~Hiking and Other Assorted Links~
Appalachian Trailplace- This site is about the 2,160 mile Appalachian Trail that runs through 14 states of the east coast (from Georgia to Maine) and is run by a alumni AT thru-hiker, Dan "Wingfoot" Bruce, who has hiked the trail in its entirety seven times. I visit the site every day and participate in the excellent thru-hiker planning forum where alumni hikers discuss topics with future hikers. It also hosts tons of journals for AT hikers that are on the trail so you can read about their progress. The site is excellent.
Appalachian Trail Conference- Though I would highly recommend Trailplace as an AT thru-hike site, the ATC site is the "official" one for simply learning about the trail, buying merchandise, learning about conservation and protection, etc.
Hike Vermont- This is the Long Trail's best site and is really excellent in that it not only has past LT hiker's information, but also logistical information about the trail including resupply towns, inns, and other things that thru-hikers have to plan for on the LT.
The Green Mountain Club- The GMC is responsible for the LT's creation and its protection. They also publish great books including the Long Trail Guide and the Long Trail End to Ender's Guide, both of which I have found excellent and will use on my hike.
Pacific Crest Trail Association- The PCT is one of the country's three "biggie" distance trails (the Appalachian and Continental Divide are the other two). The PCT runs 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington and is very different than the AT in that it passes through many climate zones and terrains from desserts to high mountain passes.
Continental Divide Trail Alliance- This 3,100 mile trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana is the nation's longest, most rugged, and most remote scenic trail. Only about 10 people each year complete the journey. This is one of my goals!
Cohos Trail- This trail runs 160 miles through New Hampshire's Coos Country to Canada. Though is shorter than most other distance trails, its remoteness and ruggedness make it a very difficult trail to hike completely. It reminds me of the East's version of the Continental Divide.
The Long Path- This trail is essentially New York's version of the Long Trail in VT. It runs 326 miles from the George Washington Bridge to John Boyd Thacher Park near Albany. It seems to be pretty cool to hike, though I guess there are a lot of road walk sections.
The Florida Trail- This trail runs 1,300 miles through Florida tip to tip. One would not think that there is much wilderness in Florida, but this trail runs through many parks including the Everglades. It is flat, but pretty neat.
Trail Journals- This site hosts hiker journals for people on the AT, PCT, and a couple of other trails. Currently, I am following "Aswah's" journal for his second hike of the AT.
PCT Hiker- I really like this site. It has a great discussion forum and photos. The site originally hosted "Troubadour's" journal for his PCT hike in 1999, but now hosts other journals as well.
Ray Jardine Adventure Page- Ray is truly amazing. Not only has he hiked the PCT three times and also the AT and CDT, but his wife and him have had so many epic adventures that it is impossible to name them all. The discussion board on the site also has great hiking and philosophical information. I am also the owner of two of Ray's books and they are incredible. I re-read them all the time!
Henry Shire's Site- This page hosts three distance journals, one of which is Shire's PCT hike. The other that I find the most interesting is "Shirt's" CDT hike because of the fact that there are seemingly very few CDT thru-hike sites on the web with pictures, journals, etc.
Campmor- This site has a great selection of gear and super "hot deal" bargains on great gear. I buy things from them frequently because of the discounts.
REI- This outfitter also has a great selection of stuff and is the online dealer that I use when I cannot find something at Campmor. I have never used their brand of equipment, however.
Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics- Whenever I but any material to make equipment, they always get my call. Their selection is awesome and their customer service is even better. They send free samples and, in general, really try to tailor to to their customer's needs.
Eastern Mountain Sports- Now that I am an EMS employee, I am in a position to endorse them. I will like them even more if they give me free gear to "test" on my hike!