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6 Island Hikes to Add to Your Bucket List
If you're craving warm weather and sandy beaches, and looking to add some physical activity to your next island vacation than look no further than these six unbelievable island hikes.
1. Waitukubuli National Trail
The Caribbean island nation of Dominica, home to about 300 miles of trails, is known as "the Nature Isle." Waitukubuli National Trail, the Caribbean's first long distance walking trail, runs the entire length of the island and gives hikers a glimpse of all that the island has to offer.
The 115-mile trail is made up of 14 segments, and showcases the island's 365 rivers, 12 waterfalls, lush rainforests, hot springs and the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2. Cruz Bay Walks
St. John is the smallest, least populated and least developed of the three main U.S. Virgin Islands. And about 55 percent of the island is covered by the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park. With nearly 10,000 acres on the island, you'll have plenty to explore.
Several marked and maintained trails wind their way along the coast through mangrove thickets, onto pebbled beaches and out to rocky overlooks. Other routes take you into the mountains, where you'll pass through moist and dry tropical forests before reaching summits with breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea.
3. The Kalalau Trail
The Kalalau Trail is an 11-mile trail that leads from Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Beach along the Na Pali Coast on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. The trail climbs up to towering sea cliffs, drops down to lush valleys and all the way down to sea level. Hawaii is home to a large number of endemic species, or species that can only be found there, so the flora and fauna are sure to delight.
4. Gros Piton Hike
Gros Piton and Petit Piton are St Lucia’s two volcanic mountains. Hiking to the top of Petit Piton is no longer allowed by the St. Lucia government due to erosion and soil instability. But Gros Piton, at 2,619 feet above sea level, offers breathtaking views of the island, including Petit Piton, and the surrounding Caribbean waters.
It's a Unesco World Heritage site, so you are required to use a guide and pay a $30 fee for the hike to the top. Hikers should be in fairly good shape as you will gain 2,000 feet of elevation in just a few hours. But the rewarding view at the top is well worth it.
Greece's biggest island, Crete, offers a wide range of terrain from "gentle plateaus dotted with windmills to canyons and mountains," according to Lonely Planet. Look out for the island's famed wild goat, the kri-kri, as you hike through Samaria Gorge, Europe's longest gorge at nearly 10 miles.
The Dutch territorial island of Saba is known as the "Unspoiled Queen of the Caribbean." It's largely made up of the the potentially active volcano Mount Scenery, which, at 2,910 feet, is the highest point of the entire Netherlands.
"Hikers can explore the marked interior trails or simply follow the island’s main road that starts at sea level and travels through the four little villages on the way up to the top that is capped by a pristine cloud forest," Readers' Digest explained. "The entire island is a protected nature reserve—both topside and underwater."
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As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.
Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.
AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.
"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."
Big Oil is now using its political power to try and criminalize protests of oil & gas infrastructure.— Friends of the Earth (@foe_us) August 19, 2019
"This legislation has potential to punish public participation and mischaracterize advocacy protected by the First Amendment."https://t.co/bmiHjONEhy
The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.
"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.
As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."
"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."
Many of the state bills restricting the right to protest have been "drafted by companies and passed through groups like ALEC, the secretive group of corporate lobbyists trying to rewrite state laws to benefit corporations over people." @greenpeaceusa https://t.co/ZxpTjWdrwT— Stand Up To ALEC (@StandUpToALEC) May 6, 2019
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.