Have you ever experienced trail magic? This term often describes random acts of kindness offered to long-distance hikers. This kindness comes in numerous ways and is expected to follow leave no trace principles.
Trail magic can be letters or care packages from home. It can also be from strangers. Many long-distance hikers report receiving a ride into town or back to the trail, cold drinks, lawn chair in the shade, even a hot shower and a bed for the night. And while the true act of trail magic has no strings attached, the givers often have strings attached to the trails.
Many were previous hikers, and they received anonymous support and gifts along their journey. Others intentionally move to towns surrounding trails to spend their summers greeting fellow outdoors people with the kindness they found there.
Trail magic goes beyond just a smile and a candy bar. These acts of kindness go beyond that. Not only does this kind of care offer energy and much-needed calories to the hikers, but it also offers hope. It helps the hard days on the trail become manageable. It is a way of connecting relationally. In turn, those dusty faces on the trail become a bit of