Stringers Ridge Park Set to Open

Part of the reason Chattanooga, Tennessee won our 2012 Best Mountain City competition is their extensive open space and park system inside the city limits. Well, now you can add one more asset to the mix: Stringers Ridge Park. The new “urban forest” is over 100 acres and located within three miles of downtown, with a view of the city that rivals any in the area from a newly constructed observation deck, according to the Times Free Press.¬†When we were in Chattanooga for the 2012 feature, Stringers Ridge was an underground trail running spot, with a few rouge mountain bike trails thrown in. Now, with official designation as a city park, hikers, mountain bikers, nature lovers, and runners will all be able to enjoy the eight miles of established trails.

There will be a free opening ceremony this Saturday at the Spears Road Trailhead. If you are in the area, check it out.

Seven Springs Buys Hidden Valley

Summer is just barely over, but we already have our eyes on ski season.

Pennsylvania’s Seven Springs ski resort is the big kid on the block in the Laurel Highlands ski scene, so they have the clout to do pretty much what they want. What they want is more sweet shredding action, so they went ahead and bought it. Today, Seven Springs Mountain Resort announced that they had reached an agreement with The Buncher Company to purchase Hidden Valley Resort. Hidden Valley is located just 13 miles from Seven Springs, has 1,200 acres of land with 29 ski trails accessed by 11 lifts, 470 ft of vert, and a golf course. This was not a hostile takeover, but an amicable agreement between the two parties. The Buncher Company is a real estate developer who acquired the resort in 2007, made investments in snowmaking and family oriented infrastructure, before unloading it on Seven Springs.

More info can be found in a press release on Yobeat.com

Wildfires and Climate Change

Wildfires have been raging in the West this summer at a record pace. Could it be linked to global warming (or climate change if you want to be PC about it)?

That is the crux of a column in the New York Times. The point of the piece by Kate Galbraith is not that climate change is causing wildfires, but that they will become hotter, larger, and more destructive as the planet warms. Citing recent studies and experts, Galbraith says altered forest ecology, human roaming farther into the woods, and fire management tactics could lead to more fire-prone areas and more burning material. More fires will equal more ash in the air, and more air pollution, which in turn will have an affect on the overall global ecosystem, creating a CYCLE OF DESTRUCTION THE LIKES OF WHICH WE CAN ONLY IMAGINE IN OUR WORST NIGHTMARES!

It may not be all that, but it is an interesting read, none the less. LINK