Articles by Brad Viles

 
Jess Kowalski, a student in the Adventure Recreation and Tourism program climbs a route on Eagle’s Bluff in Clifton as part of the course work in rock climbing.

WCCC rock climbs part of rounded curriculum

By Brad Viles on April 22, 2011, at 11:10 p.m.
If you want to lead people safely to adventure in the outdoors, you need to go to school. In Calais, Washington County Community College’s Adventure Recreation and Tourism Program is where students acquire the skills they need to land outdoor jobs. Not all choose an outdoor related career. For some, …
Cairns like this one mark the trail near the summit of Champlain Mountain. Cadillac Mountain rises in the distance in the view from the Bear Brook Trail.

Beachcroft Trail good season opener for hiking

By Brad Viles on April 15, 2011, at 8:24 p.m.
Along with every hiker in the state right now, I’m itching to hit the trails for early spring hikes. The arrival of any season is a cause for celebration — by hiking, naturally. Actually, I never need much of an excuse to hike. But, the arrival of spring is an …
Jennifer Fisk commands her two search and rescue dogs Freya, left, and Fran, right, to sit. They are certified rescue dogs with Maine Search and Rescue Dogs, a volunteer organization that conducts wilderness searches for the Maine Warden Service in Maine.

Dedicated dogs, handlers crucial to backwoods searches

By Brad Viles on April 08, 2011, at 5:23 p.m.
Imagine this scenario happening to you: You’re an experienced hiker with a group of friends on a long, difficult day trip to the top of a 4,000-foot western Maine mountain. It’s early spring and after your last break, partway up, your buddies went on ahead. You told them you’d catch …
Bill Bentley takes an exposure reading on his favorite camera, a Nikon D-700. The Registered Maine Master Guide has been shooting photos for 45 years and has several tips to improve your hiking photos.

Taking better hiking photos

By Brad Viles on March 25, 2011, at 4:48 p.m.
If your hiking photos are like mine, they could be better. When I look around the walls of my apartment and see the best of my pictures hanging there, I often wonder if they captured what it was I wanted to see. There are a few that are passable, even …
An unidentified hiker cross Great Pond Mountain, just one of several hiking trails provided by Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust in Orland. Many of the over 100 land trusts in Maine contain hiking trails.

 Land Trust hikes often overlooked gems

By Brad Viles on March 18, 2011, at 5:29 p.m.
Among the variety of benefits conserved land provides to the public, especially hikers, access to hiking trails is one of the most visible. Trails are one of the first pieces of infrastructure that most land trusts build to allow visitors to enjoy their property. To hikers, more miles of recreational …

One last hike to mark winter’s end

By Brad Viles on March 11, 2011, at 8:51 p.m.
The winter of 2010-11 has been one to remember. If you had a list that determines the measure of a winter, every item on it would have been checked off halfway through this season. Low temperatures? Check. Short days, long nights? Check. Major weekly snowfall? Check and double check. As …
J.R. "Model-T" Tate, in 2006, on the Hunt Trail on Katahdin finished his fourth thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail on September 30. His advice for planning a thru-hike is "For the first hike it's critical. In 1990, I began planning  six months ahead of the hike," he said recently.

Start planning your through-hike of the Appalachian Trail now

By Brad Viles on Feb. 25, 2011, at 2:20 p.m.
This is the year that you’re going to do it: hike the whole Appalachian Trail from one end to the other. You could be a student between school years, a retired military person or just between jobs. Whatever your background happens to be, you have the desire and three to …
Matt Pellerin, agricultural manager for Treworgy's Family Orchards welcomed each visitor to the free ski day, held at the farm last Saturday.

Nordic skiing centers cater to visitors

By Brad Viles on Feb. 18, 2011, at 7:13 p.m.
One of the beauties of cross-country skiing is its low cost, especially when compared to Alpine or lift-serviced skiing. For less than the price of a pair of Alpine boots you can buy cross-country skis, poles, bindings and boots. And you never have to buy a lift ticket on the …
Students enrolled in the Adventure Recreation and Tourism program ski to their overnight destination in Cobscook Bay State Park where they would test their winter camping skills.

