Popular Hikes and Travelling in Groups

September is the last month of summer and the first month of autumn. Those lingering warm days in the Northern Hemisphere provide a lovely time to travel, especially since the intense heat and summer rush has passed.

September is also a great month for hiking. It is still warm, the bugs have gone, and the hours of sunlight are still long. Locally, the trail you want to hike is Heiko’s Trail. Named after Fernie legend, Heiko Socher, who built the trail as a personal endeavour after he sold the ski hill, the trail is rated very difficult with an elevation gain of 1200 metres over the twenty kilometre length and takes about ten hours to complete. Trail maps are available at the Tourist Information Centre on Hwy 3.

Another close trail is the Crypt Lake Trail in Waterton National Park just 90 minutes east of Fernie. Named one of the World’s 20 Most Thrilling Trails by National Geographic it is rated strenuous and comes complete with wire cables, ladders and a tunnel. The hike takes about eight hours and the trail head is accessible by riding the Crypt Hike Shuttle for $33.60 at the Waterton Marina. They only take debit and credit cards for payment, cash is not accepted. The shuttle leaves at 9am, and make sure to watch the clock so you don’t miss the boat pickup at 5:30pm. 

Across the Atlantic on the Italian Amalfi Coast is the Sentiero Degli Dei or Walk of the Gods. The 6.5 km moderately difficult hike is along the mountain ridge and starts at Bomerano to Nocelle. From here you can take the 1500 steps down to Positano. The trail has been in use for thousands of years and is part of the trail system that allowed a land route between various villages along the Amalfi Coast. In The Odyssey, the path is where the Greek Gods raced to save Ulysses from the mermaid sirens on Li Galli, a small group of islands in front of Positano. 

Rated as one of the most beautiful hikes in Italy, the trail affords the hiker with spectacular views of the Amalfi Coast and the small villages built into the ravines of the mountainous coast line. There is a lot of up and down with some steep sections scrambling over rocks so sturdy hiking boots are necessary. Friends of mine just did the hike. The triathlon athletes liked the hike much more than the other half who are normal fitness. The athletes were moving at a fast pace while the regular folk struggled to keep up. The two groups had completely different experiences.

Half of the group knew each other from competing in triathlons over the years. The trip activity planning was done by one of the athletes who loves outdoor recreation. The other half were more interested in less strenuous activities and time for shopping and site seeing.

When travelling with a group and planning activities, it’s important to take into consideration everyone you are travelling with. Plan activities that appeal to each person, allow for flexibility in the daily schedule, and include time for people to go off on their own activity or adventure if they wish. When the wants and needs of all the people in your group are considered, everyone will enjoy the experience and the trip overall.