Outside’s GO Magazine – Sometimes the best way to connect with a place is by lacing up your boots and moving through the landscape on foot. Presenting 12 of the finest new treks on the globe. Where a measure pace leads to simple luxuries: fresh air, a towering night sky, and conversations with a local. Get walking!
Rogue River National Recreation Trail, Oregon – Difficulty 3 out of 5
On the Rogue River, the restorative effect of wilderness solitude is amplified by the comfort of five riverside lodges, built in the early 1900’s and accessible only by foot or raft. A 44-mile trail, originally constructed by miners, connects them all by lush second-growth forests.
DAYS in spring, temperatures hover in the seventies, and wildflowers like Oregon iris, columbine, and Indian Paintbrush damn near take over the Douglas fir forests. On a four-day journey, each days’s walk ranges from seven to 15 miles but tends downhill, loosely following the clamorous river through wilderness alive with dee, bears, and eagles.
NIGHTS Evenings are social at the river’s main lodges, made cozy by roaring fires and spirites carried in by rafts. Despite their remoteness, the lodges serve decidedly hearty meals, featuring top sirloin, seafood, organic produce, and bread baked fresh by the innkeepers. Look skyward en route to a private cabin; with only kerosene lamps to light the night, the sky is as dark- and – salty- as the ocean, some 26 miles away.
Best moment Watching black bears hunt for fish during the Chinook runs.