WCCC prepares students for winter camping

By Brad Viles on Feb. 12, 2011, at 6:35 p.m.
If you want to learn the techniques and skills to lead people safely into the outdoors for adventure, you need to go to school. In Maine, that education takes place in a locale that’s rich in natural resources, just made for adventure. There are rivers, lakes and the ocean nearby, …

A Wildlands cross-country ski adventure

By Brad Viles on Jan. 24, 2011, at 11:05 p.m.
Never one to let a blue-sky day go to waste by staying inside, I got out on the cross-country skis last Sunday. I picked a place I usually visit in winter, the Wildlands, in Orland, of the Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust. It’s a special little conservation property of 4,300 …
A variety of snowshoes await free use by the participants of the Winter Family Fun Day in Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Edmunds last winter. As is clear in this photo modern bindings come in different designs. All are glove and mitten friendly. Brad Viles photo

Learning snowshoe buying basics

By Brad Viles on Jan. 14, 2011, at 6:58 p.m.
Winter in Maine is made for traveling across the landscape. Snow covers terrain features like boulders, roots and rocks, actually making foot travel easier than in summer. Easier, that is, as long as …
An unidentified hiker on the summit of Cadillac Mountain captures a picture of the sunrise on New Year's Day. Brad Viles photo

A New Year’s hike up Cadillac Mountain

By Brad Viles on Jan. 07, 2011, at 5:47 p.m.
Every year when I set out on my traditional New Year’s hike up Cadillac Mountain, one thing’s for certain: It’s never the same as the year before, or any other year for that matter. It has been …

A New Year’s hike up Cadillac Mountain

By Brad Viles on Jan. 07, 2011, at 5:47 p.m.
Every year when I set out on my traditional New Year’s hike up Cadillac Mountain, one thing’s for certain: It’s never the same as the year before, or any other year for that matter. It has been …
This photo taken from inside the lean-to at Chimney Pond on March 6/2010 shows the snow depth. Entrance to the lean-to had to be dug out from the right side of this photo. Brad Viles photo

The hikes that keep on giving

By Brad Viles on Dec. 24, 2010, at 5:08 p.m.
At some point today, Christmas Day, I’ll be asked the question, “How was your year?” It will be posed by one of the relatives at our family gathering. At first I’ll give my usual answer, …
Winter campers and hikers enjoy winter scenery like in this view of Cadillac Mountain on the left and Dorr Mountain on the right in Acadia National Park taken last February. (Photo by Brad Viles)

How to enjoy camping in the cold

By Brad Viles on Dec. 17, 2010, at 5:35 p.m.
When I pulled up to the gate at Blackwoods Campground in Acadia National Park last Saturday, I placed my permit for winter camping on the dash of the truck, hoisted my backpack and walked up the path …
Becoming Teddy Roosevelt book cover. w.Brad Viles strory. FOR STROUT

Book reveals Roosevelt’s tie to Maine guide

By Brad Viles on Dec. 10, 2010, at 5:54 p.m.
There are few characters in America’s history like Theodore Roosevelt. Iconic figure memorialized in sculpture on the face of a mountain in South Dakota, Roosevelt was larger than life.
Teirney coils the climbing rope he will use for the ascent of the wall to his left. Parks Pond Bluff is a popular climbing spot in Clifton where Tierney has established many first ascents of difficult technical climbing routes.

Tierney’s career on the up and up

By Brad Viles on Nov. 26, 2010, at 7:35 p.m.
Jon Tierney’s interest in climbing mountains started when he was a kid growing up in Claremont, N.H. “I was first intrigued by climbing as a youngster. My parents gave me a lot of freedom to …
Brad Viles. 100 Classic Hikes in New England guidebook. Outdoors page to Strout.

100 Classic Hikes a treat for the eyes, feet

By Brad Viles on Nov. 19, 2010, at 8:22 p.m.
The book’s title almost says it all. “100 Classic Hikes in New England,” published in June by The Mountaineers Books, belongs in every hiker’s library.
Brad Viles stops on the shore of Big Moose Pond last Sunday to check out the summit of Little Moose Mountain in Greenville.

Plan B salvages cloudy hiking day

By Brad Viles on Nov. 12, 2010, at 6:22 p.m.
I took one look at the top of Big Moose Mountain last Sunday and figured I needed a Plan B if I wanted to hike. The 3,196 foot summit’s final 300-400 feet was encased in an ugly gray cloud. Now, …
Ron Dobra, here in Colorado on the Continental Divide Trail, this past summer hiked 900 miles to complete the triple crown of hiking. He's one of only a few hundred to have hiked all three of the longest trails in the U.S., the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail, a combined distance of over 7,400 miles.

Greenville hiker a ‘triple crowner’

By Brad Viles on Oct. 22, 2010, at 11:17 a.m.
Glaciers crown high jagged peaks of rock in this view from the Continental Divide Trail in Glacier National Park in northern Montana.
 
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business