New Year Hikes for 2019
I’m not a huge fan of New Year resolutions, mostly because I think it’s never too late or the “wrong time” to make needed changes based solely on if the calendar says May or August instead of January. I do, however, firmly believe in setting goals and breaking them into steps to make them achievable. So, instead of making a list of New Year Resolutions I’m making a list of New Year Hikes, which is a list of trails I intend to hike this year.
Due to my slightly-longer-term goal of a Calendar Year Triple Crown in 2020, my 2019 goal is to hike a variety of trails along the East Coast to get myself and Panda back in trail shape while we enjoy new adventures together. I am still working part-time and finishing my Master’s Degree this semester, which means I’ve narrowed my list of projected trails to mostly sub-100 miles so they can be accomplished in a week or less. All of the trails listed below are ones I have researched, but not been on yet.
The Loyalsock Trail (LT) is marked by red disks with the letters LT painted in yellow in the center and runs along Loyalsock Creek in north central Pennsylvania.
Old Loggers Path (OLP) is an orange-blazed trail. It is a short circuit, only 27.1 miles, and travels through remote areas in northeastern Lycoming County, PA. This one sounds fascinating to me because it supposedly follows railroad grades, logging roads, bark trails, and other remnants of old industrial transportation.
The Donut Hole Trail (DHT) is an orange-blazed trail that runs through the Sproul State Forest parallel to the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. A local outfitter called Rock River & Trail is said to offer shuttle service.
The Black Forest Trail (BFT) begins just north of Slate Run, PA and is said to have beautiful views. Pine Creek Outfitters lists the trail mileage at 42.4 miles, which is just under the mileage listed by the PA Hikes website (43 mi). Both agree, however, that it should not be your first backpacking trip, as it has steep ascents and descents and some water crossings.
The Chuck Keiper Trail (CKT) is said to be lightly used and offers hikers a nice two or three day backpacking adventure with lots of solitude. It is also marked by orange blazes.
The Midstate Trail (MT) is on the higher end of mileage I’d like to conquer in any one trip. It begins in Rhode Island, runs through central Massachusetts, and ends in New Hampshire after connecting to the Wapack Trail.
The Art Loeb Trail (ALT) travels through the Pisgah National Park and along the crest of the Great Balsam Mountains. Some portions of it are the same path of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, which is 1,175 miles.
The Foothills Trail (FT) is located in Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina. The FT website says that both volunteer and commercial shuttle drivers are available to assist hikers if needed and there are multiple trailheads that can be utilized for shorter trips.
Not Set in Stone
This list does not include day hikes and may change some over the course of the year, but my overall goal will stay the same: see as many new places as possible and exchange work time for time in the outdoors way more than I did last year.
Have you recently made a list of trails you would like to hike? If not, I’d like you to do so now! What are your top two or three hiking destinations in 2019? Are you planning a thru-hike? Write your own New Year Hikes list and share it in the comments!
For more information on any of the hikes listed above, just click on the name of the trail! Happy Hiking everyone!