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Epic Trails

Heliconia Seeks Tourism Destination for its Epic Trials Short Film Giveaway

Eric Hanson - About Epic Trails

Behind every great trail is a great story. A story about the people who built it…about its inhabitants and its habitat…about the cultures it has shaped and the lives it has changed. 

Heliconia, the award-winning production company behind the popular television series Epic Trails, Facing Waves and Adventure Cities, is excited to launch their first ever Epic Trails Short Film Giveaway.

Heliconia is looking to tell the story of the world’s most remarkable trails. The adventure travel production company invites Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOS), Tourism Boards, and Agencies, to share what makes the story of their trails, whether they are renown or yet unknown, so special. The winning region will receive the full creation of a short film by Heliconia, including story writing, film production, editing, exposure through film festival entries and a digital campaign in support of the film’s launch. The contest is open to trail destinations world-wide.

“We are storytellers here at Heliconia, and as such we are constantly on the search for tales that encourage people to get outside, enjoy the outdoors, and embrace adventure,” explains Tourism Partnership Manager, Stefanie Manton-Ward. “With COVID-19 and the global restrictions that were placed on travel, our story-telling capabilities were hindered. Now that things are beginning to open up again, we are excited for the opportunity to create a film festival worthy show-piece and support tourism destinations who have been so hard hit by the pandemic.”

Destinations interesting in submitting their trails for consideration to the short film giveaway may enter the contest online at www.heliconia.ca/epicshortfilm, or by calling 1.613.582.7154 from 9 am to 5 pm EST. Heliconia will be considering locations throughout winter 2021 and spring 2022, and will work with the winning destination to come up with a filming date that works best for both parties, with the aim to have filming wrapped up by summer 2022.

ABOUT HELICONIA: Heliconia is an award-winning video production and marketing company that helps destinations and brands reach the US adventure travel audience. The company produces eight unique media projects, providing authentic storytelling opportunities for every adventure and every destination. These series include: Epic Trails, Epic Trails: Mountain BikingFacing WavesAdventure CitiesGreat Family AdventureBA FishingChad Hoover Fishing and Road Trip Angler. Heliconia has a proven formula that marries inspiring video production with guaranteed television and digital distribution, ensuring that your message is heard by the adventure travel community in a unique and impactful way. For more information, visit www.heliconia.ca.

ABOUT EPIC TRAILS: Epic Trails is an exciting and inspiring adventure travel media series, and one of the popular platforms that Heliconia uses to share the stories that move and inspire us. More than just a television series, Epic Trails is a multi-faceted TV, digital, and social media project designed to showcase partner destinations to a dedicated and engaged audience of outdoor adventure lovers. Throughout the series, host Eric Hanson explores the people, places and adventures surrounding the world’s top trails. The TV show, and accompanying digital and social media, resonate with those who seek adventure and share a passion for the outdoors, while fostering an interest in local culture and authentic experiences. Each 30-minute TV episode airs on Outside TV and Bally Sports Network, and has aired internationally through National Geographic Channel—Asia and Extreme Sports Channel across Europe. Tourism destinations interested in partnering with Epic Trails are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Tourism Partnership Manager, Stefanie Manton-Ward, at stefanie@helipress.com.

Epic Trails, Season 4 – Episode 5: Backpacking Urban California

The fifth episode of Epic Trails, Season 4 is set to hit airwaves August 12th on Bally Sports Network. The episode is slated to air 91 times throughout the month of August!

Backpacking Urban California is the final episode of the season and it sees host, Eric Hanson, leaving the backcountry to discover urban hiking adventures in the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

We slowly plodded our way up the mountain, navigating the treacherous Devil’s Backbone where the mountain falls steeply on both sides of the trail. As the day wore on, Casey and I eventually made it to the top to celebrate. I couldn’t believe I was standing over 10,000 feet with L.A. east of me and the Mojave Desert to the west. To the north, the San Gabriels continued on, quietly assuring me that L.A. has more adventure in store than I could have guessed.” – Eric Hanson, The Adventurous Side of San Francisco and L.A. You Never Knew About

Be sure to check your local listings for a full airing schedule.


About Epic TrailsEpic Trails is an exciting and inspiring adventure travel media series that follows host, Eric Hanson, as he explores the people, places, and adventures surrounding the world’s top hiking destinations. Each 30-minute TV episode airs on Outside TV, 27 regional networks that make up Bally Sports Network, and internationally through National Geographic Channel—Asia and Extreme Sports Channel across Europe. Episodes of Epic Trails aired over 2,200 times in 2020. Networks interested in carrying Epic Trails are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Vice-President, Brendan Mark, at brendan@helipress.com.

