Get your hike on!

It’s a perfect time of year for a hike. Yes, really! The leaves are changing and the landscapes can be breathtaking. We’ve had our first freeze, so the bugs are at a minimum and the air is crisp. The variety of just-picked apples gives you the perfect trail snack. All you need to do is: get outdoors and get your hike on.

A hike might take a little bit of advance planning:
1. Determine the degree of difficulty or challenge you would like.
2. Determine the amount of time you have to invest in your hike.
3. Check the weather forecast and dress appropriately, don’t forget footwear considerations.
4. Find a trail.

There are some obvious benefits to hiking such as cardio fitness and muscle strength. http://beta.active.com/outdoors/articles/get-fit-with-hiking provides some ways to train in advance of a hike and some rules of thumb for advance planning to know what you can handle.

But one of the greatest benefits is filling your sense and experiencing the calm and serenity that comes from communing with nature. When you are out on the trail, take a moment to smell your surroundings. Take some deep breaths and notice how it feels to fill your lungs with tranquility. Open your eyes to the smallest things that require you to stop and take a moment to enjoy. Examine the way the sunlight reflects beautifully on the moisture in the grass, or study a plant that you haven’t seen before, or a bird as it flits from tree to tree…. something you don’t experience in your everyday life. Then step back and enjoy the vista whether it’s a canopy of trees creating an umbrella effect or a wide open space that seems endless. Get out and take advantage of our short but majestic fall season. You might just fall in love…with hiking.

Post on Facebook some of your favorite hiking trails to share with other hiking enthusiasts. Let us know if your trail recommendation is designed for beginners, intermediate or highly skilled hikers.

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