Days 113 – 116: Midsummer Snow, Te Araroa’s Highest Point, And Our Longest Day Yet — gargoyle14

UpOur past four days on the Te Araroa have felt like a full thru-hike. It feels like weeks have gone by since we left the town of Geraldine and began the Two Thumbs Track. We’ve lived and seen more than I would have thought possible in only four days; a lot of it has been […]

via Days 113 – 116: Midsummer Snow, Te Araroa’s Highest Point, And Our Longest Day Yet — gargoyle14

My Experience as a Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker — HendrixWay

Over a span of 5 months and 10 days starting April 29th and summiting Mt.Katadhin on October 6th, I lived like a dirty piece of #hikertrash. I had quit my my job,ended my lease on my condo and sold my Volvo. This 2,189 mile hike from Georgia to Maine was to be a test of […]

via My Experience as a Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker — HendrixWay

66 Hikes Along Route 66

Route 66 State Park, Missouri

In the woods

Travel through history on the mother road at Route 66 State Park.  Route 66 captured Americans’ imagination and exposed millions of citizens to small towns across the county.  Sample a slice of that at the visitor center, which has displays showcasing the road and is the former Bridgehead Inn, a 1935 roadhouse that sat on the original Route 66.  The park has more than 40 types of birds and encompasses 419 acres abounding with field of wild grass and brush.  Trails are sprinkled throughout the park. It sits on the Meramec River at the site of the former town of Times Beach, Missouri.  The Meramec River is one of the longest free-flowing waterways in the U.S. state of Missouri.

 https://mostateparks.com/park/route-66-state-park

Flower Field

Meramec River

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 The once Historic Route 66, of the most famous roads in the United States that ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona and ended  in Santa Monica in Los Angeles County, California, covered a total of 2,448 miles.  It has always been iconic for roadside stops….dinners…antiquing…and many historical sites.  Although it longer exists, you can still “get your kicks” on the path it took through the United States on other highways and roads.  In this series, I will highlight the many places you can stop to explore nature along this route….focusing on spots in the Midwest.  Looking for more stops….check out this guide.

And here are a few other great resources.

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America’s Best Day Hikes       Great Hiking Trails of the World

66 Hikes Along Route 66

Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri

 

The once Historic Route 66, of the most famous roads in the United States that ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona and ended  in Santa Monica in Los Angeles County, California, covered a total of 2,448 miles.  It has always been iconic for roadside stops….dinners…antiquing…and many historical sites.  Although it longer exists, you can still “get your kicks” on the path it took through the United States on other highways and roads.  In this series, I will highlight the many places you can stop to explore nature along this route….focusing on spots in the Midwest.  Looking for more stops….check out this guide.

 

The Mark Twain National Forest,  Missouri’s only national forest, encompasses roughly 1.5 million acres, mostly within the Ozark Highlands. Located across southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, the Ozark Highlands are an ancient landscape characterized by large permanent springs, over 5,000 caves, rocky barren glades, old volcanic mountains and nationally recognized streams. Portions of the Ozarks were never under oceans, nor were the areas glaciated.is a U.S. National Forest located in the southern half of Missouri.   It was established on September 11, 1939. It is named for author Mark Twain, a Missouri native. The park covers 3,068,800 acres with abundant Wilderness and Wildlife and a National Scenic River area. This huge park spans 29 counties and represents 11% of all forested land in Missouri.

Some unique features of the Mark Twain include Greer Spring, which is the largest spring on National Forest land and part of the Eleven Point National Scenic River, and pumps an average of 214 million gallons of water per day into the river.  The public can also visit the Glade Top Trail National Scenic Byway, which offers views of over 30 miles to the Boston Mountains in Arkansas. The 350-mile Ozark Trail system winds through much of the National Forest.

Wilderness Areas   The park has 9 Wilderness areas to explore

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And here are a few other great hiking resources.

168268265X      

America’s Best Day Hikes       Great Hiking Trails of the World

How to enjoy winter in the Midwest

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It might be frigid, but don’t let a snowy forecast stop you from setting aside time for a enjoying the great outdoors.  Head to the woods for a peaceful hike, snow shoeing or cross country skiing.  Here are some fun spots to explore.

 

Turkey Run State Park, Indiana

For picturesque views!

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You’ll marvel at the natural geologic wonders of this beautiful park as you hike along its famous trails. Nestled along State Road 47 southwest of Crawfordsville, the park offers the chance to explore deep, sandstone ravines, walk along stands of aged forests, and enjoy the scenic views along Sugar Creek.

Chicago, Illinois

Skating with the Chicago skyline as your backdrop!

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With its twinkling tree lights and stunning skyline backdrop, the iconic ice skating rink in Millennium Park is a must-stop each winter season.

More than 100,000 ice skaters glide, spin, twirl — and undoubtedly, stumble and fall! — on the downtown ice rink each year. Take to the ice yourself or just soak in the views. Right above the rink is Millennium Park’s famed Cloud Gate sculpture. Snap photos of your reflection in the shiny, snow-dusted “Bean” and watch the crowds below during your winter holiday visit. If you’re in need of a warm-up, head into the Park Grill Cafe on-site for hot chocolate and other snacks.

 

Door County, Wisconsin

Sightseeing along frozen Lake Michigan

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Many people call Door County the Cape Cod of the Midwest, and that’s no less true in winter, when snow covers the picturesque northeast Wisconsin peninsula. Shops, galleries and inns stay open for visitors who come for cozy shopping and peaceful walks along frozen Lake Michigan beaches. Sleigh rides, trolley tours and wine tastings round out a romantic weekend.

 

Interstate State Park, Wisconsin and Minnesota

Hardy hikers can snowshoe on fresh white snow

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Interstate Park comprises two adjacent state parks on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border, both names Interstate State Park.  The staddle the Dalles of the beautiful St. Croix River, a deep basalt gorge with glacial potholes and other rock formations.

 

Southwest Lake Michigan shore

A stunning winter lighthouse road trip landscape!

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Every winter, lake-effect storms leave southwest Michigan’s lighthouses and sand dunes cloaked in ice and snow.  From South Haven to New Buffalo and beyond winter is the perfect time to  take a road trip  along Lake Michigan, especially since the beautiful scenes of winter are in full force now.