T is for Trails


Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature’s sources never fail. ~John Muir

Today is all about Trails.

I am so loving this challenge because each new word is giving me cause to dive deeply into something I love, even if just for a day or so. Today’s word is trails and so I set out to figure out just what hiking trails there actually are available to us in the United States.

As background, you should know that my bucket list contains walking the Appalachian Trail. One of my favorite genres, if you could call it that, are books about people’s adventures walking long distances: I’ve read The Barefoot Sisters, Wild (saw the movie too) and A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. So trails are a big part of my imaginary life – the alternate life that we all lead in our own minds. A few months ago, I was browsing my local library when I found a book called The Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail. I never even knew this trail existed and here was a book about it! It was very exciting. This is a trail, much like the Appalachian, but in my own home state!

Two of my sisters, my brother-in-law and my dad took a backpack camping trip years ago on Isle Royale on Lake Superior. We hiked for four days and it was one of my favorite trips – even though it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. There is something about walking day after day, living on what you can carry on your back that appeals to something very primal in me.

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So, for this post, I did some research on what other trails might be available out there that I am not aware of. (Turns out, there’s a lot of them!) We have 11 national scenic trails. There are three north-south trails that run from Canada to Mexico – one of which includes the PCT, or the Pacific Crest Trail which was featured in the bestselling book & movie called Wild.

We also have 19 national historic trails, which are designated by events of historical significance, including the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail which I mentioned in a previous post. This trail covers nine southern states as the Cherokee Nation did when they made this fateful walk from their homeland to Oklahoma. This non-continuous historic trail is over 5,000 miles long. Read here for more info on this trail. These are all just the really BIG trails. We have thousands of regional and state trails that aren’t even on these lists!

Here’s a little film about our national parks you might want to put on your watch list… here is where you can find a theater near you.

If you love the national parks, you might want to consider purchasing an America the Beautiful Pass for $80 a year (or only $10 for a lifetime if you are over age 62). Or, if you just want a good hike, check out this state-by-state hiking trails map of the U.S. For my lovely Canadian readers, I found this page of Canadian hiking trails! 🙂 (I didn’t forget about you!)

Later: I went to see the National Parks movie at the Science Museum yesterday. It was fun to see it. This year is the one year anniversary of the national parks! Yeah! I also found out that Subaru has been working on a project to help the parks reach zero landfill. They have achieved this already with their plant in Indiana, and now they are working to help the parks with it. Here is a guide for ways that you can help!

Well, I don’t know why you are still reading this when you could be outside enjoying some of that gorgeous Spring weather! Go outside and WALK! 🙂 (But please leave a comment first!)

If you enjoyed this post, please share it!

This post is part of a series called the A to Z Blogging Challenge, taking place during the month of April 2016. Each day is a new letter throughout the month. My theme this month is NATURE. To view other bloggers writing about this alphabet, check out the list here.  

If you are enjoying the A – Z Challenge and want more blogging connection in your daily life, considering joining our Inspired Blogging Group on Facebook! 

The list so far…

A is for Aspen
B is for BreathB is for Butterfly
C is for Consciousness
D is for Deep Space
E is for Earth
F is for Fire
G is for Garden Gnomes
H is for Heaven
I is for Inequality
J is for Jade
K is for Kissing
L is for Light
M is for Milky Way
N is for Native
O is for Octopus
P is for Pollution
Q is for Quiet
R is for Rocks
S is for Solitude



  1. I’m so loving this series of yours Amy – your energy of delight is so palpable when you talk about being in nature. I do enjoy being in nature, and I do enjoy reading books about trail journeys, but actually doing on is definitely not on my bucket list. I’d rather meditate under a leafy tree in the middle of a flower meadow. But I hope you get lots of trail adventures and I hope you share them all with us.
    Deborah Weber recently posted…Manifesto: T is for…My Profile

  2. I’m not a hiker, but I have gone down a few trails at local places with my children. Nice, little short trails that can be done in about an hour. 😉 Any time spent outdoors, with nature is good time.
    Revisit the Tender Years with me during the #AtoZChallenge at Life & Faith in Caneyhead!

  3. Isle Royale – what a wonderful idea for a family outing, Amy! Those kind of memories are priceless. I hope you find many more trails to discover and conquer.
    Nanette Levin recently posted…Clever insults are more effective than profanityMy Profile

  4. Great entry in your series Amy! I love walking and hiking, such a wonderful way to be immersed in nature. What a beautiful quote by John Muir!
    Nancy Jambor recently posted…Loving KindnessMy Profile

  5. Great post! I set myself a goal to get outside and walk at least 30 minutes every day for the next 100 days. It’s called a 100 day Gong commitment. Although I won’t be on ‘trails’ your post has inspired me. I would also like to see that movie. The trailer is amazing to look at. I can only imagine what it would like playing at the Science Museum.
    Elda recently posted…But He/She Is So Stubborn!My Profile

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