Great Outdoors Recreation Page
This site doubles as the best meta-site (you'll find links to every
imaginable outdoor recreation here, including hiking, camping, boating,
fishing, hunting, birding and more) and as an excellent place to find practical,
original material too. You'll find advice on places to go, itineraries,
forums, maps, book reviews and more. The ads scattered throughout, however,
are a mixed blessing at best.
Potomac Appalachian Trail Club
If you're looking to plan local hikes, this ambitious if badly organized
page will serve you well. It's loaded with material for beginners (detailed
recommendations on local places to hike and backpack) and experts (reports
on obscure trails, volunteer opportunities, back-country first aid, environmental
Capital Hiking Club
This modest page does little more than list the hikes and tours sponsored
by this small nonprofit group. But people intimidated by hard-core outdoors
types will find comfort and some useful options here.
-- Kevin McManus
Bicycle Transit Authority
This site is full of practical biking information, accessible to all
levels of expertise, on everything from buying a new bicycle to tuning
up an old one. The new rider trying to fix a flat or remove a back wheel
can find detailed instructions in the Repair Shop; you can e-mail queries
on more exotic problems to an in-house repair person. Looking to buy? Enter
your cycling habits and price range and Bike Advisor kicks out a custom
The Cyberider Cycling WWW Site
While horribly designed and plagued with broken links, this mega list
of links, one of the richest concentrations of info for local cyclers,
is worth perusing. Pedaler Steve Ciccarelli has gathered home pages for
just about every area cycling club (some of which Steve maintains himself),
biking newsgroups and write-ups of local rides.
Washington Area Bicyclist Association: D.C. Links
A more concise version of the Cyberider Cycling site and a good place
to start looking for local information.
Washington's Urban ATB Home page
If you're new to the local biking scene, pop in here to download maps
of the D.C. area's extensive biking trails.
-- Dan Pacheco
WTA Tour 1997
For those who crave content, Michael Duffy's unofficial Women's Tennis
Association site sets a standard. Against a background suggesting the lawns
of Wimbledon, the page offers rankings, results, player info, tour schedules,
winners, related Web sites and the tour's current stops. The official Corel
WTA Tour site includes some biographical and historical background Duffy's
site lacks, but the unofficial site offers year-to-date, cross-linked results
for even the most obscure player.
ATP Tour Online
This official site of the men's tour, difficult to navigate and overloaded
with graphics, was once most notable for its omissions and problems. But
recent improvements have made it worthwhile. Unique offerings: complete
tour rankings, year-to-date leaders in aces and other statistical categories
and results from lower-level "challenger" tournaments.
Tennis Magazine Online
This site is geared largely to the weekend player, but fans of the
pro game can find tour schedules, complete with TV times and thorough recaps
of the past year's Grand Slam tournaments. The magazine's alliance with
Marc Diamond, creator of the Universal Player Ratings, gives visitors access
to Diamond's database of results from the current season, attractively
packaged and conveniently accessible by player. Based on head-to-head results
rather than tournament finishes, they offer a surprising view of the pecking
Meta-Site: Tennis Information
The best list of tennis links on the Web is provided by Chris Smith,
who maintains an excellent tennis FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) file.
From Smith's page you can visit megasites (Tennis Country, Tennis Worldwide)
official tournament sites and tribute sites to players from Andre Agassi
to Florencia Labat.
-- Bill Walsh
PGA Tour Online
The Professional Golfers Association, unfiltered and unembellished:
schedules, scores, players and other facts about the tour.
This fabulous site offers details, comment and other stuff PGA alone
doesn't: the latest news from the PGA, LPGA and SPGA tours; archives of
previous tours; a feature called "igolf Scorch" ranking, in which iGolf
editors offer their take on hottest players; a "fantasy golf" game with
weekly and seasonal winners; an online pro shop; and some big names from
the professional golf world, including the popular Gary McCord.
A sprawling, comprehensive site that serves both amateur players and
those who follow the pros. For the latter, this site carries the latest
stories and statistics from 24 tours worldwide, with story contributions
from some of the most well-known sports writers. It is also has links to
other golf sites in four regions around the world, in English and Japanese.
