Walking into Your Dream!

Are you yearning to walk the Appalachian Trail?

You wonder how.
You wonder if you can do it.
You know there’s a lot to prepare, but don’t know where to start.
Everyone you know says that’s a crazy thing to do!
You want someone who’s done it to help you navigate the journey.

Hi. I’m Regina Reiter and I know exactly what you’re thinking! I was in your shoes before completing my thru hike in January, 2008. I’m a long distance hiker, Nature interpreter, Radical Forgiveness Coach, and entrepreneur with a passion for helping women over 50 walk the Appalachian Trail as a pilgrimage.

Here’s my story! Looking back, It’s 2007, and I’m in Wind Gap, PA, at mile 910 on my southbound trek of the Appalachian Trail.  I’ve just walked into a convenience store and I meet a woman who says, “Are you hiking the Appalachian Trail?  I’ve always wanted to do that but my boyfriend doesn’t want me to.”

At that moment, my vision of helping women move aside all their excuses
and accomplish their own walks – the walks of their dreams – lights a fire in my heart.  I want to snatch her up and take her along.  “You’ve got to do this walk! It’s phenomenal.  It’s beautiful.  It’s challenging.  It’s rewarding!”

Several months later, I had fulfilled my own dream of walking the entire Appalachian Trail. It’s fourteen years later, and I’ve been moving aside my own resistances, obstacles, and challenges to bring this vision into reality.  Business creation has been my own wilderness, but I’m taking it on with the same step-by-step fashion as I took on the Trail. The
fact that you’ve found this website indicates that I’ve transformed my own shyness
and self-doubts as the 4th child of ten who would always tell myself, “What I have to say makes no difference in the world because I don’t matter.”

My current endeavor with Forgiveness Walks is to help at least 22 women walk the Appalachian Trail by 2022. That’s my next project in a line of jobs and careers that have had one purpose in common – to entice others to come  outside and rediscover their radiant fulfillment as spiritual beings having a human experience. We are beings of energy moving between Earth and Heaven.    I’ve been a Girl Scout Leader, a Biology
student, an outdoor education program director, a canoe camp counselor, park interpretive specialist, the
mother of three sons, a summer camp Naturalist, Native Plant Garden Assistant, Homeschool Biology and Science Teacher, long-distance hiker, and Park Interpretive Specialist.  Oh yes, there was a short season as a classroom teacher in a Waldorf school, but that only lasted 6 months.  Outdoors is where my heart, my skills, and my creativity thrive.

Getting out there professionally has taken me on a journey of Radical Forgiveness
and working with Colin Tipping, creator of the Institute for Radical Forgiveness to
become a certified Radical Forgiveness Coach.  Blending that easy, quick, and
practical approach to personal transformation with walking in Nature makes my
heart sing and gave me my success as a long-distance hiker.

And believe me, I’ve had plenty of Radical Forgiveness to do in my family, my
Waldorf Community, my marriage, and in my relationship with people in general!
Most of the time, I’d rather be hiking with my favorite hiking partner on a long
trail, but I love making a difference for others as well.  Balancing the two is my
life’s work!

Are you yearning to fulfill your own dream of walking with a purpose? Contact me today, and let’s get started!

email: regina@forgivenesswalks.com

OR read my free report presenting the Five Essentials for creating a radiantly fulfilling walk – of any length!

Click this link: Five Essentials for Creating a Radiantly Fulfilling Walk

Shoe Choice?!

September 22, 2023

My shoes feel too small! My beloved Oboz are worn on the soles after a year of wear. Mind you, they’re not worn from hiking, just everyday wear. I haven’t been walking much for the past two months because I’ve had a strange foot issue!

An unknown bite! I woke up one morning with an irritation on the top of my foot. Long story short, 8 weeks later, it’s finally not swollen and painful and I can walk easily again.

And now, my shoes feel tight. I walked to Walmart – closest store – and noticed the $20 comfy-looking Avias. Hmm. Tried them on and they feel good. One-half size larger and wide width. What could go wrong? They surely could make it for my upcoming 12 mile walk.

I bought them!

Let’s see how they hold up!

