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Thanks in part to movies Wild and A Walk in the Woods, the Pacific Crest Trail and Appalachian Trail are more popular than ever. The nation’s two most famous footpaths lure thousands of...

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The California Coastal National Monument is not your typical park. For one thing, it’s 1,100 miles long, stretching the full distance between the Oregon and Mexico borders. And until recently, if you wanted to visit, you’d need a boat—or wings, or scales, or a thick layer of blubber.

That...

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Matt Derrick was a teenager in upstate New York when he first saw Future Primitive. The 1985 film featured pro skateboarder Tommy Guerrero carving turns on the steep streets of San Francisco, and for aspiring shredders like Derrick, it made an instant impression.

“The way Tommy...

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After more than 150 years on a small, inland reservation, the Kashia band of Pomo Indians has at last returned to the California coast. 

Just a few hours north of San Francisco, the Kashia Coastal Reserve is 700 acres of redwood groves, wave-battered bluffs, and fog-swept prairie. Thanks...

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On a cool, wet evening in early May, J.T. Horn found himself pacing outside of a high school gym in Northfield, Massachusetts. Behind the double doors, neighbors were gathered for the annual town meeting. Among the usual budget items—repairs at the fire station, funds for the recycling program—...

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When you hear “Coney Island,” your mind probably goes straight to the fanfare and Ferris wheels of the famous New York City boardwalk. But there’s actually another Coney Island—in Waconia, Minnesota, about an hour from the Twin Cities. 

...

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Ackerson Meadow lies along the western boundary of Yosemite National Park, a bright island of open grass in a sea of shady forest. It’s a gentler landscape than the imposing granite cliffs of Yosemite Valley, a dozen miles to the east—but in many ways it’s just as impressive: at 400 acres, it’s...

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On clear nights, stars blaze in the sky over Ohio’s Glen Helen Nature Preserve. The thousand-acre forest of maple and oak, set among the farm fields between Columbus and Dayton, is home to one of the Midwest’s first environmental education...

A family walks down a path at Colwood Park in Portland, Oregon
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The mayor of Portland calls the transformation of a private golf course into a public park “a land-use miracle”—but it wasn’t a hole in one. 
 
When the owner of the 18-hole golf course in Portland’s Cully neighborhood first proposed selling the property for industrial development...

Stonewall Inn, New York City
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Martin Luther King Jr. said in a 1965 sermon that “the arc of the moral universe is long—but it bends toward justice.” 

The national parks system preserves the places where Americans through the ages have worked to make that bend. In...

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