Jun 13

Hiking Italy: Coastal Trails & Mountainous Paths

Amalfi Hiking Adventures

Italy’s Amalfi coast — La Costiera Amalfitana — has everything you’d italian trail
expect from a Mediterranean paradise: turquoise water, sunny beaches,
jaw-dropping vistas, gorgeous architecture & incredible food. Burn off
your gelato with day hikes that take you from coast to mountains and
back again, with stops in picturesque towns along the way; this
destination is a hiker’s dream.

My favorite day: wake up in a pleasant hotel in Minori and start the
day with cappuccino and pastries. Fill a water bottle and head up the
hill, winding through terraced vineyards and gardens on
well-maintained paths and staircases. You might pass a
highly-contested game of bocce, or sunning cats to pet along the way.
The views only improve as you climb higher. Take a few minutes to
visit the quiet pink chapel in Torello, and then continue climbing to
scenic Ravello. The comedy ‘Beat the Devil’, starring Humphrey
Bogart and Gina Lollobrigida, was filmed here; imagine the story
unfolding in the town’s piazza. Ravello is a lovely place to just
wander, with surprise coastal views and tiny parks, and to pick up a
light lunch.

I love the Villa Cimbrone, where the garden paths provide
shady walking to the incomparable view from the Belvedere of Infinity.
When you’re ready, head down the other side of the hill past the
Church of Santa Cosma that is carved into the hillside and through
olive groves to tiny Atrani, on the coast. From Atrani it’s a short
stroll to Amalfi, once one of the richest towns in Italy. Grab an
outdoor table at the piazza’s Art Nouveau bar, and pause to take in
the square with its sparkling cathedral. After seeing the sights in
Amalfi, you can make the gentle walk through lemon trees back to
Minori, or catch a bus up the winding coastal road. By now it’s time
for a gelato and a walk along the beach before dinner: Naples-style
pizza or freshly-caught fish and of course a glass of wine, followed
by the delicious local limoncello liqueur. Total hiking time around
four to five hours, with time to wander this circuit takes all day.You’ll sleep well tonight!

Hiking Italy’s Hill Country

For a longer, more mountainous hike, climb the hill to the south of Minori to the tiny convent of San Nicola; it’s typically closed, but you may be lucky to find the caretaker there cleaning the chapel and preparing a lunch of porcini mushrooms he’d collected on the way up. Take in the view as the trail continues through the chestnut forest to the village of Sambuco, then back down to Minori.

This is the first in a two-part series about hiking the trails of Italy written by Audrey Sheridan, a food-lover and doctor who is passionate about helping people take charge of their health and happiness by making positive lifestyle choices. She blogs at eattothrive.blogspot.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2013/06/13/hiking-italy-coastal-trails-mountainous-paths/

May 29

Hiking on Australian Trails

Great Hikes in the Great Outback

Written by: Dennis Aimes, health insurance specialist with HBF

Australia is home to thousands of destinations for countless adventures.  The island continent is home to a variety of options for the hiking enthusiast as well.  With hikes ranging from a quick morning walk to those taking a month or more, there are options for hikers of any skill level.

Before taking on any trek, especially one in unfamiliar territory, you should always be prepared.  Having the proper gear for safety and travel are a good start in Australia, and because outdoor tourism is one of the biggest draws for vacationers in Australia, there are usually guided or assisted tour options available for nearly every trek, trail, and walk available.

australia hiking

Hiking in Australia

When you’re all set and ready to go, strap on your boots and take a look at some of the many hiking trails in Australia.

The Kings Canyon Rim Walk, Northern Territory

If you’re relatively new to hiking or want a very light warm-up before tackling something tougher, then the Kings Canyon Rim is the place to start.  The trail starts with a steep climb to the rim of Kings Canyon.  From there the walk is mostly flatland as you make your way along the nearly 4 mile loop takes you around and back again in around four hours, making this a perfect little day trip.

If you’re looking for a little relaxation after such a busy day, there are plenty of nearby resorts offering lavish comforts and a place to hang your boots for the night.

The Kosciuszko Walk, New South Wales

For a bit of a longer trek the Kosciuszko Walk offers beautiful scenery that can be experienced in a day.  A chairlift takes you to the starting point at Thredbo where you engage on a roughly nine mile loop that takes you over the Snowy River, through Rawson Pass, to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko and back again.  The whole journey takes about five hours from start to finish, but you may want to add on a little bit more for resting and sightseeing.

