Meet Jim Kern, a veteran of the hiking world, yet on a mission to CLOSE THE GAPS on America’s trails. He has hiked all over the world, yet his passion is here at home in Florida, with the Florida Trail. Jim started the Florida Trail in 1966, when a lot of us were in short pants back at school, while many of us weren’t even born yet. Watch this short YouTube video to get a feel of what the trail is about.
The picture above is of Jim overlooking the Appalachian Trail in 1967. In our conversation, Jim points to the relative passivity of hikers–compared to, say, gun owners–when it comes to demanding rights. Jim and I would appreciate everybody signing his petition. I’ve copied the Mission Statement of Hiking Trails for America in full to articulate the need.
America has 11 National Scenic Trails, but after 60 years only the Appalachian National Scenic Trail has a right-of-way set aside for posterity. The other 10 trails have gaps subject to closure and dangerous road-walks. Many have access problems. Hiking Trails for America (HTA) has been formed to support permanent protection and continuity for all National Scenic Trails and to educate the general public in the use of foot trails for walking, hiking and backpacking.
You can sign the petition by visiting HikingTrailsForAmerica.org. Don’t delay, do it right away.
The link below will take you to a site that is highlighting the 50th Anniversary of the National Scenic Trails Act of 1968. Jim is planning a march on Earth Day in D.C. and a full page ad will go into the January issue of Backpacker Magazine. The details are still in the works. Jim is anxious that our listeners are made aware of this important anniversary. Many hikers are unaware the Act even exists. Click on the link to learn more.
Jim also refers to his coffee table book, Trail Reflections, 50 Years of Hiking and Backpacking. Click on this Amazon link and you’ll be taken directly to it.
Doctor Lynne takes a well-deserved Christmas break for the rest of December. But, before she goes, she gave us some reassuring information about Lyme Disease. If you’d like to learn a little more, here is a link to a short YouTube lecture by Lynne. She also wanted me to point you towards the CDC website which also covers Lyme.
Don’t forget to listen to our other show, Returning to Katahdin, where we follow Bruce Matson in his preparations, and later execution of his 2018 thru-hike.
Thanks, as ever, to our generous sponsors, Trailtopia.