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Clean Those Hiking Boots

October 24th, 2011

About a year ago, someone from the National Park Service contacted me about using the following photo of dirty hiking boots for a poster for a new campaign they were starting. I said yes and asked to see a photo of the final poster. This photo was taken many years ago when we went to the Smokies with some friends.

A few weeks ago, I was thinking about the photo and the poster, and figured they had forgotten about sending me a copy since I haven’t heard anything since. Then, last week, I got an e-mail with a photo of the finished and installed sign.

I can’t wait to head on up to the Indiana Dunes to see this sign. They also said that a couple other parks will be adding a boot cleaning station just like this one. Keep your eyes peeled, you might see my photo and my name on a sign at you local park!

I really enjoy hiking, there’s just something about it that I love, maybe it’s the peacefulness, maybe it’s the exercise, probably both. I often wish we lived closer to a park with trails, perhaps someday. Until then we plan hiking vacations when possible, head out in the woods at the family cabin when possible, and walk the roads around our house when the weather allows.

Are you a hiker or do you prefer a more leisurely form of travel?

22 Comments to “Clean Those Hiking Boots”
  1. Misti on October 24, 2011 at 5:22 am

    That’s exciting! I know a few people who’ve had orchid photos displayed at state parks and national forests in Florida. I’m definitely interested in their new campaign and what they are trying to keep from spreading.

    Reply to Misti's comment

  2. kathi cookk on October 24, 2011 at 6:31 am

    That is very cool! I love hiking especially in the fall and winter when it’s too cold for biking. Nothing like hiking in the snow to cure cabin fever in the dead of the winter
    What exactly are the National parks trying to prevent with the boot clleaning? I’m guessing it’s similar to cleaning your boat bottoms to prevent plant material etc from traveling. This is news to me .Guess that’s why they are launching this campaign. My boots haven’t hiked anywhere but New Enland so far..

    Reply to kathi cookk's comment

    • Susy on October 24, 2011 at 7:02 am

      Yes, it’s to help avoid spread invasive species and most likely disease and pests as well. Makes sense, something I’d never considered either, but I always clean my boots in between trips.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. daisy on October 24, 2011 at 6:57 am

    How cool is that?!
    Yeah, I’m a big hiker. We visit a new state park once a month. I agree with you, there’s just something about walking through nature that does body, mind AND spirit good!
    Happy hiking!

    Reply to daisy's comment

  4. Sonya C on October 24, 2011 at 7:50 am

    We just visited NE Ga and did A LOT of trails. the Appalachian Trail Approach and a few miles of the AT, Clingman’s Dome, did some more AT and local trails, (The leaves were beautiful!) and Panther Creek, & Tallulah Gorge State Park.

    Reply to Sonya C's comment

  5. Jennifer Fisk on October 24, 2011 at 8:39 am

    That is really exciting. I wonder if Acadia will follow suit. We have up to 3 million visitors annually and who knows where their boots have been before they get here.
    Yesterday was a gorgeous day and a friend and I hiked a 5-6 mile loop in Acadia. It was my first real hike in 2-3 years but worth every little ache. Hiking is back on my list of normal activities.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  6. goatpod2 on October 24, 2011 at 9:48 am

    We prefer more of a leisurely travel.


    Reply to goatpod2's comment

  7. Sincerely,Emily on October 24, 2011 at 9:51 am

    That is a fantastic photo! Congrats! I used to hike when I was younger and in shape. I love walking in the woods up at the cabin in WI. Especially this time of year when the leaves are changing and falling and there is a beautiful carpet of them w/sun shining through the trees. Something peaceful and inviting about that. The silence is amazing.Last fall I had some nice walks while I was up there visiting. Emily

    Reply to Sincerely,Emily's comment

  8. Estelle on October 24, 2011 at 9:52 am

    This is just so cool, Suzy!!! Congratulations!

