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Next Issue:

Do you have any rail-trail traditions? Any rituals or celebrations that take place on the trail? (Deadline for submission: August 31)

We want to hear from you!

Essays should be no more than 250 words in length and may be edited for publication. If your essay is chosen, we'll ask you to provide a picture of yourself (perhaps on a rail-trail) to accompany the essay. Send your essay and contact information to or:

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
Magazine/Trail Tales
1100 17th Street, N.W., 10th Floor Washington, DC 20036


More Trail Tales

In the Summer 2007 issue of Rails to Trails, we asked our readers: What is your favorite trail snack…and would you mind sharing the recipe with us if you have one? We only had room for one "Trail Tale" in the magazine, but here are two more treats to get you through your trip down the trail.

Jay E. Harris of North Baltimore, Ohio, writes:
My father, Keith Harris, retired here in Ohio several years back after a successful career as a public school teacher and administrator. Back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, he challenged several of his classes to "invent" a trail mix suitable for camping, Boy Scout hikes (he was also Scoutmaster in the town where I grew up), bicycling and the like. Here's the mixture they came up with:

¼ Cup peanuts (lightly salted)
¼ Cup candy corn
¼ Cup raisins

The ingredients are cheap, easy to get, and it's very easy to make. Just mix and pour 'em into a plastic bag! That's one serving, enough to last through a 10-mile Volksmarch or a 32-mile fun run. Two servings will get you through a half century. Now, Dad could tell you specifically why this is a good mixture, what each ingredient brings to the dietary party and how each helps keep you going when the hills get steeper and it seems to be longer and longer between rest stops. I just like the taste! Of course, you can fiddle with the formula by adding ¼ cup of dried pineapple or other fruit, adding M&Ms or other chocolate bits to taste, etc. Me, I like the "classic" formula. It was good enough to get me, at age 50 and my Dad at age 80, through a 100K last year and I think many other folks will like it, too!

Joan Laxson of Newton/Waban, Mass., writes:
When three women friends and I pedaled on the C&O Canal Towpath in Maryland on our way from Washington, D.C., to Pittsburgh, we created a magical, bottomless trail snack after I pinched a carton of Froot Loops cereal from our motel's breakfast offerings. Who wouldn't love an excuse to eat Froot Loops? I added leftovers from a trail mix I purchased from a convenience store. When my friends saw me munching, they said, "Ewwwww. Froot Loops?" and promptly decided to contribute whatever they had in their bike bags—pretzels, M&Ms, peanuts, dried cranberries, etc., etc. These contributions continued for the entire weeklong trip; and the trail snack became a never-ending, tasty, colorful affair. The sugar in the Froot Loops or other favorite childhood cereals, candies, and dried fruit provide a quick pick-me-up; nuts take care of hunger and stick to your ribs longer; and the salty pretzels help replace lost sodium sweated off on a hot ride. But as the original inventor I was assigned to carry the mixture in my panniers to produce on demand for the rest of the trip!

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
The Duke Ellington Building
2121 Ward Ct., NW
5th Floor
Washington, DC 20037