Who makes it possible for you to hike?

12/1/18

Have you ever considered what it takes to make And maintain a trail through this beautiful country? Me neither, until recently.

Someone had to put in the trail which is most likely made through a land trust or conservancy. It might have been a government grant but it took a lot of people to make it happen.

Then you get to use it as much as you want but behind the scenes it has to be maintained, cleaned, repaired, whether it was from storms, fire, infestation and of course the dreaded human.

State parks are one thing but wilderness trails are quite another. For this blog I am focusing on the Linville Gorge Wilderness and Wilson’s creek areas because I recently got to meet and hike with some amazing guys that work tirelessly to maintain these areas and others. These are two of my favorite areas to hike and enjoy the rugged wilderness and unspoiled beauty of our area.

It’s a family affair for these guys! Jon and Nick Massey and their mom and dad Kevin work hard because they love this area and want to preserve it. They and many volunteers, spend their time hauling trash out like car tires- how do these things always end up in such remote places? They hand cut blow downs and move boulders to prevent erosion. They educate people on the importance of our natural areas and even volunteer for the Linville Search and rescue.

Mind you there are no roads in the rugged wilderness. That means carrying heavy equipment is out of the question. These people do it the hard way with handsaws, hatchets and strength! The funding as with any non-profit is not as rewarding as the work they do! They rely heavily on volunteers and donations.

There are many things we can do. Where ever you live and where ever you hike here are some great ideas.

1. Find a local non profit like Wild South and give a tax deductible donation. These make great gifts! We really have everything we need anyway right?

2. Get out and volunteer! They are always happy to have volunteers and will provide you with some training, knowledge and tools!

3. Share your experiences and educate people on the importance of maintaining these areas to help bring attention to what these people do!

4. Get outside and enjoy this big beautiful planet. That’s what they are ultimately striving for.

Here is the donation link: Wild south

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