Looking for a fun activity this summer that doesn’t cost a lot of money? Find a nature park and look for its trail system. Maps are usually available at the visitors’ center. What a wonderful way to spend the day —hiking on a nature trail, finding all kinds of treasures along the way. One of our nation’s most popular and renown hiking trail is the Appalachian Trail, a vast trail system stretching from Maine to Georgia. All on foot!
The library offers many books about hiking. In the children’s department, an especially interesting title is Ellie’s Long Walk: The True Story of Two Friends on the Appalachian Trail by Pam Flowers. When Pam’s dog, Ellie, was about 6 months old, she(Pam) began making plans to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. This trail is more than 2,000 miles long, stretching from Maine to Georgia. Ellie and Pam would need much training to achieve such a feat. They began by walking three hours every day. Ellie loved these walks with Pam. Ellie also had to learn to carry her own pack on her back. Ellie would need to carry her own food, a bowl and her toenail clippers, very important on such a long journey. At first, when the pack was put on Ellie, she jumped straight up, spun around and tried to shake it off. But by practicing every day, Ellie soon was wearing her pack with ease. A lot of practice walks with fully loaded packs prepared them both for the great adventure awaiting them.
They began their hike in August and finished it in March! Many adventures were experienced during that time, including Ellie almost drowning in a frozen river! This is really a fascinating, inspiring story. Ellie has even autographed the book! Look for her pawprint when you check her story out.
Crinkleroot’s Guide to Walking in Wild Places by Jim Arnosky j 796.51 ARNOSKY
Outdoor Adventures Hiking by David Armentrout j796.51 ARMENTRO
Let’s Go Hiking Boys’ Life series by John McKinney jE 796.51 MCKINNEY
The great thing about hiking is that not much equipment is required: a good pair of hiking shoes, a backpack with essential supplies, and, if you’re lucky, a great dog to accompany you along the way. Just prepare ahead of time, then take off to explore this wonderful world. And you don’t have to go far to begin. Check out our very own Clinton Lake State Park trails, as well as my favorite, the north Lawrence dog park located at Riverfront Park. I love walking the trails that wind through the forest, all the while in view of the beautiful Kaw, the Kansas River! My granddogs love it as well. Hope to see you there! Happy hiking!