiliated students, staff, and alumni). The trail traverses massive sandstone bluff lines, leads to stunning overlooks of the surrounding plateau and lakes, and accesses the campus caving system and climbing crag.That’s right. Sewanee has its own caves, 10 of them, to be exact. Thanks to the campus’ proximity to the cave-laden Tennessee-Alabama-Georgia (TAG) region, hundreds more are just a short drive away. For climbers, the Domain houses 15 miles of cliff line with mostly top-rope routes, though there are several sport and trad lines amongst Sewanee’s 50+ established routes. After learning the basics of climbing, students can then take their skills to the impressive Obed, Foster Falls, and Stone Fort climbing areas nearby.Cyclists can ride straight from the dorm onto the trail system or around the area’s well-graded paved roads. The school’s biking opportunities, both in competition and adventure, have long rivaled other schools’ in scope. For nearly a decade straight, Sewanee has annually hosted a 150-mile, two-day ride to raise money for multiple sclerosis research. Additionally, students can take part in the annual 444-mile, five-day Tour de Natchez Trace from Nashville to Natchez, Miss., or a weeklong spring break in the singletrack paradises of Fruita, Colo., and Moab, Utah.Though the school doesn’t offer any formal outdoor degree, the Sewanee Outing Program’s student trip leaders leave the school well versed in the way of safe, competent backcountry living and leadership.BRACKET CHAMPSThese schools ranked among the best in this year’s Top Adventure College Contest. See what makes these outdoor schools the best in the region from the students and staff.#1. Western Carolina University (WCU), Cullowhee, N.C.Student Body: 10,340Public/Private: PublicOutdoor-related degree(s): Parks and Recreation Management (BS and minor), Recreational Therapy (BS and minor)Tuition: $4,624.50 (in-state) $9,821 (out-of-state)Search Western Carolina University on any map and you’ll immediately see why this mid-size school has won our Top Adventure College Contest three years in a row. Public lands engulf the rural campus—there’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the north, Pisgah National Forest to the east, the Nantahala National Forest a bit farther to the south. The Tuckasegee River bisects the quiet town of Cullowhee, just a few steps from WCU’s doors. On campus, WCU manages a seven-mile multi-use trail system, a series of “fix-it” stands for bike repair, a climbing wall, and gear rental shop.But location aside, WCU’s Base Camp Cullowhee and Parks and Recreation Management (PRM) departments are top-notch. For students with little to no prior outdoor experience, Base Camp Cullowhee provides the opportunities and supportive environment necessary to have fun and stay safe in the woods.“We have staff that work for us [who] are world class paddlers sponsored by Jackson and students that are travelling all over the country competing, and then we get students who are totally new,” says Jeremiah Haas, Associate Director of Outdoor Programs, of his Base Camp student staff. “That’s where I think Base Camp really excels and we pride ourselves on that, that we meet the needs of those novice level students. We’re taking that student and shaping them into the next generation of outdoor leaders.”Likely one of the college’s strongest, and most unique, outdoor offerings is the collaborative semester with WCU and Landmark Learning, an outdoor education center that provides trainings and certifications on a wide range of topics. PRM students who enroll in the “Landmark Semester” receive 12 credit hours in addition to a portfolio’s worth of certifications like Wilderness EMT, Leave No Trace Master Educator, and American Canoe Association Canoe and Kayak Instructor.“We live in an environment where we are surrounded by outdoor opportunities,” Haas says. “We definitely pride ourselves on the fact that you can get outside and actually experience these things instead of just sitting in a classroom and talking about it.”#2. Emory & Henry College (EHC), Emory, Va.Student Body: 1,012Public/Private: PrivateOutdoor-related degree(s): N/ATuition: $33,500What started as little more than a weekend hiking group in 1998, the Emory & Henry Outdoor Program is now a full-fledged adventure program with spring and fall break expeditions, a Summer Adventure Program, a women’s specific outing club (Girls Outside), and for-credit classes in everything from whitewater kayaking to climbing, disc golf, and even thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail.You heard me. Students from Emory & Henry can take an entire semester away from the books and hike the entire Appalachian Trail for school credit. New this year? Students from other colleges can transfer in and receive that same credit at their original institution. For Outdoor Program Director and former thru-hiker Jim Harrison, the goal here is to instill students with a sense of belonging and to teach them the importance of the outdoors without beating them over the head with the facts.