Friday, February 5, 2016

Top 10 Favorite Hikes

Because it is winter, and because I just read this book, and because I am feeling really good these past 2-3 days, (Even during chemo!!) I have decided to write 10 posts ranking my top 10 favorite hikes. 

And because let’s face it, more than likely my days of hiking over a half mile at a time are done.

It was not easy to narrow down my hikes, although a few pop out as definite top 5 territory. I grew up hiking the woods behind my house, and every year we went to the 1000 Islands Region of New York, and hiked a lot there. Fun fact: despite growing up in NY and having parents who love outdoors, I didn’t hike the Adirondacks until I was 26 and living in North Carolina (It is my second favorite hike).

I have hiked trails in Joshua Tree National Park, Redwoods NP, Grand Canyon NP, Mt. Ranier NP, Glacier NP, Denali NP, all 5 Utah National Parks, Yellowstone NP. I have hiked the Appalachian Trail in at least 6 spots. I have hiked the closest mountain to Charlotte, Crowder’s Mountain, probably over 75 times.

I used to plan vacations around hiking. I wanted to hike the Wind River area of western Wyoming, Mesa Verde National Park, the Red Rock country of Utah, and Mt. Baxter in Maine. And my biggest dream of all: The John Muir Trail in California. Even if I didn't get to these places, I still feel very lucky for the 500-1000 hikes I have accomplished in my life.

Please note that my ranking is personal. I based my rankings on who I was with, feelings that day, the weather, the drive – and so on. But other factors, like mileage, are part of the input. But no, I didn’t base my rankings solely on just mileage, view points, elevation gain, etc.

And I think after the top 5 pop out as memorable hikes – all others could be tied for 6th, they are equally awesome, as are the many, many, many other hikes I have done that are not listed here:

Karen's Top 10 Favorite Hikes are located in these parks/places:

Stay tuned!


  1. Hey Karen, what an amazing catalog of hikes! I did your #7 and and #5, breathtakingly beautiful too! More than happy to hear you're feeling "really good"!

    Keep writing and more importantly, keep feeling really good!

  2. MANY years ago...late 1960's, a friend and I hiked a small mountian in the Adorandikes. I was living in Auburn NY at the time, so it had to be fairly close to central NY as we were back in the same day. I remember I wore squaw support or sole other than a piece of leather. It was a fabulous day for a hike. I'm thinking it was June. Your blog made me think of this for the first time in nearly 50 years. Thank you!
    ps. Jamie is our family outdoorsy hiker person.
    I don't do sweat, bugs, possible snakes, bears, etc!

    1. Patty, Brycen's dad doesn't do the outdoors either, except to go running on a well paved trail. He doesn't do bugs or dirt, and doesn't get why anyone would. So, the mystery is, will Brycen be outdoorsy like Uncle Jimmy and I, or stay indoors like his dad? So far I have given him a lot of outdoor exposure, but we have yet to go camping, and so far he is definitely an outdoor kid!!

  3. Ahhhh! I am SO excited about this series! I'm always looking for good hikes and I cannot wait to read about your favorites, especially since I've only been to ONE of the areas on your list. (Arches)

    Also, 500-1000 hikes? I am feeling seriously inadequate! I need to lace up my boots and get out there more!

    1. Thanks! I have no idea if this is an accurate number, but we used to hike the trails behind our house ALL THE TIME! Except hunting season of course. But in the summer we were out there almost everyday. And then I think of all the hikes we did in Ithaca and the 1000 islands, all my weekend hikes at Crowders Mountain near Charlotte, all my hikes in the mountains of NC . . . but still, it's probably closer to 500. A thousand seems like a slight exaggeration!


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