What’s a Cairn? And more NRG Hiking Questions Answered.
Spring is a great time to jump on one of the trails in the New River Gorge. If you’re not a hiking aficionado, don’t worry. The NRG trails are well marked and range from an easy two-mile stroll to more strenuous eight-mile hikes. Here are some tips to make you a hiking rock star among your friends:
• What’s that pile of rocks over there? It looks like someone just piled them up. A pile of rocks can be found at the transition of many trails indicating a turn or transition. The pile is actually called a “cairn” and hails from our friends in Scotland and Ireland who typically carried a rock with them up to the top of a mountain to place on the cairn.
• Are the trails marked? The public trails in the New River Gorge all use signs or blaze to mark the way. Blaze is a practice of using paint or markings on trees to show you that you are moving in the right direction.
• I heard some people say they were highpointing. Um what is that? Some hikers want to get to the top of the trail; these are highpointers. They long to find the highest point for the greatest views.
• I have seen some hikers with a strap across their backpacks. Should I be using a chest strap? A chest strap is an important part of hiking if you plan to carry a backpack. A chest strap is connected across your chest in the front so that your backpack doesn’t pull your shoulders backward.
Hope to see you on the trails…