Hike for H2O – Week 1.1 hikes

Hike for H2O – Week 1.1 hikes

What is Hike for H2O?

Four miles. Every day.

Many women and children walk 4 miles to collect dirty and often contaminated water for their families. I want to change that for as many communities as possible.

The Hike for H2O challenge is an awareness campaign as well as a fundraiser, encouraging participants to walk 4 miles (or more) in honor of those who walk to seek water. I have committed to trail walking/hiking at least 4 miles every day for 65 days. It is my hope and intention that by hiking daily and creating social media blogs and posts, that many will become aware of the problem and will step up to help make change.

Together, let’s raise dollars to build new wells, educate and empower villagers in Africa to maintain and sustain their new water source.

#letsbuildwells

Week 1.1- June 13 – 20, 2020

Highlights of the week

I am excited to share that Leave No Trace is now a Community Partner of Hike for H2O! Check out the 7 Principles of hiking that minimize our impact on the wilderness environment.

The Hiking Radio Network podcast, Mighty Blue on the Appalachian Trail, hosted me during episode 223, so that I could talk about the Hike for H2O fundraiser challenge. I am grateful to Steve Adams, aka Mighty Blue, for taking the time to chat and for committing to participate in the event.

What I’ve learned

I walked 49.15 trail miles this week. On day 4, I realized how challenging it is to drive to and hike a trail before or after a long day of work and volunteer commitments. I completed 2 hikes in the dark and 1 during a thunderstorm, because that was the only time that I could do the walks. I am keeping the dogs’ and my hiking gear 100% prepared for when I am ready to head out to the trail. This has cut down on wasted time gathering supplies. My car is a bit of a pigsty, as it contains a dog bowl, water, leashes, dog snacks, hiking boots, hiking poles and loads of dirt. I promise to clean it at the end of August!

During the first day of the challenge, I stopped twice to have lengthy conversations with passing hikers. Due to Covid restrictions, it was the first time in months that I have had the opportunity to chat with random folks on the trail. Without realizing it, I had been missing the socialization that takes place on long trails. I am happy that some normalcy is returning to the hiking community.

I am a planner and rather goal orientated. That means that I can be rather rigid in my hiking plans. This week, during 3 of the hikes, on a whim, I changed course on the trail and explored areas that were not in the “plan”. And it was liberating! I found new pathways and really enjoyed asking “where does that trail end” and then finding out the answer.

Day 1 – Appalachian Trail Lehigh Gap top Smith Gap, PA

The halfway point to the top of the climb from Lehigh Gap.

I chose this hike because it is one of the most difficult stretches of the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania. The first time that I completed this section was almost 5 years ago, in August of 2015. It was a blast! As we scrambled over borders in the first mile, I actually laughed. In 2015, our boy lab, Toro was 4 and we had a tough time getting him over some of the rock faces. This time, at age 9.5, he crushed the hike. Faith, our rockstar climber had absolutely no problem.

Learn more (map and photos)

Day 2 – Center Point Knob, Boiling Springs, PA

Farmland, wooded trail and the mountain peak, Center Point Knob.

To avoid the crowds on the White Rocks Trail, I started my hike on a parallel path off of Kuhl Road. The old Forest Road intersected the Appalachian Trail and then circled around Center Point Knob, reconnecting with the AT, northbound through a farm to Leidigh Road. I stayed on the AT for the return route, walking to the top of the little mountain, past the Center Point monument and ending on the Forest Road. It was a fun semi-loop.

Learn more (map and photos)

Day 3 – Pinchot State Park Lakeside Trail South, York County, Pa

Learn more (map and photos)

Pinchot State Park is a short 30 minute drive from my home. I spent 3 of the 8 days hiking in this park due to proximity, the lovely lake and because some of the trails double as Mason Dixon Trail pathways, a long trail that I aim to complete in 2020.

Day 4 – Codorus State Park Ranger Trail Loop, York County, PA

Lake Marburg, Codorus State Park, Southern York County, PA

I visited this park only once in the past, about 15 years ago. The trails were easy to follow and there was an abundance of animals, despite my hiking with 2 dogs. I saw many deer, including an adorable fawn standing awestruck in the middle of the trail, until mama deer ushered the sweet little thing into the woods. I completed the Ranger Trail that was marked as difficult in AllTrails. I would say that it is an easy trail with little elevation change and very few rocks.

Learn more (map and photos)

Day 5 – Pinchot State Park Southside Loop, York County, PA

Gifford Pinchot State Park, in Lewisberry, PA has 18 miles of interconnecting and looping trails that border the lake and weave through woods.

Learn more (map and photos)

Day 6 – Lake Williams/ Kain Park Loop, York County, PA

Lake Williams is one of my “go to” parks for 5ish mile trail loop. There are some small elevation changes, some rocks and plenty of views of the lake. I completed this walk before work and enjoyed cool misty rain that burned off for a sunny morning.

Learn more (map and photos)

Day 7 – Pinchot State Park Lakeside Trail North, York County, PA

Learn more (maps and photos)

Day 8 – Mason Dixon Trail/ Beaver Creek Trail, York County, PA

Learn more (map and photos)

Interactive map

This map is a compilation of all of the hikes completed during my 65 day participation in the Hike for H2O challenge. Zoom and scroll to see trail locations. Click my name in the map header to gain access to my recordings on AllTrails.com.

Map Key:
Green – County Park
Purple – State Park
Blue – Mason Dixon Trail
Red – Appalachian Trail

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