November 17th Take A Hike Day

Nov. 17th Take A Hike Day

There are 60,000 miles of paths to hike on in the National Trail System in the United States. You could go for a walk and take months, if not years, before you return. And this time of year, when the air is cooler and the leaves are still changing colors is a great time to go. No, you don’t have to walk all 60,000 miles but the more you do walk, the better you will feel. Hiking is great exercise and improves your mood and outlook on life. You can actually see what makes this country great! It’s not the highways and the airports, not the high rises and elaborate theaters, it’s not the banks or Wall Street, it is the country, what the settlers fought for, built from nothing and the woods you have the freedom to roam whenever you want.

How to celebrate – Take a walk! Form a club to walk with. Take photos of where you go so you have something to share when you get back.

November 17th National Take A Hike Day

Today is a great day to take a hike. What’s the difference between a hike and a walk? Well I guess it depends on how fast, far and the terrain you hike on. You can hike around a block, but generally that is considered a walk. You can walk up a mountain, but generally that is called a hike.

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I think generally speaking a hike is a little more adventuresome than a walk. It’s probably a little more strenuous and often involves exploring things you don’t normally see everyday. It’ a chance to commune with nature, animals and enjoy the weather.

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Most hikes have a destination as well. They may involve a picnic lunch or even a sleep over at the destination you chosen. The objective of taking a hike is get out and spend sometime with nature, get a little exercise and enjoy life. Take you cell phone for an emergency but forget you have it unless you need it.

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And don’t forget to take your dog. They love hikes, probably even more than their people do! And November is perfect for it. The leaves are changing colors, the air is a little crisper and besides, you need to make room for that Thanksgiving feast coming up.

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But don’t ask a soldier to go on a little hike with you… you might get shot!

How to celebrate – Go on a hike. Form a hiking party. Join the army and go hiking every day.

November 17th Take A Hike Day

Sometimes, when some one tells you to take a hike its not such a good thing! In this case, however, it is… so go, Take A Hike!

With the weather cooler now, it isn’t like taking a walk in sweltering heat. The trees are turning colors and animals are a little more frisky so there is a lot to see. It is a great thing to do in a large group, although you will probably scare off the wild life. In the end, it is interesting to compare what people saw, sometimes its the same as everyone else but sometimes they see things no one else picked up on.

It can also be a great thing to do alone giving you a chance to get your head together and come to a better understanding of your life and where all the pieces fit together. Nature seems to be very soothing and helps you get your act together.

And it is great for inexpensive family outings. A time to bond, a chance to get to know each other a little better. And make them leave their phones at home! You’ll get resistance at first but after a half hour they’ll forget all about it. And make a picnic out of it making sure you provide everybody’s favorite foods.

And if you are daring enough, camp out over night. The view of the stars will be wonderful compared to being in the city.  You have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain and… its some healthy for you to do! That’s a win-win in anybodies book.

How to celebrate – Go Take A Hike! Most larger cities have hiking trails, find out where they are where you live. Find a friend or family member to walk with you, it makes it much more enjoyable.

June 3rd National Trails Day

Whether you like to hike, ride a bike, go by horseback, do a little bird watching or do geocaching today is the day to enjoy yourself on a trail of some sort. Trails generally start somewhere (Well they all start somewhere) and lead to something someone wanted to see or do. It could be important, or not so important, but following it you will get to where the original person(s) wanted to be.

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Now if you don’t know what a geocache is don’t feel bad, I didn’t either. Or then again, maybe I am the last to know since that seems to happen a lot to me. A geocache is sort of like a giant treasure hunt all over the world. Someone plants a cache somewhere in the world and then programs it into a site where you can use your GPS device to find it. You either can take something to prove you have found it or leave something so that the next adventurer can see who has already been there.

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There are significant trails trails that people have followed during the history of the US. The Oregon trail is one of the most famous. It helped people spread out across out nation and populate the west. You can still follow that trail if you like but plan on being gone for more than the day, oh… and you may want to take a car, or covered wagon or helicopter.

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There are also famous trails that aren’t so happy, like the Trail of Tears that forced the real Americans west to give settlers land they really didn’t deserve. Not preaching here… but a lot of good people died because we Europeans did not want them where they were.

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But back to Happy Trails… (Get that, the old cowboys song) there are many trails to follow all over the US. They don’t have to be long trails, maybe it’s just a trail to your favorite ice cream shop but so long as it goes through the wilderness, a yard with tall grass, it counts. I don’t think walking around the food court at your local mall works though.

How to celebrate – Get out and enjoy the great outdoors! Find a local trail you can follow, it will give you a sense of accomplishment to reach the end of it. Cut your own trail, through you backyard to your neighbors yard.

November 17th National Take A Hike Day

There aren’t to many things an entire family, including their dog, can do these days together. One option available now, the same as it was a hundred years ago, is go hiking. Of course the reasons have changed a lot and some of the settings have changed a little, but in the end it’s nearly the same (yes the photo above is of the Swiss Alps but there are many places in America that look nearly the same).

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There are some 60,000 miles of trails in the National Trail System across all 50 states. There are many, many more that are not a part of the National Trail System, such as state, county, and local trails also waiting to be explored. For those of you that love nature, what else is there so beautiful? For those that love history you can imagine yourself walking along some of the same paths as many of our forefathers walked. For those who just want to find something different to do with your family, friends, and neighbors, it is a constantly changing landscape to be enjoyed by everyone.

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Camping on some of the trails is a fun option for the entire family. Cooking hot dogs over an open fire (done safely), talking instead of watching television or playing on the computer, getting to know each other once again… or maybe for the first time. And here’s a bonus… you can burn 400-500 calories an hour.

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Now is the perfect time of year to go hiking as well. It’s cooler, the leaves are changing colors and skies are generally clearer. The weather makes everyone feel more energetic and walking for some distance is not as taxing. In other words, if you are going to do it, do it now!

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You might even find it to be a new and healthy hobby you can participate in. Your kids will love it, you dog will love it, so why not give it a try.

How to celebrate – Look for trails locally you can travel down. Make a day of it and pack a lunch. Make sure to put anything you think might need in a backpack – bandages, extra socks, first aid kit, and tools you may require. Most of all, take water! Lots and lots of water! See how many of the 60,000 trails of the National Trail System you can travel yourself. Start a hiking club with your friends and family. You really should never go by yourself.