The Great Ocean Walk, Victoria

hiking near the ocean in australia

beach trails in Australia

This is the perfect place when you’re ready to add a little bit more challenge and test your hiking mettle.  The hiker’s answer to the Great Ocean Road, the Great Ocean Walk runs closer to the coast than the freeway and offers some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in the country.  It is one of the most popular choices for hiking in Australia as the trail passes nearby to natural homes of koalas and many historic sites.

Stretching 65 miles from Apollo Bay to Glenample Homestead, the whole journey takes just a little bit more than one week to complete.  However, the trail is divided into three distinct difficulty levels, with the length from Apollo Bay to Cape Otway seen as the easiest, the path to Ryans Den increasing the challenge, and the stretch to the end meant for the hardiest of hikers.

With campsites spaced around every ten miles and transportation available to and from the trail at most of these checkpoints, the Great Ocean Walk is ideal for the pick-and-choose hiker to customize their journey.  Check the reports before you take on some of the later parts of the trail, as weather conditions such as high tide can make certain parts all but completely impassable.

The Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory

If getting ready for your own personal Australian walkabout is your goal then the Larapinta Trail is how you go big or go home.  This lengthy 135 mile quest starts from the Alice Springs Telegraph Station and runs to Redbank Gorge.  It is one of Australia’s newer trails but that doesn’t make it any easier as it can take roughly twenty days to complete.

Pamphlets and signs help travelers find camp-sites and nearby water sources.  This brutal summer sun makes this an ideal winter journey, as summer temperatures along the trail can easily reach more than 110° Fahrenheit.

The journey offers its own rewards by way of passing through many sacred Aboriginal sites, which the Aranda people have permitted visitors to pass through.  It traverses a variety of landscapes along ridge lines, plains, and riverbeds.

However you choose to walk is up to you and when touch ground, you’ll soon find that no matter what kind of adventure you’re seeking, Australia has it.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2013/05/29/australian-trail-hiking/

May 10

Save California Recreational Trails Program

Urge California Governor Brown NOT to Opt Out of the Recreational Trails Program

 
(If you reside outside of California, please notify family and  friends in California.)

 

California Governor Jerry Brown may be ready to recommend opting out of the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). This would be a huge setback to recreational trails in California & eventually throughout the country.

The Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) has developed the California Campaign to Save Recreational Trails and is seeking your support. The first step is to make sure that the Governor understands that a huge number of people support RTP. Then he will be much less likely to opt out of the program.

 

It is important that you and your organizations undertake a campaign to urge as many Californians as possible to ask the Governor not to opt out of the program. Also, talk to your State Senator and Assembly representative about supporting trails.

 Speak Up for Trail Programs

Here is a sampling of ways you can make a difference:

  • Contact Governor Jerry Brown
    Phone: 916-445-2841
    Fax: 916-558-3160
    Email: Access the online email form on the Governor’s website: http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php
  • Request a meeting with your State Senator, Assembly member, or Governor Brown. Promote the benefits of trails on National Trails Day June 1st.
  • Spread the word through your social media networks and ask your family and friends to make calls and send emails!
  • Sign on to California letters in support of the Governor NOT opting out of the RTP.
    Here is a good link to the “California Campaign to Save Recreational Trails” that IMBA, our partner on the Coalition for Recreational Trails, has developed for this issue:http://www.imba.com/form/rtp-california-organizational-sign-letter. 

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2013/05/10/save-california-recreational-trails-program/

Apr 30

England’s Best Hiking Trails

winding trail

Beautiful UK Hikes

4 Of the Most Breath Taking Hikes in the UK

Even though there are many different things which help to make the United Kingdom such an exciting place to live or visit, the quality of walks or hikes is a huge part in what makes Britain great. Whether you prefer to take a walk up mountains, along coastal paths or in a way that helps you get closer to the monumental history of the nation, there are plenty of great trails and hikes for you to choose from.

It is important to bear in mind your own personal preferences when it comes to taking a hike but the fact that there are so many different hokes to choose from should ensure that there is something that will appeal to you. These are 4 of the most breath taking hikes in the UK and are definitely worth considering if you are looking to take a hike.

