If you are planning a hiking trip through Europe, you may want to consider taking an RV with you during your travels. While you will want to park at your destination while you hike certain trails, and may even backpack overnight from time to time, having an RV with you will be a great asset for a long excursion. Whether you are staying in one location for an extended period or are looking to cover a lot of countries in a short period of time, an RV will get you where you need to go. Here are some reasons why you would want to consider taking an RV for your next hiking trip in Europe.
Lighten Your Packing Load for Clothes
If you have an RV near a hiking trail head, you will always have dry, clean clothes within a day or two’s walk. This will help you to eliminate the need to carry many days of clean clothing, therefore, reducing the weight of your travel bag. Every pound saved on your back will make hiking easier and more pleasurable. You may find that you are able to hike for a greater distance, because you don’t have so much extra weight to carry with you.
Lighten your Pack Load for Food
Again, if you do not have to worry about carrying enough food for more than a day or two, before heading to your next hiking trail, the weight of your backpack will be considerably lower than if you needed to carry enough food for a week-long hike. As well, with a full kitchen you can spoil yourself with the ease of cooking and storing anything you can dream up. Bringing food with you will cut down on your overall costs, and you don’t have to worry about picking up food on the road, which is a bonus.
When you travel with an RV, one of the benefits is having a shower nearby. Your own shower, in fact. When you are done with your hike, be it one day or three, you get to return to your RV and take a shower. If you are parked in an RV park, you will have the luxury of a hot shower. The benefit of your own bathroom is a matter of comfort that will save you from worrying about finding a public bathroom.
The Luxury of a Comfortable Bed to Sleep in
In between hikes, having an RV allows you the luxury of sleeping in an actual bed. While you may decide that tent or even hammock camping may be acceptable on the trail, coming back to your RV and sleeping in a warm bed will be a welcome change. You can also pack a little extra equipment, a more extensive camp kitchen and those little touches of home to add an additional level of comfort to your trip.
Ease of Changing Locations
If you are planning on hiking throughout Europe, having an RV will make traveling much quicker. While you can hike throughout Europe traveling from country to country, traveling in between hiking locations will make your trip quicker and more efficient. If you are short on time, but eager for the hiking experience through all, or several countries, traveling via RV is the best bang for your time management.
Hiking through Europe does not have to takes months of your time. You can hike many of the trails you desire but travel longer distances by RV to dramatically shorten the amount of time spent on your trip.
Europe boasts some of the most beautiful natural landscape in the world, from island nations like Iceland and Ireland to the charming Baltic climes of Lithuania and the placid Mediterranean coastline that stretches across the entire south of the continent. Inland, mountainous countries like Switzerland and Austria offer fascinating views and walks, along with a tremendously genuine vibe from old towns.
If you’ve considered taking a hiking tour in Europe, let us point you in the direction of this infographic from Ireland Walk Hike Bike. It features five of the continent’s most highly-recommended mountain hikes, all of which are very negotiable even for the more casual walker. Unsurprisingly given its creators, an Irish route features, and with good reason – Carrauntoohil represents Ireland at its natural, scenic best, although even the summer months can bring prolonged rainfall!
The fall of the Iron Curtain in the early 1990s opened a lot of doors for Eastern European countries, who since gaining independence have made great strides in modernizing. Places like Slovakia and Montenegro which were previous part of larger, now-defunct nations have evolved into tourist havens, with millions now able to appreciate the natural splendor of these countries up close. The Ladder of Kotor in Montenegro is an especially stunning mountain hike, offering unforgettable views of Kotor Bay and its blissful surroundings.
Check out the infographic in full below and see for yourself the delights that Europe offers!
1. Traffic. The Grand Loop of Yellowstone is a gorgeous ride that offers scenic views from beyond the windshield of your vehicle as well as plenty of opportunities to pull over, park, and explore. Enjoying the Grand Loop of Yellowstone consists of two key factors; timing and patience. Visiting Yellowstone in peak tourist season will allow for the best weather and the best views; however, will leave you gridlocked in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Every bison that wanders even remotely close to the road will result in ever increasing traffic congestion so be ready to stop for every single bison that passes. Having gorgeous views makes it difficult to pay attention to the speed limit as your eyes fixate on the nature that engulfs your vehicle. Although the speed limit of the Grand Loop is 45 miles per hour, be prepared to travel at a consistent 25 mph instead. If stop and go traffic is not your thing, Yellowstone is sure to flare up your road rage. I visited Yellowstone in late May and early June in anticipation of beating the summer rush, but I was sadly mistaken. I was told that I indeed did miss peak season, yet the traffic and crowds were still something that limited my enjoyment of this beautiful park.
2. Crowds. In my opinion the solidarity of nature and the quietness of wind rustling the trees surrounding you is one of the things that draws me to hike and camp. Slowing yourself down in such a fast paced world and finding what thoughts somehow get lost on a day-to-day basis is imperative to ones happiness. Yellowstone in no way offered solitude. We were consistently fighting crowds, waiting in line to find the best views, and having to hike at someone else’s pace, as you were never alone on the trails. It reminded me of being at an amusement park, which is exciting and fun in its own accord, but not what I want out of visiting a National Park. If you are like me and enjoy your solitude, Yellowstone may not be for you.
3. Destruction of Land. Being that Yellowstone is such a huge attraction that draws a mass amount of individuals, erosion is inevitable. Seeing paved trails, massive parking lots, chain-link fences, boardwalks, litter on the ground, and heavy machinery digging up the earth to install new attractions was quite saddening. The one thing that I have always admired about National Parks was their attempt and most often success of keeping the land preserved and in its most natural position. Whether it is for the money or because of the amount of tourists that utilize this area, Yellowstone was very urbanized and I never felt as though I was walking on preserved land. The reason that I love hiking and camping is that it brings me back to a natural, simple, and slower paced mindset. Yellowstone may not be for you if you are like me and enjoy taking a break from our industrialized society.
