As summer winds down and everyone packs up their beach towels and bathing suits, we are digging out hiking gear from our closet. Since our region is horrendously swampy in the summer, we prefer to do our hiking in the fall. No one wants to sweat through 90% humidity for 8 hours!
Last year we dipped our toes into this hiking business. We were hiking newbies (and out-of-shape newbies, at that) who were intimidated by the more challenging trails. We stuck to some local trails near our home that seemed interesting, but nothing too advanced. Naturally, we instantly caught hiking fever. We discovered that breathing some fresh air and working up a sweat is our favorite way to spend the day. It didn’t matter that we were only 20 minutes outside the city. We were surrounded by trees! Deer were just chilling a few yards away! There’s a whole natural world outside our doorstep! Just imagine what’s 100 miles away? 1,000 miles away?
Time for Some Advanced Hiking
That’s why we are upping the ante. We’re going to do real hiking. The kind that feels like a full-body workout. We want to earn those waterfall views and mountain vistas. Right now we constrain ourselves to trails that are close-by, which means we never push ourselves to our limit. What’s the fun in that? Hiking gets you outside your comfort zone – it forces you to conquer something that looks insurmountable. There are hundreds of hiking trails near us that the pros travel for miles to conquer. I mean, the Appalachian Trail is only a few hours drive away!
Most of our vacations next year will be hiking or camping trips. We pledge to rough it! Rather than short strolls through the woods, we’re going to make day and weekend trips out of our hiking adventures. We’re going to explore the beauty of our favorite states that we’ve missed on past vacations because we stuck to urban areas. Added bonus: we’ll get more mileage out of our vacation budget! Hiking is fun AND free (frugal win!) and camp ground fees are way cheaper than hotels. We want to see as much of this beautiful country as possible. Sometimes that means lacing up your hiking boots and driving into the wild unknown. We’re excited to see where we end up, and we can’t wait to share it with you.
Do you have any tips for beginner hikers? What are some of your favorite hiking destinations?