Happy Anniversary to the National Scenic Trails Act

On October 2, 1968, America was given a gift – the creation and protection of some of Americans’ favorite places to discover the great outdoors and our nation’s history. The first two trails to be designated were the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. Soon nine more trails joined the party. In the mood to […]

The creation of the AT changed hiking history

Photo of Smokey Mountains ©2017JeffRyanAuthor.com

The creation of the Appalachian Trail set a number of precedents. It was the first multi-state super trail. It was envisioned as both a recreational and economic asset. And it was built and maintained through the creation of groundbreaking partnerships – a model that remains intact today. My article for the Partnership for the National […]

Who was Joe, and why should we care?

The view from Mt. Joe in Shelburne, New Hampshire

No one knows who Joe was. No one even knows if he lived in the Shelburne, New Hampshire area or came “from away”, the ubiquitous term New Englanders apply to anyone who wasn’t born and raised in their part of the world. What we do know is that by 1877 (and possibly as early as […]

Thank you, CooloftheWild.com for the chance to guest blog

Cool of the Wild is an impressive website. It’s really more like the best outdoor magazines of yore with sections on gear, inspiration, skills, and destinations that make you want to jump up from your laptop or stick your phone in your pocket and get outside. It doesn’t get much better. Thanks to Joey and the team […]

Better than We Found It — Four Things We Can Do To Keep Our Trails Beautiful

Photo of Appalachian Trail in Duncannon, PA. @2018 www.JeffRyanAuthor.com

Some thoughts as spring, hiking season and Earth Day converge  The world is blessed with hundreds of thousands of miles of walking trails. One estimate is there are over 70,000 miles of long-distance hiking trails in America alone. The popularity of trails —be they urban, rural or wilderness — is a wonderful thing. Many of […]

Introducing 30 Second Hiking Hacks

I’ve created a new series of tips and tricks I’ve learned over 8,000+ miles of hiking, called “30 Second Hiking Hacks.” I hope you find them useful for your day hiking and backpacking trips.

Lost no More — How to Stay on the Trail (and what to do if you get off it)

“Have you ever gotten lost?” This question (or some variation of it) comes up often in my presentations about hiking. The answer isn’t simple. While there have been plenty of times I’ve been “temporarily disoriented”, there have never been times when I was “hopelessly lost.” The difference lies in making general awareness a priority. In […]

Risk and Reward in the Mountains

I recently read Ty Gagne’s book Where You’ll Find Me: Risk, Decisions and the Last Climb of Kate Matrosova. For those unfamiliar with the backstory, Kate was a thirty-two-year-old athlete and mountain enthusiast that died on New Hampshire’s Presidential Range in horrific arctic conditions (-100°F wind chill and 90+ mph winds). Gagne’s profession is risk […]

The Best Hiking Trail in Every State

Best hiking trail in each state

I had a lot of fun being interviewed by Liz Weiss from U.S. News & World Report for her article, The Best Hiking Trail in Every State. Always tough to choose just one trail, but did my best to stay true to the assignment. What are your favorites? Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida […]

Mount Saint Helens and Me

I am fascinated by threads. Especially ones that appear to be random, but reveal themselves as part of one magnificent whole. In early spring 1980, a few months shy of my 23rd birthday, Mount Saint Helens became increasingly active. A series of earthquakes below her center indicated that she was about to put on a […]