Saturday, December 31, 2011

Where Would You Like to Hike in 2012?

I passed up a last chance to hike in 2011. The Meetup Group I sometimes hike with had a hike to Reed's Gap planned on a beautiful day that felt more like spring than winter. And they had room for people to still join, which is unusual. But I am running the Shamrock Half-Marathon in less than three months, to celebrate 10 years surviving cancer this spring. And I have not run much at all. So instead, I joined Team in Training for seven badly needed miles this morning. Hiking will have to wait until 2012.

So, here we are, on the cusp of 2012. Where would you like to hike in 2012? Be realistic, taking into account your time availability, finances, and physical condition. In my case, I work full time and have very little time off other than some weekends that I can hike. So although it is not like I have the money to drop everything and leave for the Rockies or South America or Alaska, vacation time limits what I can do more than anything else. So that being said, here are some places I would love to get to in 2012 - and have at least a realistic shot of attaining many of them:

  • Mt. Rogers - the highest mountain in Virginia, there are dozens of miles of trail in the National Forest there. I'd love to spend a few days hiking there and in Grayson Highlands State Park.

  • Do another loop in Shenandoah National Park, similar to my three day trip over Trayfoot Mountain a couple of months ago.

  • White Mountains in New Hampshire - I'd love to do a multi-day-trip to New Hampshire and hike in the Whites, staying at the (by hiking standards) luxurious huts maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club. But it is at least an all day drive each way from home.

  • Hike one of Manitou Islands in Lake Michigan, maybe on a trip to see my granddaughter.

  • Hike or backpack in the Dolly Sods area of West Virginia.

  • Make it to Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia this coming May. Lots of kindred spirits, bluegrass music, day hiking, and - rumor has it - cold beer.

  • A bonus would be a trip to a new National Park, and do some hiking - but that is a lot of time and money.

Those are some of my ideas. How about you - where do you hope to hike to in the brand new year? Oh - HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Here are some of the things I am considering from a foot racing point of view in 2012.


  1. Mt. Rogers is always a favorite of mine, and Dolly Sods has intrigued me for years. However, we are going to try our best to hike/walk/bike the streets of Amsterdam. We just have to come up with some creative financing. Happy new year and happy trails to you.

  2. Wow, that sounds great, Les! Amazing. Good luck with the financing. Happy New Year and Happy Trails as well. Art

  3. Well, unfortunately I have cancelled my plans for 3 months on the A.T. this year, but that should leave me a lot of opportunities for shorter hikes.

    Mt. Rogers sounds great to me. Traildays/Mt Rogers hiking on the same trip sounds like a good use of a couple vacation days.

    I would like to do some flatland hiking, so something like lower Pennsilvania sounds fun to me.

    Every year I tell myself that I want to do some hiking in the Grand Canyon. I would like to make that happen this year.

    Any trip to the A.T. is good for me. Another loop in Shennendoah sounds fantastic also.

    If I were to pick a single place that I would like to get some hiking in this year, it would be somewhere on the Florida Trail. Wading through waist deep muck in the swamps with allegators nipping at my butt sounds like something special.