Klahhane Ridge via Switchback Trail | Olympic National Park

Klahhane Ridge via Switchback Trail | Olympic National Park

For those with just enough time to complete a longer hike, but may not be equipped for a backpacking trip, Klahhane Ridge via Switchback Trail is one of those sweet paths that fall right in the middle of beginner and intermediate. All you’ll really need for this trail is a great pair of hiking boots, strong legs, and a lot of patience. Oh, and your day hike essentials.

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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park | Colorado

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park | Colorado

Though I always recommend visiting a National Park in the slower season, it may be truly advantageous to hit up Black Canyon of the Gunnison at the very beginning of the busy summer months. Not as many people to fight on the South Rim, and the option to experience East Portal Road.

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Mt. Colden | The Adirondacks

Mt. Colden | The Adirondacks

Arguably one of the best hikes in the Adirondacks High Peaks region, Mt. Colden combines a challenging hike with striking views over the course of 8-14 hours, depending on the skill level. Rarely do hikes test my upper body strength, but during the majority of the Mt. Colden trail, I found myself needing to grip - and I mean grip - old-growth branches, pull myself onto fallen tree trunks, and stop my face from hitting the ground by laying out my hands first.

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Ricketts Glen State Park | Falls Trail

Ricketts Glen State Park | Falls Trail

Ricketts Glen is wildly popular Pennsylvania State Park, especially during early spring to late fall. Well maintained campgrounds, handicapped accessibility, and picnic areas are just a few amenities within the park that keeps visitors happy. But the real driving force for visitation is Falls Trail, a path that traces two connected gorges dotted with a total of 22 waterfalls. 

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Rothrock State Forest | Greenwood Furnace State Park

Rothrock State Forest | Greenwood Furnace State Park

About a half hour south of State College, Greenwood Furnace State Park is located just beyond the little college bubble that exists in Happy Valley. We arrived at the visitor’s center by Greenwood Lake, grabbed a map and some tips from Ranger Mike, then headed to Monsell Trail right next to Route 305.

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Maui Adventure | Days 3-5: Kihei and Lahaina

Maui Adventure | Days 3-5: Kihei and Lahaina

I would say Tyler and I ended the trip with a bang, but it was more like a sweet Hawaiian kiss. The soreness from miles of hiking and swimming wore off so the last few days were ours to unwind and remember why slowing down is just as important as finding an adrenaline rush.

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Maui Adventure | Day 2: Haleakala National Park - Summit District

Maui Adventure | Day 2: Haleakala National Park - Summit District

After passing out at 8:30PM from the previous day’s Road to Hana adventure, waking up at 3AM wasn’t too awful a task. In order to see the 5:45AM sunrise at Haleakala National Park in the Summit District, we needed to go from sea level to 10,000ft in less than 2.5 hours. We filled our bellies with gas station muffins and coffee before heading out of a sleepy Paia.

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Maui Adventure | Day 1: Hana Highway and Haleakala National Park - Kipahulu District

Maui Adventure | Day 1: Hana Highway and Haleakala National Park - Kipahulu District

We woke up in a bare bones private room in the Aloha Surf Hostel in Paia around 5:00AM thanks to jet lag and the sticky morning heat. Our fourteen hours of travel had us dehydrated and groggy, but that didn’t stop us from slapping on some bathing suits and hitting the Road to Hana by 6:00AM.

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