Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How Do You Find Hiking Vacations in the USA?

This weeks travel tip ~ hiking. 

Hiking vacations are more popular than ever now with travelers.  My favorite places for hiking are the Swiss Alps and our own trails right here in the USA. 

Swiss Treks, Courtesy of Rubicon Outdoors, AZ

How do you find hiking trails and trustworthy companies who organize these trips?  

One of my favorite interviews that I had the chance to do a couple of years ago was with Matt Brown, an Adventure Guide and owner of an outdoor adventure company in Arizona ~ he does all of the planning, will provide your equipment and food, plus ensure you will have an Adventure Guide to go with you.  Most groups are small in size under ten people.

I also found American Discovery Trails in USA as one source to find trails which makes it easier for hikers, bike riders, and horse riders to plan trips on trails across the entire USA discovering diverse geography.

ADT Logo Courtesy of ADT Society
 Use American Discovery Trail for Hikes, Bikes, Horse Riding Trips

Did you know a person may travel 6,800 miles on non-motorized trails across 15 states in the USA; from Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware, to Pt. Reyes National Seashore, California, because of American Discovery Trails (ADT)?

These total miles include two major routes through central United States, north through Iowa and south through Missouri between Colorado and Ohio.

USA Hiking Trails from ADT website

American Discovery Trails Society is not just about hiking trips, this is an organization where you may contact and get acquainted with local people of communities. Two ways to use these trails are either by individuals hiking on day trips in local communities and by people who hike on long, coast-to-coast adventure vacations.

Examples of American Discovery Trails Trips

From local day trips to long adventures across USA, the trails are accessible for people to see all different types of geography.  I enjoyed reading the hiking accounts of Jim Hopson, from his article at Poynter.org on Oct. 9, 2007, when he hiked through select portions of the trails like "Katy Trail" in Missouri, from St Louis to Kansas City.  

The popular Katy Trail is a “rail to trails” project of 225 miles which follows Lewis and Clark’s path up the Missouri River. The trails are flat and scenic with organized bike rides and kid friendly. 

Other examples published from the American Discovery Trail Journal blog on April 5, 2006, are when hikers Ken and Marcia Powers completed the first Atlantic to Pacific trail in 231 days. And you will be able to read about Matt Parker as the first horse rider to cross 4,000 miles beginning in May 2003 to November 2005 on the American Discovery Trails Society website. 


Ken & Marcia Powers, Image courtesy of ADT Society

 How Did American Discovery Trails Begin?

American Discovery Trails Society is a non-profit organization formed to connect trails in local communities crossing the USA. The funding is supported by three entities:
  • Members of the American Discovery Trail Society with affordable donation dues
  • American Hiking Society
  • Corporate financial and promotional support
American Hiking Society (AHS) and Backpacker Magazine created this idea of a coast to coast trail in 1989 to implement the National Trail System (NTS). NTS was created through the NTS Federal Legislation Act established in 1968 to provide ways for people to enjoy outdoor recreation with different types of trails. 

Today, United States has (as stated on the NTS website):
  • 8 National Scenic Trails, which are protected scenic corridors for outdoor recreation located primarily in the backcountry
  • 12 National Historic Trails, which recognize prominent routes of exploration, migration, commerce, and military actions
  • Over 800 National Recreational Trails
These trails are planned and maintained by local communities which are coordinated through American Discovery Trail Society. The trails are open for hikers, bike riding, and horse riding trips. Hikers may contact the local community trail authorities for specifics because some trails go through urban regions, and are not always accessible to some users, like horse riders. It is the separate unique experience of each of these local trails which people find alluring.

Insider Information about American Discovery Trails
  • Equipment is the same as backpackers use and information may be found at websites like American Hiking Society. ADT allows postings of upcoming trips from users to plan their trips before and afterwards. 
  • Rules and procedures such as which trails are dog-friendly are specific and people should inquire with the local community, contact information is available at the ADT website. 
  • Registration is not necessary to use the trails, however, on longer treks it is advisable to keep in contact in case of emergency.
There are 6,800 trails across USA for people to discover the unique geography, local towns and communities, and stories through hiking, bike and horse riding on short day trips, one or two month vacations, and longer coast to coast trips with the assistance of American Discovery Trails.

American Discovery Trails Society is currently developing high quality digital maps of the trails for people to use. Additional information may be found ADT website or by calling (800) 663-2387 or (703) 753-0149

Please use our new website to reserve your own (DIY) hotels across USA. 

Hiking across the USA, remember to hug a tree! ~ The Fun Tour Guru

When Hiking, Stop and Hug a Tree! - Image from DW




2 comments:

  1. And as summer draws to a close this is the perfect time of year for hiking, especially a multi-day hike that involves overnight camping. It's still a bit warm here in Florida, but I've got my sights set on some hiking and camping in northern Georgia. I'm hoping to time it with the height of the fall colors and get some great photos!

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  2. Wow, what a fun experience to go on! I look forward to hearing about some fabulous tales from you - you will be our eyes and ears in Georgia and Florida for us!

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Thank you with your interest!