ROLLING ALONG — A group of Canal Trail bikers explore the wild and make some new friends in New London. Biking, and hiking, are great ways to improve mental, physical, and social health. (Sentinel file photo by John Clifford)

Area offers several trails for biking, hiking

Published Oct 8, 2017 at 9:00am

Rome and the surrounding areas are called the Leatherstocking Region after a term coined by “Last of the Mohicans” author James Fenimore Cooper. In his stories, Cooper would recount how woodsmen in the area would wear leather stockings around their ankles to protect them as they braved wild bushes, thorns and branches to create trails in the area.

The Rome area now offers several trails free of branches and thorns but remain full of adventure. Websites including www.traillink.com, www.trails.com, www.alltrails.com and www.americantrails.org list many trails for outdoor enthusiasts to explore.

Jessica Sanders of www.ReserveAmerica.com lists the following ways to ensure a safe and satisfying hike.

Make a gear list to be sure you have all the equipment, including bug spray, rain gear, a map, compass, and water. Always bring extra water. Bring a map. Hike during the day. Know the area. Check the forecast.

Tell someone where you’re going and when they can expect you back. And stay together, no matter your quickness or ability, with others in your group.

Biking trails

Rome and Central New York is also home to several and biking trails. These may be found at the above websites, and also at www.singletracks.com, for mountain bikers, and www.canals.com, which lists bike trails along the Erie Canal.

Like hiking, biking safety is paramount. Wear a helmet. Know your fitness level, and use a safe bike. Educate yourself about your bike and its limitations. Respect your fellow bikers. Bring water and other snacks when riding long distances. Hiking and biking are useful to lose weight, relax, and re-connect with friends and family.