Epic Trails – Trip Report: South Dakota

Filming for Season 5 of Epic Trails is underway, and recently host Eric Hanson and crew wrapped up a shoot in beautiful South Dakota. This shoot took Eric through Badlands National Park and the Black Hills, along with special guest and fellow backpacker, Dan Becker.

Below is an excerpt from Eric’s blog post about his experience:

South Dakota might just be one of the most surprising states in the country. Bring up South Dakota and you might think of rolling grasslands and farmland as far as the eye can see, but that does the state little justice. It’s probably not regarded as one of the top adventure destinations. But it should be!


I traveled to South Dakota to film an episode of Epic Trails with a tiny bit of skepticism in my heart. But that just shows how little I know about this gem.

First, I traveled into Badlands National Park, which is popular and frequently trafficked with its ease of access from the freeway, and of course, made better with a stop in the quirky little town of Wall. After eating Buffalo Burgers and getting scared by the animatronic T-Rex, I wandered into the Badlands to hike the Notch Trail. The Badlands is a unique national park, not known as much for hiking as it is a drive through time and odd geology. But there is hiking! There are certified, actual trails with a maze of strange features that hikers are welcome to clamber atop as they please.

But the Badlands wasn’t my main reason for visiting; I came to explore The Black Hills, an incredible pocket of granite spires and pine trees, rich with surprising beauty. There is so much to explore and do here, and I was attempting to do as much as possible.” – Eric Hanson

Click here to read the full article!

About Epic Trails: Epic Trails is an exciting and inspiring adventure travel media series that follows host, Eric Hanson, as he explores the people, places, and adventures surrounding the world’s top hiking destinations. Each 30-minute TV episode airs on Outside TV, 27 regional networks, and internationally through National Geographic Channel—Asia and Extreme Sports Channel across Europe. Episodes of Epic Trails aired over 2,200 times in 2020. Learn more about the series at www.heliconia.ca. Networks interested in carrying Epic Trails are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Vice-President, Brendan Mark, at brendan@helipress.com.

Epic Trails – Trip Report: California

The final episode of the 4th season of Epic Trails wrapped up filming earlier this month. This shoot took host Eric Hanson on a sunny Californian adventure through both the wild and urban spaces of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Below is an excerpt from Eric’s blog post about his experience:

“With a unique angle on my normal adventures, I set off for California to explore the wild and adventurous side of their big cities. I’m not normally a city guy, so this would be a bit of a stretch for me. But I’m passionate about getting people outside and exploring their backyards, and as so many people live in the city and can’t feasibly travel long distances to wild places, I welcomed the chance to get a little more creative and see what could be explored and enjoyed close to some major urban areas.

First stop, San Francisco. One of the gems of American cities, San Francisco has plenty of charm. It’s a diverse city with a cultivated food scene, plenty of nightlife, and it’s all impeccably set upon a beautiful headland jutting out into the Pacific Ocean.

Within the hubbub of San Francisco is the Presidio – a tiny National Park site compared to its brothers and sisters around the country. But for the city, it plays a central role. The Presidio makes up about 5% of the city and is actually bigger than Central Park in New York. The Presidio is unlike most National Parks in a couple ways: First, it is managed by both the National Park Service and the Presidio Trust, with funding by a dedicated team at the non-profit organization, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Secondly, it’s within a major city, but it is still home to stunning nature and wildlife and is a sanctuary for all who visit.

The park was once a military complex guarding the Golden Gate (the name of the landscape feature, the infamous bridge came later), the entrance to the Bay. But as the military evolved, they no longer needed this strategic piece of land. It was turned over and became the Presidio, a park for San Francisco.

Old airstrips were torn up and returned to their original ways. Barracks were turned into hotels and restaurants. Battlements became overlooks to enjoy the scenery. And of course, for my interest, trails were built throughout the park.” Eric Hanson

Click here to read the full article!

