Hiking on the edge

palmer-park-trail-ledge

A hiking and biking trail skirts the cliff edge at Palmer Park in Colorado Springs, CO.

On Sunday a group of 5 children accidentally fell 75 feet while hiking the Rachael Carson Trail in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Some of the children remained in the hospital on Tuesday while undergoing treatment for their injuries.

According to officials the cliff where the children fell is located at least 15 feet away from the main trail and it appears the kids slipped on some leaves while getting too close to the edge. Asked whether it would be a good idea to install a fence at the bluff one official said “I don’t think we are going to put a fence up. There is a lot of liability connected with that, and it would spoil the view.”

broad-mtn-trail

View from the Broad Mountain Loop near Jim Thorpe, PA.

Hiking can certainly be dangerous at times and we’ve profiled some of the world’s most dangerous hiking trails here on the blog in the past. It’s not unusual for hiking trails to approach cliff edges and steep drops – that is, after all, where the best views are usually found. As a hiker it’s important to make sure your footing is steady as you approach vistas like the ones pictured above. Sometimes I like to use the “3-points of contact” approach, making sure that I have at least 3 parts of my body in contact with the ground as I move across a ledge. Sure, sometimes that means getting down on all fours but you can never be too careful!

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  4. Do signs on hiking trails diminish the wilderness experience?
  5. The triple crown of hiking

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