Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles.

The Vintgar Gorge  or Bled Gorge is a 1.6-kilometer (0.99 mi) gorge in northwestern Slovenia four kilometers northwest of Bled. …

The sheer canyon walls are 50 to 100 meters (160 to 330 ft) high …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. The boardwalks make it easy.

You can do a half day hiking circuit from Bled. But I was riding with a tourist agent from Belgium who was doing research on the area. She had a rent-a-car.

In October near end of day, it wasn’t particularly crowded. Nor was Bled During July and August you may have trouble finding a place to park. And all accommodation can get booked out.

The water is so clear you can watch fish waiting on food to drift down.

We caught a terrific sunset after finishing our hike.

related – trip report – Ultimate Guide to Visiting Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia

Norway’s Lofoten Islands – hike Fløya & Devil’s Gate

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles.

My last hike in Norway was terrific.

The evening before my 6:30am ferry departing Lofoten Islands I did the famous hike out of Svolvær, the fast ferry port.

From the wharf it’s about a half hour walk to the trailhead.

I hid my pack where I wanted to tent and started up the steep scramble. For a change the most difficult part is right at the bottom.

There’s chain and rope assistance at some points.

The muddiest sections have new boardwalk. That helped.

As much as possible I stayed on stone.

Pretty views all the way up.

From below I saw people scrambling the ridge.

I ended up climbing to the top of Fløya first. An amazing vista down over the town of Svolvær and Vestfjorden.

Down below is the famous climbing spire called the Goat. (Svolvaergeita)

To get to Djevelporten (Devil’s Gate) I had to descend quite far and climb back up again.

Late in the evening I had it to myself.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

In no rush I descended back to my tent stopping often to enjoy my final hiking vistas of gorgeous Lofoten.

Laugevagur hike Iceland – day 0

Day 0 | Landmannalaugar | 1 | 2 | 3 | video | info

Reykjavík to Landmannalaugar

Years ago I tried and failed to do this hike. Roads and rivers were impassable in June of that season.

Since then it’s been near the top of my bucket list.

Click PLAY or watch on YouTube to see why.

I bought my fuel at Iceland Camping Equipment in Reykjavík. It’s VERY expensive.

Later I learned that every hostel and campsite has plenty of free fuel canisters left behind by foreign hikers who will soon fly out.

I enjoyed my last restaurant meal – traditional Icelandic meat soup.

There are a number of ways to get to Landmannalaugar. Reykavik Expeditions and TREX are the two biggest bus services.

I went early to catch the 4pm bus. … Last bus leaves at 1pm. Never believe anything you read on the internet.

click for bigger map

click for bigger map

Next morning I was surprised to see young people from Alaska loading bikes. I’d not heard of people cycling Laugevagur. Turns out it’s a bad idea.

Reykjavík to Landmannalaugar is about 4 hours … if you don’t get stuck.

It would be FUN to drive your own rental monster truck.

Landmannalaugar is a sprawling mess of a campsite.

While the rest of the world was suffering a heat wave, Iceland has had the worst summer weather in recorded history (100 years).

Forecast was not good. We worried whether or not we’d be able to attempt the hike.

I put my Hubba up on a platform in case of flood during the night.

At the information office you can buy a crappy day hiking map for about $3.

Most recommended is the Suournamur loop (about 9km). I first took a detour up the Ljiotipollur ‘Ugly Puddle’ trail and found myself this lookout for lunch. Ljiotipollur is an explosion crater lake.

If you find any trail crowded in Iceland, you only need walk a few minutes on any side trail to feel like you have the island to yourself.

Suournamur trail is gorgeous. It climbs up above the campsite.

I left a Summit Stone atop one of the cairns.

Not much can live up here.

I really liked this ridge walk section.

I got my feet wet on the river crossing after coming down. Situation normal hiking Iceland.

The highlight of Landmannalaugar for many are the natural hot springs.

FIRST you need to get there down a long boardwalk without freezing.

Having had hernia surgery just a week prior, I wasn’t suppose to soak the wound … but couldn’t resist.

When weather is bad, everyone crowds into the warm, bright cook tent.

After having dinner with a lovely couple from Austria, I hit the tent early hoping for good weather next morning. Forecast was for a BIG STORM. ☹️

Day 0 | Landmannalaugar | 1 | 2 | 3 | video | info

Overland Track, Tasmania

Mac posted an excellent overview on how to tramp one of our top 10 hikes in the world.

Overland

 PROS
  • Beautifully maintained track
  • Plenty of water available on the trail
  • Great side trips (Cradle Mountain, Hartnett Falls, the Acropolis)
  • Can stay as many days as you choose out on the track
  • Climb Mount Ossa, the highest peak in Tasmania (side trip)

CONS

  • Expensive – A$230
  • Bookings required October 1 to May 31
  • Crowded during the high season
  • Can only be hiked one direction
  • Leeches 

Based on Mac’s information, we’ve updated our Overland Track information page.

Mac actually liked Tasmania’s Western Arthur Traverse better than the Overland.

Spiraling Treetop Walkway In Denmark

The centerpiece of the construction is set to be a winding observation tower, topping out at about 150 feet (45 metres). The hourglass-like construction should rise in a luscious preserved forest an hour south of Copenhagen, in Glisselfeld Kloster, Haslev. It consists of a 2000 ft. (600m) internal ramp, which will take visitors from the forest floor, through the treetops culminating with a 360° view of the hilly landscape, characteristic for the region. …

Bored Panda

Best of the Bruce – Rattlesnake Point to Crawford Lake

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

This is the last of my hikes on The Bruce for 2017. I’m planning to return in 2018 to hike  the Bruce Trail Peninsula section, a maximum of 8-9 days averaging 16-20 km per day.

A trail runner friend had recommended the Halton Region area close to Toronto.

I parked at Rattlesnake Point, one of best and most popular destinations on the Bruce.

People come on a nice day to enjoy views from atop the Niagara Escarpment.

It’s popular with rock climbers though I saw none the day I was there.

The trails are well signed. Some would argue there are too many signs.

Still … this sign maker managed to bungle Buffalo Crag.

Rattlesnake is on the Milton Outlier, a section of the Niagara Escarpment that has eroded away from the rest.

I took the Nassagaweya Canyon trail down and then back up to the Escarpment on the other side. I did this hike as a trail run. Boardwalk in the canyon much appreciated.

Arriving at the Crawford Lake Visitors Centre first I was immediately attacked to the Iroquoian village longhouses.

Circa the 13th – 17th centuries over 10,000 artefacts have been recovered from this location.

Artist Robbin Wenzoski has some impressive chain saw sculpture on the lake trail.

Crawford Lake

From here I decided spontaneously to make up a lollypop loop heading back towards Rattlesnake on Woodland and Escarpment trails.

More great views this time from the other side of Nassagaweya Canyon.

By connecting trails it’s to decide how far to hike based on the weather and how you feel. I did about 20kms altogether in a half day.

By the way, you’ll only find harmless garter snakes here. There are no Rattlers.

See my photos on Flickr.

related:

• Bruce Trail app | Bruce Trail Reference Guide – 29th Ed

• BruceTrail.org