Hiking. A very relaxing past time loved by many. But unfortunately, as the world develops, nature is quickly being overrun by concrete and steel.
The cry of many a hiker is fast becoming an anthem – “where are the good hiking trails near me?”
What Makes a Good Hiking Spot?
Most of the time, when people search for “hiking spots near me” on the internet, they don’t really factor in what makes a good hiking trail. Yes, not all hiking spots are equal. Here are a few tips to filter the “best hikes near me” results you can get the best hike for you.
Yes, good scenery is one of the things that makes a good hiking trail good. Besides the delightful beauty, beautiful scenery is known to help reduce stress and blood pressure levels. I mean, how can you possibly think negative stressful thoughts while in the presence of the breathtakingly beautiful Mother Nature? Not only will a scenic nature trail keep you physically fit, but it will:
- Boost your mood
- Help you sleep better at night
- Improve the health of your heart
Height is Better than Distance
Many novice hikers mistakenly think that the best hike is a long hike. Not necessarily true. When it comes to hiking and exercise, height is actually better than distance. If you are into hiking for exercise or burning calories, head to the hills.
Research shows that even a small increase in incline will increase calorie burn by up to 50 percent as compared to hiking on flat ground. As for your leg muscles, an incline will strengthen them more than flat ground.
As you sift through the results Google gives you in response to “best hikes near me” be sure to take note of inclines on the trails. They will do you a lot of good.
The Greater the Challenge, the More the Satisfaction
there’s just something about human nature that makes us find pleasure in completing challenges. A good hiking trail will do just that. “What are the best nature trails near me”, you ask? The ones that challenge you more. This can be a hiking trail that has:
- Winding paths
- Natural obstacles
- Some inclines along the way
It’s important to note here that you should know the difficulty level of a hiking trail before deciding to pick it for your next adventure. Picking a trail that is too difficult for you can be perilous. Instead of being satisfying, it will end up being frustrating.
I’ve Found Some Good Hike Trails Near Me, Am I Good to Go?
Great question – you are not yet good to go. Hiking is not a walk in the park. You can’t just up and go. Every hiking excursion needs adequate preparation beforehand. Here are a few tips before you hit the trail.
- Know where you are going. This is critical. You need to understand the terrain you are going on and be aware of the danger zones on it.
- Determine the difficulty level of the terrain, and if you can handle it.
- Prepare yourself mentally for the challenges of the trail.
- Ask a friend to go with you. If you are up to the adventure of hiking solo, let someone know where and when you are going. Be sure to check in with them regularly
The most important area you need to prepare more than adequately can make or break your hike (or body). We’ll look at it next.
What Gear Should I Pack to Make the Most of The Nature Trails Near Me?
Hiking, as I said, is no walk in the park. It needs preparation and it needs the right gear. Before you decide on the trail you will go on, here are a few things that should make up your hiking gear:
- A good pair of hiking boots.
- Plenty of water. “Water is life” as they say. And it can’t be truer on a hiking trail. You need to keep your body well hydrated.
- A First aid kit. A hiking trail can be a treacherous place and injuries are common. Be prepared.
- Proper clothes. Make sure to dress in layers. This is important. You can take off a layer or two when it’s hot and add on a layer when temperatures drop.
- Your favorite trail mix. A mix of nuts and raisins to keep your energy levels high enough, yet light enough not to add unnecessary extra weight.
These are a few basics to get you started on your next adventure. A word of advice – be sure to prepare as much as you can, and that days or weeks in advance. It all depends on the length and difficulty of your hike.
Hiking Trails – There’s One for Everyone
The best part of hiking is that there are trails to suit everyone. From trails in the Appalachians to local hiking trails with waterfalls, there is a trail for everyone. “What are the best hikes near me?” Hopefully, this article has helped you decide. Happy hiking.