How To Discover the Great Outdoors


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.

Hiking 1

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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My favourite hikes are always the ones that are somewhat unplanned. Over the summer my boyfriend and I drove from the Kootenays to Banff and we spent the day pulling in to little shoulders along the trans Canada and finding the paths within the mountains. They were often quite faint, but there is nothing like walking a trail knowing that you and your partner are the only ones around. We saw wildlife & glaciers & tons of mountain streams and we didn’t have to share it with anyone.
northern rustication

I live in Southern Indiana and we have some amazing spots to go hiking. I LOVE taking my pups to the closest state park because it has miles and miles of trails and a waterfall and many other awesome spots.

Super chic hiking look, need that hat ;)

The Things She Sees

Checking out places tagged on social media is so smart! Bringing a friend is definitely a must for me. I’m way too out of shape to join a hiking club – I’d hold up the group for days.

Warm Regards,

Expect the unexpected! Even when the hike gets really hairy it’s important to remember that it’s all part of the adventure!

I’ve never gone backpacking/hiking/camping before, but I really want to! I lived in China for the last eight years, so I didn’t get very many chances to enjoy the outdoors as it was way too polluted for that, but now that I’m back in the States for college, I really want to take advantage of being in such a beautiful environment! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s


Love this! I always end up on a mini-hike to take photos for my blog, but I’m so excited to be moving to Oakland, CA in a few weeks where I’ll be able to join my boyfriend on his amazing hikes out there! It’s so nice to be outdoors in crisp air with someone you love. Peaceful.

xoxo Sara

So beautiful… making me miss maine! Gotta get out there and discover trails now that I’m in Boston!


Such a wonderful post! I LOVE hiking! I especially love hiking in shaded areas, so the think I like to do is to obtain a topographic map of the area where I want to explore. The map indicates the shaded areas as well as the elevation changes, so its a fun way to pin point those trails that I’m most likely to love. I also like purchasing the most popular hiking books of the area, or googling the images around that spot, to find out where the most beautiful trails are located. thank you for sharing! I sometimes post pictures… Read more »


love putting on my oversized alpaca sweater and hitting the dusty trail, there aren’t many organized paths here in Turkey but tons of spots where sheep herders have woven through the bush. pure magic!

Alex Madi

Hoooooo avery fandastic day to see all does but my cuontrey is steel bahaind