About Epic Trails: Epic Trails is an exciting and inspiring adventure travel media series that follows host, Eric Hanson, as he explores the people, places, and adventures surrounding the world’s top hiking destinations. Each 30-minute TV episode airs on Outside TV, 27 regional networks, and internationally through National Geographic Channel—Asia and Extreme Sports Channel across Europe. Episodes of Epic Trails aired over 2,200 times in 2020. Learn more about the series at www.heliconia.ca. Networks interested in carrying Epic Trails are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Vice-President, Brendan Mark, at brendan@helipress.com.

Epic Trails, Season 4 – Episode 4: Backpacking Uganda, Part 2

The fourth episode of Epic Trails, Season 4 is set to hit airwaves June 24th on Outside TV and Bally Sports Network. The episode is slated to air 84 times to date.

Backpacking Uganda, Part 2 is the conclusion of Eric’s trip to The Pearl of Africa. In this episode, Eric Hanson goes on safari and explores the iconic Murchison Falls National Park.

“To stand at the edge of Murchison Falls is to stand atop pure chaos, unfathomable energy, and bowel-loosening power. The ground was literally shaking beneath my feet.” – Eric Hanson, Uganda: Exploring the Pearl of Africa

Be sure to check your local listings for a full airing schedule.

About Epic Trails: Epic Trails is an exciting and inspiring adventure travel media series that follows host, Eric Hanson, as he explores the people, places, and adventures surrounding the world’s top hiking destinations. Each 30-minute TV episode airs on Outside TV, 27 regional networks that make up Bally Sports Network, and internationally through National Geographic Channel—Asia and Extreme Sports Channel across Europe. Episodes of Epic Trails aired over 2,200 times in 2020. Networks interested in carrying Epic Trails are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Vice-President, Brendan Mark, at brendan@helipress.com.

Epic Trails, Season 4 – Episode 3: Backpacking Uganda, Part 1

The third episode of Epic Trails, Season 4 is set to hit airwaves June 17th on Outside TV and Bally Sports Network. The episode is slated to air 71 times to date.

Backpacking Uganda, Part 1 is the first of two episodes filmed in The Pearl of Africa. In this episode, Eric Hanson treks through the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to see the fabled mountain gorillas.

“Uganda is one of only three countries in the world where mountain gorillas remain in the wild. And while Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are doing their part to care for these endangered species, Uganda boasts being home to approximately half the remaining gorillas in the wild, as well as the most mountainous and wild terrain in which to experience them”. – Eric Hanson, Uganda: Exploring the Pearl of Africa

Be sure to check your local listings for a full airing schedule.


About Epic Trails:
 Epic Trails is an exciting and inspiring adventure travel media series that follows host, Eric Hanson, as he explores the people, places, and adventures surrounding the world’s top hiking destinations. Each 30-minute TV episode airs on Outside TV, 27 regional networks that make up Bally Sports, and internationally through National Geographic Channel—Asia and Extreme Sports Channel across Europe. Episodes of Epic Trails aired over 2,200 times in 2020. Networks interested in carrying Epic Trails are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Vice-President, Brendan Mark, at brendan@helipress.com.

Epic Trails, Season 4 – Episode 2: Backpacking Durango, Colorado

The second episode of Epic Trails, Season 4 is set to hit airwaves June 8th on Outside TV and June 9th on Bally Sports Network. The episode is slated to air 63 times to date.

In this episode, Eric Hanson travels to the mountain towns of Durango and Telluride, Colorado to explore the backcountry by ski, snowshoe, and ice axe.

Be sure to check your local listings for a full airing schedule.

About Epic Trails: Epic Trails is an exciting and inspiring adventure travel media series that follows host, Eric Hanson, as he explores the people, places, and adventures surrounding the world’s top hiking destinations. Each 30-minute TV episode airs on Outside TV, 27 regional networks that make up Bally Sports, and internationally through National Geographic Channel—Asia and Extreme Sports Channel across Europe. Episodes of Epic Trails aired over 2,200 times in 2020. Networks interested in carrying Epic Trails are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Vice-President, Brendan Mark, at brendan@helipress.com.

Epic Trails – Season 4, Episode 1: Backpacking Utah’s Canyon Country

The premiere episode of Season 4 of the award-winning tv series, Epic Trails, is set to hit airwaves June 3rd on Bally Sports Network and on Outside TV. The episode is slated to air 83 times this month alone!

In this episode, Eric Hanson explores Utah’s breathtaking slot canyons on a multi-day backpacking adventure. Joining Eric on her first overnight backpacking trip is his partner, Kristi Rauckis. Together, the two cover miles of trail through spectacular and imposing canyons, visit centuries old pictographs, experience freezing temperatures and a number of other challenges that threatened to derail their epic trip.

