To the editor:
The Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT) is a difficult yet incredibly awe-inspiring trail. Hikers from around the world have added the trek to their lists.
It takes about 60 days for those choosing to bust the trail and 75 for those wanting to soak in the beauty and peaceful freedom. In the past few years, the popularity of hiking among women has seemingly surged as evidenced by the creation of women’s hiking groups and pages.
These groups share an incredible amount of information. Choosing to hike alone or in pairs, wanting to tackle long arduous trails, many are looking toward the northwest.
Making PNT a more accessible trail will let more hikers enjoy our beautiful country. Placing the trail through Troy would provide many benefits to the community:
A jumping on or off point for those unable to spend 60 to 75 days on a hike.
Provide a location for an actual shower and a place to restock supplies.
A base for catching up, receiving packages and mail, and meeting hikers from the trail.
Providing availability for security, if needed, health issues and a rest.
Providing a glimpse into the lifestyle of the small town, which many hikers on the Appalachian Trail enjoy while they traverse the small communities the trail runs alongside.
Reading thousands of social media posts on All Women All Trails: Hiking and backpacking (nearly 50,000 women strong) there are concerns of grizzly encounters.
There will be encounters. There will be human deaths and bear deaths. Any possible way to minimize the danger should be seriously considered. A southern reroute of the PNT would benefit hikers, communities and wildlife.
Jody Wiley Peterson