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Backpacker Magazine – September 2012

Trail Mix: Central

Your region's go-now guide

by: Steve Johnson (See This Now), Elisabeth Kwack-Hefferan (Pack Your, Perfect Days), and Rachel Zurer

Northen Lights (Jim Brandenburg/Minden Pictures)
Northen Lights (Jim Brandenburg/Minden Pictures)


Perfect Days

Dallas, TX
Dinosaur Valley State Park
Pick a Saturday afternoon to hike this 6.8-mile loop featuring ridgetop views over a lushly forested river valley and some of the world’s best-preserved dinosaur tracks. That way, you can top off the day with one of the Texas Astronomical Society’s free weekend star parties. Check locations and schedules at tasobserving.org. Trip ID 8350

Indianapolis, IN Three Lakes Loop
Wander through hardwoods, across narrow ridgelines, and through shady creek-bottom ravines on this challenging 8.6-mile hike in Morgan-Monroe State Forest. Quench your post-hike thirst with the fresh-pressed cider at Musgrave Orchard, just 1.4 miles from the trailhead (812-339-5006). Trip ID 59727

Rapid City, SD Harney Peak
Bag South Dakota’s 7,242-foot highpoint on a 6.8-mile loop through ponderosa pine forest and past granite spires. Then, swing by the Crazy Horse Memorial (crazyhorsememorial.org) to see a mountain-side sculpture-in-progress of the Lakota chief (bonus: fireworks on Sept. 6). Trip ID 8212






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