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HI Guys-- couple of questions
I'm new to the forum here. My name's Mandy, I work with a nature preserve in Ohio called the Arc of Appalachia. We have a few avid hikers who work with us, and they all seems astounded that not many people know about our trails, so here's our page about that http://www.highlandssanctuary.org/permits/permits.htm
But really, I came on here to ask, what makes a place a world-class hiking destination? What are your favorite trails and why? How can we make access easier and less confusing? Any recommendations?
We have worked so hard to preserve these beautiful places here, and it seems a waste if no one's here to enjoy them. Yes, we are working to preserve biodiversity-- but that includes one very important species-- YOU!
Although I've lurked for awhile, I'm not that familiar with forum etiquette/history here, so my apologies if I haven't entered this correctly.
Hope to hear from you. The spring season is rapidly approaching and we have spectacular wildflower displays in the works ;)
“Welcome Mandy! Be sure to fill out your info page and a bikini shot! World class hiking dest huh? Boy that's a big order to fill. I'll hafta thank on it. That's best left to somebody bored stiff at work, they'll provide great answers killing time ...LOL!”
“"Why can't I bring my dog? She's a wonderful dog, and I would keep her on a leash.
Being dog lovers ourselves, we know and appreciate the capacity of a dog to be friendly, quiet and to obediently stay on a trail. Unfortunately, not all dogs are so well trained, and a dog that has not been invested in by his or her owner can be a disturbance to the natural environment and other visitors. So, despite the fact that your dog may be exceptional, we must err on the side of caution and fairly administer our regulation equally to all."
guess i can't stop there on my way to the mother's day hike”
“Hey Mandy, welcome
regarding forum etiquette, you'll quickly find that it is completely absent. In spite of this, there tends to be good information on here.
As far as favorite trails, I think you'll find that the responses you'll get will be extremely varied. Personally, I prefer, in the words of Ed Abbey, trails that are "crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing views." Everyone's different, and everyone goes into the wild for different reasons - I enjoy the solitude more than the landmarks. A lot of people do hikes for the landmarks - for me, they're arbitrary destinations and it's the getting there that really counts. So what I look for from a hike is a good trail, preferrably something challenging, and preferrably one that I'm not very likely to run into other people. This often means that my preferred trail is the absence of a trail entirely...
My favorite "trail" so to speak is Escalante Canyon in Utah - though there are crude trails cut into the brush sometimes, most of the hiking is done in the river or on its banks. It's unknown enough that I usually don't see many people, it's absolutely devastatingly beautiful, it has enough side canyons, ruins and petroglyphs to spend a lifetime exploring, and overall it really feels like my definition of paradise. To each his own, though... I've taken people who have seen nothing but a muddy, buggy, desert swamp
as far as making sure people know about your trails, your site is a very good way of doing that (if I wasn't across the country, I'd probably already be planning a trip). I'd say doing what you're doing, visiting the hiking and backpacking sites and sharing your like, that's the best way to do it. Get the word out - as people start hiking it, they'll tell their friends and so on. I can assure you that if I ever find my way out thattaway, I'll be thinking of doing a hike up there”
“guess i can't stop there on my way to the mother's day hike
I'm sure tears will be shed. It's the people who insist their dogs are angels who are the worst offenders. Good policy!”
“I've lived and hiked in Ohio all my life and I've never heard of this place. How many miles of the backpacking trails are connected and how many miles can you backpack at one time?”
“Thanks for the replies! I'll collar one of our hikers and get the scoop on our trails, and report back to you. I've been here so long on so many trails but was mostly working, not hiking.
I will say that because the main preserve area is right at the border between glaciated and unglaciated land, as well as traversed by a very deep river ravine and dolemite karst country, that we have a fairly rare spectrum of ecosystems represented here. Not to be too much of a science dork, but if you've heard of the geology of Ohio being a lot like a layer cake that fell over to one side, then here we have a taste of almost all of the layers in one tiny area!
Most of our trails are narrow and unimproved. Because this is cave country, there are some trails with steep rocky areas. We do ask that visitors do not go into the deeper caves, not only for liability reasons but because they are being allowed to rewild as bat sanctuary.
