Read This Article, Published in the Star Tribune

My quest to hike all 11 National Scenic Trails hit a snag when I started my thru-hike of NST #5: the Potomac Heritage Trail. It was March 2020 and … I’m sure you know where this is going. The COVID-19 pandemic was just beginning its devastation of the U.S. Just six days in, I had to call it quits and go home. 

A Return to Hiking the Potomac Heritage Trail

Thankfully, I was able to return in the fall of 2021 and resume my hike. This time, with vaccines in the arm, I was able to complete the entire 750-some miles (1,207 km). It wasn’t an easy feat. Although this is the most urban of the 11 National Scenic Trails, and there are many flat portions, there are also some steep climbs. It was also very hot and humid many days. Still, I did it! And, of course, had to write about my experience. 

I won’t say too much more; you can read the article above. But I will give you some info on what I found to be some of the most valuable items of gear and clothing on this particular trail.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (among regular links) to products I own and like, or which I think you might like. This means that, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Here’s what I found invaluable on this hike: 

Six Moons hiking/sun umbrella, for those super hot and sunny days
Lightweight hiking gloves, to protect my hands from sunburn (and the ugly sun spots that emerge when you get older)
Thermacell portable mosquito repeller, for buggy night at camp

Items I wish I’d had:

This lightweight drinking pouch, to carry an adult beverage (where allowed) to reward myself after a tough day. Another hiker showed me this!

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved