On Trails: An Exploration book review

On Trails: An Exploration book review

When hiking it’s easy to appreciate the scenery, but how often do we stop and think about the trail itself? In his book On Trails, Robert Moor draws from his own experience on the Appalachian Trail to contemplate the nature of trails.

He reflects on the intricacies and origins of all types of paths that serve to connect places.  Moor delves deeply into the process of trail creation by organisms ranging from ants to elephants and connects this process to the trail experience of modern hikers.

The book has weighty thoughts on trail origins and it is indeed interesting to consider the natural development process that creates trails and paths.

The foray into the intersection of ecology and trail-building can be somewhat fascinating, but a hiker may gravitate more towards the chapters on modern trails including an insightful glimpse into the development the International Appalachian Trail which spans continents and exists as a ‘trail’ that is not physically connected or continuous.

iat

International Appalachian Trail Marker

Moor also tells tales from the trail itself, recounting AT hiking trips and tagging along with the ultimate long-distance hiker, Nimblewill Nomad (whose mind-boggling walks have followed all the major trails and recently included a sweep across Kansas along the route of the old Pony Express Trail).

For trail buffs, this book will be a thorough guide to trails of all kinds and a reflection on how trails are ultimately shaped by travelers.

Kansas’ top 10 trails: Which is your favorite?

June 7 is national trails day. In celebration and as a preview to part of the book, on schedule for publication next spring!, here are our top 10 trails in the state.

Which is your favorite Kansas trail? Let us know in the comments below!

Cedar Bluff State Park– Agave Ridge Nature Trail – Northwest

Elk City State Park – Elk River Hiking Trail – Southeast

Kanopolis Lake – Horsethief Canyon Trail – North central

Konza Prairie – Kings Creek Loop – North-Central

Shawnee Mission Park trails

Shawnee Mission Park trails

Lake Scott State Park – Hike, Bike, Bridle Trail – Southwest

Perry Lake – National Recreational Trail – Northeast

Prairie Spirit Trail and Southwind Rail Trail – Ottawa to Humboldt

Shawnee Mission Park – Orange, Violet, and Red Trails – Kansas City

Tallgrass Prairie Preserve – Scenic Overlook Trail – South-Central

Wilson Lake – Switchgrass Mountain Bike Trail – North-Central