“I am an environmentalist, but I do not preach,” Harrison says. “Through the adventure sports, I try to create meaningful relationships between people and rivers, mountains, and wild places.”That approach has certainly worked for 20-year-old Charles Wygal, a rising senior and Outdoor Program trip and Summer Adventure Program leader. Wygal’s outdoor adventures didn’t start until coming to Emory & Henry, but since then, he’s acquired a number of high-level certifications including Wilderness First Responder, American Canoe Association Level 3 Kayak Instructor, and Swiftwater Rescue. In the spring of 2015, he and another student co-led the first-ever, student-led spring break sea kayaking expedition to Florida’s 10,000 Islands, a huge responsibility for anyone, let alone a 19-year-old.Situated at the base of Virginia’s highest peak, Mount Rogers, and surrounded by Grayson Highlands State Park, Jefferson National Forest, and Cherokee National Forest, Emory & Henry’s campus is a Shangri-La of southern Appalachian adventure. Iconic rivers in the region like the Watauga, Nolichucky, New, and French Broad are less than two hours away and the Appalachian Trail might as well run through campus, it’s that close.#3 University of North Carolina – Asheville (UNCA), Asheville, N.C.Student Body: 3,900Public/Private: PublicOutdoor-related degree(s): N/ATuition: $19,387 (in-state) $36,882 (out-of-state)In the uniquely diverse city of Asheville, adventure and culture are one in the same. In a single afternoon, you can be floating on the French Broad River, mountain biking on the trails at Bent Creek Experimental Forest, and back in time for a locally sourced, farm-to-table meal and a night of live music at the Orange Peel. For college students, that ability to have a night on the town Friday and get lost in the woods Saturday makes Asheville a millennial’s paradise.Just ask Lauren Shell, 19, of Bryson City, N.C. Shell’s a third year at UNCA, and says that balance between adventure and culture was extremely appealing to someone raised in small-town-Appalachia.“I liked that half-and-half experience here,” she says. “We have the city with the art and the food and the culture, and then you can drive 15 minutes and go ride your bike or paddle or hike.”UNCA students can, like Shell, learn to be a trip leader through the campus Outdoor Leadership Training Program or train to become a mechanic at the bike shop. “I have seen a huge growth in my decision making skills through working with [Outdoor Programs],” says Shell. “Ivery thoroughly assess the pros and cons of my actions and risk versus reward. I’m learning the importance of clear and concise information and how to effectively relay that information toa diverse audience.”#4 The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), Chattanooga, Tenn.Student Body: 11,670Public/Private: PublicOutdoor-related degree(s): N/ATuition: $22,456 (in-state) $38,574 (out-of-state)With the Tennessee River flowing through it and the sandstone cliffs of Lookout, Signal, and Raccoon Mountains towering above, Chattanooga has become a destination for outdoor recreationists of every type. For climber and UTC student Alaina Krakowiak (’18), that accessibility to adventure is precisely what drew her to UTC.From day one, Krakowiak took advantage of the school’s and city’s offerings—there’s a climbing wall on campus with a separate freestanding boulder, a nearby dock on the Tennessee River where the school hosts standup paddleboarding clinics, a 13-mile out-and-back paved path along the Tennessee River, not to mention a host of weekly outings with UTC Outdoors.Now, Krakowiak is a trip leader for UTC Outdoors and regularly guides groups of students to the nearby crags at Foster Falls and Little Rock City. She says were it not for the leadership opportunities available through UTC Outdoors, she might not have progressed into the poised climber she is.“I used to be an incredibly shy person. “[Climbing] has given me confidence and helped me discover a part of me I never knew existed.”Related Content:last_img read more