Yellowstone is an absolutely gorgeous park and it offers some sights that you will never be able to witness anywhere else in the world. Witnessing basins, geysers, hot springs, wildlife, and massive waterfalls is something I will never forget. I do not regret going to Yellowstone because of these incredible feats of nature, but I will never go back as this park does not offer the things that make me the most happy about being outside.
Flat rock is quite deceiving in its name as the entire hike is anything but flat. Although steep in incline no matter which direction you choose, this hike does offer a preferred route that is riddled with switchbacks thus making the steepness more easily attainable versus the challenging route which is nothing but an uphill battle. As you enter Colonel Denning State Park you will feel the deciduous tree line thicken as you inch towards the Tuscarora State Forest; you will also notice Doubling Gap Lake, a man made lake, that offers an exquisite entrance to the park. Within Colonel Denning State Park there are many hiking trails to select from, but the one with the best view is by far the Flat Rock Trail. Flat Rock Trail is an out and back trail that is roughly four and half miles in length. The trail is steep, beautiful, rugged, and peppered with rocks. Moderately trafficked you are sure to bump into like-minded individuals, especially on nicer days.
I had chosen to take the preferred route, which was still difficult in its own right, yet offered a more leisurely trek. The path started out with a maze of switchbacks and a slight incline that turned quickly into walking straight uphill. The trail is well shaded by the dense forest and I would often have to scramble over rock formations to make it further along my hike. Along the way you will see such attractions as the old springhouse and a shelter along the Tuscarora Trail. Another neat aspect of this trail is the “wagon wheel” of trails. This is where Flat Rock Trail, Tuscarora Trail, Lehman Trail, Woodburn Trail, and Warner Trail all meet together at one intersection. Once at the summit of 1,987 feet, the flat rock of which the name of the trail is generated from is quite small and can become crowded quickly. The one thing that has always amazed me about overlooks like flat rock, is the silence. Regardless of if you are there with many other people or completely alone, no one seems to speak. Caught in the moment of such peace and beauty, no one says a word. Is it that people are lost in their own thought and awe? Or is that I am so lost in my own, that everything else fades away?
Western Europeans enjoy urban hiking, biking, as-well-as green space in their neighborhood’s. Looking up Ancien Chemin de Fer (French for Former Path of Iron) I discover my trail is an old railroad that has been put to good use. My hike along the entire Chemin de Fer today began in the city of Stockel and terminated near the neighborhood of Trois Tilleuils (Three Lime Trees) and the Demey Metro stop. Google tells me this walk was 5.1km (3miles).
Belgium isn’t quite as flat as Holland but pretty darn close! The flat, easy Chemin de Fer is perfect for the Belgian's love of two-wheelers. Its also perfect for a leisure stroll or quick workout on two-feet. At the head of this path is a bike garage and convenient tire pump.
All along this urban path are informative sign-posts, benches, and bags and bins for your dog. The only thing locals seem to love more than their bikes are their dogs!
Its hard to take a picture on this path without getting a bike.
Part of the former railway. If you can’t utilize it anymore, turn it into art.
One of many unique foot bridges to carry you over the busy Bruxelles streets below.
This is the largest pedestrian bridge on the Chemin de Fer that takes you over the busy Avenue de Tervueren. One of the first days this year made for an old Citroen convertible.
A few steps off the path and the Le Vignoble (The Vineyard) for lunch? This is funny cause the Belgians are know for their beer but they don’t have vineyards.
Over the street and in a few more meters you’ll always find more open, green areas. Coming up, Parc de Woluwe.
Shooting off the Chemin de Fer (French for Path of Iron) or Ijzer Weg (Dutch for Iron Away) is a short path to a small part of Parc de Woluwe. This small sign is typical of most road signs in Belgium which are in both French and Dutch (Both official languages in the Kingdom).
This small high-arched bridge over the path appears to join a school and its playground. The kids were having a helluva time and making quite a racket. Kids here learn early to enjoy the outdoors and I sense an overall greater appreciation and care for the environment. Not that they don’t have their problems and pollution.
French on top, Dutch below.
Mans best friend lagging behind.
While on the path you feel enveloped in a quiet green space with civilization always close by.
Before you know it, you’re back in civilization, looking for the Metro for an inexpensive ride back home to the center of town!
White Rocks is a 2.8 mile out and back hike that isn’t necessarily high traffic, but more often than not you will pass fellow hikers. The trail has an entertaining mix of flat, easy going hiking along with some steep elevation climbs topped with some awesome opportunities for rock climbing. Hikers can opt for scrambling over the rock formations or choose the recommended route that steers around the natural monuments. Regardless, the first half of the trail is slower going no matter which path you take.
If hiking with a dog, be mindful of unexpected drops off the sides of the rocks that may look shallow but are actually quite deceiving. Luckily she was fine, but one hike my girl decided to jump from a rock cliff without waiting for us to help her down first. She usually is not a daredevil, but she loves to rock climb that’s for sure!
There is no rewarding vista at the end; however, hikers can enjoy partially obstructed views of the mountains in winter and early spring. White Rocks trail ends where it meets the Appalachian Trail. If you keep going maybe 200 yards up the white blazes you’ll run into a small statue which was once the old halfway point for the AT. Overall, this hike is by far one of my favorites and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new trail.
Side note: When I put the address in Google Maps, it says the entrance is on the left and always lets me know “I arrived” a little too early. Truth is, the parking lot is located about 100 yards farther on the right. You can’t miss it.