After Backpacking Adventure: Exploring Appalachian Trail Highlights & New York Water Destinations

After Backpacking Adventure: Exploring Appalachian Trail Highlights & New York Water Destinations

This blog post focuses on the interesting places we visited together along the route of the Appalachian Trail after Stuart's backpacking adventure, and then visiting water-related locations in New York state on our way home. After many years of hearing from Stuart about the places we visited along the Appalachian Trail, it was really fun for Julie to finally see them! 

Exploring Appalachian Trail Highlights

While Stuart was backpacking on the Appalachian Trail, he wrote down places he wanted to show Julie after his hike. It is his way of involving her in his multi-year journey north up the trail.

Many of the best locations are not accessible due to difficult terrain or the number of miles from trailheads, so this blog post shows just a few of the places we had the ability and time to visit.

New York Water Destinations

After touring locations along the Appalachian Trail, we spent the weekend traveling through the state of New York, where we visited the Erie Canal and Niagara Falls.

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Before Backpacking Adventure: Hershey’s Chocolate World & Knoebels Amusement Resort

Friday, April 30, 2021 - Hershey’s Chocolate World! Saturday, May 1, 2021 - Julie rides the Grand Carousel at Knoebels Amusement Resort

Friday, April 30, 2021 - Hershey’s Chocolate World!

This was our first big outing since receiving our COVID-19 vaccinations. The three attractions that we went to were adapted to encourage social distancing, but this was still the first time being around so many people in an inside venue. It actually felt kind of strange. Everyone was required to wear masks in all areas of the Hershey’s Chocolate World building.

It was very appropriate that we started our journey toward Stuart's starting point on the Appalachian Trail at this "sweet" place, since he has often visited Hershey’s Chocolate World as part of his many previous backpacking trips on the A.T. in Pennsylvania. A chocolate treat goes perfectly with backpacking.

Saturday, May 1, 2021 - Knoebels Amusement Resort

Since Julie and our son, Kevin F. Smith, are on the Board of Euclid Beach Park Now, we knew we had to visit Knoebels Amusement Resort. Similar to Cleveland's Euclid Beach Park, which closed in 1969, Knoebels is a free-admission amusement park. While it is free to enter the park, visitors can purchase individual ride tickets or an all-day wristband. Also, since Julie volunteers as a ride attendant at the restored Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel at the Cleveland History Center, it was a special treat to see the Knoebels Carousel Museum.

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Social Distancing with Virtual Trail Talks #CelebrateTrails #VirtualTrailDays

Social Distancing with Virtual Trail Talks

I have now written several social distancing blog posts during this time of the coronavirus crisis, about how I spend my time -- with park walks and online activities. I have also been attending some Facebook Live events about hiking trails, which I am featuring in this blog post.

During these sad times, I want to first acknowledge how fortunate I am that everyone in my family is healthy, and that I have the luxury of being able to participate in, and write about, interesting social distancing activities.

Secondly, I want to thank the organizations that are investing their time and resources to create these live video events featuring hiking trails. It is helping take the sting out of the fact that I was scheduled to be on a long-distance backpacking adventure at this time. I appreciate being able to join others online to celebrate trail life. Thank you!

The sections of this blog consist of:

Opening Day for Trails with Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Celebrate Trails @ Home

Continental Divide Trail Coalition - Virtual Trail Days

The Continental Divide Trail is Our Classroom with Author and Backpacker Cindy RossConversations Across a Continent with Continental Divide Trail Coalition Members

Virtual Trail Days: Living Room Concert with 3000 Miles

Virtual Trail Days: Trailblazers featuring Will “Akuna” Robinson and Elsye “Chardonnay” WalkerVirtual Trail Days: CDT Between the Ears with Jodie "Green, Gold and Blues" Morton Virtual Trail Days: The First Women to Hike the Continental Divide with Jean Ella Smith

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From Waterfalls to Wilderness Workshops

From Waterfalls to Wilderness Workshops

Weekend Journey: New York & Massachusetts Parks, and Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA) Gathering

Every year, we go to the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association - ALDHA Gathering weekend for workshops on how to backpack the great trails around the world. Normally, we make it a four-day weekend (including traveling), but this year we added some extra days on each end of the trip. These extra days enabled us to see some great New York State Parks with beautiful waterfalls, and more of the park where the Appalachian Trail crosses the highest mountain in Massachusetts.

It was fun to "bookend" our trip to the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association - ALDHA Gathering with waterfalls. We write our blog posts to share what we learn about organizations and about places that we enjoy. We hope you will share them with others.

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