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Take a Hike Day

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Take a Hike Day

Happy Take a Hike Day, Everybody! Hiking does more than just keep your body tuned up and feeling good. It’s also good for your mind. Incorporating a beautiful trail that twists and turns and leads to new landscapes is a nice little treat for your eyes and eases your head. Most people live within a reasonable driving distance of cool trails just waiting to be discovered and explored by them!

And it’s really something remarkable that there are so many routes that have been established and groomed through wooded land and remote wilderness. In honor of today, I thought we could consider all the labor that goes into creating a woodsy trail.

Saw and Chain
Woods don’t grow with those winding carpets navigating through them. Somebody at some time came along and cut down any trees or other vegetation that couldn’t be easily wrapped around. Nowadays people do this job with a chainsaw which makes for a pretty strenuous job. But people did a job like this before gas-powered equipment existed to make it that much more manageable. That’s some back-breaking work.

Careful with that Axe
Once a path has been cleared, there will be plenty of brush roots and tree stumps to remove from the ground. Along with the chainsaw yet, this job can be achieved with a shovel and axe to create a clean pathway along the surface and just below—eliminating most, if not all, tripping hazards.

Rakin’ up is Hard to Do
While, at this point, all the big stuff has been removed, there’s still a good amount of work to be done to truly CLEAR the path. The sticks, viny vegetation, roots, rocks, woodchips, and whatever else there may be remaining all still needs to be raked off of the path. It doesn’t require the same kind of intensity as felling trees or stump and root removal, but it’s still a heck of a lot of work.

Like a Bridge over Swampy Water
Depending on the type of land you’re working with, there’s a possibility that you still have a lot of work ahead of you in order to make a traversable trail. If you have a wide enough stream or marshy land that you need to cross, a bridge must be built for reliable crossing.

It’s an astounding amount of work; like I said, it’s amazing that we have so many in national state parks and simple, local trails all over the place—sometimes in places you’d least expect, smack-dab in the middle of a bustling city. Enjoy discovering trails around you and appreciate all the effort that went in to making them possible. Happy National Take a Hike Day! As always, thanks for reading!


- John

Posted in Random Thoughts


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