first_imgIn her tenure with the National Park Service Davis has worked in a variety of other national parks including some in the southeast, such as Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina, Harpers Ferry National Historic Park in West Virginia, Manassas National Battlefield Park in Virginia and the Blue Ridge Parkway. At Yellowstone National Park a man has always held the highest ranger position—until now. Sarah Davis, a 20-year veteran of the National Park Service, has been named the park’s 18th chief ranger and the first female chief ranger to officially serve in the roll. In her new position, which Davis begins in December, she will oversee law enforcement, search and rescue, emergency services, fires, special permits and trails, among other things.  Watch for pedestrians as you approach areas with parked cars.Check for signs that restrict roadside parking.Choose a spot that will not be damaged by tires on soft ground.Do not park on a narrow shoulder with a steep drop off.Park vehicles with all wheels off the road.Check for oncoming traffic before exiting your vehicle.Know before you go as cell service is limited. Photo: U.S. Forest Service photographed parked vehicles in a roadway Fall weekends bring beautiful weather, changing leaves and hoards of hikers and leaf peepers to Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. In order to avoid blocked roadways that can lead to accidents and delay emergency responders, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is asking the public to avoid obstructing traffic while parking at popular outdoor locations.  Free screening of the documentary film MOTHERLOAD at the Vinegar Hill Theatre in Charlottesville on October 19center_img The free screening of the film will be held at Vinegar Hill Theatre in Charlottesville on Saturday, October 19 from 3:00- 5:00 pm. The event is made possible through the Greenways Strengthening Systems grant from the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation. For more information or to reserve tickets, visit https://motherloadmovie.myeventscenter.com/event/Motherload-Community-Screening-In-Charlottesville-35837.  U.S. Forest Service asks public to “be a hero not a hazard” while parking at popular outdoor locations The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission and The Piedmont Environmental Council are hosting a free screening of the documentary film MOTHERLOAD, in which a cargo bicycle becomes a vehicle for exploring motherhood in the age of climate change. The film follows director and new mom Liz Canning as she strives to understand the tension between modern life and our human need to explore the world in active ways. Along the way, Liz encounters cultural resistance in the form of bikelash, especially as it pertains to women and mothers.  Yellowstone National Park has a female chief ranger for the first time in the park’s 147-year history If trailhead parking is full and you must park on the side of the road, USFS offers these tips:last_img read more

first_img This mini-cam is compact records full HD 1080p video with an approximate reach of 50 feet and features a 1.9” display. Equipped with built-in IR LED technology, the camouflage-colored camera can capture impressive nighttime recordings. This duffel is tough as they come: dual sided TPU coating inside and out, burly hardware, and stiffened main body fabric with protective accent ribs, overlapping zipper rain flaps protect your gear from snow, rain, hail and sun while keeping your sharp points from poking through. It comes with four easy-to-grab handles as well as a stowaway contoured harness and yoke for comfortable backpack carry. Gordini Camber Gloves, $80 Maloja Monataccio Fleece, $149 Designed to withstand the most extreme outdoor conditions (waterproof, drop-resistant and dirt-proof), the Adventure H2O delivers  15,000mAh and 2.4A of shared output power for up to 6x extra battery. It easily stores and packs away in a backpack pouch. Made from 100% organic cotton two-ply canvas, the Original Mountain Pant is the proven, trail-tested choice for rugged adventure. It features reinforced pocket bags, triple-stitched seams, and mud-flap reinforced heel cuffs, able to withstand the elements and the any adventure you throw at them. Looking for the perfect gift for the outdoor adventurer in your life? Here are a few of our favorite ideas for the holiday season. The best solution to trekking overnight. The Lite Cot is a full-length, elevated cot that packs down to a tight cylinder of only 2 pounds. Built with DAC aluminum pressure-fit legs, the cot provides a durable, tensioned surface. That is called maximum weight-savings, without skimping on comfort. Native Eyewear Advanced Fit Vigor Sunglasses, $139 These are the warmest and grippiest boots we’ve tested for winter wear. The 16” boots are 100% waterproof, with thick 5 mm neoprene, tough Spandura, and fleece to keep feet warm even in icy water. Vibram Arctic Grip soles with lugs provide unparalleled traction on ice and uneven underwater terrain. Mountain Equipment Dispersion Jacket, $295 Combining GORE-TEX fabric in the most exposed areas, an soft shell fabric on the back and underarms, the Dispersion Jacket perfectly balances protection, breathability and mobility for your next ski adventure. The jacket also features a fully adjustable ski hood that stows into the collar, taped seams at the hood and yoke, two large mesh-lined zippered chest pockets, and elastane-bound cuffs. Shady Rays Ocean Ice, $48 Brooklyn Wanderlust Travel Mattress, $209 Bridgedale Trailsport Lightweight Crew, $14 