[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[ft-l] Day hike or thru-hike

I'd like to think that eventually we can adequately support both day hike trails and the thru-trail.  It's true that most thru-hikers who come from out-of-state don't do much to build and maintain trails here.  But, hopefully, they build and maintain trail where they live--and we get to enjoy their trails when we go on vacation.   And I sure have enjoyed day hiking and short backpacking trips along the AT, the PCT, the CDT, and the Long Trail.    

The only thru-hike I hope to do is the River-to-River Trail across Southern Illinois (160 miles).  Most (but not all) of the activities I lead involve local trails other than the FNST.  However, I have had so much long distance hiking company that I have put a trail register at the front door. 

My guess is that positive publicity--whether it's from word of mouth or newspaper articles or magazine articles or books or whatever--leads to more members for the FTA.  And more members eventually translates into more hands to work on the trails.  What doesn't help is the negative publicity that comes from long road walks and sections with no visible blazes or cleared trail.  If part of our charter is to build and maintain THE Florida Trail, then we need to see to that responsibility as well as our local loop trails.  And, yes, I do know it's difficult.  I admit my own mea culpa for not heading out on the work crews on some of those more remote sections.  
Maybe part of the solution is to encourage more members to come out for work hikes--after all, work crew commraderie is about as good as it gets!

I hope there's room for all--the 25-mile a day hard core backpackers who are collecting thru-hike patches and the 6-mile a day day-hikers.

On my soapbox,

* From the Florida Trail Mailing List | http://www.backcountry.net *

To:            "'ft-l@backcountry.net'" <ft-l@backcountry.net>