Distance Hike

March 25, 2015 2:12 PM

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For most people, hiking means hitting a local trail on a weekend afternoon to enjoy a couple hours of scenic cardio, fresh air and perhaps solitude. But others crave a more all-consuming experience: a physically and mentally demanding – yet immensely rewarding – long-distance hike that takes them hundreds or thousands of miles through untamed wilderness and arduous terrain.

The best-known long-distance trails in the U.S. are the Appalachian Trail, which runs 2,180 miles from Georgia’s Springer Mountain to Mount Katahdin in Maine, and the Pacific Crest Trail, which snakes 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada through the desert, deep forests and high peaks of California, Or...

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