Rich and Sue Freeman, decided to make their living from what they love-being outdoors. In 1996 they left corporate jobs to spend six months hiking 2,200 miles on the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. That adventure deepened their love of the outdoors and inspired them to share this love by introducing others to the joys of hiking.

Since most people don't have the option (let alone the desire) to undertake a six-month trek, they decided to focus on short hikes near home. The result was the first edition of "Take A Hike! Family Walks in the Rochester Area." They went on to explore hiking, bicycling, skiing, and snowshoeing trails, waterfalls and now waterways for paddling throughout central and western New York State. They have written 10 guidebooks.

Rich and Sue are active members of several area outdoors groups. In addition, their passion for adventure continues. They have hiked the 500-mile-long Bruce Trail in Ontario, Canada, hiked on the Florida Trail, hiked across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago Trail and hiked a 500-mile section of the International Appalachian Trail in Quebec, Canada. They have trekked to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. Recently (in addition to kayaking hundreds of miles of New York's waterways), they hiked the tropical forests and volcanic peaks of wild Hawaii. On bicycles they have crossed New York State on the Erie Canalway Trail and pedaled the C&O Canal Trail from Washington D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland.

Freeman's also publish a free, monthly electronic newsletter on outdoor recreation in central and western New York State.

Since beginning their new careers writing and publishing guidebooks, the Freemans have pared down their living expenses and are enjoying a simpler lifestyle. They now have control of their own destiny and the freedom to head into the woods and waterways for a refreshing respite when the urge strikes. Still, their life is infinitely more cluttered than when they carried all their worldly needs on their backs for six months on the Appalachian Trail.


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