Chances are you've already hiked on it.
The Fifty Trail is so-named because it connects the 49 continental US States and the District together into one trail. It also connects and uses all eleven of our famous long distance trails, the National Scenic Trails.
And that's the other reason for this trail. It celebrates the Fiftieth Anniversary of the signing of the legislation that sanctioned these trails--the National Trails Act.
Here's a link to the on-line Fifty Trail 'Guide.' It's accessible via the 'Fifty Trail Guide' tab on this blog too. It's a work in progress, and I'll be adding more detail as time permits.
This year, as I head to Colorado and complete my "Personal Continuous Footpath" journey to connect every place I've ever lived with a trail of footprints, I'll be hiking portions of the Fifty Trail.
You see, as I'm coming close to finally finishing that 'hiking home' project, I've begun thinking about what's next. And the idea that kept recurring was to continue my continuous footprints and touch every state.
For several years now I've been gathering information and thinking about routes that might accomplish that. The Fifty Trail is the culmination of that planning.
Completing that entire route is surely beyond my personal capability, given that I'm now turning 70 years old. But it provides a framework and a purpose for all the amazing hikes I will do.
Below is a small album featuring some of the highlights of the Fifty Trail. It starts in Alaska, on the Pacific Ocean at Resurrection Bay. It follows the Iditarod Trail then the Alaska Highway and picks up Canada's 700 mile Great Divide Trail through the Canadian Rockies. Into the US at Glacier National Park it heads west to Washington via the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail. I'll let the photos take it from there:
|Mt. Rainier via the Wonderland Trail|
|Yep, the Death Valley Traverse is part of the Fifty Trail|
|Mirror Lake, one of the remote parts of Rocky Mountain National Park, the north side of the park. The Fifty Trail follows a lot of the Continental Divide Trail, but here it is on its own route through the remote Comanche Peak Wilderness.|
|South Dakota via the Great Plains Trail|
|Devil's Tower, Wyoming|
|Upper Michigan's Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. This is the Escarpment Trail.|
|Wisconsin's Dells of the Eau Claire along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail|
|Ash Cave, Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio, the Grandma Gatewood Trail.|
|Pine Log State Forest - a view from the Florida Trail|
|Chief Vann House, Pinhoti Trail and Trail of Tears, Georgia|
|The Roan High Balds on the Appalachian Trail, border of NC and Tennessee|
|Delaware Beach State Park, headed to the eastern terminus of the American Discovery Trail at Cape Henlopen.|
|Comprehensive tour of both banks of the lower Susquehanna River, PA, via the Conestoga and Mason-Dixon Trails|
|New York City skyline as seen from the Appalachian Trail on Black Mountain, the oldest section of the Appalachian Trail.|
|Sunfish Pond on a misty early May morning, Appalachian Trail in New Jersey|
|Mt. Greylock, Massachusetts High Point, as seen from (obviously) the Appalachian Trail|
|Avery Peak, Maine, named in honor of the AT pioneer Myron Avery, first person to hike the entire trail|
The Fifty Trail. More to explore than you can shake a stick at. Check the guide pages for more inspirations. Then get out there and take a walk!