Old Rag is reputed to be the most popular hike in Shenandoah National Park in large part because of this intense rock scramble, which also makes it one of the most strenuous hikes in the park. I visited Shenandoah back in 2017 and Old Rag was easily one of my favourite hikes.
Starting at an elevation of 10,000ft, this trail winds down to the crater floor, providing views of cinder cones and a volcanic landscape.
Haleakalā National Park was named after Haleakalā, a dormant shield volcano that forms more than three quarters of Maui. The park consists of two distinct areas: the summit district high up in the mountains (or rather, volcano), and the Kīpahulu district located along the coast. The landscape (and temperature) difference between the two areas is also very extreme, making for a unique hiking experience in both areas of the park.
I visited Glacier National Park for four days in August 2016. Grinnell Glacier is located in the Many Glaciers section of Glacier National Park, which is otherwise known as prime grizzly bear territory. Since this is one of the most popular trails in the park, it is heavily trafficked by hikers. So we weren't too concerned about encountering a bear.
Acadia National Park is one of our favourite parks in North America. Located on Mount Desert Island along the Atlantic coast in Maine, it encompasses all of the beauty, charm, and ruggedness of New England’s wilderness. Many of the trails weave their way up, down, and around mountains, through lush forests and along a granite coastline, all the while providing sweeping views overlooking the lively Atlantic Ocean.
Located along the east coast in Maine, Acadia National Park offers a variety of hikes that weave their way up and around mountains, through wooded areas and along a rocky coastline, all the while providing sweeping views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Acadia is one of our favourite parks in North America. This trip marked our third visit in the past three years. We visited last year during the same time and the year before in the fall. The hiking (and views) never get old.
The White Mountains is one of our favourite places in New England. There is always something to do regardless of the season. And let's be real, the views of the mountains never gets old. With mild temperatures on the forecast for the weekend, we decided to head north and enjoy some winter hiking and cross-country skiing in the Whites ("whites" indeed as there certainly was no shortage of snow).
Martha's Vineyard is an island located just south of Cape Cod. It is well-known for being a (not so secret) hideaway for the rich and famous and for the filming of Jaws. So you know this island means business: in terms of money and great white sharks. There is always a tradeoff between visiting a popular destination in peak season versus shoulder (or off-season). On one hand, the only way to enjoy the fabulous beaches in the Vineyard is during the summer months. But you'll be sharing with swarms of other people. And if you visit during the shoulder season, temperatures are too cool to enjoy the water, but the roads, restaurants, and trails are noticeably quieter. We went with the quieter option and visited in October.
As the largest of the New England states, Maine offers a wide variety of hiking opportunities and options through diverse terrain. We initially planned a four-day backpacking excursion along the Grafton Notch Loop. While the distance itself was not particularly daunting (60km over four days), one thing we (foolishly) did not factor in was the substantial change in elevation. Being located in the White Mountains (key word being mountains) should have tipped us off. Needless to say, we had to re-examine our (not-so) well-thought-out plans.
Cape Cod (often referred to as just “The Cape”) is a hooked-shaped peninsula off the eastern coast of Massachusetts. Jutting out into the Atlantic ocean, with its abundance of pristine sandy beaches, it’s no surprise that thousands of locals and tourists alike flock here every summer in an effort to beat the heat. With a heat advisory on the forecast for the weekend coupled with the fact that high-season was not quite in full-swing, the timing was just right to visit the Cape.