"In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks." -John Muir
I believe there is no better way to explore your surroundings than by walking it!
Whether it’s the trail near your house that you’ve run a thousand times with your dog, or a monumental challenge like concurring the Appalachian Trail, you can always find something new and exciting about each hike. From flat paved trails, to the tallest of mountains, the terrain options, especially within the United States, are limitless. Although I haven't had the opportunity to visit other countries, hiking is an activity that is enjoyed around the world.
For simple hiking, there is no need for fancy, expensive equipment; just a good pair of shoes, appropriate clothes for the climate and the desire to be in the great outdoors.
Hiking trips can fit any schedule. There are trails that only take an hour, trails that will take all day (day hikes), and overnight hikes, which are often called backpacking. In addition, there is "bushwacking". Bushwaking requires a hiker to create his or her own trail, working their way through thick vegetation without the benefits of a marked or cleared trail.
Hiking is very versatile.
The United States has endless trails that can accommodate anyone's needs or physical abilities. Hiking can be a strenuous form of exercise, a less than strenuous form of exercise, an excuse to have a picnic with the family, or just a chance to explore part of your own neighborhood.
Reaching the peak of a mountain or the end point of a trail can be an exhilarating feeling, often accompanied by breathtaking views. For me it's an important motto to say:
"take a hike!"
Some of My Favorite Places to Hike:
- Alfred Ring Park, Gainesville, FL
- Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA
- Hidden Falls, Yosemite National Park, CA
Not so Fun Fact!: I tripped and lost my keys on this trail. I never found them.
Little 2 mile, flat trail. Perfect for when you just need to get out of the house for a few minutes. There is a small flower garden named after Alfred Ring's daughter that is a lovely way to spend a few minutes. This trail has full facilities as well as a little playground for the kiddos. The trail hits part of Hogtown Creek and is a popular destination for K9 friends to quickly cool off in the Florida heat.
Fun Fact!: I've hiked all 50 miles of trails in Griffith Park.
With over 50 miles of trails there is truly something for everyone. This park is not just hiking trails, there are great activities year round including horse back riding and an observatory. Griffith park is one of LA's greatest tourist attractions, so these trails can get busy. In addition, Los Angeles can be pretty smoggy, so extra water is crucial. Facilities vary depending on the trail.
Ever seen how the world looks from inside a waterfall? It is a perspective unlike any other, with sheets of cascading water distorting your view of a mountainous terrain. This hidden gem of a trail is away from the touristy part of Yosemite. This was one of my first major trails and one of my fondest memories. Its not flat or the easiest of hikes, but there are plenty of natural stopping points. No facilities on the trail.