For players, there are details on over 21,000 golf courses, a number of
active discussion groups and golf instructions, hosted by golf announcer
Peter Kostis. The Fantasy Golf Game allows one to compete against the rest
of the online community for points that can be traded for golf equipment
-- Nick Doan
Elissa Weidaw created this site, a quick-and-easy lowdown on two-dozen
local wildflowers, for an Internet class at George Mason University. Professor
Brad Cox was tough: All the students' first efforts at pages flunked because
they weren't sufficiently "useful." Weidaw's second attempt for the class
-- featuring photos of Bloodroot, Skunk Cabbage, Trillium and others --
nabbed her an A. Although limited in scope, the site is indeed useful.
National Wildflower Research Center
Perpetual beautifier Lady Bird Johnson's National Wildflower Research
Center home page may drawl a tad about the marvels of Texas bluebonnets,
but those who've seen their violet-blue splendor will understand. Visitors
can learn how to join the nonprofit, get updates on Texas blooms, tour
bluebonnet sites and link to native plant organizations in almost every
Digital Library Project
Just type in the common name of a flower into this UC/Berkeley site
and within seconds up pop several enlargeable photos of the flower, with
its scientific name and locations where it grows. Although the 2,000 species
do not include all our East Coast flora, it appears to be the Web's best
and most comprehensive wildflower database and photo index.
This site's links connect users to wildflowers on home pages created
by universities, hobbyists, state and government agencies.
-- Barbara J. Saffir
The Farmers Almanac
This old ink-and-paper standby has actually been improved in its online
version. The Gardening section offers the full text of the printed Gardener's
Companion, a Q&A forum where you can ask advice of gardeners and farmers
everywhere and one of the most unusual advice columns you're likely to
find. All this plus the time honored sun-, moon- and planet-rise times,
moon-phase charts, seasonal suggestions and the like. You can even personalize
the page so it will greet you with your first name and link you to the
Maryland/Virginia long-range weather forecast when you visit.
Virginia Cooperative Extension
State university cooperative extension services have always been great
resources; locally, this one's tops. The Monthly Gardening Tips, for example,
are surprisingly extensive, useful and often unexpected. There are sections
on Children's Gardening, Herbs, Indoor Gardening, Insects & Pesticides,
Landscape Designs and Trees, all tailored to the region's climates.
This Time-Life product is one of many multifaceted gardening resource
sites. It's well designed, with access to lots of descriptive and how-to
articles. It's notable for a database of plants searchable either by name
or by environmental criteria: You can look up Zone 7 plants for deep shade
that grow 6-12 inches tall and flower in moist soil. VG also offers gardening
links searchable by keyword, to-do lists by zone, bulletin boards and live
chat, virtual reality garden tours and lots of other neat stuff.
We offer three favorite pages of Web links on gardening: Internet Resources
for Gardeners, GardenNet's Guide to Internet Resources and The Gardening
Launching Pad .
-- Alan S. Kay
Backyard Birding Page
A service of the Baltimore Birding Club and maintained by Terry Ross,
who works at the Baltimore public library, this site is a comprehensive
guide to attracting and identifying birds in your yard. It offers lengthy
descriptions of types of feeders and seeds, matches birds with food, tells
you what type of landscaping to provide, contains recipes for bird treats,
discusses nest box construction and even lists the 910 species of birds
recorded in North America.
The late Roger Tory Peterson's field guides remain the book of choice
for both beginning and advanced birders. This online guide, operated by
publisher Houghton Mifflin, is full of plugs for the ink-and-paper guides.
But it's also very informative, with an extensive calendar of birding events,
a weekly identification challenge and lists of bird sightings from around
the country provided by the National Birding Hotline Cooperative.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
This academic center, dedicated to the study, appreciation and conservation
of birds, offers serious birders the opportunity to participate in "citizen
science" projects related to birds, along with plenty of other information.
This list of nearly 400 birding sites from around the globe is arranged
both geographically and by subject. Many of the cryptic entries contain
brief descriptions, a real time saver.
-- Carol Sottili
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