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  • PETE THOMAS / ASSOCIATED PRESS 2007
    A hiker takes the high road on Santa Cruz Island off the coast of Southern California. The largest of the Channel Islands is 20 miles from Ventura Harbor in Ventura, Calif., and reachable via a one-hour boat ride.
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Elk-viewing tours set at 2 parks

FRANKFORT, Ky. » Tours to view elk are being held at two eastern Kentucky parks this fall and winter.

Elk were gone from Kentucky for 150 years but were returned in 1997. Now there are around 10,000 of the animals.

The viewing tours are being held at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park at Prestonsburg and Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park at Buckhorn.

Tour dates run from Sept. 20 to March 7 at Jenny Wiley and Sept. 20 to March 29 at Buckhorn Lake. Jenny Wiley is also offering an overnight camping tour on Sept. 13.

Costs vary depending on the tour and the park.

For more information or to register, call 800-325-0142 for Jenny Wiley tours or 800-325-0058 for Buckhorn Lake.

Bright foliage on tap for Maine

AUGUSTA, Maine » As summer winds down, Maine conservation officials say they’re expecting a vibrant fall foliage season.

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and the Maine Office of Tourism will begin releasing their weekly fall foliage report on Wednesday up to Oct. 25.

Officials say conditions in northern Maine mean that residents and visitors will likely see subtle color changes and low leaf drop.

The last week of September and the first week of October are usually when colors are the brightest in northern Maine. In the central, southern and western mountains, peak times range from Oct. 6 through 18. Along the coast, the best time is Oct. 13 through 25.

Ski company to buy lodge/eatery

TAOS, N.M. » Taos Ski Valley is buying a privately owned lodge and restaurant located near one of its ski lifts.

Ski area CEO Gordon Briner said Wednesday that an agreement has been reached to buy the Bavarian Lodge and Restaurant. The current owners will continue to manage it.

The lodge, near chairlift No. 4, is built of large logs and features German cuisine.

The purchase is the latest expansion announced since hedge fund owner Louis Bacon acquired Taos Ski Valley last year.

A new lift is scheduled to be operating in the coming season to take skiers up Kachina Peak and base area improvements are under way.

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