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Monday, January 7

HiS Traditions: New Year's Hike

Every year since K and I started dating we have spent New Year's Day hiking together. For us it's symbolic of the adventures we have together, of experiencing the vast creation of our Maker, and of remembering what really is important in our lives. Every year we explore a new loop or summit, and this year we explored a section of the Appalachian Trail and the Benton-MacKaye trail that goes to the top of Springer Mountain. We decided that a trip on December 31 with glorious weather would be much better than actually hiking on January 1 in the rain and sleet. We were so very correct. The weather was perfect, and it had snowed for the past few days. Had we attempted the hike on NYD, it would have been icy and raining and freezing cold, and the clouds would have most likely blocked our view from the top.

The summit at Springer Mountain is the southern terminus of the AT, and there are commemorative plaques at the site. It's a short climb {only 9/10 of a mile!} to the top, and from there we doubled back to take the Benton-MacKaye trail for about 3.5 miles. It was so lovely! The hike was far from strenuous, with gorgeous views and lovely snow-laden trees. The final leg of the loop takes you south on the AT back to the parking area. We both wished we had more time to complete a second loop, which is about 6 miles long, but we didn't particularly want to be hiking in the dark. Next time though!

This is a really great loop for novice hikers, too. The few small climbs are short, the views are fantastic, there is a lot of history, and the scenery is really lovely. We are planning a trip with my parents, sister and nephews for the spring. I can't wait to share this with them.

Here's to a year filled with adventures, large and small.

copyright Hiking in Stilettos

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