HistoricTrails.org was founded in 2012 by outdoor adventure enthusiasts with backgrounds deeply rooted in Scouting. Inspired from lifelong experiences enjoying the wonderment of historic districts and natural preserves, HistoricTrails.org offers hikers an experience like no other. We take great pride in building our hikes to maintain interest throughout the entire trek – saving the big ticket items for last! Our FREE hikes were carefully designed to offer participants the perfect combination of fitness and fun, pairing great treks with creative challenges.
General Goals of Historic Trails
For most destinations we aim to create a hike that is between 5 and 7 miles in length. This is intended for youth groups age 10 and up. You should always feel welcome to shorten or adjust any hikes to suit your group’s capabilities.
We’ll also have a separate patch for each hike – an optional purchase. The patches are a great way to motivate a youth group to complete the hike and challenges.
In many destinations there may be other hikes created by Chambers of Commerce or Scout groups. We will search these out and recommend them as alternatives. We believe the more options the better!
If you don’t see a hike available in a location of interest, stay tuned – we will be adding hikes frequently. If you have any recommendations for great hike locations or would simply like to give us feedback about an existing hike, please visit the “Contact Us” link!
Our hiking background was established when we were youth in Scouting. So, our hikes may include some scouting references, especially to a particular Boy Scout or Girl Scout requirement or point of interest. We feel scouting is a very valuable activity for youth to participate in; but, we also recognize that other youth groups, whether religious or secular, can serve the same function. The goal is to make our hikes as group agnostic as possible.
Often on a hike, there will be interesting structures that have a religious role. We select these based on architecture, history, availability, location and cultural significance – these decisions are not based on any other preference. By cultural significance, we mean if the hike is focused on a greek community, like Tarpon Springs, FL we will try to include a greek orthodox church in the hike.
Often, we will skip by some religious structures and sites if there are too many in the area to see.
Many hikes will take you past local businesses. We may reference, recommend or suggest some of them as well as what to avoid. We do not receive any compensation from any businesses on our routes. Our comments are purely based on our experiences when creating the hike. Sometimes we will reference a particular restaurant that has a cultural or historical offering we think adds to the experience of the hike. Other businesses may be required stopping points – these are often museums or short tours.
Earning the patch
The requirements for earning a patch are to complete the challenges and hike. If you’re part of a youth group, your leaders may change the requirements as they see fit. From HistoricTrails.org’s perspective, we understand that sometimes conditions do not permit completion of the hike and challenges. We leave it up to you to determine if you have earned the patch. You can skip a challenge if you do not have the proper equipment, if it’s a paid museum or if a location is closed when you pass by. We consider all these understandable obstacles. Feel free to purchase the patches before (in anticipation of completion) or after you finish your hike.