Seeking Industry Support

Just two weeks ago I made another trip to Washington DC to talk again with our lobbyist, Destry Jarvis and others, about advancing our cause in the next session of Congress, but more specifically to meet early, right after the presidential election, with the transition team the incoming president will … Read More

Europe 2016. Dubrovnik, Montenegro, France

Just spent three weeks in Europe hiking.  I landed in Dubrovnik, visited the old walled city and then drove north through Montenegro to hike in Dermator National Park, the country’s largest.  From there I returned to Paris, took the fast train down to Grenoble and spent a week hiking in … Read More

Travels on the Florida Trail in the Panhandle

Let me tell you about a beautiful part of Florida most Floridians have never heard of and fewer still have seen. I’m talking about the rivers and streams that flow south out of Georgia and Alabama across the Florida panhandle and empty into the Gulf of Mexico. How many of … Read More

You Can Help!

Things are rolling. Hiking Trails for America has employed Destry Jarvis, brother of John Jarvis, director of the U.S. Parks Service, to guide a legislative campaign to implement our mission. We cemented this relationship this week. We have known for some time that we greatly need to increase our understanding … Read More

Big City Mountaineers

This is a short story about a young lady named Amy Tam. In 1989, my son Drew, a real estate associate of mine, Jerry Gault, and I took a disadvantaged teen from downtown Miami on a high-adventure backpacking trip in the Bitterroot Mountains. The following year I put together a … Read More

DC Visit

A week ago I spent the first two days in Washington, DC. Monday morning I met with Destry Jarvis, brother of John Jarvis, Director of the National Parks Service.  I told him Hiking Trails for America had been formed to urge Congress to grant to the other ten National Scenic … Read More

Seeking Support for our Mission.

I was looking forward to taking a key Marco Rubio supporter into the Big Cypress on February 8 with a back-up date of February 20. The chief ranger at Big Cypress National Preserve said the water is too high now and it will still be too high in March. He … Read More

The Saloon Door Story

I have a trail story for you ….. In 1978 the American Hiking Society, newly formed, wanted to make some sort of grand appearance in the political arena. I was the founding president of this new organization. We had a very impressive board. There was a lot of brainstorming as … Read More

The Surgeon General on WALKING!!

Earlier this year the Surgeon General issued a report calling for people to walk more for better health. It’s called Step It Up! It’s the Surgeon General’s call to action to promote walking and walkable communities. To print the complete report, go to The hiking community is standing by, … Read More

Appeal to Senators

The following letter was written to Florida senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio. It’s self-explanatory. There is a lot riding on what these senators could do for trails in America. ________________________________________ November 18, 2015 Senator Bill Nelson 1301 Riverplace Blvd., Ste 2010 Jacksonville, FL 32207 Dear Senator Nelson: Here is … Read More

You have waked me too soon…

Sedentary living has reached epidemic proportions BRITAIN’S health department calls it “the silent killer”. Others have labeled it “the new smoking”. Lack of physical activity has crept up the list of global causes of death to fourth place, after high blood pressure, smoking and high blood sugar—not least because it … Read More

The best remedy …

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, then there will be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may … Read More

HikaNation, 35th Anniversary

It’s ancient history now, but at the first board meeting of the American Hiking Society, Bill Kemsley, founder of Backpacker magazine, told the group we ought to come up with a splashy event to announce that AHS was now up and running. “Let’s hike across America,” he suggested, “from the … Read More

Bill Bryson Interview with AT Journeys

No doubt everyone who reads this blog will want to see the film, “A Walk in the Woods,” released September 1. A good picture of the two lead actors, Robert Redford and Nick Nolte appeared on the cover of the AT Journeys, Summer 2015 issue. A good part of the … Read More

35th HikaNation Reunion in Estes Park

I’m attending the 35th Hikanation reunion in Estes Park this weekend. Two years after the American Hiking Society was formed in 1976, the new board wanted to create a little splash and do something memorable to announce our arrival. The idea of hiking across America seemed perfect, and I volunteered … Read More

