If global events make you want to skip vacationing this year, consider an off-beat alternative. You can spend up to two weeks clearing new trails or rehabilitating old ones on a Volunteer Vacation with the American Hiking Society (www.americanhiking.org/events/vv/index.html ). The program costs $80, and travel to and from the site could be tax deductible.
If you want more luxury and less work in the woods, book a room in a lodge in one of the National Parks. Xanterra Parks & Resorts ( www.xanterra.com ) operates lodges and restaurants in 10 national parks, including Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Mount Rushmore.
Yvonne Wollenberg. Online UPDATE.
May 23, 2003;80.