Grade Calories

School grades, food grades, health grades, trail grades…elevation profiles and the speed at which they are traversed are caloric profiles. The precise relationship between how fast you walk, how steep your trail is, and how much energy you burn turns out to be less obvious than you might assume, which…

Continue reading

Living on Old Trails and Roads

Many trails plans begin by using old dirt and gravel roads that served a myriad of purposes, quite often for resource extraction in mountainous regions. If you happen to be in the Hudson Valley area some “trails” are carriage roads, others Revolutionary War or Native American routes. Some of the…

Continue reading

Grasshopper Geography

Although I don’t think they would be as dramatic or beautiful as the watersheds and forest maps at grasshopper geography, it would be interesting to have similar maps for trails. I am sure it is a question of when, not if. These maps certainly drive home the tread watershed concept.

Continue reading

John Muir on Hiking

I don’t like either the word [hike] or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains – not ‘hike!’ Do you know the origin of that word saunter? It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the middle ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and…

Continue reading

Nutrient Collapse

This is (mostly) a trail web space, but sometimes I share other stories. This story on plants isn’t a feel-good story, but how much of the news is not sad as of late? At any rate, plants have been getting more carbon dioxide since the industrial revolution. The result, “measurements…

Continue reading

Edward Burtynsky

A fellow trail builder shared Edward Burtynsky’s work with me some time ago. It’s hard to forget some of his work, or his documentation of the spoils of other people’s work, and nature, or as he says: Nature transformed through industry is a predominant theme in my work…These images are…

Continue reading

Recreation in the Forest

I read a great article recently on Woody Keen (here). What an inspiration. I continue to run into other Keen-like figures on the east coast, and I recall working with a few on the west coast as well. Some were purely mountain bikers, some purely hikers, some both. Regardless, as…

Continue reading