Nathan Sports Hypernight Reflective Beanie, $29 Keep your head in the clouds while running outdoors. This lightweight stretch beanie is covered in constellations that provides additional reflective flair for those cool weather runs that transition from day to night. It is made from polyester/spandex fabric with reflective graphic detailing for visibility in low-light conditions. prAna Transverse Long- Sleeve Crew, $55 This high-performance shirt is made from a recycled polyester and hemp blend and features natural moisture-wicking, quick-dry, and odor-reducing technology. It’s built to last on and off the trail. These sunglasses are polarized shades you can afford to lose or break. Why? Because they’ll be replaced for FREE with their “Live Hard” Warranty. Made to go as hard as you, you can find a style that speaks to whoever you plan to gift (even if it’s yourself). And every pair you purchase provides 10 meals through Feeding America sponsored food banks throughout the country. iLive earbuds, $80 center_img MyCharge Adventure H2O Portable Charger, $60 Mountain Khakis Original Mountain Pant, $84 Osprey Transporter Duffel 95L, $200 Helinox Lite Cot | $250 Kora Shola Hat, $45 Kinis Crossfit, $55 These lightweight performanceshades are made from sustainable castor bean bio-resins, so you can feel goodwhile looking great. They feature side vents, adjustable nose pads, adjustabletemple boots and interchangeable lenses. MagnaReady Free Swinging Flannel, $63 Patagonia Men’s Woolie Fleece Pullover, $159Inspired by one of Yvon Chouinard’s favorite original pieces, this go-to fleece is made of a warm, soft blend of recycled materials (40% recycled wool, 35% recycled cotton, 18% recycled nylon, 7% other fiber). Fair Trade Certified sewn, which means the people who made it earned a premium for their labor. The Power Houdi is made from Power Stretch® Pro™ from Polartec® offers unparalleled comfort and is nearly indestructible. The high collar and snug hood will provide extra comfort while the extended sleeves with thumb loops will keep your hands warm in cold weather. Layer it underneath a shell jacket for skiing or hiking, take it out climbing, or wear on its own. These are the latest in barefoot shoe technology from Richmond-based Kinis. They are minimalist footwear but are far more rugged and durable than previous barefoot offerings. Lightweight, portable, zero drop, and easy to take on and off. These wire-free Bluetooth earbuds feature a sweat-resistant hook design to keep them securely in place so you can work hard or play hard without sweating the small stuff. And with Bluetooth 5.0 range, speed and capacity, your audio can go as fast as you do Muck Arctic Ice Boot, $190 The classic flannel just got an upgrade with magnetized closures at the front placket and cuffs—making it easier to get aon and off. It’s a soft, brushed flannel with taped seams to keep the shirt sharp, crisp, and versatile. Houdini Power Houdi, $250 This Maloja (pronounced “mah-low-yah”) fleece is the most versatile and durable one we’ve tested, yet it’s extremely lightweight and breathable. Built for multisport adventure, this technical fleece is cross-stitched for added flexibility and freed om of movement while still providing abundant insulation on even the coldiest, windiest days. This memory foam mattress combines deep contouring comfort with cooling benefits. Constructed with a top layer of memory foam, the mattresses delivers enhanced contouring with exceptional pressure point relief. A cool gel infusion, coupled with open cell technology, ensures a temperature neutral environment for better sleep. A high-density base foam provides a durable core—built for longevity on the road. These lightweight stretch gloves with an eye-catching reflective pattern are as comfy as they are stylish. They are smart device compatible, so you don’t have to take your gloves off to answer a call or take a picture and they come with a built in chamois to wipe your nose in the cold. Ideal for keeping fingers toasty on chilly days down to 30°F. Woven from yak wool technical fabric, this beanie is more breathable and moisture-wicking than merino, but keeps your head protected from the elements when you need it most. Tuck it under a helmet or stuff it into your jersey pocket in case the temperature drops—it’s as lightweight as it is soft and warm. These high-performance gloves feature a waterproof Ergoknit engineered knit shell with a synthetic leather palm with goatskin fingers, coupled with Megaloft insulation and waterproof, windproof Aquabloc inserts. The hook-and-loop closures and finger and thumb reinforcements provide additional durability. Lightweight and durable, the socks feature a Merino-Lycra blend that provides resilient padding, odor control, moisture wicking and outstanding comfort for long days on the trail. The performance fit ensures that socks won’t slip down or bunch in your shoes, and the flat toe seam minimizes bulk. Nathan Sports Hypernight Reflective Gloves, $29 Technaxx 117 nature camera, $80 last_img read more

