52 Hikes with Mike - 2019 Edition

I’ve signed up, again, for the 52 Hike Challenge. (More info HERE)

I plan to hike 52 times in 2019, hopefully at least once per week. There are always weeks with travel or personal happenings that can get in the way, so some weeks may include two hikes to make up for any missed hikes. I signed up for the Adventure Series (Objectives HERE) which includes switching it up with various “challenges” throughout the year such as hiking to a waterfall or in a National Park. I look forward to incorporating challenges into my hike planning to keep things interesting.

I successfully completed the 52 Hike Challenge in 2017, did about 59% of it in 2018, and fully intend to exceed 100% in 2019. I’m not resolving to do this, per a new years resolution, I’m simply committing as I’ve done for the past two years to hiking as much as possible.

I’ve found a few more local hikes that will do in a pinch, that should allow for a bit more variety. I’ve got plans for a summer trip to Oregon, perhaps, and hopefully a trip back to Washington too. More to come as I plan everything out. As always, if you’d like to hike together, get in touch!

Someone I’d highly suggest following on their 52 hike journey is my friend Jen (Her Website). I’m hoping we get to hike together, but until then I’m reading her blog and following her social media to see the neat outdoorsy stuff she’s got goin’ on and you should too.

2019 Hiking Goals

  • 300 Miles

  • Visit 6 new state parks in Texas (May turn into a quest to visit all state parks in Texas)

  • Backpacking at least twice (I chickened out last year, ugh)

  • Hike in 3 NPS sites

  • Enjoy every hike

  • More sunrise hikes (starting in the dark)

Here’s to another year of hikes and the wonderful world of public lands we have in our backyards!

Revisiting the 2018 Goals

Goals for 2018:

-Hike more than 300 miles
-Take longer hikes each week
-Include backpacking
-Hike to Guadalupe Peak in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
-Hike in Olympic National Park
— Me, January 2018

It's time for my first quarterly update to assess the 2018 hiking season...


  • 14 hikes
  • 97.8 miles
  • 9 solo hikes
  • 5 companion hikes
  • 3 hikes with my dog
  • 10 unique locations
  • 3 unique states
  • 1 unique NPS unit
  • Enjoyed all 14!
  • 7 miles/hike average
  • 202 miles to hit 300 total
  • Shortest hike: 3.5 miles
  • Longest hike: 9.55 miles
  • 114.6 miles to reach my 2017 total

I'm currently headed towards a total of 360 miles, give or take, but still hoping to reach 400 as a super goal.  Honestly, I'll be happy with anything over 300 miles as long as they were all enjoyable.  I'm running into my usual blockage - finding it difficult to hike locally without dread.  I've enjoyed every hike, but the process of getting out is becoming more and more difficult each week.  Dallas-Fort Worth has a few great locations, but most of my hiking will require a bit of a drive to spice it up.  My 2018 go-to metro location is Eagle Mountain Park with my go-to state park being Dinosaur Valley.  As always, I'm open to people coming along though I often dread it because I sweat so much and irrationally fear judgment that probably will not happen anyway.

I've hit my goal of hiking in Olympic National Park and I even climbed up 1800 ft while there.  I'm ready to attempt the hike to Guadalupe Peak before summer or in the fall.  I've been taking longer hikes, and I really enjoy pushing myself beyond 7 miles - I don't even feel it now until about mile 8.  All in all, I am hoping to up the average and find a few new places in the near future.  Looking ahead to hike 19, I'll hopefully be trekking between the upper and lower Tahquamenon Falls in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Looking even further forward, we are possibly returning to Alaska this summer in July around hike 28 and 29.

Moving forward, I'm hoping to make more early Saturday morning drive to places a bit further out to get some new real adventure on the books over the next few months.  I can easily drive back up to Oklahoma or Arkansas and find a variety of trails within 4-5 hours if I want forested getaways.  If I want some desert landscape, I can push myself to drive to west Texas or even New Mexico to explore over the weekend.  Either way, the theme for the future is more adventure and less dragging my feet with getting up and out.

If you'd like to hike along, or have suggestions for me, contact me!  Hike your own hike and happy trails.

#52hikechallenge2017 - Looking back and moving forward

Happy New Year.  It's 2018, and that means at least 52 more hikes from me.  I finished the final three hikes of 2017 sick as a dog, and the final two in the bitter cold of a harsh winter in Northern Michigan.  I'm alive, still sick, but working on the plans for the next 52.  Here are a few stats from 2017:

Total mileage: about 212

Solo hikes: 19 (which means 33 were with other people)

Canine companion hikes: 25

Unique locations: 29

Number of hikes I truly enjoyed: 46

Number of States (including my own): 9

Number of NPS Units: 4

Number of State Parks: 10

The few hikes I didn't enjoy were most likely due to trails/parks being closed, having a busy weekend, the infrequent feeling that this was more of an obligation than fun, and/or plain old laziness.  The mission of this challenge was to get me out on a trail and to encourage me to find new places - which it did.  I have a new understanding of the natural areas in Dallas-Fort Worth, as well as the State of Texas that makes living here much more tolerable.

Looking forward to 2018 and the hikes ahead, I want to increase my total mileage and explore a bit more out of my comfort zone.  I'm going to shoot for 400 miles in hopes of getting there, but I will not beat myself up for anything above 300.  Currently, I'm making plans to find longer trails and/or places with more trails so I can get an average of 5-7 miles per outing.  I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of parks in Texas as well as the surrounding states like New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.  I'm hopeful for trips to Washington, Alaska, and Michigan.  I'd love to include Utah again as well as California and Oregon, but we'll see as the year unfolds how funding and timing go.

Here's to the new year, new trails, and new experiences all over again.