    Reply to Estelle's comment

  9. Sofie Dittmann on October 24, 2011 at 10:20 am

    NICE. :) We are fortunate to have Spangler Park AKA Wooster Memorial Park right around the corner. The Outer Loop w/ add-ons gives you about 5 miles, and it’s a nice challenge. Some people RUN it. There is also Vulture’s Knob off of Mechanicsburg Road. It’s a mountainbike range, one of the most challenging in the nation, but I know people use it for hiking as well.

    Maybe next time you are at Local Roots, plan to go hiking at Spangler. It’s not the Dunes or the Smokies, but it’s still a hike! :)

    Reply to Sofie Dittmann's comment

  10. tj on October 24, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    …That is wonderful! Congrat’s Susy! :o)

    …I dunno if I am an actual so called “hiker” but I do love to walk thru the woods and trails. It’s usually the three dogs and me and sometimes our cat tags along about 20 ft. or so behind… I would love to eventually own property that borders a national forest or something – that would be heaven. :o)

    …You are becoming so increasingly popular and rightfully so. I love to see it and this here is just another notch in the Chiot’s Run virtual belt! Again, congrat’s & it is a great photo too!


    Reply to tj's comment

  11. Allison on October 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Oh wow! That is really cool! I enjoy hiking. I grew up going hiking all the time with my parents!

    Reply to Allison's comment

  12. Amanda on October 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I remember leaving Monument Valley in Utah and thinking I had a tan until I realize my boots were the same color! It was wonderful! That was one cleaning I’ll never forget:) Not just the boots but everything was that wonderful orange red.

    Reply to Amanda's comment

  13. KimH on October 24, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    How cool! Congrats! Im not much of a hiker these days.. but I do enjoy going out to Holden Arboretum and walking around some.. thats about the extent of it these days.

    Reply to KimH's comment

  14. Tammey on October 24, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Wow…did you ever dream you would be so popular!?!

    Reply to Tammey's comment

    • Susy on October 25, 2011 at 5:46 am

      I makes me laugh, all because I put photos up on Flickr!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  15. Janie on October 24, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    I recently wore through a pair of boots after several hiking trips with my father – Grand Canyon, Big Bend, and Guadalupe Peak. It was neat the see the soles flapping off and literally worn through by all those footsteps. I just bought another pair and broke them in on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, better known as the home of Edward and Bella (apparently). Beautiful place!

    Reply to Janie's comment

    • Susy on October 25, 2011 at 5:46 am

      We just visited Olympic, sadly not enough time to go hiking, but we’re definitely planning a trip back, it was really beautiful!

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Sofie Dittmann on October 25, 2011 at 9:32 am

        you totally should. we backpacked hoh valley a couple of years ago, the scenery and the serenity were breathtaking. even tho i was going to basically die schlepping my backpack up the switchbacks… out of shape…

        to Sofie Dittmann's comment

  16. deedee on October 25, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    we just got back from the smokies on sunday… we didn’t do any hiking (not easy to do with the crowds and the little boys!) but we did lots of driving and looking at how beautiful the leaves and mountains were. i’m counting the days until all of the boys are old enough to start going on longer hikes together (training for our eventual AT trip). that’s an awesome photo:) it’s so cool to see how god is using the talents he gave you!!!!!!

    Reply to deedee's comment

  17. Mich on October 26, 2011 at 3:55 am

    Brits aren’t hikers….were ramblers.
    We have alot of footpaths and bridleways to ramble and ride on all over the country.
    These pathes have to be mantained by the landowner, paths thru crops have to be sprayed off, gates safe for horse riders to use etc.

    Reply to Mich's comment

  18. igardendaily on October 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    My husband and I love hiking. We have hiked all over the Western U.S. and visit at least a couple of national and state parks each summer. A hike always makes you feel good…the peacefulness, the air, the sounds…ahh, makes me want to right now! Congrats on your photo and sign!

    Reply to igardendaily's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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