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Monday, January 9, 2017

52 Hike Challenge: 2016 recap

If you are big on the hiking hashtags on instagram, you have probably seen the #52hikechallenge pop up here and there.  I saw it constantly on friends feeds like my dear friend Amanda and when 2016 started I decided to take a part in the 52 Hike Challenge myself.  

What exactly is it?  
It is a commitment and a way to create a "be more active" challenge for yourself.  You make a commitment to yourself to (on average) hike once a week.  Hence, the 52 hikes in one year.  It doesn't have to be one hike per week (unless you want to define it that way!).  You can define the terms based on your individual goals.  For you, a hike can have to be a new trail, at least 3 miles, or whatever rules you want to set.  There are great resources on the website you can use and fancy ways to play along, but I just decided 52 hikes, set some guidelines, and write them down in my planner.

My Rules
I decided my hikes at to be at minimum one mile, and the trails had to be partially dirt (could be paved parts for access ways, etc).  My goal wasn't to go on 52 long strenuous hikes, or to hike once a week, but to encourage me to get out and walk more in new places. 

I wanted a little extra "oomph" to see new trails, see new views to new lookouts, get away to new parks.    At the end of 2016 I had completed 52 "Hikes" (what I defined as a hike for this challenge) in 3 countries (USA, Puerto Rico, Madeira Portugal), in 11 states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Utah, Ohio, South Dakota, Idaho, Oregon, and Arizona) for a total of about 409 miles.  

I wasn't after peaks or crazy mileage.  Some of my hikes were in crazy exotic places, while some were a quick mile on the trails by my house.  All I wanted was motivation to get out more, and add in more variety.  Looking over my list, the variety of my hikes in so many states (and even a few different countries!) is an achievement for me. 
Salt Lake Overlook 
52 "Hikes" of 2016
by month

 Rocky Neck                                        Connecticut               3 miles
Rattlesnake Gulch                             Utah                          4 miles
Levada Hike Madeira                      Portugal                     7 miles

El Yunque hike to several waterfalls 

El Yunque Rain Forest                     Puerto Rico               3 miles

Hiking to Corona Arch 

Millcreek, Moab                                    Utah                         2 miles
   Corona Arch, Moab                              Utah                         2.5 miles
 Diamond Fork Hot Springs                Utah                         13 miles
Living Room                                          Utah                          4 miles
Wildcat Trail Monument Valley        Arizona                    4 miles
  Natural Bridges NM Loop Trail         Utah                         13 miles
House on Fire Ruins                           Utah                         4 miles

Hiking in Natural Bridges National Monument

 Red Butte                                          Utah                        4 miles
      Malan's Peak Ogden                         Utah                        5.5 miles
  Avenue Twin Peaks                          Utah                        8 miles
 Heughs Canyon                                Utah                        3 miles
  Ferguson Canyon                              Utah                        3 miles
 Horsetail Falls                                   Oregon                   3 miles
Multnomah Falls                               Oregon                   1 mile
 Cape Lookout                                    Oregon                   6 miles
  Beach at Cape Lookout                     Oregon                   3 miles
Malad Gorge                                     Idaho                       1 mile

Tunnel following the Historic Columbia River Highway
Hiking in the Columbia River Gorge Area 

Dunes Hike                                        Oregon                     4 miles
Living Room                                      Utah                          4 miles
City Creek Canyon                            Utah                          6 miles
  Wind Caves National Park               South Dakota           2 miles
  Cuyahoga National Park                   Ohio                          2 miles

Hiking at the Dunes on the Oregon Coast 

Avalonia Conservation                    Connecticut             1 mile

Hiking to Bells Canyon Reservoir 

Bells Canyon
                                      Utah                          5 miles
Cecret Lake/Sugarloaf peak            Utah                          6 miles
Willow Lake                                       Utah                          2 miles
Clayhead Trails BI                            Rhode Island           3 miles
Turtle Creek Preserve                      Connecticut              3 miles

Cecret Lake Albion Basin
Hiking past Cecret Lake to Sugarloaf Peak 

Dodge's Paddock                            Stonington                  1 mile

On the trails to Mount Greylock 

Bear Mountain                                Connecticut                6 miles
Lions Head                                      Connecticut                2 miles
  Mount Greylock                              Massachusetts            13 miles
Mount Washington                        New Hampshire        9 miles

Tuckerman's Ravine to Mount Washington 

Mount Mansfield                          Vermont                        9 miles
Kingdom Trails                             Vermont                        1 miles
Sill Lane                                         Connecticut                  2 miles
   Sill Lane                                         Connecticut                  2.5 miles
Wyassup Lake                               Connecticut                  3 miles
Jericho Trails                                 Connecticut                  2 miles
Odiorne Point                               New Hampshire          2.5 miles

Leaving the summit of Mount Mansfield 

Lantern Hill                                      Connecticut                3 miles
  Hartman Park                                  Connecticut                 3.5 miles
7 Sisters Ridge                                Massachusetts             6.5 miles

Hiking to Lantern Hill

Jericho Trails                                  Connecticut                 2 miles
Cliff Walk                                         Rhode Island               6 miles
   Hartman Park                                  Connecticut                 6.5 miles
Old Saybrook Cedars                      Connecticut                1.5 miles
Cockaponset                                    Connecticut                  3 miles 

Crossing the Rocks along Cliff Walk 
It is funny to sit back and look at the trends.  Looking at my list I can see my weaker months were February (brutal cold!) June and August (brutal heat!).  What does this mean?  Suck it up buttercup.  I know I can make a conscious effort to hike more in these months, to keep active and moving and keep up my hiking "stamina" for the warmer months.   

So what are this year's goals?  To set out on some longer hikes and even conquer some backpacking trips.  More multi-day hikes instead of quick jaunts.  2017 I want longer hikes and more weekends away spent hiking.  Oh, and of course, to tackle KATAHDIN (highest peak in Maine!) for my last New England summit. 

What are your hiking goals?

What hiking trip are you most looking forward to? 


  1. Awesome, congrats on completing the challenge! I ticked off quite a few of the same hikes in Utah for my 2016 challenge, too. I especially loved Cecret Lake/Sugarloaf Peak. Are you doing the challenge again in 2017? I have similar goals as you for 2017, wanting to incorporate more backpacking trips instead of exclusively day hiking. Happy trails!

    1. Thanks Chrissy! Glad you finished your challenge as well! Cecret Lake and Sugarloaf was one of my favorites too, so gorgeous!

      I haven't really dedicated myself to the challenge this year but I would love to meat the 52 hike goal. Great goals for 2017, looking forward to a great summer!

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