THE BICENTENNIAL NATIONAL TRAIL
The Bicentennial National Trail (BNT) is one of the longest non-motorised trails in the world, running 5,330 kilometres (3,300 miles) from Cooktown, Queensland, down to Healesville, Victoria. It runs along the Great Dividing Range, letting us explore national parks, go through private property that the land owners have generously let riders and hikers use, and some pretty remote wilderness areas. The trail is made up of old coach roads, stock routes, brumby tracks (I’m getting some Man from Snowy River vibes!), rivers and fire trails. It was originally created for horses and was previously known as the National Horse Trail, but is now also open to bikers and walkers.
The trail is divided into 12 sections, each of which have an associated guide book. The direction of the trail is starting in Cooktown and completing the journey in Healesville. However, I did my section of the trail backwards, starting down south and traveling north.
The BNT is run completely by volunteers, who do an amazing job maintaining the trail and keeping it accessible so that people like me (and you!!) are able to go explore the wild and rugged Australia that so often goes unseen. Membership is a crazy low $40 per YEAR, so if you’re thinking about checking out a certain section of the trail then definitely get behind this amazing organisation!
THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE TRAIL
The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (in short Continental Divide Trail (CDT)) is a United States National Scenic Trail running 3,100 miles (5,000 km) between Mexico and Canada. It follows the Continental Divide of the Americas along the Rocky Mountains and traverses five U.S. states — Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.
The CDT is considered one of the greatest long-distance trails in the world. It's the highest, most challenging, and most remote of the USA's National Scenic Trails. Ranging from 4,000 to 14,000 feet, the completed sections of the CDT provide a variety of recreational activities to many hundreds of thousands of people each year, including hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting, and sight-seeing.
The country I was able to experience riding the CDT was unlike anything I've ridden before. It was way tougher than anything I've attempted before, however I found out that I was capable of way more than I thought I was. The CDT Coalition does an amazing job as stewards of the trail and by becoming a member (it's only $35 per year), you're helping to make sure that the trail can be open and available for many generations to come.