Hiking involves an energetic long walk on footpath or hiking trails for a single day or overnight, usually through the terrain. It can also be done off-road hiking trails. A common misconception is that hiking is a sport or a pastime only. Although it can be very relaxing and rejuvenating, hiking is a great recreational activity for all ages. There is always the risk of injury when participating in outdoor activities, but hiking injuries are typically mild and quickly healed.
A hiker plans the hiking trail adventure prior to departure to the trailhead. The destination location should be chosen carefully, considering the climate, the terrain, and the facilities available at the hiking trail destination. Hiking trails in mountainous areas, where vegetation and wildlife are sparse, are more challenging to navigate than those in flat open terrain. Establishing a route and picking an appropriate direction requires experience and intuition.
Hiking trails are typically signed, and the best way to determine what is there to see or do is to follow the signs. Many hiking trails offer a day hike or an overnight trip. For a single-day hike, a hiker would be able to view the region in daylight. The same goes for overnight trips. Day hikes are usually done in small groups to reduce the possibility of encountering wildlife or other exciting wildlife.
Many hiking trails in the country have waterfalls or other attractions that appeal to hiking enthusiasts. In addition to waterfalls, many popular hiking trails have overlooks or areas with spectacular views. Some popular national parks such as the Americanviking trail system in the northern states, the Trans Canada Trail in Quebec, and the Yoho National Park in Ontario, Canada, among others, have hiking trails that feature stunning views of waterfalls, geysers, and other natural phenomena.
Hiking and trekking
Hiking and trekking are different, but they have one thing in common – both require stamina and courage. In order to enjoy hiking trails, one should not feel afraid of tackling the challenging terrain nor approach it with panic. While trekking, on the other hand, an individual should expect to encounter challenging terrains such as steep cliffs and sudden drops.
Different types of hiking trails exist. There are scenic hiking trails that take hikers into mountain valleys where the landscape is filled with large trees, meadows, and beautiful meadows. These trekking experiences bring one closer to nature and taste the local flora and fauna. However, other hiking trails take hikers on rugged and mountainous terrain where many rivers and streams can be found.
Appalachian hiking trails in the South have a couple of examples. One such trail follows the banks of the Blue Ridge River for about 2,000 miles. Another trail takes hikers on a path along the banks of the Sarnia River. The Appalachian Trail traverses three national parks – Carlin Park, Longville, and the Applegate Mountain Park. Hikers can expect to experience bear, deer, and other forest-related wildlife on this route.
Lake Superior Hiking Trail is another example of an Appalachian hiking trail. This route starts at the Lake Superior National Forests and takes hikers through a beautiful forest before ending at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina. This route boasts of several waterfalls including Great Gabel Mountain, Waterford Falls, and Lake Superior State Park. The trail also covers the famous Snowmass Lake, Black Mountain, and Bear Mountain. Hikers will definitely have a memorable time on this hiking adventure.
Northern California’s High Mt. Okemos Trail, also known as the Oak Creek Trail, has about two miles of hiking trails that will take walkers through a lush meadow and through a tall wooded mountain. The trail also takes hikers through a few alpine summits. The trailhead for the trail commences at Highway 41 in Ansel Adams National Forest. There is a parking area just ahead of the trail, which provides easy access.
In the state of Oregon, there are several hiking options. The most well-known is the Columbia Gorge Trail which starts at the Grantsville Camping and Picnic Area and covers several peaks in the Mount Hood National Forests. Other popular hiking spots include the Stover Mt. Wilderness, the Sunshine Valley Trail, and the Cadillac Mountain Loop.
Oregon Parks Services offers a complete map of the entire state which gives detailed information about each park. Day hikes can be done as a self-guided stroll, while at the same time, you can consult the maps for riding bikes and other vehicles. All in all, the best part of visiting Oregon Parks is that you do not need unique camping or overnight accommodation to enjoy the beauty of Oregon hiking trails.