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Hiking Trails for Walkers

The other day I asked a friend and avid hiker, “What’s the difference between hiking and walking?”

He thought a minute and declared, “Hiking requires looking where you put your feet but with walking you don’t.”

I like that definition and I like walking better the hiking. That preference is probably the result of my tendency to “smell the flowers.”

There are lots of guides out there for hikers but this is a short list is of trails I, a walker, have enjoyed and recommend. These are trails that don’t require, but it is recommended, sturdy shoes or anything more than a bottle of water, some cookies or snack, and maybe a piece of fruit. A camera is suggested. These are trails you can walk after breakfast and be back in time lunch. Most I’ve done with “the kids” (our dogs) before breakfast.

Leaving the Coronado National Forest’s Reef Townsite campground is the Reef Townsite Nature Trail. This trail could also be called a history lesson but it is the magnificent views that makes this an all time favorite.

Leaving the Cherokee National Forest’s Indian Boundary campground the Indian Boundary Trail. If you ask me for a family-friendly trail, this is the one I would suggest.

oak creek trail

Coconino NF’s Oak Creek Trail near Sedona, AZ

Leaving the Bitterroot National Forest’s Charles Water Memorial Campground is Bass Creek Trail. The trail was lined with wildflowers and followed the sparkling and splashing Bass Creek when we walked its length as a couple of hours. It just doesn’t get much better. (One downside, it was surprisingly busy.)

In the Coconino National Forest, near Cave Springs campground, is the West Fork Oak Creek Trail. People flock to Sedona for the magic of its red rock but this trail shows there is more to experience than the fabricated tourist stuff.

Trails adjacent to a campground and around a lake, any lake, anywhere, are high on my list of “must do” walks. Such walks as around Ward Lake in the Tongass NF in Alaska, Oregon has Mt. Hood NF’s Trillium Lake, Clear Springs Loop at Homochitto NF’s Clear Springs campground in Mississippi, and my list goes on.

These are just a few of the trails I have enjoyed and I hope you will too.

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Fred and Suzi Dow