Donna is up for the Challenge. Are you?
Your full name: Donna Beer Stolz
Any nicknames?: DB
Your age: 57
Your hometown: Originally from Northern Central Massachusetts, but have called the Pittsburgh Area home for 26 years.
How long have you been hiking: about 45 years
What is your earliest memory of hiking? Mount Monadnock in southern New Hampshire when I was less than 10 years old.
Or most memorable hiking experience? Hiking 170 miles of the Long Trail in Vermont in 2016. Did parts solo, but other parts with friends. Saw a black bear and a bull moose on the trail! Loved meeting people from all over the world, esp. on the part of the LT that was on the Appalachian Trail in southern VT.
Why did you decide to take the 100-Mile Trail Challenge? Anything that gets me outside any time of the year makes me happy.
What are some of the trails you plan to hike on to meet this goal?: The NCT in Allegheny Forest, Laurel Highlands, The Baker Trail, the AT in PA.
What is your #1 favorite hiking trail in PA, and why is it your favorite?: I am on the Board of the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy and we oversee the Rachel Carson Trail, the Baker Trail and the Harmony Trail. I have lots of fond memories of the Baker and the Rachel. But I am really interested in seeing more trails in PA.
What is your favorite thing about hiking?: Nature. Birds, flowers, plants, bugs, animals, rocks, weather.
Who is sponsoring you so far (friends, family, co-workers, hiking club, etc)?: Family so far. Looking for other sponsors.
How did you hear about KTA/ first get involved with KTA?: The KTA is a “clearinghouse” for all PA trails. The go to place to find out what hikes/trails are available.
Do you have any advice to new hikers?: Make it your hike. If you want to learn bird watching, wildflower identification, figure out animal tracks, or identify all those so many mushrooms that pop up all year long, that is great. If you rather the hike be a mechanism for challenging yourself physically, that’s great too. Another option is to just enjoy quiet time with friends and/or family, and that in itself is calming. And don't forget the seasons. A hike on a trail in summer will be totally different in winter or in early spring or fall. But remember, any one hike can be many things, so make it what you want it to be. There is no correct “way”, otherwise you won’t be inspired to get out on the trail.
What is the one thing you’ll never hit the trail without?: Tied: 3 things: Trekking poles, water, camera.
Do you have a favorite nature/ hiking quote that you can share with us (either your own or someone else’s)?: No excuses!
Anything else you’d like to share with us?: I am so appreciative that we have trails to hike on. I am committed to make sure we keep them for our children and our great, great, great grandchildren and beyond!
Keystone Trails Association