Lightening the Load

My friend shared her gear list for a 22-mile backpack journey and asked for suggestions on how to lighten her load. Here is her list, with my suggestions for her to consider. Items to eliminate are crossed out, with suggestions to consider in parentheses. My suggestions are bold and in red. These are simply my suggestions for her to consider. In the end, the key is to LOVE YOUR GEAR! One inspiring moniker I heard as a beginning backpacker is “if you don’t have it, you don’t need it!” I think about that every time I go out.

Here’s the list:

backpack without brain
backpack cover
Zpacks total tent with sacs and stakes (consider no sac and minimum stakes)

Hammock Gear sleeping quilt: Burrow Econ 20 w/stuff sack and pillow 1.78 (use clothes in sack for pillow)

Walmart sheet liner 9.6 ounces .74 pounds

sleeping pillow

sleeping pad + pad repair kit and stuff sack

Garmin InReachExplorer

bandana with elastic and without same weight

beanie hat OR buff, not both??


emergency whistle on neck lanyard

pepper spray and carbiner

wind shirt/long sleeve

rain jacket  (use a small, cheap umbrella instead)

blue puffy coat (consider a lighter warm layer, fleece or wool)

???sleeping – smartwool layers – shirts and pants, sleep socks
(consider minimal extra clothes, ONE set of dry camp wear. One extra pair of socksCan serve as mitts if needed)

1 pair of trekking socks

camp shoes

Contractor bag

mini bic

Ursack and 10 x 12 opsak (consider lighter might be cord + small caribiner
and throwing food bag over a branch – if you can do that)


trail data book page(s)

compass plate

LED headlamp

extra headlamp batteries  (put new ones in, phone for backup)

first aid kit (minor wounds, meds, blisters)

toothbrush and toothpaste (use salt or peppermint oil for teeth + first aid)

hand sanitizer) with holder (small bottle!)

kula cloth

para cord bracelet (use this for food hanging rope??)

sawyer squeeze filter, 4 aqua tablets

CNOC dirty water bag 2liters


anker battery charger, cord and mesh bag (minimize if possible!)

sanitation: toilet paper, ziplocks, trowel, freshette(consider no toilet paper, use leaves, dig with heel or stick, wash with water in a tiny4 oz ziplock bowl and a small cellulose sponge, hotel size soap)

knee brace

sit pad

2 safety pins

1 oz bug spray




Happy walking!

Creating a New Memory

It’s June 1st, 2023 and I’m staying in a hotel in Virginia, halfway between my brother’s house in Charleston, SC and my new homebase in Dayton, OH. It dawned on me, while basking in the cleansing sounds of a singing bowl meditation, that I’ve been dwelling on the memory of a traumatic and unhappy moment that occurred to me on March 3rd. Whenever I replay the moment when my supervisor fired me, I feel awful. My body feels all the tightness and wrongness of the moment.

This morning, though, I asked, “What if that truly was a misperception? What if what I heard was that I was wrong, I was rejected, I needed to be humbled? What if Ray was actually thanking me, regretfully sending me off to a better situation, acknowledging me for taking a stand for excellence and humbly freeing me to receive a new and better-suited environment for my skills?”

Today I realized that I have the power to remember a different memory! I have the power to interpret his letter from a whole new angle! I think I’ll choose that!

Here’s my re-viewing of that moment:

Ray calls me into his office after my transformative walk in Palm Canyon with the exuberant and grateful fourth grade Junior Rangers. He has Ranger Carmen hand me a piece of paper that says, “Separation with Fault”. Well, whose fault? He says, “Regina, I want to thank you for your 8 years of service to the park and immediately send you forth to do your good work elsewhere. Sadly, I’ve realized that your character, your willingness to express your true feelings, and your high standards of excellence just don’t fit our current direction. I wanted to let you go to make other choices before you get dragged down any further in the low vibration I am generating during the next phase of park management. I am not even aware of the details of the programs you have offered, the volunteers you have mentored, and the creative problem-solving you have done as a seasonal employee at the Visitor Center. That’s not my primary concern. What’s more important is that I protect the egos of certain people because they are the ones who resonate with my management style. I have noticed that it’s getting harder and harder for you to keep quiet about my pace of getting projects done and my preference to have other organizations do park programs. There’s just too much talk about Night Sky programs and too many requests for more of them! We just don’t have the capacity to expand what we offer, and I know that’s what you would love to do. I’ve thought about this long and hard and have concluded that I just can’t let you squeeze your creative, energetic spirit any longer. I’m going to have to spare you going into the Visitor Center again, to witness the purging of all the good work you have done. So, please give me your keys and we’ll escort you out. Go in peace, and thank you for tolerating this incompatible environment for as long as you have.”

