Exploring New Trails
You?ve decide to start hiking. You bought a pair of boots and some other gear. You?ve also picked up a hiking guidebook or some maps and you?re ready to go hiking. Now you just have to decide where to go so it's time to pick a trail.
You should start by hiking a few popular trails. Yes, you?ll have to deal with a more people on these trails but there is usually a good reason why these trails are popular. Usually, they have some amazing scenery; a spectacular overlook, near a nice lake, some unusual geologic formations or lead you to a distinctive peak.
Once you've explored the popular trails, you will have a better sense of what interests you and what you want to explore on future hikes. You can start to make mental lists of trails that will be good when you are in certain moods. I usually have a few hikes that I am looking forward to doing if I want to get a great workout, don?t have a lot of time but want to see something cool, or when I have the time for a long hike. One my list I have trails to see changing leaves, out-of-the-way remote trails, trails that are great for the kids and trails for when guests are in town.
If you really get into hiking you will probably end up having the same type of lists in your head, even if you don?t know it. You?ll probably want to have a hike that is shaded by trees for those hot days and thoughts of a south-facing trail that should have less snow than others for the winter time.
I usually make some of these notes in a hiking journal but you can jot your note in your guidebooks as you read them. It doesn?t matter how you remember these trails as long as you can refer back to them later. When you feel like trying something new, these notes will come in handy and will be a good starting point. Whatever you do, explore new areas is great way to get you excited again. So get out there and enjoy it!
About the Author: Michael Savio is an avid outdoor adventurer and owner of Compass Monkey, which is dedicated to help other outdoor adventurers get the information they need about places, skills and gear. Featured activities include backpacking, hiking, mountain biking and road cycling. Visit http://www.compassmonkey.com for more tips and advice.