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Today is Labor Day in the US.  It honors all working people for their labors.  It’s also a day of rest from our labors.

To honor this, I decided to go somewhere near where we live that was built from hard labor – 1000 Steps.

There’s an incredible history to these steps:

There are actually 1,043 steps in the Thousand Steps Trail. They were created in 1936 as a means of transportation to work for the miners high up on the mountain. I don’t know what anyone else thinks, but having done this climb I think it is pretty incredible that this was the morning and evening commute everyday for the men who worked up on the mountain. Quite a commute!

Source – Jacks Mountain

Read the whole page for more interesting nuggets of information.

Now on to my journey up the 1000 steps.

1000 StepsFirst step – getting there.  I drove about 45 minutes along beautiful Rt. 22.  It cuts through some gorgeous farm land and up and over mountains.  It’s quite a beautiful road.  When you finally do find the entrance, you’ll be a bit surprised – The parking is not well-marked – I figured out it was the parking area because a whole bunch of vehicles were parked along the side of the road.  Then a lovely climber helped point me in the right direction.

1000 StepsThe picture above is pretty much what the 1000 steps are all about.  It’s climbing, up hill the whole way.  It’s actually quite amazing when you think about the fact that workers created these steps, after working all day, to make their journey easier.

I wanted to run up the steps as part of my training for a half marathon.  I heard that it can take over an hour for people to walk up the steps.  Running would be faster, but really hard work.  And it was.  I took many breaks along the way.

1000 StepsWhen you see this step, it’s a glorious feeling.  You know you are almost to the top.  Someone, some time ago decided to mark each 100 steps off.  I’m glad they did because it feels like you just climb for ever.

But then you get to the top and bam – you get your reward:

1000 StepsIt doesn’t get much prettier than that.

1000 StepsComing back down the 1000 steps was fun too – I ran down those, without a break.  But they are a bit treacherous at places, so it’s best to use caution.

Overall – 1000 Steps is well worth the hike (or run if you are crazy enough to do it).