He hands me a beautiful wood box. In it are colorful notes, photos, cards, and a couple of index cards folded into tiny envelopes. The tiny envelopes hold smaller folded notes. There’s a crumpled piece of tissue paper that wraps a piece of chunky blue chalk. “These are well wishes and messages of gratitude from volunteers, former staff, local students, and even a few visitors. They all want to join me in sending you forth with appreciation for the deep and lasting impact you have had on them and thousands of other visitors who had the pleasure of working with you and receiving your guidance, knowledge, and inspiration. I am so sorry that I won’t have the privelege of enjoying your work as they have. I’m just too busy and focused on petty things to support you at your level of innovation and productiveness as expressed by your colleagues and customers. Blessings on your journey, Regina.”

I finger the box and its contents. Tears fill my eyes as I take in the contrasting emotions and meanings of this moment. The irony of being let go and thanked at the same time washes over me. I give Ray one last look of puzzled gratitude and walk out into my next phase of life.

My reworking of that scene is a work in progress. I do, however, feel lighter and freer and more ready to receive my new occupation. I’ll keep working on this!

Imaging a Reset

It’s January 20, 2022 and my first blogpost in a while. I’m taking a week’s vacation from my park job in the warm, sunny desert of Southern California to create time with my family. I flew, literally from sea to sea, to downeast Maine where the temperature is just above zero degrees! Brrrrr! And, to top off the challenge, my family is living without their furnace because they don’t want to keep fixing it, but wait til Spring to install a new system. I’m getting to let the warmth of my heart overpower the cold air! Hat, gloves, sweaters, and tea help too!

Love Your Gear: Shoes

In my 10,000 miles, I’ve worn something like 19 pairs of shoes. Among them were 5 pairs of Vasque Breeze, but they’re no longer available. Also was a pair of used white reeboks I bought at a second hand store in a trail town because my fancy dancy trail runners were suddenly too small. I liked a pair of asolos. Now, I’m on my third pair of Oboz sawtooth. I wore through two matching pairs of a new version of Vasque breeze provided as perks for being a ridgerunner. I wear what feels right. Merrell ventilators are comfy but not sturdy enough for me on trail. My hiking partner has chosen them for 14 years.  Just one pair was returned – Keenes. Don’t know why, they rubbed the tops of my feet.

My current walking shoes are Oboz Sawtooth low. I’m on my third pair, with about 1,000 miles on each pair. I like their sturdy foot base and ease of breaking in – there’s practically no break-in!

If the shoe fits , supports, and feels good, wear it. For the first few days, wear them at home, not outside. That way, they’re returnable.

Walk on!


How Can I Stumble?

November 10, 2020
Today, I read this comment about myself offered by a friend in a women’s group. The game was to give a compliment about a mutual friend. I was deeply touched by this written by another woman entrepreneur whom I have known for over 10 years.  Although we have spent little time together we have supported each other in poignant times!
How can a stumble along on my path learning that someone says these words about me??
Regina Reiter

 shows the courage that comes from the deep understanding of the precious and fleeting nature of life. The way she blazes new trails of beauty and understanding for herself and for others is beyond admirable 💜

Bear Bag Hanging

Some tips for hanging a bear bag:

What I found for myself is that a rope over about 40 feet is more than I need on the AT and the extra just gets tangled up!! Nothing worse than a tangled bear rope.

Reflective is a good idea.

One thing I discovered that is very helpful is “tying” it in a daisy chain for storage. Otherwise, it just gets tangled!

Not only that, I also learned to not tie a rock to the end of the rope when tossing over a branch. Why? Because eventually, the tied rock is going to spin around the branch and be impossible to get down. I have seen many partial ropes dangling from trees. Just wrap the rope around the rock a few times. Yes, it falls off sometimes, so I gather two or three rocks. Maybe there’s a better way, but this works for me.

I hang my bear bag rope first thing when I get to my sleeping spot. In the daylight.

I HAVE had issues just a couple of times with my bag getting stuck. Check out this blogpost for this and a video on my favorite hanging method.


Bear bag Issues