The Independent Herald newspaper in Oneida has issued a hiking challenge to its readers, encouraging them to set out on the road to physical fitness by exploring the hidden treasures of the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area in their back yard. Here are some of the early details:
We know that hiking is good for the body, physically speaking. But we also believe that getting away from the concrete and the noise pollution and onto the trails in the Great Outdoors is good for the soul, mentally speaking.
What we’ve done is this: We’ve lined up 20 trails, focusing on certain criteria — easy to access, loop trails whenever possible to avoid out-and-back hikes, and trails that are not shared with horseback riders. All of the trails are in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, sans one, and most begin inside Scott County.
The only other criteria we had was that we wanted to start easy, so that anyone who wants to participate can do so even if they have no experience, and build our way up to more strenuous trails towards the end of the 20-week period.
Not to give too much away, but the first trail we’ll feature is the super-easy Sunset Overlook Trail, a 1.3-mile stroll along level ground to the Sunset Overlook in the BSF.
The plan is to feature one trail in the paper each week, issuing a challenge to readers to hike that trail the following weekend, or whenever time permits.