Friday, December 28, 2007


Photo: Walkin' Jim

A number of major hiking trails are scattered throughout the United States.
The Appalachian Trail is 2,144 miles, running from Springer Mountain, Ga., to Maine's highest peak, Mt. Katahdin. It crosses 14 states. The trail is used by an estimated 4 million people a year, but only about 175 hikers complete the five- to seven-month journey annually.
The longest major trail is the Continental Divide. It follows what is referred to as the backbone of the U.S. The 3,200-mile trail begins at Antelope Wells, N.M., along the Mexican border and concludes with a spectacular hike through the heart of Glacier National Park at the Montana/Canadian border. Following the trail across Colorado takes hikers over 22 peaks that exceed 14,000 feet. With the extreme altitude changes, this rugged trail is not for the faint of heart.
Ranking third is Pacific Crest. Being the counterpart of the east's Appalachian Trail, it wanders about 2,650 miles along the shoulders of the beautiful Cascade and Sierra Nevada Mountains. The three states bordering the Pacific Ocean offer spectacular scenery.

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