12 Classic Long Distance Hikes in the U.S.

If you are trying to decide on which long hike to plan for, this is the book.

By Paul Magnanti & Cam Honan. Amazon Kindle edition


Maah Daah Hey trail system, North Dakota

I’d not heard of Maah Daah until recently. It was designated a National Recreation Trail in December 2016.

The Trail winds through the Little Missouri National Grasslands in North Dakota‘s Badlands. 

This North Dakota Bike Trail Is Stunning. Just Hope You Survive It.

The Maah Daah Hey Trail is the longest and arguably most grueling single-track mountain biking route in the United States.

These trails can be hiked.

more photos

The Maah Daah Hey trail system is comprised of nine trail units of varying size and difficulty. From north to south, they are the Long X (5.8 miles), Summit (3.8 miles), Overlook (0.3 miles), Maah Daah Hey (144 miles), Bennett (3.2 miles), Cottonwood (6.9 miles), Ice Cave (1.5 miles), Buffalo Gap (18.9 miles) and Wolf (8.8 miles). …

There are eleven developed campgrounds on the Maah Daah Hey Trail System: CCCBennettBuffalo GapBurning Coal VeinCoal CreekCottonwoodElkhornMagpieSully CreekSummit, and Wannagan. …

There are twelve trailheads connecting access roads to our beautiful trail system: CCCBear CreekBennettBully PulpitBurning Coal VeinCoal CreekIce CavePlumely DrawSully CreekThird CreekTom’s Wash, and Wannagan.

Mountain bikes account for roughly 70% of the use with horse use in the 25% range with the remaining 5% as hikers or back packers. …


8 and 9 year olds complete the Appalachian

… David Kallin, husband, father, and outdoor adventurer describes his family’s extraordinary adventure trekking the 2,185-mile Appalachian trail. In his talk, David describes the challenges and tremendous rewards of watching his young children (ages 8 and 9) navigate the arduous five-month long hike from Georgia to Maine. …

Click PLAY or watch the TEDx Talk on YouTube.

Amanda Zeisset:

Key Takeaways From This Video:

1. Early on, the kids needed help with everything but by the end they had grown and matured.

2. At the beginning, sometimes the tough climbs were too much for their young legs, so their parents would take their packs. But by the end, they were carrying all their own gear – clothes, sleeping gear and even their shelter.

3. Everyone faced challenging conditions – cold rain then sleet then snow then hail. There were freezing nights. At first, it was the adults who would get up early to set up a fire to warm up the socks and shoes so they could get them back on their feet. By the end, their daughter was wringing out her own wet socks the night before, stuffing them into her own pockets. The kids had truly become self-sufficient.

I hope you have been as inspired by David’s story as I have.

hiking to Petra, Jordan

We’ve added the long Jordan Trail to our list of best hikes in Africa and the Middle East.

The best section of the Jordan Trail is between Petra and Wadi Rum.

Seeing the ancient city of Petra in the daytime is one thing, but to also experience it at night is just out of this world. …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

In 1994 I hiked to Petra. A broke Aussie backpacker and myself managed to follow sheep trails into the the valley and make our way to the ancient city on our own. We weren’t caught until the very end. 🙂

Rattlesnakes and Bald Eagles by Chris Townsend

When I was first getting into serious hiking one of my gurus was Chris Townsend.

And he’s still one of my gurus today.

Understated. Informative. Interesting.


He hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 1982 averaging only 15 miles a day with the heavy equipment of that era.

In 2015 Chris published his account of that trip. I highly recommend it.

related – Keith Foskett – Chris Townsend Interview