Photo: Ken Ilgunas
Backpacker Magazine added a small blurb in the most recent September 2018 issue to post a few reactions to the main article on the GPT from the June issue. Here it is in it’s entirety. I welcome your comments.
If it’s ever finished, the Great Plains Trail will be nothing like our country’s other long paths; it cuts across the rolling plains of Middle America rather than vast western mountains or dense eastern forests. As we found out when we shared our profile of trail pioneer Steve Myers (“Walking to the Horizon,” June 2018), that kind of scenery appeals to some backpackers more than others. “Every state in this county has its own type of beauty,” Jessica Hubbard wrote on Facebook. Phillip Stretch Baker was less enthused. “I’ve driven through flyover states and don’t see the incentive to hike there,” he said. “You walk miles to see the same thing you saw at the start of the day.” But Anne P. O’Brien who was getting ready for a season in the Appalachian Trail’s “green tunnel,” saw a new opportunity: “Seeing an entire dark sky full of stars would be a welcome change.”
Here’s another one from the new Toadstool trail. This little slice of Nebraska has what you could easily call an exotic landscape. Some people will audibly scoff when you use the words “Nebraska” and “exotic” in the same sentence, but that’s because they simply do not know anything about it.
Toadstool is absolutely exotic because there are very few places in world like it, and I suspect most people have never walked through anything like it. It’s unique in ways that are hard to describe until you see them for yourself.
Luckily, we will be hosting an event there in late September, so you can do exactly that – see it for yourself. Stay tuned for detailas . . .
Another shot from our new section of trail in Toadstool! Stay tuned for details on a planned hiking event on this trail in September . . .
We have some big news to share this week in the Photo of the Week. Great Plains Trail Alliance would like to announce that the very first section of brand new trail that has been created with the GPT in mind is now open for hiking!
This new section of trail in Oglala National Grassland (note the shiny new look of the bolt heads on the sign) serves two purposes:
1) It’s a direct route to forest service road 918 which leads to Orella Road and cuts two miles of road walking from a thru hike of the GPT while adding two miles of excellent scenic trail.
2) It provides a nice loop for day hikers in the Toadstool area, and accesses a previously unknown and beautiful part of the park.
GPTA and Oglala National Grassland are planning a grand opening hike event to celebrate the new section of trail sometime in late September, so stay tuned for details. In the meantime, here are some more shots of this fantastic section of trail!
Butte country in western South Dakota.
Scouting trip in the red dirt of South Dakota.
Hiking on another planet? Nope. Scouting new trail in Toadstool Geologic Park.
Photo: Ken Ilgunas