June Outdoor Blog Carnival – What Makes a Great Trail?

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Welcome to the June Outdoor Blog Carnival!

Back in April, Ross at PureOutside hosted the first Carnival on Favorite Spring Gear.

This month we threw out the question ‘What makes a great trail, and what’s your favorite example of one?‘.

In only the second Carnival to be held, we had a very healthy result of 9 posts! Thanks to everyone for the contributions. Now on to the good stuff:


Troy @troyp from Cube.Deller.Fitness takes us on a hike to Mount Esther in the Colorado Rockies. For him, this trail is ‘a great reminder that there is life outside the box; get out there an enjoy it.’ The best part of this post is the video featuring ‘Lenny’ at the end, it will have you laughing for sure.

Check out the full post Hiking Mt. Esther.

Appalachia and Beyond

Tim and Robyn (@anbblog) from Appalachia and Beyond point out that what makes a great trail can be different for different people. Are you a dog owner? Looking for solitude? A challenge? For them, the ‘best type of hike for us is usually something that gets us away from the everyday run-of-the-mill activities/chores. It’s remote, or at least feels remote (you know, can’t hear cars roaring by when you’re a mile in). It’s in the woods. It can be challenging or a nice stroll, that really all depends on how we are feeling and what we are after on the given hiking day.

Check out the full post Our Favorite Kind of Hike/Trail

Easy Hiker

Michael (@easyhiker101) at Easy Hiker takes us across the Atlantic to give us 6 great reasons to hike in Germany. He does a great job of dispelling the stigma of Germany being an ‘uncool’ tourist destination. Michael says ‘I’m not going to ask you to move to Germany for good. Or fall in love with it. I am not even asking you to like it. Just to hike it.’ He gives some very compelling reasons.

Check out the post 6 Reasons Why You Should Go Hiking In Germany

Two Heel Drive

Tom (@tommangan) at Two Heel Drive gives us a great post on 6 emotions inspired by a great hiking trail. He explores what makes a hike not only good for the body, but good for the soul. ‘One trail in Western North Carolina is guaranteed to leave every electron of your being feeling exercised: Grandfather Trail‘. With this example, Tom explores how a trail can evoke feelings of fear, surprise, wonder and more.

Check out the post 6 emotions inspired by the best hiking trails

Vancouver Trails

Mike (@vancouvertrails) at Vancouver Trails gives us his own take on what makes a great trail. Mike knows a lot about the different trails here in B.C. and I definitely agree when he says ‘a great hiking trail is made up of several elements, it should always have a scenic place to stop and enjoy the surrounding environment that you are in. Being able to see something of natural beauty that you wouldn’t normally see is what drives a lot of people to go hiking.‘ Also, his example of Panorama Ridge is spot on.

Check out the post What Makes a Great Trail?

East West Hike

Pete (@ADKinLA) at East West Hike give us his own view of what makes for a great trail in SoCal. For Pete ‘the trail has to LEAD somewhere. A “d’uh” point you say but I say, think again! Are you ending up at the bottom of a canyon or the top of a mountain? Are you searching for a waterfall, vistas, rock formations? Aliens? “Its not the destination, its the journey…” blah blah blah. Really, unless you are going strictly for the exercise, you want some payoff for the grunting you just did on the trail.’

Check out What makes a great hike?

Keith’s Colorado Adventures

Keith (@colokeith) at Keith’s Colorado Adventure lets us know what makes a great trail stand out for him. ‘Most hikers are out there seeking that next high. We are after the zen that is that perfect un-discovered trail. We know a good trail when we have hiked it, yet we often don’t stop to think what makes a trail great‘. Payoff, challenge, and variety are a few of the qualities that he looks for.

Check out the post What makes a Great Hiking Trail


Ross (@pureoutside) at PureOutside has his own take on the subject. After spending his childhood in a flat, dry region he now enjoys the variety of trails offered on Vancouver Island, some better than others. ‘Some of the trails I’ve found have been incredible, offering everything I could want in a trail and leaving me very satisfied after a day of hiking. Others aren’t very exciting or are just plain bad. Sometimes I’ll just be having a bad day or I’ll get injured on the trail and that leaves a bad taste in my mouth… But when I think about it, there are certain things that can make a trail better than others.’

Check out the post What Makes a Great Trail?

Outdoor Vancouver

And lastly my post on the subject: The Top 8 Qualities of a Great Trail, where I look at the top things I love about one of my favorite hikes, Black Tusk.

Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone who contributed these great posts this month! Also, a big thanks to Ross for organizing everything!

Comments (4)

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  1. tom says:

    These are very cool, and the question posted a genuine challenge to be creative, because there really are only a about a dozen factors that go into what makes a great trail and they’d all be covered in one or two posts.

  2. Michael says:

    Great to be participating in this Outdoor Blog Carnival. It’s fun to see what fellow hikers consider are the elements of what makes a great trail. Being from Europe, our hiking environment is not like that of North America but no less exciting. Looking foward to continue participating in this fun carnival. Cheers!