Hiking

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3 hikers hiking on one of the many trails
 

Explore your Forest! With over 700 miles of trails, hiking is the perfect way to experience the wonders of the Tongass.  There are trails for every age and ability, from short ADA accessible boardwalks to rugged alpine trails that offer backpacking opportunities.

If you choose an adventurous hike, remember your waterproof boots, warm clothes and raingear. In this rainforest, land is wet most of the year. Trails through boggy areas require special trail building techniques to protect fragile habitats.  Many trails are planks raised over the wet ground to protect both the environment and hikers' feet. Elsewhere, especially in the woods, corduroy (small logs laid side-by-side on the ground to provide footing in the mud) may help you across a boggy patch before you hit the drier forest duff. Wooden steps, some made out of split logs, will help you up steep slopes. Raised planks may not be enough to keep your feet dry, so you can check with local district offices for the appropriate foot gear and current trail conditions before you go.

As you hike, keep your eyes open for nature's surprises, from tiny bog plants to far-from-tiny bears. In bear country, wearing bear bells, talking or singing loudly and generally making human sounds can make life easier for both you and the bears. Reading about Bear Safety is a good idea if this is your first trip to the Tongass.