Glastonbury

When you hear the word ‘Glastonbury’, it is only natural that you think of the popular music festival that takes place most summers but there is a lot more to the area than this. Part of the reason that the festival is so popular is due to the history of the area and the strong connection to paganism, Christianity, wizardry and spirituality. This may be a hike that appeals to your or not depending on your outlook on life but there is no doubt that a hike around Glastonbury can be one of the most rewarding trips you will make in the UK.

From the main village, it is only a leisurely trek of around two and a half miles by path to the highest point of Glastonbury Tor. This is where you will find a medieval tower where you can find beautiful views stretching out across the Quantocks and the Mendips. If you are hiking with your family, having the ability to connect the tour with the wizardry and stories of magic and King Arthur may be just the thing to make it seem a more attractive hike for children. Harry Potter and the Lord of The Rings books and films have helped youngsters to reconnect with magic and stories from ancient times and this hike may bring it home to them while you enjoy the fresh air, exercise and great views.

Dover

If you are looking for dramatic coastline, the UK has plenty on offer but it would be fair to say that the coastal path that trails around the world famous white cliffs in Dover ranks very highly. The trek, taken from Langdon Cliff all the way through to the lighthouse in South Foreland is four miles, which can be achieved at a leisurely pace without too much exertion. However, it is the views and the sense of history that you see when taking this hike that will bring about the great benefits. It is important to be aware that certain sections of the path feature uneven ground and there will be a couple of steep slopes to look out for too. If you remain aware, it is a safe walk for everyone but it is important to stay focused on the path. You will find plenty of localised wildlife and the spider orchids that bloom in the spring are definitely worth looking out for.

Of course, for many people it is the views across the English Channel that are the most important element and on a clear day, you can see all the way to the coast of France.

Buckden Rake, Yorkshire Dales

For those looking for a great hike with the added benefit of a quality pub stop in the middle of it, Buckden Rake in the Yorkshire Dales is worth a mention. Starting in the heart of the Buckden village, this is a strenuous walk so you will feel as though you have earned a drink when you reach one of the many fine pubs on the route. However, if you want to focus on the trek you can take in Roman roads, purple orchids, castle ruins and a wide range of wildlife. For a 7 mile hike, this trek takes in a lot of great views and scenery points.

Hadrian’s Wall

Dating back to 122AD, the original wall was 73 miles long and played host to 16 different Roman forts on its route. Today, there is a 84 mile trail with many different routes and walks for all ages and experience of walker. There are also plenty of other additional walks linking off from the main walk so if you plan on doing a lot of hiking on a week’s break, this is the location for you. This hike is steeped in history and your mind will wonder to earlier times as you view the ruins along your walk.

Phil has worked for the Geneva Airport Transfer company Chamonix first for 3 years. He is an outdoor enthusiast and has always worked in the customer service industry spending the last 5 years based in Chamonix which is in the French Alps.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2013/04/30/englands-best-hiking-trails/

Apr 27

Best Hiking Trails In Zakynthos, Greece

Hiking trails in Zakynthos

One of the best ways to enjoy a beautiful landscape is by hiking or walking. This allows you to travel at your own pace and take in each and every detail you come across along your way. Not only does it make sight-seeing very easy, it is also a great way to burn calories and stay in shape.

Before you go and rent a car for your next trip in Zakynthos, consider taking a hiking tour. The region of Zante is filled with all kinds of beauties that range from gorgeous architecture, majestic mountains and beautiful sandy beaches.

beautiful Greek beach

Greek trails & beaches

The good thing is that a lot of the attractions in this region are all nearby, making hiking a very good option of visiting the many sites. Let’s talk about some of the best walking/hiking spots within Zakynthos and how you can make the most out of your trip.

Navagio Shipwreck to Blue Cave

One of the most popular attractions in the region is the Navagio Shipwreck. Here you will find a beautiful sandy beach that is home to a charming shipwrecked boat. The crystal clear water and golden sand are certain to offer many hours of relaxation and entertainment. The good news is that there is a very beautiful nearby attraction that makes for a perfect hiking trip. The nearby Blue Cave is a beautiful little spot that is filled with many breathtaking sights. You will love the natural rock formations that create passageways through stunningly clear water. It certainly is a treat to visit this region, especially with the wonderful climate of the area. You can make your way from the Navagio Shipwreck to the Blue Cave by hiking and not miss any of the beauties in between. On your trip to and from you can expect to see a lot of gorgeous vegetation as well as beautiful mountainous regions.

Kalamaki Beach to Mount Skopos

Mount Skopos, Zante

hiking in Greece

Kalamaki beach is a stunningly beautiful area that is filled with many natural attractions as well as a host of bars and shop. You can spend your time relaxing in the wonderful climate or you can enjoy the crystal clear waters of the nearby beach. It’s certainly a beautiful and exciting place to spend your afternoon. Within a close proximity you can find Zakynthos town. This is the capital city of the island, and it is filled with much in the way of fun and entertainment. You will have access to many bars, restaurants and shop that are filled with great wine as well as great foods. You can reach Mount Skopos from Kalamaki beach by a route that is located near the end of the beach region. This is a great way to enjoy an evening or afternoon with your significant other.

Zakynthos is a very stunning place for beauty as well as entertainment, so it’s naturally easy to see why people would prefer a hike throughout the region. Rather than going on a driving tour, just put on a comfortable pair of shoes and dive into the many beauties that the region has to offer.

Attached Images:

John Ramirez has worked in Louis Zante Hotel for over 12 years. He is known for his work in numerous hotels in Zakynthos.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2013/04/27/best-hiking-trails-in-zakynthos-greece/

Apr 12

5 Tips for an Exciting and Safe Trails Running Experience

Running on the trails can be a thrilling outdoor activity, and an effective fitness exercise at the same time. It offers lots of challenging tasks, and helps bring out determination in participants.

Trail running may be a pleasant activity, but might turn into a dreadful adventure if carried out without proper planning.

The following are tips to make your trails running a safe and an enjoyable one.

1. Don’t overlook your safety           

Trails running is not like running on the field or track. Because of its curvy nature, and lack of proper direction, running on the trails can be difficult. For safety reasons, it’s crucial that you tell someone about your trailing plan. Give the person the direction that you’re heading to, and the time you intend to return. Should you lose direction of the trails, or in case something happens to you, the person will be able to trace you up and come to your rescue.

2. Arm yourself with relevant information

The first and most crucial step to embarking on a trail running program is to seek information about your target trails. Get information such as the weather, the nature of the trails, places to avoid, the possibilities of coming across wild animals, and other relevant info that will guarantee your safety. This will also help you select appropriate tools, gears, and equipment for the adventure.

3. Dress for the occasion            

Feeling comfortable in your running gears can be a great motivation to having an amazing trailing experience. Consider the weather before you embark on your outdoor adventure, and dress accordingly. This will help protect you against adverse weather conditions while you’re enjoying the running.

Wearing appropriate trailing shoes is also another way to have an amazing trail running experience. Ensure that your chosen shoes have enough stable base with large tread. When you’re considering a particular pair of shoes, it’s essential that you try them on. This will help you determine how fit and comfortable they are on your legs.

4. Join a group

There’s nothing more exciting than exploring an outdoor adventure in group. The group may consist of two or more persons. It doesn’t have to be a huge number of individuals. Running together with like-minded people will motivate you to keep going even when you feel like giving up. Also, you’ll feel encouraged to push yourselves to the maximum. The most important thing about going in group is the safety reason. In case something happens to someone, members of the group will be able to assist the person immediately.

With a bit of research on the Internet about trails running enthusiasts, it’s easy to find likeminded individuals with the same passion for outdoor activities – trails running. Also, there are different online forums dedicated to discussing various outdoor adventures, including running on the trails. Scour the Internet properly and you’ll find a bunch of them.

woman running on trail

trail runner

5. Reap the full benefit of the adventure

Stretching after exercising helps the body reap the full benefit of the workout, and trail running is no exception. Incorporate stretching in your running plan. Stretch your joints after trailing. This will help decrease pains, and prevent injuries. It will also help strengthen your muscles, and facilitate the circulation of blood in your body.

Your stretching should be easy and slow to avoid pains and muscle damage. Hold each stretch for about 10-20 seconds to make it effective. If you feel pain while stretching, stop immediately and stretch other parts.

Running on the trails can be adventurous and thrilling at the same time. But the key to making it a memorable and an exciting activity is proper planning. Following the above tips will not only make your trail running program enjoyable but will also help ensure your safety.

About the Author:

Saeed Sikiru is an outdoor activities explorer, and the editor of an outdoor adventure blog dedicated to great outdoor gears. The blog also offers rockcreek coupon code and moosejaw free shipping in addition to outdoor tips and advice.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2013/04/12/5-tips-for-an-exciting-and-safe-trails-running-experience/

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