• Aria Zoner

Designing Your Own Hiking Route – with The Trail Show


On a recent Bonus Show, The Trail Show podcast explored a topic that hit close to home and sparked a lot of questions which lead to a series of new blog posts that extending from Santa Barbara to Canada. Learn which key questions I was aiming to answer while learning some that you should ask yourself if getting ready to hike a long-distance trail. Join hosts Disco and POD and their guests Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva, Steven “Twinkle” Shattuck and their very own Speshul 41 for an up-close look at Designing Your Own Hiking Route.


Download the Episode here >


As a trail creator myself, while listening to this episode I was thinking about it in context of The Hot Springs Trail and discovered something. There was a whole part of its story that I had never talked about before. It was an epiphany moment.


I grabbed a notepad and began jotting down ideas which turned into a list of questions, then got to work answering them. I'm excited to say that I'm done with this process now and new posts have been loaded with the answers. Here they are if you're interested:

7 Unanswered Questions about The Hot Springs Trail

1. How was The Hot Springs Trail Created?

In this post, learn about the roll that Google Earth played during the discovery years, plus 3 steps to creating a new trail:

- How was The Hot Springs Trail Created?

2. What are my intentions behind publishing this route?

In this post, find out what sealed the deal to publish & pitch this trail as an NST proposal:

- 3 Goals in Publishing The Hot Springs Trail

3. How do locals along this route feel about this becoming a trail?

In this post, learn about the lengths that have already gone into the HST plus hear a live interview with a random local on the trail:

- Locals on The Hot Springs Trail

4. What will the conditions be like when I show up?

I'm this post, see how the HST stacks up next to the other (big 3) Triple Crown Trails:

- Big Climbs and Elevation Changes on The Hot Springs Trail

5. Why does The Hot Springs Trail go where it does?

For a reason. Learn why here, in this post:

- Trail Tread Use on The Hot Springs Trail Explained

6. Will I be Trespassing?

Find out here, in this post:

- Law of the Land on The Hot Springs Trail

7. What about closed hot springs, rock cairns, & navigation on The Hot Springs Trial?

Here’s how you can help, what to expect on XC’s, and what you should lookout for overall:

- Signs of the Times on The Hot Springs Trail

Use these posts to get familiar with the trail and let me know if you have any more questions.

Listen to: The Trail Show (Episode 37)


I hope these posts answer any lingering questions or concerns you may have had about my trails after listening to the show but I also wrote them for future hikers who will undoubtedly have the same questions. To my surprise, it’s a part of the story that I took for granted and never shared. This exploration has helped me to see my own trail with new enthusiasm and as a result of something else that I discovered during this process, with a stronger faith for its potential as a National Scenic Trail.

Thanks to Trail Show for another great episode and for helping hikers and trail creators alike - #getonthetrail!

#HotSpringsTrail