A rare glimpse of me leading the pack at Buckskin Gulch // Photo Cred: J. J. Orlando

A rare glimpse of me leading the pack at Buckskin Gulch // Photo Cred: J. J. Orlando

There is pleasure in the pathless woods. There is rapture on the lonely shore. There is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea and music in its roar. I love not man the less, but Nature more.
— Lord Byron

So, what's the story morning glory?


About Trail Forked
Early in 2013, I launched Trail Forked in response to a need. I spent many years at basecamps and on trails struggling to create unique food experiences to match the occasions without help online. I am a backcountry explorer, an outdoor junkie, and an informal gourmet who has traveled some of the world's most beautiful trails. I take pride in sharing them with you, along with the menus to match. Let me show you how to make your meals as memorable as the grand views you enjoy them in.

Unfortunately, disappointment can set in when you're in a beautiful landscape and all you have to sustain the energy it took to get there is a rock solid bar with a manufactured flavor added to it. While I am an advocate of bars as a supplement on your journey, I don't think they are a star of your food supply. With a few extra minutes of planning, you could be enjoying a meal of pasta with a creamy smoked salmon sauce, or a pork larb served over jasmine rice that is bursting with fresh flavor. If your interest lies with the tasty option, follow along on this adventure!


Release Updates
Trail Forked is gaining momentum in so many areas, it’s been a rally to keep up. I feel incredibly fortunate that the integrity and passion behind the brand are showing through to the rapidly-expanding audience and market. Many phenomenal companies have also shown up in support with exciting new opportunities, all of which I am thrilled to be a part of.

First and foremost is the cookbook. The book is a hand-crafted mix of outdoor recipes and ‘how-to’ guides along with my painting, illustration, and photography. It’s a compilation of my hard work and dedication to this brand over the years, and I hope that it inspires you to get outside with confidence and excitement. Being creative by trade, it’s been a painstaking effort to get chapter drafts completed that are up to my discerning standards. It’s a very personal act to introduce an audience to creative work about to be judged on a mass scale, so please be patient and I promise it will be worth the wait.

Along with the cookbook, I am over-the-moon to be accepted as a contributor to Outdoor Project which is also based right here in Portland, Oregon. My content will of course be trail food focused and include original recipes aimed to guide adventure enthusiasts in their outdoor culinary efforts. I hope my posts do justice to their exceptional brand which I have admired for years.

Other big announcements are coming this fall, so check back here and on social with @TrailForked - your dedicated resource for Great Food for the Great Outdoors.


About Me
My name is Melanie, and professionally, I have an extensive background in creative arts. My career path has allowed me to serve as a designer and creative director for various well-known global, national, and local brands. My love for design, art, and photography have led me to several notable national and international awards, of which I have been honored to receive. You can find my limited professional portfolio online at melcre8s.com.

On a personal level, I grew up in Ohio with a grand group of female foodies that shaped my love for cooking with their drive for constant perfection in every meal. We rarely ate out or dined from a prepackaged box of chemicals, which I can only now truly appreciate. I spent much of my childhood eating homemade food from my Mom, Grandma, and Aunts with lavish holiday spreads covering every open space in the house. The influences were an ethnic range from Italian to German to mid-West fare. My Dad comes from a Ukrainian background, so we always had pierogis, sauerkraut, and haluski rotated into the menu. My Mom worked for a local restaurant that made countless varieties of pierogis by hand, including dessert filled concoctions. When it came to holiday orders, they had to crimp thousands over a few days. She was a trooper about it and even featured in the local newspaper working in the kitchen (photo coming soon). This photo later went on to be painted and hung in the YSU Art Gallery by a local artist showcasing our community at work.

Since I graduated from Boardman, Ohio, I moved from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego and to Tempe, Arizona, where I spent 12-years after graduating college. I met my Irish husband in Phoenix before moving back to his homeland of Ireland with him. On a training trip for his work to Portland, I decided this was where I belong and forfeited my return flight after accepting a role in the area. He served the last year of his contract overseas and came back to settle here with me in Oregon.

I feel incredibly lucky to both have met Dave and to live in the PNW. They both fuel my passion and inspiration for the outdoor lifestyle. Dave is an avid kite surfer, and mountain biker who doesn’t seem to mind my constant shoving of food down his gob to test. Oregon inspires me with every turn, but I also love to travel around the public land and parks across the United States, because it truly is the land that I love.

The adventures never seem to be long enough nor the challenges tough enough.

Thanks for dropping in to learn more & as always,
Happy Trails

Smith Rock // Oregon

Smith Rock // Oregon