The Grand Tour

Walking has it all. Simple and natural, it doesn't require any instruction or skill. It can be a very modest form of exercise or it can demand enough skill and intensity to be an Olympic sport. You can walk alone for solitude or with friends for companionship. You can walk indoors on a treadmill or outside in the city or country, at home or away. You can get all the benefits of moderate exercise with a very low risk of injury. And to boot, walking is inexpensive. More than 2,400 years ago, Hippocrates said, "Walking is a man's best medicine." Of course, he also said, "To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy."

The Grand Tour

Wyalusing State Park features eleven trails. some of which are easy and others provide a challenge. The trails feature caves, prairies, springs, and bluffs. Each one offers views and memories along the way.

There is still one more trail that Wyalusing State Park features - The Grand Tour!

The Grand Tour of Trails isn't listed as an "official" trail. It's not a secret. The Grand Tour Trail is a system of trails encompassing Wyalusing State Park.

The Grand Tour Trail walkers are an elite group of dedicated hikers. A Grand Tour Trail walker qualifies by walking the above route within a contiguous 48 hour period. This writer knows only two Grand Tour Walkers. The most recent walker is a young High School student who was staying at Wyalusing State Park during the summer 0f 2012. Surely there have been more.

Exercise burns calories. In the case of walking and running, the calories burned depend much more on the distance covered and body weight than on the pace of the walk.

Follow these common sense rules

  • Before you leave, plan ahead. Learn about the area ahead of time. Plan your trip carefully according to routes and the time you have available. Check weather reports before you set out.

  • Prepare yourself physically. If your planned recreation calls for considerable physical exertion, get in shape beforehand. Do not attempt The Grand Tour if it is beyond your physical capabilities.

  • Leave word of your destination and schedule. In order to locate you in an emergency or send assistance should you need it, leave word at home or with a friend as to where you are going and when you intend to return.

  • Dress appropriately for the season and wear appropriate hiking shoes or boots. Layered clothing is best to meet changing weather conditions. If cool or wet conditions can be expected it is recommended that you avoid cotton clothing, which insulates poorly when wet and dries very slowly.

  • Carry a compass and a topographic map of the area and know how to use both.

  • Take along appropriate equipment and supplies. A day pack containing rain gear, extra warm clothing, high energy food, water, first aid kit, pocket knife, whistle and matches in a waterproof container are recommended. Sunglasses and insect repellent are also handy.

  • Do not drink water from ponds or streams.

  • If you become lost, keep calm, stay dry, keep warm and stay put.

  • If the weather is particularly cold or bad and you must spend the night in the woods, also build a small shelter using dead branches, hemlock boughs and leaves. The shelter will serve as a "cocoon" and should be just big enough for you to lie in comfortably. Set up camp before darkness falls.

  • If you feel you can try and find your way out of the woods, remember that following streams downhill will nearly always lead you back to signs of habitation.

  • Any person knowing you are overdue should contact the Park authorities.

  • In case of accident, at least one person should remain with the injured person. Know and use basic first aid techniques