Distances of Hikes

The distance given in the summary table at the top of a hike report represents the total miles for the route described. This can be a there-and-back figure, or the total for a loop hike, on in the case of a point-to-point hike, it's the total for the one-way distance.

Sometimes options for shorter or longer routes are described or mentioned within a trail report. Routes that are clearly indicated as being optional are not included in the mileage total.

For more distance alternatives you can always shorten a hike by just turning around early. As an example, take the 8.7-mile loop that visits Zealand Falls and traverses Mt. Hale. You could make this into a 5.2-mile route by just hiking to Zealand Falls and then retracing your steps at that point. Or a 4.4-mile hike by just climbing Mt. Hale and then descending via the same route.

To facilitate planning, many of the hikes have a breakdown of mileage, and optionally time, splits for the different segments of the route. You can use this information to customize your outing to something that better suits you. I often like to revisit just a certain portion of a hike when I have a tight schedule and can't fit in the whole trip or when I just want to spend more time at an intermediate destination.

Zealand River along Zealand Trail (photo by Webmaster)


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