Coolest U.S. Rail Trails: Ghost Town Trail

I’ve recently been using the Roadtrippers app, discovering new places and creating a bucket list of places I’d like to see in my lifetime. While exploring the site, I stumbled upon one of Indiana County’s own trails featured in a blog post.

Roadtrippers blogger Anna Hilder featured the Ghost Town Trail as part of a post about the coolest rail trails in the United States.

Though most of the trails…

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The perfect day.

"Literacy is the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential."

Music Monday: Albums I love

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Music Monday post, and since my last I’m sure I’ve discovered a whole lot of new music I love.

Here’s what I’m loving right now:

1. Let Me In, Grouplove

2. Dwntwn, Dwntwn

3. It’s the Good Crazy, Matt White

4. Calling Off the Dogs, Ron Pope

5.  Maps, Maroon 5

I’ve never been a big Maroon 5, but there’s something about “Maps” that I really like.

Click on any of…

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Part 2: Self Improvement and Growth #TEG30Day Challenge

It’s been almost a week since I vowed to participate in The Every Girl’s Self Improvement and Growth #TEG30DayChallenge.

Some of the things I’ve done this week have surprised me. I took control of my life this week, deciding that I needed a makeover, needed to do some major organizing and definitely needed some “me” time.

1. The Makeover

I used to have a hair dye addiction. Hair dye became a way…

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03 Sep 14 at 9 am

Self Improvement and Growth #TEG30Day Challenge

One of my favorite websites, this month The Every Girl is challenging women to take a self improvement and growth challenge.

Self Improvement and Growth #TEG30Day Challenge

One of my favorite websites, this month The Every Girl is challenging women to take a self improvement and growth challenge.

Labor Day Weekend: Not every hike is fun

When last week became one of the most stressful weeks of my life, I knew I wanted to do one thing to relax: hike.

I live just over five hours away from my family, who are dispersed throughout northeast Pennsylvania and upstate New York. When I found out I’d have a few days off in a row for the holiday (which doesn’t often happen in the world of journalism), I broke out a map and looked for places…

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If you’re anything like me, once you have an idea to do something, you won’t chill out until it’s been done. At about midnight before I left my shift at the newspaper last night, I decided I wanted to go to Ohiopyle State Park today.

And it happened.

Luckily I have friends that can appreciate my spontaneity, and my good friend  Heather came along for the two-hour trip south.

Ohiopyle wasn’t quite what I expected. Though the scenery was incredible and the trail terrain was great, it was packed. Ohiopyle has a lot more going on than state parks I usually visit — zip lining, river rafting, lots of tourist attractions.

Because of this, it wasn’t really Murphy-friendly. My dog is kind of a basket case in large crowds. And since it was crowded, I couldn’t let him loose to get the exercise and freedom he usually enjoys during a hike.

Nonetheless, it was a lot of fun for a day trip. Next time, I’ll go without the dog and maybe even go ziplining, and definitely down the natural waterslides the park has to offer.

Here are some photos from Cucumber Falls:

Another adventure: Ohiopyle State Park If you’re anything like me, once you have an idea to do something, you won’t chill out until it’s been done.

Being healthy and active is not something that comes easy to me. We’ll blame genetics for that one. But, there’s something about hiking that makes me feel like I’m not exercising, and therefore, makes me feel pretty great at the end of the day.

For this reason, I’m calling my journey to becoming fit “Hiking to Healthy.”20140810_194203

I think there are a few things I like about hiking.

There’s always a destination. While some people love going to the gym, others find it to be incredibly boring. More often than not, I’ll start a work out on the elliptical or treadmill and ditch early because I’m no longer interested.

When you’re hiking, there’s always an endpoint. It’d be silly to turn around or try to cut through the woods to end it early.

There’s always something beautiful to look at. Even if you do the same trail three times in one week, you’re bound to see something beautiful that you didn’t see the trek before — like a new animal or a pretty sunset.

IMG_20140810_201120It burns calories. Using RunKeeper to track all of my recent hikes, it’s obvious that I’m burning a lot more calories while hiking than I would at the gym. The terrain is usually rough and incline usually steep — you can’t get that on a machine. By using RunKeeper, I also get to track my personal bests.

It’s fun with friends. While Murphy will always be my favorite hiking buddy, it’s fun to have friends tag along for company and encouragement on hikes. Big groups can hike together, too — the more the merrier!

Look for my #hikingtohealthy updates on Instagram and Twitter, and feel to join me in the hashtag use.

Here are some photos from some of my recent hikes:

Hiking to Healthy Being healthy and active is not something that comes easy to me. We’ll blame genetics for that one.

Favorite WordPress bloggers’ hiking photos

Using WordPress, I often find myself searching endlessly through tags like “hiking,” “outdoors” and “nature.” Scrolling through and reading others’ adventures is just one of the ways I’m using to plan (hopefully) trips I’ll be able to take myself some day.

There are many incredible photographers and adventurers on WordPress, and today I just wanted to share a few of my favorite photos, and…

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