Hiking Trails in Seyoisfjorour, Iceland

image: Justin Marrus

When not supporting the legal work of the Kings County District Attorney as a senior assistant DA, Justin Marrus enjoys getting back to nature by camping and hiking in pristine areas. Justin Marrus has spent time hiking in the idyllic town of Seyoisfjorour in Iceland.

Accessible from Northern Denmark by ferry, the sparely-populated Icelandic town Seyoisfjorour is becoming a more popular destination for tourists seeking adventure. In the summer, hiking enthusiasts flock to the picturesque town to follow its breathtaking mountain trails. The famed Waterfall Lane hike takes visitors past more than 25 waterfalls on the 4-kilometer trail.

Hikers can also follow the shorter Tvisongur Loop, which brings travelers to the unique large-scale sculpture that resembles a group of domed houses. For a serious challenge, visitors can take on the Seven Peaks mission. Those who are able to cross the seven mountains surrounding Seyoisfjorour in 24 hours or less earn boasting rights and the Mountain Viking title.

What to Expect When Hiking Pennsylvania’s Black Forest Trail

image - Justin Marrus

Experienced prosecutor Justin Marrus serves as senior assistant district attorney in Kings County (Brooklyn), New York. An avid outdoorsman, Justin Marrus loves to spend time bicycling, camping, and hiking on the Black Forest Trail (BFT) in Pennsylvania.

The BFT is a 43-mile loop within the Tiadaghton State Forest. It was named Black Forest because thick virgin hemlock trees prevented sunlight from reaching the forest floor. Although the hemlocks are largely gone now due to logging and forest fires, the trail retained its name.

This trail is not for beginners. It would take an experienced hiker up to four days to complete the entire loop. Hikers will encounter dense forest areas, wildlife, expansive vistas, waterfalls, and stream crossings. The challenging terrain includes steep climbs and descents, with a cumulative elevation gain of more than 8,500 feet. Some portions of the trail are rocky. There are more than 20 stream crossings throughout the hike, so it is not advisable to wear boots. Experts suggest using lightweight and quick-dry running shoes.

The streams swell up during heavy rain, so the trail is subject to flooding, but hikers can take alternate routes to avoid stream crossings. There is also a large population of bears and rattlesnakes in the region. Plus, there are areas along the trail where the plant called stinging nettle grows. This plant can cause skin inflammation when the hiker brushes its leaves. Mosquitoes and ticks are in abundance, so hikers are advised to bring insect repellent.

For campers, some of the areas that offer remarkable views are the Callahan Run Stream at mile 27 and the top of Hemlock Mountain at mile 29.5. Other good campsites are located along the Naval Run Stream and Little State Run Stream, and at the end of the County Line Branch Stream.

Hiking the Black Forest Trail in Pennsylvania

Justin Marrus

Since earning his Juris Doctor from the New England School of Law, Justin Marrus has served as a senior assistant district attorney. An avid hiker, Justin Marrus has hiked numerous trails, including the Black Forest Trail in Pennsylvania.

Earning its name from the once-prevalent evergreen hemlock trees that prevented light from reaching the forest floor, the Black Forest Trail is a challenging but popular hike located in the Tiadaghton State Forest. The trail consists of a 43-mile loop that includes eight climbs exceeding 500 feet. Due to its ruggedness and steep inclines, the trail is best for experienced hikers. Covering the whole trail would take approximately three to four days.

However, hikers interested in a shorter day trip can follow any of the side trails that branch off the main road. There are plenty of campsites and sources of freshwater. Travelers can even spend a night or two at the Hotel Manor, which features a full-service restaurant. The Black Forest Trail is best known for its impressive vistas and multiple creek crossings.

Three of Hawaii’s Best Hikes

photo: Justin Marrus

With nearly eight years of experience in his current role as senior assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, New York, Justin Marrus works hand-in-hand with many law enforcement agencies, including the NYPD, the FBI, and the US Marshal’s Office. Justin Marrus is also an avid outdoorsman, and enjoys hiking, cycling, and traveling around the world.

One of the top destinations for hikers is Hawaii. Here are three of the best hikes in the islands.

1. The Kalalau Trail, located on Kauai, is one of the most famous of Hawaii’s many hikes. With a roundtrip of around 22 miles, this trail is the only way to access Kalalau Beach by land. On this hike, you’ll experience beautiful views of the Na Pall Coast, but be careful; the narrow trails can easily become flooded when it rains, and there is a risk of falling rocks and other dangers as well.

2. The Koko Head Crater Trail on Oahu consists of a steep uphill climb of more than 1,000 stairs. When you reach the top, you’ll find a beautiful view of Diamond Head and the beaches.

3. The Makapuu Tom Tom Trail is one of Hawaii’s simpler hikes, but the effort is well worth it for the spectacular view you can experience. Since it only takes about 30 or 40 minutes to reach the top, it’s easy to make it for one of the best sunrise views on Oahu.