Activity Spotlight: Hiking

Hiking is one of my most treasured pastimes.  The benefits of this activity are overwhelming.  Hiking gives you the ability to exercise, explore, and take in the beautiful aspects of a natural setting.  One of the high points of getting out on trails is the calm sense of mind the woods instill.  I love the burn in my muscles after a ten-mile exploit.  

Some of my favorite hiking spots in Pennsylvania are the Lost Turkey Trail in Windber, PA, Allegheny National Forest in Elk county and Raccoon Creek State Park about an hour outside of Pittsburgh.  I’ve also explored some of the trails in Deep Creek, MD and have been pleasantly surprised by enlightening conversations with other hikers along the way.

I look forward to hiking trails across the country throughout my life and have started collecting walking stick medallions for every national park I explore.  My grandfather is a talented woodworker and carves beautiful walking sticks and I’m lucky enough to have my own one-of-a-kind work of art I can use regularly.  

One of the most important things to remember when hiking is to always be prepared.  I always have a map or GPS on me when I go out into the woods.  Packing water and some snacks is a good idea just in case of an emergency.  I usually carry pepper or bear spray if I were to find myself in a risky situation.  Knowing how to navigate, build a fire and to make a tourniquet are also valuable skills to have.  The best way to really enjoy yourself out in the woods is to have the peace of mind of being prepared for any situation that may arise.

The virtual hike video is presented  by TallSky hiker James Beer.  This hike in particular is in Olympic National Forest in Washington.  I would love to have the opportunity to travel west to hike in the State Parks of Colorado, Oregon, northern California, and Washington.  Trails in these states are often far from civilization and give you a sense of being miles away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. 

Here is a link for more information on hiking: https://americanhiking.org

Here is the link to find collectible National Park medallions: http://hikeamerica.com

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Hand-carved walking sticks by my grandfather, Robert Bonk

img_7158 Deep Creek, MD

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