Walk It Off

Longreads

If a short walk helps you clear your head  what happens when you take a very long one?  At Backpacker, Elisabeth Kwak-Heffe ran 170 miles on the Sacred Door Trail to find out.

Officially opened in 2012, the Montana trail is an “interfaith pilgrimage trail in southwestern Montana that celebrates and is dedicated to spiritual unity and the interdependent relationship between self, Earth, and Community.”

Kwak-Heffernan looks at what defines pilgrimage, and what happens to the ideas you carry with you when you undertake one.

The Sacred Door Trail, like many pilgrimage sites, is intended as a place for spiritual reflection. It’s for “grieving, healing, and honoring life’s major transitions,” Weston told me over lunch a month ago. Inspired by a hike on Spain’s Camino de Santiago, in 2009 Weston started piecing together existing trails (including part of the CDT) into a loop route with the help of a…

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