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Take a Hike

GREEN MOUNTAIN NATIONAL FOREST, Vermont
The trail: Monroe Skyline. Known for: A challenging route along the ridgelines of six mountains, with thickly forested "green tunnels." Trip tip:The summit of Mount Abraham has a panoramic vista taking in New Hampshire's White Mountains to the east and Lake Champlain to the west. Length: 11.1 miles. Skill Level: Moderate to strenuous. For info: Green Mountain Club, 802/244-7037; www.greenmountainclub.org.

OCALA NATIONAL FOREST, Florida
The trail: Alexander Springs to Juniper Springs. Known for: Towering palms, oak hammocks, and cool natural springs—they're the reason this stretch is considered north central Florida's crown jewel. Trip tip: At hike's end, splash down in Juniper Springs, a swimming hole of the good old-fashioned variety, with water so clear you can see all the way to the white sand bottom. Length: 17.8 miles. Skill Level: Easy. For info: Florida Trail Association, 877/445-3352; www.florida-trail.org.

Trail Essentials

GEAR
Make like a camel with the Hydrapak Delta (right; 866/549-0559; www.hydrapak.com; $46)—a lightweight day pack and hydration system in one. The inner reservoir holds more than two liters of water, and a valved hose pipes it to your mouth when you need it. Cool your heels in Merrell Chameleon Stretch hiking shoes (below; 888/637-7001; www.merrellboot.com; $90); breathable mesh and a stretchy lacing system make you feel as if you're walking on air. Wool isn't just for winter anymore—the new Breakaway jacket from Ibex (800/773-9647; www.ibexwear.com; $178) is made with Climawool Light, a high-tech blend of wool, nylon, and Lycra that wicks moisture from your skin. Get your bearings with the user-friendly Brunton Nomad (800/443-4871; www.brunton.com; $70), a digital compass with memory.

RESOURCES
The official Web site of the National Park Service, www.nps.gov, is a complete guide to U.S. parks, landmarks, and monuments. U.K.-based www.OneDayHikes.com rounds up the best day hikes across North and South America, Europe, and Australia. Log on to www.gorp.com to research adventure trips and gear.
—Bonnie Tsui

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