One more note-- if you're a wildflower lover, make sure to check out our Ohio River Bluffs property in April. It is the last piece of the bluffs overlooking the wide Ohio River that is still absolutely covered with blue, blue, blue dwarf larkspur and Virginia bluebells.
Well, I'll just let the picture do the talking ;)
Hope to see you this season, and I will get back to you when I get the answers to your queries.
“Oh-- and lest I forget to mention, we are also now managing Serpent Mound, Fort Hill, and many other Native American heritage sites. The preserves are located in what was likely the center of the Hopewell culture, as well as important land for many preceding native cultures such as the Adena.
we swung by the serpent mound on the way back to Canada last year. it's a very thought provoking place.”
“Forum etiquette? It's best just to throw that idea right out the window.
What makes a place a world-class hiking destination?
It's hard for me to think of a better explanation than what's been posted: "trails that are "crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing views."
I agree that I prefer a wilderness experience where there's solitude. I go to the wilderness to take a break from the "man-made world."
I'm sure the Haute Route has some great scenery, but I wouldn't enjoy sleeping in designated huts with a bunch of other people each night. for me, that's too much of a social gathering to differentiate the experience. Seeing villages and houses along the way would also detract for me. But then the Haute Route might be many people's idea of a world class hike.
I've hiked Chevelon Canyon in Arizona, Glacier NP, the Wind River Range, Olympic NP, the Kalalau Trail, the Adirondacks, and many sections along the AT, just to name a few places.
All are world class.
I also love hiking Ocala NF in Florida. The diversity of landscapes is unique but (by my tastes) it's only a wonderful place to be in Winter, late Fall, or early Spring.
Some landscapes that really turn me on are long views from mountain vantage points, views above treeline, and long views of treeless prairie/tundra.
But there are many other aspects to hiking, than visual, that make a world class destination.
I love the sound of wind through leaves. I love the sound of running water or waves breaking.
I love the feel of mist from waterfalls. I love the feel of a breeze. I love the feel of sun on my skin. I love the rhythmic feel of rain on my clothing. I love the cool chill flowing off a glacier.
I love the smells of flowers. I love the smells of different trees. I love the smells of different soils (The soil in Olympic NP smells completely different from that in NC on the AT). The smell of fallen Papaya fruit can be pleasantly overpowering and exotic.
Sight, sound, touch, and smell combine into a spiritual experience that can make many places world class. For me, it's the spiritual experience that matters.”
“"I wouldn't enjoy sleeping in designated huts with a bunch of other people each night."
Right on! It's the backpackers who ruin backpacking.”
“Mutt is right. BAN BACKPACKERS!”
“You guys have it wrong. It's lack of human impact in the wilderness that ruins backpacking. We need more huts. Backcountry hotels would be better yet. A big group singing Kumbaya around the campfire while swilling beer is what it's all about! Guitars, kegs, everybody sing now.
Sounds like you guys would have a blast backpacking through Central Park. Don't forget the smores.”
“Sorry it took me so long to respond to your questions, I got the chance to travel down to Florida and wander around some of it's most amazing ecosystems with Dr. Bruce Means! It was a life-changing experience. I'll post pictures when I get them all together. :)
Anyway, if we start to get more hikers, we could get about 9-10 miles of connected trails, with a little light creek fording here and there. We're also buttressed on both ends of our properties by state parks with swimming, fishing, camping, etc.
We're actually hosting a hiking event this year on August 27-28th, led by Tom Logsdon (those of you from Columbus Ohio might know him as a past market master of Columbus' venerable North Market). It will be an overnight trip with lodging.
It's just a start. We want to get more hikers out there enjoying these beautiful, secluded trails.
If you have any questions, contact me at email@example.com .
Happy hiking... happy spring to everyone.
“You forgot to post your swimsuit picture.”
“Ha! I didn't forget, I didn't post it on purpose. :D
Is there a thread for swimsuit pictures? I don't remember seeing one... maybe you should start it!”
“Don't ask Stove to post his banana hammock pictures again...”
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