Hiking is America’s favorite outdoor activity for good reason!
There’s something healing about heading into the wilderness, making your way through magnificent natural landscapes, and sleeping under the stars after a day of hiking. Not only does this activity have mental benefits, but also physical ones. Hiking helps alleviate anxiety and stress, improve endurance skills, maintain weight, balance emotions and blood pressure, and more. However, most hikers engage in this activity entirely because they enjoy overcoming challenges in the wilderness.
If you feel well accustomed to your frequently-visited trails, hiking might become boring and unchallenging. So, keep your passion for this exciting outdoor activity alive and discover hiking trails you’ve never heard of with these expert hiking tips.
Become an Explorer
You can’t discover new things unless you embrace the essence of being an explorer! Hiking is an inherently explorative activity, requiring participants to step out of their comfort zones. So, adopt the mindset of an explorer and start searching for new scenic trails on your own. While searching for local trails on the internet can be easy, venturing out into the woods and seeing for yourself is more fun for adventurers. As an explorer, you’ll want to go beyond popular tourist spots and immerse yourself in the wilderness.
Remember to practice safety precautions before and during your explorations. Exploring the wilderness can be dangerous if you don’t do it carefully. Take time to acquire emergency devices like a handheld GPS or rechargeable headlamp so you don’t lose your way. Invest in a durable sleeping cot or bag so you can sleep in the woods comfortably.
Engage with Other Hikers
Hiking is not just about the trails; it’s also about the people you meet along the way. Engaging with other hikers can enhance your overall experience and open doors to new adventures.
Strike up conversations with fellow hikers on the trail or join local hiking communities to connect with like-minded individuals. You can also attend local hiking events to find your community in one place. Since these events are so niche, everyone you come across will share your vision and passion for hiking and discovering new hiking trails.
Share your experiences, seek advice about hiking gear and trails, and ask for recommendations from experienced hikers. Engaging with other hikers will not only provide you with valuable insights and local knowledge but also create a sense of camaraderie among outdoor enthusiasts. Remember to respect the environment and follow trail etiquette while interacting with others.
Leverage Online Platforms
There’s an online market for everything in today’s interconnected and digital world. Online platforms like forum websites and social media sites are a valuable resource for connecting with like-minded people from across the world. Engaging with hikers online doesn’t always lead to in-person interactions, but it can still help you discover new trails in your town or other states.
Make the most of online hiking reviews, blogs, social media groups, and forums that provide firsthand information about hiking trails you’re interested in. Reviews and guides by experienced hikers can help you discover hiking trails in various locations.
Use Digital Maps
Did you know there are digital topographic maps that can help you navigate hiking trails? That’s right! Hikers have used topographic maps to stay on track in the woods for many years. However, topographic maps have now gone digital since handheld devices are often easier to use and more durable than paper maps. You can now find digital maps that include the nation’s renowned and lesser-known scenic trails.
The United States Geographical Survey (USGS) department has launched a digital topographic maps feature that contains navigational information about scenic trails across America. This feature not only lets hikers navigate trails but also introduces them to trails in other towns and states. Using digital maps can help you discover hiking trails that you might not know about.
Go Hiking In The Winter
While many people associate hiking with warm weather and sunny days, venturing out during winter opens up a whole new world of breathtaking landscapes. If you’re bored with the same old trails you always hike, consider visiting them during the winter. This way, you’ll be able to embrace the unique beauty of snow-covered trails, frozen lakes, and peaceful winter landscapes. If you go hiking in national parks, you might even come across snow-capped mountains.
However, hiking in winter requires additional preparation and precautions. Dress in layers to stay warm, wear winter-appropriate hiking boots for men and women, and carry essential safety equipment like traction devices and navigation tools. If there are rain forecasts during your planned hikes, prepare accordingly by using smart rain-protection techniques.
Visit New States
Depending on the state you live in, there might be a limited number of trails available to you. Because of this limitation, you might need to venture out and head to other states.
Exploring new states presents an excellent opportunity to discover diverse landscapes and experience different regional hiking cultures. Each state in the US offers its own distinct natural wonders and scenic trails waiting to be explored. You can use online resources to make a list of out-of-state scenic trails you want to visit. Plan your trips accordingly, considering factors such as weather, trail difficulty, and travel logistics. By visiting new states, you’ll broaden your hiking horizons and gain a deeper appreciation for the natural beauty that spans the United States.
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