Thursday, August 30, 2018

Celebrating 50 Years of our National Scenic Trails

What a great country we live in, full of beauty in both nature and in humankind. And what better way to experience it all than through a hike, long or short, on a National Scenic Trail. 2018 marks the golden anniversary of this great trail system. 

So what sets a National Scenic Trail apart? To earn this revere designation, the trail must be over 100 miles and reveal outstanding beauty, history, and recreational opportunity. To date there are 11 such trail designations.

Here is a listing of them and what agency oversees them.

I have had the privilege of completing two of these trails -

I have hiked the Appalachian National Scenic Trail twice, first from Georgia to Maine and then from
Maine to Georgia. Spanning nearly 2,189 miles, this trail traverses fourteen states in the most populated part of the east, running primarily along the Appalachian Mountain chain. It’s diverse beauty spans from mountain peaks to farmlands, through small towns to mountains looming above treeline, and goes through several National Parks.

I have also hiked the Florida National Scenic Trail. This gem begins near the Everglades in Big Cypress National Preserve and winds its way through the heart of Florida and across the Panhandle, some 1,100 miles worth. Along the trail one experiences natural beauty that one might see in some island paradise, from tall palms to palmettos. There are lofty pines, the heartland of Florida’s farms and ranges, Cypress trees and bogs, and even a walk along the beach fronting the Gulf of Mexico, all part of this unique trail unlike any other.  

I hope to hike more of these national treasures (stay tuned!). Make sure you future hiking plans involves an exploration of these scenic wonders.  The Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA) is commemorating these national treasures at its October “Gathering” October 12-14. More Information.

My Book on my Appalachian Trail Hike - hike it both north and south! 

**Coming in 2019 – Adventures on the Florida Trail!**

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