We all have a little mountaineer in us. That inner explorer that seeks out the unknown, the unexplored… the exciting.
Whether you’re new to hiking or a seasoned trekker, autumn is the perfect time to get outside, get moving, and get some fresh air. The leaves have turned, and the weather is incredible. It’s not always easy, though, to find the right trail. To me, knowing where to go can be one of the most intimidating aspects of planning a hike, so today I’m sharing a few tips for planning the perfect day hike.
Join a local hiking group: Whether you live in a city or town, chances are there are local outdoor discovery and hiking groups that meet regularly. Join up! This not only is a fantastic way to explore new terrain under safe guidance, but offers an amazing opportunity to get to know people in your area. Plus the route is all planned out for you, so the pressure’s off. Many groups post their activities calendar online, so even if you didn’t want to join, you’d still have access to plenty of destination inspiration.
Go online: Simply typing in the words “hiking in Pennsylvania” yields thousands of results, stick to the first page, which should include links to state and national park websites where trails and conditions are listed.
Grab a friend: If you’re new the trail and feeling intimidated, team up with a seasoned hiker to show you the ropes. Have them plan the first trail you explore, and then switch off, with you planning the next outing.
Read up: Whenever I go to a new state park, I’m always sure to grab any free maps or brochures that may be available. These pamphlets contain valuable information for the area you’re in, and often list similar attractions close by. Similarly, check out the travel section of your library for local guidebooks.
Explore social media: You probably already follow a lot of like-minded people on social media, so check out the places their tagging! This is how I found out about one of my favorite trails, and it’s a great way to discover exciting hikes within your region or places you plan on visiting.
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What are your tips for discovering amazing hiking spots? Be sure to share in the comments!
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