The thoughts and ramblings of a 52 Hike Challenge Finisher.

The Furnace Trail at Lake Hope State Park, OH

The Furnace Trail at Lake Hope State Park, OH

“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.”~John Muir

When I discovered the 52 Hike Challenge in the winter of 2016, I had become a “couch potato”and a bit of a recluse. I knew that I needed to make positive changes in my life but I didn’t know where to start. I happened upon the Challenge through an ad on REI and I thought that I would give it a try.

Looking through the options I decided that I wanted to go all in and choose the Explorer Series (In the Explorer Series you can’t count the same trails twice!)

Alum Cave Bluff in the GSNP

Alum Cave Bluff in the GSNP

I thought this would give me an opportunity to see places that I have never been and to keep things fresh. This approach really paid off for me as I was able to hike in 4 different states and 2 National Parks including 2 mountain trails in the Great Smoky National Park during the Fall. That was an experience that I will never forget and the mountaintop views of the leaves changing colors were incredible.

One of the first things that I noticed was the support that I received from my family and friends. They would offer suggestions for new hikes and express interest in going to the places that I shared along the way. I even had a group walk the final mile of my 52 Hike Challenge to celebrate the accomplishment with me! That was a great feeling :)  What was unexpected was how great the hiking community is on social media. One of the ways to track your hikes is to tag them on Instagram. Over time I would meet more and more people who were doing the same thing that I was and I’ve made several new friends and connections along the way. This was even how I met Mike R. and became a contributor to the Hashtag 59 Crew!!

Cucumber Falls in Ohiopyle State Park, PA

Cucumber Falls in Ohiopyle State Park, PA

I also discovered a new passion in Photography and sharing the beautiful places that I visit. I even invested in a DSLR camera, I can’t wait to see what I can do with that!

Hitting the trails on a weekly basis has had a great effect on my life in so many ways. It has raised my fitness level, increased my confidence  and has given me a more positive outlook emotionally. Whether I’m alone or hiking with a group it has a way of taking me  away from my everyday problems and I always feel better when it’s over.

Light shining down at Conkle's Hollow Nature Preserve.

Light shining down at Conkle's Hollow Nature Preserve.

I’ve learned a lot about myself along the way and I believe that I’m a better person now but I  realize that you need to constantly improve yourself and keep moving forward. The 52 Hike Challenge motto is “Changing your life one step at a time” and I’m going to make this a permanent part of my life going forward! I’ve already signed up for the Adventurer Series for 2018.

Visit the 52 Hike Challenge webpage and sign up if you feel like this for you!!

Here’s to a great and exciting year and I hope to see you on the trails!  

Final mile hike participants and medal!

Final mile hike participants and medal!

Have you done the 52 Hike Challenge? Comment below with any questions or your experience of it!  RSVP HERE for our next event and sign up in the footer for our emails :)!

Because Adventure Travel Feeds the Soul,
Scotty B and the Hashtag 59 Team

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