Hiking Wisconsin With ‘Ghosts’ of the Ice Age

A Scenic Trail Takes Me To Centuries Past, and Forward Into a Climate-Changed Future

In “Marshland Elegy,” an essay in A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold described a dawn wind slowly rolling a bank of fog across a Wisconsin marsh. “Like the white ghost of a glacier,” he wrote, “the mists advance, riding over phalanxes of tamaracks, sliding across bog-meadows heavy with dew.” It’s a haunting image that enthralls me each time I read the essay. Even if you’re unfamiliar with marshland and have never witnessed a fogbank in motion, the scene plays in your imagination like a film clip or a video.

And …

Walking Runs in My Blood

How My Family Legacy Inspired Me to Save a Special Trail in Apple Valley

You could say that walking runs in my blood: I can’t remember a time when I didn’t take long walks with my dad, though why was a mystery. Recently, …

To Understand America’s Small Towns, Ask About Their Swimming Holes

Under a Waterfall or Inside an Old Quarry, These DIY Pools Are a Refreshing Way to Connect With Simple Pleasures of the Past

Consider the swimming hole. It lacks the majesty of an ocean or the pedigree of a lake—forget about boating or surfing. A swimming hole is by its very nature utilitarian. …

California’s Three Greatest Mountains

They’re Not the Most Beautiful or Well-Known. But Their Panoramic Views Can Help the State Define Itself.

It’s a hot and angry September, and your boss or your spouse has just told you to take a hike. But where?

Hiking usually means mountains, and California has more than …

The Last Bite of the Emergency Apple

Silver Canyon, Santa Catalina Island

You take the last bite of the emergency apple,
while the teeth-y skulls of Barbary goats stare up from dusty shale,
from boulder strewn creek beds …

Mother Nature

Is There an App for That?

I traipsed through the buoyant Denali tundra, the wet slush hitting my rain-pants. A highly knowledgeable guide from Camp Denali explained the various mosses and lichens. I walked by a …