Best Hiking Spots in the US During the Winter

You shouldn’t think for a minute that you can’t enjoy hiking just because the weather has turned cold. There are many hiking trails around the US where you can breathe in that fresh air you have come to enjoy without your lungs freezing. So, don’t throw those hiking boots to the back of the closet just yet.  Here are a few places to enjoy right in your own backyard.

 

Petit Jean State Park (Arkansas)

With over 20 miles of scenic trails, Petit Jean State Park is the destination place for a hiking trip during the winter. This park is the oldest park in the state, situated on Petit Jean Mountain that overlooks the Arkansas River Valley.

For true hikers, the trail not to be missed is Seven Hollows. This expanding four mile loop leads you through some pretty exquisite landscape with hardwood forests and rock walls.

 

Grafton Notch (Maine)

If you are a fan of the Appalachians in the winter like I am, then Grafton Notch is the place for you. This winter wonderland is beautiful when it snows. For those who just love the cold, you’re in luck; there is nothing mild about the weather here.

But you don’t notice the chill because the snow turns Grafton Notch into a big and beautiful white landscape. If you decide to trek the Old Speck Trail, beware that it isn’t easy with its elevation gain, but when you get to the top, the view is well worth it.

 

Ozark Highlands (Mountain View, Arkansas)

Hands down, the Ozarks possess some of the best hiking trails for fall and winter months. If you prefer a little solitude with your hike, then you will like the fact that there isn’t a lot of foot traffic here. You also get the whole mountain hiking experience with lower elevations and milder temps. After a day of hiking, I like to enjoy the rest of the evening in the small community of Mountain View, unwind with some live folk music and a great meal.

 

 

About Kayaking (continued)

The durable plastic boats of the 1980’s are still around today and some hold monetary value for the pure kayak enthusiast.

Some of them are bought for beginner kayakers while others are proudly displayed in kayaking outfitter stores.

With plastic kayaks, the kayakers began to explore and push their limits on the water even more.

Attacking the ocean wave, whitewater rivers and even waterfalls, kayaking became an extreme sports shortly after the plastic molded and durable kayaks were created. Read More “About Kayaking (continued)”

A little about Kayaking

Because I love kayaking I thought I would throw in some Kayaking information in this site and not just stick to 100% backpacking stuffs.

I started my outdoor adventure career with backpacking so I certainly love it, but when you can throw a kayak in the water and in essence “backpack” and boat, I believe it is the best of both worlds.

So let’s start with the basics and I will just continue to make more Kayaking posts on the days that I feel I want to talk about this awesome sport.

A lot of people who look at kayakers from the shore o Read More “A little about Kayaking”

PA Hiker

I’m going to start this blog by telling you a little bit about me, even though I have an about me page.

My name is Jeff and I’ve lived in PA for most of my life.

I am from Carlisle, PA where I lived my younger years and have extensively hiked throughout the central PA region.

One of my favorite places to go when growing up was around a place, just past Mt. Holly Springs, called Pole Steeple.

I have some crazy big stories about that place.

When I even younger, I attended the Carlisle YMCA Camp Thompson and there is where my outdoor adventure career begins.

(Actually, it began a little before that in the woods of West Virginia and a field in Germany…but that’s another story)

At the Camp, I learned how to create fire! (Build a fire with matches)

I also went backpacking, whitewater rafting, climbing and repelling for the first time.

To say that the camp was my career starter would be an understatement.

As I age and have more time now, I wanted to write a blog about all the adventures that I’ve been to since my early beginnings in central Pa.

Hiking is my way of living.

There is nothing better than falling asleep in the woods, even in the middle of winter, after a long hard day of climbing, backpacking or repelling the walls of a steep face.

Some of my favorite places have been the Grand Tetons, the beautiful Mt. Washington in New Hampshire in the middle of February and Seneca Rocks in West Virginia where I learned to lead climb.

Seneca Rocks was perhaps one of my most favorite places because I was able to hang out with one of the coolest girls I have ever met, eat pizza at the country store and enjoy a squashed pbj at the top of the climbs there.

You could spend a whole day at Seneca Rocks and never get bored.

I always hated going home.

I traveled to Seneca Rocks nearly every weekend for one summer and got really good at climbing.

Once I was done with that, I learned how to Mountaineer and Ice Climb and eventually moved on to whitewater rafting and then kayaking.

I’ve done a lot of adventure sports and they have served me well.

After having kids, I calmed down a bit because little ones are a lot of time but I soon picked up when they were big enough and got them outdoors as well.

We started with camping and we’ve never gone back.

Although it’s a little different those days as it’s a little harder to take a 1 year old on a 3 day or week long backpacking trek, I still have gained the experience to be able to talk about all sorts of backpacking!

For instance, the external frame backpack that carried my kids.

That’s a cool backpack, let me tell you.

It was unbelievable the amount of time I spend researching and trying on backpacks.

When a backpack carries your most beloved possessions, you literally care 100% what goes in it.

Along with my backpacking life, I also took up photography (which I will share here) and of course also leanred the best camera bags and what not around because I’m tough on stuff so I don’t need a bag that works against me.

Actually, I need a bag that protects things from me!

I’m a bit of a Klutz.

So there you go!

My very first blog post! I look forward to teaching you about the woods and reviewing the best backpacks and external and internal packs out there so you can make a great decision as to what is right for you!

Peace!

-Jeff – The PA Hiker