NJ Hiking: Connect

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Plantar Fasciitis,New hiker.Very upset

First like to say hello to everyone out there who enjoys the same things I do.Im a mountain biker road biker,kayaker who now enjoys hiking now also.Ok lets start out hiked four times so far and now have been striken with what seems to be the signs of plantar fasciitis in my left heel.Burning heel morning pain blah blah blah. What has me upset is did I over do it first times out?Have I caused this injury that can be with me forever and just keep getting worse over time.My first hikes were all water gap trails rock core to douglas to AT to swap I thought was sunfish pond(not) next was Dunnfield creek about 3/4 of it (my favorite trail) then another trip to Dunnfield creek next was mylast hike up Tammany to blue to Dunnfield back to lot. Hikes were from thanksgiving to day after xmas. Most hikes were a week plus apart. My size is not helpful but has not slowed me down in other activities.Im 5 9 like 260 lbs. wear good shoes (keen targheeII) wool socks,daypack with like 20-22 pounds of gear in case something goes wrong.Hope enough info to help people understand background. This foot thing has me upset that I my have to pass on hiking and taking photos of the great outdoors. I can hike through the pain towards the end of hike, but the two days of recovery interfere with my job as a commercial tire man. I have not seen  many stories from hikers on subject,have read the plantar is caused from hiking. Hopefully can keep it in check and still enjoy more hiking not just a few memories.Any tips on plantar fasciitis and hiking would help a fellow hiker keep on the trails.Thanks, Scott    P.S. I will hike through the pain if need be... Hooked on hiking




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Comment by Daniela Wagstaff on January 4, 2013 at 7:22pm


I'll share a couple of things that worked for me.  Throw a small ball in your backpack, like a golf ball or something that size.  When your feet bother you, take off your shoe place the ball on the ground and roll the bottom of your foot over it front to back, back to front - that provides some relief.  I started using Superfeet insoles in my hiking shoes and have no problems any more.  It took a while but gradually the pain lessened until it never came back.  Eastern Mountain Sports has them and they can advise which type is best.   I had plantar fasciitis so bad I could not walk when getting out of bed in the morning unless I wore Crocs from the minute I rolled out of bed until I could get moving without them.  I had tried a couple of different types of heel inserts for planter fasciitis but they did not seem to do much for me.  


Comment by Scott Bower on January 4, 2013 at 10:29pm

Thanks for info. Seen Superfeet at EMS. Heading their saturday.

Tried some inserts but after like three hours feet start to hurt. Wil Add golf ball to pack and will try.

Thanks Daniela

Comment by njHiking.com on January 5, 2013 at 7:35pm

Hi Scott - I haven't had Plantar Fasciitis but have been sidelined by foot pain a couple times, so I know how incredibly frustrating it is. Foot and knee pain is very common in hikers. For me, the very rocky trails in this area kill my knee... I can hike every day for a week in other areas of the US and not have a problem; one day in the Gap and my knee can get cranky.

And with foot pain in general, don't overlook worn-out shoes or even new ones causing problems - I had a couple nagging issues that I finally figured was caused by older shoes, and I think an issue that stemmed from a new pair of hikers that seemed to fit fine but did the ball of my foot in. I lost several months of hiking last year while figuring that out (foot doc tests kept showing nothing wrong). Luckily I could still bike or I would have gone totally bonkers sitting around.

And if the pain persists you might want to check in with a foot doc just to make sure it's not something else.


Comment by Scott Bower on January 6, 2013 at 9:28pm

Dawn thanks for helpful tips. Have noticed that most trails I have been on in water gap are rocky. Can you suggest some less rocky. I live in south brunswick area but dont mind a drive for good trails with great photo ops.


Comment by Scott Bower on January 6, 2013 at 9:37pm

Boots are new and just picked up a set of superfeet insoles,will try out shortly giving foot a few weeks off. If pain increases will head to doctor.






Comment by njHiking.com on January 7, 2013 at 7:58pm

Well the rockiest trails also tend to be where the best hiking is in the state... north NJ like Norvin, and especially the northwest corner along the Kittatinny Ridge. In my opinion, I find some of the trails at Wawayanda a tad less rocky than say, the Mt. Tammany/Sunfish area.

Trails become less rocky the further south you head, and are flat and basically rock-less by the time you get to the pine barrens.

In central Jersey we like Sourland Mtn, Baldpate Mtn and Cheesequake SP - less rocky but still some nice hiking. Jockey Hollow has a nice selection of trails too.

The pine barrens is also a really unique area to check out - totally different type of hiking - flat sandy trails and endless pine. Wharton SP from Atsion or Batsto is our pick in that area (just don't hike the pine barrens in the summer or the ticks will carry you away!)


Comment by Scott Bower on January 7, 2013 at 10:53pm

Dawn maybe you can help me locate trails with streams like dunnfield creek nice to photograph. Looking to photograph frozen creeks with waterfalls small or large. Looking to get back out in a couple of weeks.Mountain biked sourlands is that same area for hiking? Off mountain view rd.Thanks for all your info.Will look into jockey hollow think i passed that on way to Gap.

Comment by njHiking.com on January 8, 2013 at 3:47pm

Nice water features to photograph... Tillman Ravine, Buttermilk Falls, Coppermines Trail and PEEC in the Gap area, Chikahoki Falls in Norvin, Hemlock Falls in South Mountain... that's off the top of my head, I know I am missing some.

Hacklebarney would be a top pick except that it's still closed from Sandy. Not a long trail there but great photo ops - fall foliage and the Black River is just stunning.

In Sourlands, I think the bike trails do overlap the hike ones.


Comment by Paul on January 30, 2013 at 11:16am

Hey Scott, can't help you with the foot issue, but if you are looking for a good hike with water features, try the Coppermines Trail, especially in the spring when things are flowing. I won't spoil it by trying to describe it...


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