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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Long Distance Hiking

The Adirondacks are home to almost 2,000 miles of trails. Woodcrafters traverse many of them in various increments. Outposters and Hadarondahs take short treks while the Auroras and Trail Campers sometimes cover over ten miles in a day. The Park is a home to some pretty long hikes, and a portion of one very long hike. 

One of the Adirondacks' most famous trails is the Northville Placid Trail (NPT) that runs from Northville in the south-central portion of The Park and Lake Placid up north. The NPT traverses 133 miles through the heart of the Adirondacks. Woodcrafters frequently hike portions of the trail and occasionally take a shot at the entire length. The NPT is popular among Adirondack hikers looking for a manageable thru-hike that doesn't require too much logistical preparation or time away from the "real world."

A rough map of the NPT, courtesy of NorthvillePlacid.com
The North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) is a mammoth 4,600 mile undertaking that ends (or starts) in the Adirondack town of Crown Point near the southern end of Lake Champlain. The NCT extends all the way out to Lake Sakakawea State Park in central North Dakota.

The NCT as it passes through 7 states.
The NCT is a daunting task. Opened in 1980, only 12 people have completed thru-hikes. Last week, a 23-year-old man from Minnesota became the most recent hiker to complete the trail when he arrived in Crown Point. The NCT's more famous cousin, the Appalachian Trail, passes near the eastern terminus of the North Country Trail across the narrow part of Lake Champlain in Vermont.

A trail marker with the recognizable AT logo.
Distance hikes are a challenge that take a particular dedication and appreciation of the wilderness. Some Woodcrafters who developed their passion for the outdoors while at camp have gone on to complete the AT. Look for an interview about the hike soon.

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