Words by Emily Vincunas
1. The Ghost House Trail, Tennessee
Located in Big Ridge State Park in Tennessee, this trail openly admits there are regular ghost encounters and is said to be haunted by the ghost of Maston Hutchinson. Walking the trail you’ll come across the ghost house and its cemetery, which once belonged to a family called the Hutchinsons until they were killed off by tuberculosis.
2. Long Path, New York
Follow this trail and you'll eventually pass Letchworth Village Cemetery, a resting place for members of a nearby mental institution. Many children became unwitting test subjects at this asylum, which led to its’ close in 1996. It is rumored to be haunted by the patients who suffered there.
3. Transept Trail, Utah
Take your chance crossing paths with The Wailing Woman, hiking this 3-mile trail in the Grand Canyon's
North Rim. If you get the opportunity to hike this trail, keep your eyes peeled for a figure in a white and blue floral dress. Legend says her family died in a hiking accident in 1920, and she committed suicide shortly thereafter.
4. Iron Goat Trail, Washington
Home to one of the worst railroad accidents in U.S. history, hikers visiting these abandoned tracks tell tales of hearing voices, screams and sounds around the crash site. Riddled with ghosts, the old railway is technically off-limits to hikers but is still a major draw for thrill seekers. If you visit the area, keep your ears open for any wails coming from inside.
5. Bluff Mountain and Punchbowl Shelter, Virginia
Home to the mischievous spirit of 4-year-old Ottie Cline Powell. AT hikers regularly report encounters of his chilly presence while sleeping in Punchbowl. A trail marker atop Bluff Mountain indicates that the body of Ottie was discovered there more than a century ago. The exact details of his death still remain a mystery.
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The tree line grows smaller. The trail goes from roots, dirt and moss to large boulder rock. The mountain top balds are appearing in front of me. My feet march. My calves burn. My feet are tender. I feel at my best. When I mount the summit, I stop.
My phrase is heard and lived throughout this rebirth: “Hike the Good Hike”. It echoes as I write this. I watch the humming birds feed just outside the porch. I listen to the Avett Brothers sing of the ups and downs of life. My head rests on the pillow, head back, eyes closed. I’m taking it all in. I’ve been here before…..