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Two hikers climb down a steepslope in alpine landscape, with snow visible on distant peaks and valleys.
Didi Abreu hiking with Swiss Guide Erwin Aufdenblatten. Photo by Toni Frissell, 1966. https://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/tofr.49835

Take a Hike!

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For some, recreation is as much a part of holiday tradition as comfort food and relaxation. As they do in my family, short walks and hikes can provide a welcome contrast to the other valuable, but maybe more sedentary, activities that characterize Thanksgiving. If you are craving a bit of physical activity this holiday week, perhaps the images below will inspire you to seek out some fresh air and scenery.

These posters, made for the Work Projects Administration as part of its Recreation Project, promote just that.

Poster has the word "hiking" written in brown in all capital letters, with a view of treas and the outlike of a man below.
Hiking–WPA recreation project, Dist. No. 2. Poster by Beard, 1939. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ds.08071
Poster shows figure of woman hiker next to the word "hiking" written in cursive. Visual representation of a hiking path and mountainous landscape appears before her.
Hiking WPA recreation project–Dist. no. 2. Poster by Shari Weisberg, between 1936 and 1939. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3f05232

Majestic scenes provide a backdrop in some of the photographs of hikers in the collections.

Two hikers climb down a steepslope in alpine landscape, with snow visible on distant peaks and valleys.
Didi Abreu hiking with Swiss Guide Erwin Aufdenblatten. Photo by Toni Frissell, 1966. https://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/tofr.49835
Two women and one man stand atop a glacier, carrying walking sticks and dressed in hats and warm clothing.
On the Cowlitz Glacier, Mt. Tacoma, or Rainier, Wash. Blosser Scenic Art Company, 1906. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/stereo.1s16438

The hikers in the next two photos look well-supplied, with filled packs in one case and sturdy walking sticks in the other.

Elementary school-aged girl puts hiking supplies in a peer's backpack. Other children appear in the background, with trees and camp buildings visible in the distance.
Bear Mountain, New York. Interracial activities at Camp Fern Rock, where children are aided by the Methodist Camp Service. Girls adjusting each others’ packs for a hike. Photo by Gordon Parks, 1943. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8d32640
Five women are perched on a ledge in a mountainous scene looking presumably at the view, which is not visible to us.
Women on a hike, Los Angeles. Photo by Bain News Service, between ca. 1915 and ca. 1920. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.26032

Looking for yet another activity to pursue this holiday? If so, we suggest exploring the collections further using the links below!

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Comments (2)

  1. Very inspiring! Thanks for the variety of images and helpful links in this post and throughout the year–a weekly treat!

  2. Thank you for this post! I love the selections!

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