Hi! My name is Tory and I am the voice behind My Trails Are Many. I like to go on hiking adventures with my dog, Tom in my home state of Pennsylvania.
Growing up, my family was more about Hiltons than hiking. When the pandemic hit in 2020, I was living in Orange County, CA in a 600 square foot apartment. I felt so claustrophobic and started taking my dog for walks away from our crowded apartment on trails in the area. Turns out…I was hiking??
Fast forward eight months and a move to Cleveland, Ohio. I was working at a horribly toxic job and I was miserable. When I finally found another job, I had two weeks off in between to decompress. What do you do with two weeks off of work in the middle of a pandemic?
My friend told me about this hiking challenge that was 115 miles of hiking in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I had nothing better to do, so I signed up and did eight hikes in two weeks. In January. I completed the challenge in May and stopped hiking to focus on other things.
In 2021, I moved to Pittsburgh and injured myself. The only thing I was able to do was go for walks on my crutches. As someone whose entire identity and social network was built around working out, I really struggled with the isolation. We live close to Frick Park and being able to be surrounded by trees calmed down my frustration at not being able to move my body normally.
It seemed as if hiking kept coming back into my life when I really needed it – whether it was to escape from the uncertainty of the pandemic, to heal from a toxic work environment, or to get out there and make friends in a new city.
Am I an expert hiker? Nope! But I am learning as I go and want to encourage other beginners who think that hiking is too hard or that they’re not outdoorsy enough that hiking is for them too!
Not sure where to look first? Let me help!
Looking to visit more Pennsylvania State Parks? Check out my post listing all of my PA State Park guides for tips on visiting some of my favorites!
Planning a visit to Pittsburgh and want to adventure? Get advice from your favorite local (me, of course) on what trails to visit! - Best Trails Near Pittsburgh