Hiking is one of the great physical activities that can be considered exercise for both the mind and body; a hike is a serene exploration of your surroundings and your innermost thoughts. It provides an excellent workout for your major muscle groups with fantastic cardiovascular benefit. Hiking offers many options, whether you are a novice and will be meandering through scenic trails and meadows or you are an avid enthusiast with the goal of becoming a ‘46er’ and taking on the most challenging of peaks. One of the great things about hiking is that you can choose to have as much or as little company as you choose; whether it is a family outing, a group of friends out for a day in the woods, or a quiet trek with your dog, all have their pros and cons.
It was a crisp Fall day when I decided to set out on one of my favorite hikes in the Adirondacks; a moderate day hike up Sleeping Beauty, one of the many mountains that overlook scenic Lake George, New York. This is a great hike for families since there are plenty of gradual slopes and switchbacks mixed in with some flat terrain along the way and is seven miles roundtrip. On this day I decided to take my dog and we found many spots along the way to stop and rest for a drink and milk bone or two. While you can split off the main trailhead and choose to hike to other areas of the mountain offering varying views, we chose to take the straight trail to the top. One of the greatest things about hiking New York in the Fall is not only the brilliant colors of the season but the temperature is ideal for a hiker; no one appreciates a reprieve from oppressive heat more than myself and my Newfoundland.
The great thing about hiking an area like Sleeping Beauty is that no matter how hot or cold you were on the way up, no matter how many times you tripped on a root or may even have twisted an ankle, it is all forgotten when you reach the summit. That moment you get to the peak feels like nothing else; it’s as if the world has opened up and you are seeing it for the first time, no matter how many times you may have hiked this very same mountain. The vista is awe-inspiring; the wind that blows across your face as you sit on a sun-warmed rock is fresher than any you’ve felt before. The strange thing is, your muscles don’t ache anymore like they did an hour ago and now that you’ve reached the top, you can take it all in; this is what you came for.
To enjoy the views and scenery of Sleeping Beauty, along with other trailheads originating from this same parking area:
Trailhead: Take Northway (I-87) to exit 20. Turn left onto NY Rte 9. Turn right onto NY Rte 149 (east). After 6 miles, turn left onto Buttermilk Falls Rd. Becomes Sly Pond Rd. Bear left on Shelving Rock Rd. Park in the main DEC hiker’s lot on the right (9.5 miles from Rte 149).
The National Wild Turkey Federation was started as a group to promote the sport of turkey hunting as a traditional sport but also to work towards wildlife conservation and the preservation of natural wildlife habitats.
The National Wild Turkey Federation works with government agencies as well as private groups and landowners to promote hunting but also to promote responsible hunting ideals and to be advocates for wild turkey.
The National Wild Turkey Federation also works to pass laws that will promote hunting as a sport and protect the wild turkey. Because the NWTF has such a large membership it has become a force to be reckoned with when lawmakers are writing and lobbying for the passage of laws that deal with hunting and wildlife.
The NWTF is dedicated to preserving the dignity and tradition of the sport of hunting. It holds national banquets that celebrate hunting and the accomplishments of hunters every year. The banquets are also fund raisers that have raised millions of dollars for all the projects that the NWTF is involved with.
In addition to doing advocacy and conservation work the NWTF also offers lots of resources to hunters like articles about hunting, gear guides, guides to the best hunting locations for both fall hunting and spring hunting, and more.
Within hunting circles the National Wild Turkey Federation is regarded as the expert in all things relating to wild turkeys and turkey hunting. If you want to be a serious turkey hunter it would be a very good idea for you to join the National Wild Turkey Federation and take advantage of all the wonderful tools that they offer to hunters.
In addition to the information that they offer for hunters the NWTF is one of the largest groups in the country working for conservation and the preservation of national wildlife habitats. With more and more wetlands, forests, and other game habitats disappearing everyday the NWTF’s focus on responsible hunting and preservation is very important.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alicia_McWilliams
Those that decide to embark on adventure travel will find that there is much to do prior to taking on this vacation including planning for everything from the climate to the lodging they will use. This type of travel is wonderful and offers many benefits, but you do have to plan for it ahead of time. Make sure that you have the things that you need to fully experience your trip as well as what you need to protect you along the way. Do you know what you need to take with you on your next adventure?
Planning Your Trip
Perhaps the worst thing you can do for this type of trip is to not plan correctly for it. If you do not have the right legal documents, for example, after you have flown halfway around the world, what will you do? Or, if you plan on going someplace where you will need specialized clothing or equipment and do not have it, what will happen then? These things will cost you monetarily but also provide you with unneeded aggravation. Be prepared for your trip!
