Activity Profile: History Hikes

What is a “History Hike”?

It is a hike that requires Trailmen to learn about the history of the area as they progress along one or more marked trails.

DSC_6204Often, there is a “history scavenger hunt” form that each Trailman or each patrol will complete as they reach historical markers and watch films at visitor centers.

Typically, those Trailmen who complete the entire trail AND complete a short essay about what they’ve learned can purchase a trail medal or patch to wear on their uniform as a way to show that they’ve completed that program.

Many of these trails are sponsored programs of the local BSA Council, and some are sponsored by historical societies.

Benefits to Trailmen

History hikes provide:

  • Exercise to build stamina and endurance (…keep myself physically strong…)
  • Advancement Opportunities (write your own trail badge on history, etc.)
  • DSC_6096Scouts can also learn a lot of valuable history in a “hands on” environment.
    • It’s very different to read about soldier’s huts that slept 12 men in triple tier bunks than it is to see such a hut and actually lie down in a bunk.
    • The history becomes more real and meaningful as each scout experiences it first hand.

Locating History Hike Trails

In addition to searching the web sites (or calling) local BSA Council headquarters, you can find links to trail guides on the internet. Here are some examples:

Some local Northern NJ trails include:

  • Jockey Hollow (Morristown, NJ – Patriot’s Path Council);
  • Battle of Monmouth Scout Trail (Monmouth Council);
  • Cannonball Trail (NNJ Council);
  • Palisades Historic Trails (NNJ Council).

DSC_6145There are many more trails available within a two hour drive time (i.e. Valley Forge Trail, Washington’s Crossing Trail, Ben Franklin Trail, Colonial Patriot Trail), and that list doubles if you can plan an overnight trip to more distant locations such as Boston, Washington DC, etc.

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3 thoughts on “Activity Profile: History Hikes

  1. Pingback: Go Have Fun with Your Family | Trail Life Troop 113

  2. Pingback: Great Hikes in NJ | Trail Life Troop 113

  3. Pingback: Planning Resources for Day Outings | CSB #1803

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