Ron is up to the Challenge. Are you?
Full name: Ronald Schwartz
Hometown: Manheim, Lancaster County
How long you’ve been hiking: Since I was a kid, but I’ve been backpacking for about 25 years.
Earliest memory of hiking or most memorable hiking experience: My family lived in Clinton County for a period of time during my childhood, and it was during that time that I became fond of hiking. I was allowed to roam the surrounding woods on my own, and I credit those experiences with my ongoing enthusiasm to wilderness hiking.
Why you decided to take the 100-Mile Trail Challenge: It seemed like a simple way to raise awareness and needed funding for something I care deeply about. I appreciate all that KTA does, and it’s the least I could do.
Some trails you plan to hike to meet this goal: I’ll be hiking the Old Loggers Path and the Quehanna Trail.
Your #1 favorite hiking trail in Pennsylvania, and why it’s your favorite: Hands down, my favorite trail is the Quehanna Trail. The terrain and scenery are unmatched, in my opinion, and the amount of wildlife I see while hiking this trail is always refreshing. But most importantly, the remoteness and the wildness of the area are what continue to attract me.
Your favorite thing about hiking: That it’s a healthy and relaxing way to escape and be alone with your thoughts. As a solo hiker, the solitude combined with the strenuous exercise manage to both recharge my batteries and put things in perspective. One of my favorite quotes is “You need to get away to get back.”
Who’s sponsoring you so far (friends, family, coworkers, hiking club, etc.): So far, I’m being sponsored by friends, family, and coworkers.
How you heard about or first got involved with KTA: I don’t really recall how I first heard about KTA, but I remember learning that they maintain hiking trails in PA, and I became an instant supporter.
Advice to new hikers: Remember that it’s about the journey and that you don’t have to hike in exotic places to experience the joys of hiking. Just go out and do it. And boots—get the best boots money can buy.
The one thing you’ll never hit the trail without: Good socks—and plenty of them.
Favorite nature/hiking quote (your own or someone else’s): I have 2 quotes actually, both displayed in my office:
“You need to get away to get back.”
“In wildness is the preservation of the world.”
—Henry David Thoreau
Anything else you’d like to share: Please keep up the wonderful work that is being done by KTA.
Keystone Trails Association