What You’ll Need
First, be sure that you have all necessary documents that you need to prove who you are. This is likely to include things like your passport and a visa for the location if you are required to have one. Have these easily available to prove your identity when leaving for your trip. Do not make the mistake of arriving at the airport and then finding out that your visa has expired or that your passport is no longer valid. Do not forget these items either. You should talk to the operator or tour guide that will be sponsoring your travel adventure so that you know exactly what is needed for you to travel.
The next thing to consider is having appropriate health insurance. You likely need to think about having coverage that will work in the location that you are in and that it provides you with accurate coverage. Your insurance carrier will help you to know if you need anything additional to cover injuries or problems that happen overseas. Be sure that you have available credit cards as well as credit cards that are not expiring. You will need to be sure that you have room on those cards to make expensive charges if needed. Organize all your finances too.
Be sure that you talk with the people that you are planning your adventure traveling with so that you know everything that you need to. Ask those questions so that you have all details that are necessary. Having this information is important because it will allow you to have the best possible time when you are traveling. Take the time to prepare to travel especially when it comes to adventure travel so that you are ready to go.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ken_C._Morris
For visitors to the South Florida and Miami areas who crave to see a bit of the Everglades without having to slog through the swamp in unknown areas, or who don’t want to take on the expense or crowds of the touristy air boat rides, there is a little gem of an area called Shark Valley. Shark Valley is actually a small piece of the Everglades National Park, which is one of the largest in the continental United States. It is located on U.S. Highway 41 which is also known as the Tamiami Trail. The entrance to shark Valley is approximately 25 miles west of the Florida Turnpike or if you are coming from the west coast of Florida, it s 39 miles east of State road 29.
I have used this incredible park as a training facility for many years, as the 15 mile loop which makes up the park is paved and makes biking the preferred method of transportation although on cool days hiking is a fantastic experience too. Whether you are a novice hiker or training for a bike event, this area allows you to explore at your own pace and it is a perfect place to engage in nature photography. As you make your way around the loop or to the observation tower located midway around the park you will see a wide variety of wildlife and plants.
The chance to see the diversity of life is very seasonal as birds and alligators are much more likely to be encountered in the winter and spring when the water levels are lower. However, I have always encountered at least some alligators, and more than enough birdlife to keep me happy. The loop at Shark valley is bordered by canals and ponds which contain water year round and as such are a great place to take pictures of Herons, Egrets, Ospreys, Alligators and even the occasion River Otter!
For those who are visiting this area from out of town, there is a facility to rent bikes at the beginning of the 15 mile loop for a nominal fee, as well as a tram which takes tourists around the loop with a guide pointing out all the points of interest as well as the wildlife during this 2 hour tour. The next few months should be prime wildlife viewing periods as the water levels will drop for the dry season and all the wildlife will be forced into relatively smaller areas in search of food.
Shark Valley is a must for anyone who loves Wildlife viewing while combining a vigorous workout in a beautiful, yet easily accessible area of the Florida Everglades.
Thru hiking is the outdoors ultimate in testing your ability and getting in touch with the natural world around you. They may be those individuals who have recently retired from long careers and want time to relax and smell the coffee for a while or they can be young men and women who have just completed their education and want to take some time off to decompress before embarking on their careers. These individuals are usually well educated and are in good physical health. Anyone who has visited small towns along various scenic trails in this country, (the outdoorsguy.com is a frequent visitor to the Florida trail and the Appalachian trail), will have noticed hikers passing them carry quality camping equipment yet looking like they need to spend some serious time with soap and water. The thru hiker will look much disheveled as the rigors of a great outdoors adventure seldom leave us looking like we are ready for a night on the town! Their camping and hiking equipment must be of superior quality to endure hundreds of miles on the trail and protect them from the constantly changing elements. The must have enough faith in what they bring along as they are forced to be completely self sufficient when far from any cities or towns.
Even when on their own for several days at a time thru hikers will spend time in those towns that border that particular section of a trail that they are traveling through. These sojourns into such towns allow the Thru hiker to re supply and take a much needed rest from the harshness of the trail. Most campers who embark on such journeys will need to take on needed items such as Coleman fuel for lanterns or stoves, and other such items including food, as the weight of a trekker’s pack will have much to do with how far and how long he or she can go without the need to resupply. The hiker can use the layover in town to call loved ones in order to inform them of their condition and location and quite possibly to sleep in a comfortable bed with a shower for the night.
Hikers can enjoy the opportunity to explore and experience the natural world and the diversity of nature. In certain regions of the country you can also be taken back in time and realize the historical significance of various areas. By hiking through various types of environments, and with changes in water flowage and elevation the changes in various ecosystems becomes more pronounced. Although you don’t need to be a thru hiker to experience this, the day to day encounters on the trail will display the transition and diversity more sharply.
Whether you are considering a thousand mile trek or a series of short day hikes, you’ll find experiences to suit each and every person’s physical and emotional abilities and needs. The best way to prepare for either is to just pack up some water and grab your gear and hit the trail. Remember, any day above ground is a great day!