Trail Running in the Dolomites Will Restore Your Sense of Wonder – Men’s Journal
If asked about my favorite long distance trails in the US, my mind wanders to the likes of Wonderland, Timberline, and the Teton Crest. All three are beautiful, but that’s not why they stand out. The throughline is Wilderness with a capital “W”. Remoteness, solitude, and ecosystems seemingly untouched by humans. However, the idea of rugged and desolate Wilderness is uniquely American. We put national parks on a pedestal, with strict boundaries to protect them from the mire of human sprawl. We celebrate conquering their summits, traversing their landscapes, and climbing their walls, but spend the majority of our lives apart from these natural theme parks. I didn’t see the dissonance until a recent trip to the Dolomites.
At first I found this experience odd—almost like I was cheating via indulgence—but eventually came around. Wilderness shouldn’t be curated like a zoo, with glass between us and the natural world. It should be where we all get to play, explore, and live. That’s the main lesson I took away from the Dolomites—and something I hope you take with you, too.
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