Be sure to check your local listings for a full airing schedule.

About Epic Trails: Epic Trails is an exciting and inspiring adventure travel media series that follows host, Eric Hanson, as he explores the people, places, and adventures surrounding the world’s top hiking destinations. Each 30-minute TV episode airs on Outside TV, 27 regional networks, and internationally through National Geographic Channel—Asia and Extreme Sports Channel across Europe. Episodes of Epic Trails aired over 2,200 times in 2020. Learn more about the series at www.heliconia.ca. Networks interested in carrying Epic Trails are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Vice-President, Brendan Mark, at brendan@helipress.com.

Epic Trails, Season 4: Award-Winning Adventure Travel Show Set to Premiere June 3rd

Eric Hanson in Uganda

Heliconia, the video production company behind the hit television show Epic Trails, is excited to announce that Season 4 of the award-winning series will premiere on Bally Sports (previously FOX Sports Network) and Outside TV on June 3rd.

Season 4 of Epic Trails will feature one awe-inspiring adventure after another. Filmed mostly domestically due to COVID-19 restrictions, the episodes will showcase some of the top outdoor adventure destinations in the US, including Utah’s Canyon Country, Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, as well as some unique urban outdoor adventures in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. The American adventures range from canyoneering, backcountry skiing, ice climbing, urban hiking and exploring East LA’s Taco Row!

In addition to the domestic adventures, the stars aligned in February 2021 when the Epic Trails team was able to safely travel to Uganda where they filmed two episodes for the show. Epic Trails host, Eric Hanson, crossed off a bucket-list item when he went Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest. Unexpectedly, I welled up with emotion [at the sight of the gorillas],” shares Hanson. “I was unprepared for the surge of sentiment at seeing these beautiful creatures. Their humanlike faces, their playful behavior, and more than anything, their soulful eyes tugged at my heart in a way I couldn’t have predicted.

Recognized as one of the top travel adventure series to watch by The Washington Post, there will be plenty of opportunities to catch the show as Epic Trails is distributed to over 100 million US households across the US, and received over 2,200 in 2020 alone. Furthermore, the series is distributed internationally with past seasons reaching 134+ countries, 20+ airlines, the National Geographic Channel-Asia, and the UK based Extreme Sports Network.

Between airings, Epic Trails fans may access inspiring content on the Epic Trail’s Facebook page, Instagram account and blog (www.erichanson.tv). Subscribers to the show’s YouTube Channel, BackpackingTV, will enjoy a steady release of new content including backpacking tips, gear reviews, advice from special guests, and episodes of Trackin’ Dirt – an exciting digital series released in conjunction with Epic Trails.

Tourism destinations interested in being featured on Epic Trails are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Tourism Partnership Manager, Stefanie Manton-Ward, at stefanie@helipress.com. Brands interested in partnering with Epic Trails can reach out to Heliconia’s Brand Partnership Manager, Malvin Young, at malvin@helipress.com.

MEDIA: For additional information, or to schedule an interview, please reach out to Heliconia’s Communications Manager, Lauren McIllfaterick at lauren@helipress.com.

About Epic Trails: Epic Trails is an exciting and inspiring adventure travel media series that follows host, Eric Hanson, as he explores the people, places, and adventures surrounding the world’s top hiking destinations. Each 30-minute TV episode airs on Outside TV, 27 regional networks, and internationally through National Geographic Channel—Asia and Extreme Sports Channel across Europe. Episodes of Epic Trails aired over 2,200 times in 2020. Learn more about the series at www.heliconia.ca. Networks interested in carrying Epic Trails are encouraged to reach out to Heliconia’s Vice-President, Brendan Mark, at brendan@helipress.com.

ABOUT HELICONIA: Heliconia is an award-winning video production company that helps destinations and brands reach the US adventure travel audience. The company produces nine unique media projects, providing authentic storytelling opportunities for every adventure and every destination. These series include: Epic Trails, Epic Trails: Mountain Biking, Facing Waves, Adventure Cities, The Great Family Adventure, BA Fishing, Peak Experience, Chad Hoover Fishing and The Kayak Fishing with Jim Sammons. Heliconia has a proven formula that marries inspiring video production with guaranteed television and digital distribution, ensuring that your message is heard by the adventure travel community in a unique and impactful way. For more information, visit www.heliconia.ca.