first_img Off Season Camping at Virginia State Parks  Caledon State Park too provides big adventure close to home. The park is renowned for its bald eagle habitat and is one of the best places in the country to watch the birds. Six primitive sites along the Potomac are accessible by a 3-mile hike from the parking area near the visitor center or by boat at the canoe landing.   Sky Meadows at the foothills of the Appalachian Trail and the crest of the Blue Ridge provides an ideal setting for beginner backpackers and those looking for a quick escape.  Walk-in backpackers can fill out registration tags and hit the trail just beyond the parking area immediately adjacent to the contact station. A 1-mile hike up hill is all that separates you from backcountry bliss at this point. Just a short trot from the AT, overnight trips can easily turn into multi-day adventures from here. Belle Isle State Park is also near the top of the list.  At the edge of Brewer’s Point, tucked just behind the pines on the shore of the Rappahannock River are four designated primitive sites perfect for year-round adventuring. It’s roughly a 1.5-mile hike in from the nearest parking area, but Belle Isle offers nearly 10 miles of trails for you to explore. Wander the park all day and then head to your camp before sunset for dinner and a show—The Rapp. is about 3.5 miles wide west from your camp toward the sunset. •   Douthat    •   Shenandoah River If you can’t leave the RV just yet, or if a tent isn’t in the cards for you—fear not. Virginia State Parks offer four year-round, full service campgrounds.  For more information and to find a camp to call home, visit http://virginiastateparks.gov/camping. Reservations are accepted for many of our primitive sites through Reserve America. Reservations can also be made by calling 800-933-PARK (7275).   Park at the designated overnight area at Little Island City Park and take Sandpiper Road about a mile to the gated beach access trail. From here, it’s another 5-7 miles of wide open Atlantic beach to your campsite. Twenty-six sites across four distinct campgrounds provide a truly unique experience. Beachfront sites offer incredible sunrises and ocean side views, but beware the tides and biting flies. You’ll need to know how to anchor your shelter in the sand and have to manage with the coastal winds, but during fair weather and favorable tides, these sites are hard to beat. Back into the dunes, campsites are nestled under the sprawling low-growth live oaks—a hammock campers dream—and have enough ground space for a tent and the provided picnic table. These are coupled to a corresponding beach site in the event of extreme high tides and guarantee you’ll have a place to sleep. Bayside sites are situated along the Back Bay and provide easy access to a dock/kayak launch. These sites are more open and give you a front row view of the best sunset in Virginia. Lastly, the newly installed interior sites are located nearer to the visitor center in the pristine maritime forest with soft, pine covered sandy soil. center_img James River State Park’s Canoe Landing camp ground is a riverside gem. Thirteen tent-only sites surrounded by huge sycamores dot the James River. The Canoe Landing sites are right next to the boat launch and fit nicely in a multi-day James River float trip, but for those driving, parking is close enough for you to tote in your cooler to camp. Each site comes with a fire ring and picnic table, but no tent pads are provided. This is a nice place to learn to rough it while still being within eye sight of your transportation and whatever additional supplies you might need. Backpacking Season Doesn’t Have to End •   Pocahontas  False Cape State Park is one of the most—if not the most remote place in the state. Insulated from the hustle of Virginia Beach and Sandbridge to the north, False Cape sits on the VA/NC boarder behind the vast stretches of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. April-October, the park is accessible through the refuge via the bayside trails. From November-February, however, the refuge is closed to visitors and the park is accessible only via the Terra Gator shuttle service or by human-powered transport. Sky Meadows, Caledon, and Belle Isle’s primitive sites are all accessible by bike, but for those looking for a really out of this world experience, we recommend pedaling your way down to False Cape. Fewer people provide more solitude, bare trees reveal new landscapes and colder temperatures bring new sensations to your favorite adventure locations. Personally, we’re in it for lack of bugs, but there’s no one right reason to get out this winter and spend some time in nature.  Looking for something more adventurous? How About Bikepacking? •   Hungry Mother last_img read more