Author Archives: Andrew Wojtanik

Caves Trail (Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID)

Following a volcanic eruption, underground lava tubes serve as thoroughfares for draining molten lava. When the lava cools and remaining flows drain out of the tubes, the subterranean passageways remain, leaving behind caves to explore. There are several spots in … Continue reading

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Inferno Cone (Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID)

“A weird and scenic landscape, peculiar to itself” is how President Calvin Coolidge described the volcanic, lunar-like landscape in south-central Idaho when he created Craters of the Moon National Monument in 1924. In the years before the designation, hearty explorers … Continue reading

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Bradley Lake, Taggart Lake, and Beaver Creek Trail Loop (Grand Teton National Park, WY)

As glaciers carved the various canyons of Grand Teton National Park, they pushed enormous heaps of rocky debris down to the base of the sharp peaks, forming what geologists and climatologists today call moraines. In the centuries—millennia—that passed, the retreating … Continue reading

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Death Canyon Trail to Patrol Cabin (Grand Teton National Park, WY)

It’s not too often that one can say that they overcame death. But conquering the Death Canyon Trail in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park offers such an opportunity. The beauty of the canyon—with its rushing cascades, inviting meadows, and cool … Continue reading

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Abraham Lincoln Driving Tour

– Civil War Series – Before becoming the 16th president, Abraham Lincoln spent most of his life in what was then considered the “Northwest Territory” of the United States: the relatively unpopulated states north of the Ohio River Valley. From … Continue reading

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Lincoln Boyhood Loop (Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, IN)

– Civil War Series – Well before he rose to prominence as an Illinois politician and 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln spent much of his boyhood on a modest farmstead at Little Pigeon Creek in southern Indiana. … Continue reading

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The Channels via Brumley Mountain Trail (Jefferson National Forest, VA)

Conventional wisdom suggests that slot canyons—narrow, slithering cuts in the sandstone—are relatively confined to the American West: Arizona, California, and Utah. Yet this is not precisely true. While different in character from its western counterparts, The Channels—also known as “The … Continue reading

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Fallingwater Cascades Trail (Jefferson National Forest, VA)

Of the many hikes in the Peaks of Otter Recreation Area—part of Jefferson National Forest in central Virginia—the most popular is the Sharp Top Trail for its stunning views of the area. A second walk to consider, however, is the … Continue reading

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Sharp Top Trail (Jefferson National Forest, VA)

Viewed from the valley below, Sharp Top (3,862’) in central Virginia is an imposing peak, once thought by 19th century Virginians to be the highest point in the state. Although later surveyors found this not to be true (the honors … Continue reading

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Jonathan Run Trail and Sugar Run Falls (Ohiopyle State Park, PA)

The Youghiogheny River Gorge in southwest Pennsylvania’s Ohiopyle State Park has many echoes of other, arguably grander canyons in the area, such as New River Gorge in southern West Virginia and Cheat River Gorge at Coopers Rock State Forest near … Continue reading

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