“Virtual Reality” and “Real Reality”

Time Magazine (Aug 17, 2015) had a cover story on “Virtual Reality, and why it’s about to change the world.” The writer, Joel Stein, says, “Virtual Reality is nearly upon us. So I tried every major and minor version out there. Skeptics, take note: it’s better than you think.” In … Read More

“We were made to walk…”

continuation…. In a thin little magazine entitled Nutrition Action I read, “7 Reasons to Lace up Your Sneakers.” “We were made to walk,” The lead says. “You can’t say enough about its benefits.” Think “hiking” as you read these seven reasons: 1. Build a bigger, sharper brain. “Walking definitely affects … Read More

Walking is the Best Exercise

In the past few weeks, I have twice seen in print, “Walking is the best exercise.” The statement seems reasonable. It is what we have been doing since the beginning of time. Or is it? When I think of walking, I think of walking down the street, walking from my … Read More

10 Jul 2015

Here’s a dated press release, but it’s good stuff; the date doesn’t matter: A study by researchers at the University of Utah and the University of Kansas found that backpackers scored 50 percent better on a creativity test after spending four days in nature disconnected from electronic devices. The study … Read More

18 Jun 2015 – Trails recommended by The Nature Conservancy

There’s a lot of Nature Conservancy land that its members and others never get to walk on. But in the current issue of their magazine Nature they list four trails open for hikers on Nature Conservancy property. 1. The Bird Loop Trail, Waikamoi Preserve, Hawai’i. The 8900-acre rainforest preserve is … Read More

June 5, 2015

Dennis Lewon, Editor of BACKPACKER magazine, writes in his column in the current issue (June 2015), “Nothing against school, but my education wouldn’t be complete without the national parks.  As we start our year-long celebration of the NPS Centennial, rolling out the top 100 reasons we love the National Park … Read More

May 12, 2015

Your scribe leaves for Europe tomorrow.  During a 3-week trip I will be hiking in the Maritime Alps north of Nice in Parc National du Mercantour.  Blogs will resume by mid-June. Jim Kern

May 6, 2015

Dear Editor:   There is a serious trails concern for recreational hikers today, a significant group of 34 million that averages 18 outings a year.   We are a wide assortment of types.  I had lunch the other day with a 72-year-old insurance executive who had just finished hiking the … Read More

April 9th, 2015

I recently had an e-mail exchange with Jim Wolf, founder of the Continental Divide Trail Society.  My response fleshes out the mission statement of Hiking Trails for America, so I wanted to share it with our readers.  (See correspondence below.)   Jim Kern (Jim Wolf to Jim Kern) Hi Jim … Read More

27 March 2015

I picked up some very powerful statistics from an article entitled “Trails Make Good Economic Sense” that appeared in the American Hiking Society’s American Hiker, Spring 2014.  Here are two of the best:   The annual economic value of outdoor recreation in America is estimated by the Outdoor Industry Association … Read More

March 9, 2015

Quote from John Burroughs “A better world I have never wanted. I could not begin to exhaust the knowledge and the delights of this one. I have found within it deep within deep worlds within a world, an endless series of beautiful and wonderful forms forever flowing out of itself … Read More

February 27, 2015

Thoughts from the Pacific Crest Trail “I’d read the section in my guidebook about the trail’s history the winter before, but it wasn’t until now – a couple of miles out of Burney Falls, as I walked in my flimsy sandals in the early evening heat – that the realization … Read More

20 February 2015

20 February 2015 I was in Washington D.C. in late January to meet with staff of two senators and others about the status of our country’s National Scenic Trails. Here’s a recap: Wednesday, 28 January 2015: I had breakfast with Chuck Sloan, Vienna, VA, of counsel for the Appalachian Trail … Read More

January 16, 2015 This is our first blog.

You may remember that the president signed into law a budget submitted to him by the House back in early January. In that bill there was $28M of funding for the National Trails System. Funds are to come from the Land & Water Conservation Fund. The money was appropriated very … Read More