Do Swinging High in Aspen
I moved to Aspen last summer and soon adopted the same ritual as a lot of locals I know: trekking up Smuggler Mountain for an invigorating morning hike. The usual reward is a sweeping view of the town of Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley from the observation deck at the summit. But on my last trek, I found another reward far sooner. Just off the first turn, I spotted a wooden swing carved with the words #AspenSwingProject. Whether you use it for a short rest, or pump your legs for a childish thrill like I did, the swing truly is a “random act of kindness.”
When you’re hiking this summer, be sure to look out for red wooden signs or red rope hanging from the trees. There are currently six tree swings in hidden spots around Aspen, hand-carved and hung by an unidentified artist. So far, two have been spotted on the Smuggler Mountain Trail (in two different locations), Ute Trail, Rio Grande Trail (near Cemetery Lane), and on the shores of American Lake. No one knows where the next swing will appear—only that the views are sure to be breathtaking. If you find a swing in a new location, snap a picture and the next drink at Bad Harriet is on me!