I am fascinated by the trend of thru-hiking, hiking on a long distance end-to-end trail that takes you across a country or region. A couple of the more well-known trails here in America are the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) that treks its way from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific coast states, and the Appalachian Trail (AT) that meanders from Northern Georgia to Central Maine on the East Coast and the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) running from the Mexican to Canadian borders through the Mountain States. These trails cover thousands of miles, dozens of states and immeasurable feet of elevation changes. The recent bestseller, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, is an entertaining and grueling memoir of her months on the PCT. These trails have tremendous websites offering resources, tips, groups and hiking communities for hikers of all levels. Some other trails outside of the US are the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand, the Camino de Santiago in Spain, the Lycian Way in Turkey, the Israel National Trail, and the Great Divide Trail(GDT) in Canada.
I have talked about our hiking before. I am going to make the distinction between backpackers, climbers and casual hikers.We are most definitely the latter and far from ever being the first two. The great thing about the thru-hiking trails for us is that they are usually well marked and maintained trails that are broken into segments. These segments allow us to join the hiking community, even if for a greatly shortened distance. We try to add at least one day of hiking wherever we go. Hiking these segment trails can immerse you in the natural world of the region you are visiting, Beyond these huge trails that we mentioned above, many state and national parks have end-to-end trails that can be enjoyed by any skill level. Just a little bit of research will unearth these gems.