It’s unofficially fall people.
And here in upstate New York, it feels like it. There is a chill in the air, the days are steadily getting shorter, and much to my surprise, pops of red and orange are appearing in the foliage. I love getting outside to see the changes as often as I can, and hiking is one of my favorite ways to do that. But should you need convincing on why to hike (or why to hike in the fall), I hope this changes your mind.
Physical and Mental Health Benefits
Whether you’re on an easy 2 mile flat loop or a strenuous uphill climb, getting our bodies moving is good. Time on the trail is always beneficial. As far as mental health goes, hiking has always been a great way to clear my mind. Believe it or not, there have been studies done that source hiking as a way to manage depression and anxiety.
Cheap or Free
If there is a cost associated with a hike, it’s usually a very small entrance fee into a state or national park. The $5 I pay to get into the park goes back into conservation, trail management, and protecting the land, a cost I have never minded to pay. If that’s still a stretch for you, grab a few friends! Usually, the fee is per car, so fit as many people as you can in there.
You can hike for as long as you walk. And the more you hike, the longer you’ll be able to.
I have never visited a place where hiking is not an option. Even in huge city centers, there are hikes available 10-20 minutes away. No matter where you go, you can hike. And everywhere you go, hiking will be different.
Hiking can be HARD. While the majority of hikes I embark on are flat 2-3 milers, some of my favorite hikes are incredibly challenging. I’m talking about miles of a steep uphill climb. Not only is it a good sweat session, but getting to the top of that mountain is such a victory. If you ever need a win in life, hike a mountain, and give yourself the courage to face other challenging tasks head on.
Social or Alone Time
Hike alone for some much needed alone time, or hike with a friend for a good catch up session. I always enjoy hiking with a new friend, because if the conversation starts to lull, it’s okay. You can both enjoy the scenery and not fill every moment with talk.
Sometimes I need an escape from everyday life. The business, the hecticness, the running around. Especially during cooler days when most people are inside, the quite time hiking provides is unmatched. It gives me a chance to clear my brain and feel rejuvenated.
Cooler Temperatures Means Tick Prevention
I am terrified of ticks. The thought of a tiny bug latching itself onto my body and giving me diseases gives me plenty of reason to be fearful. With fall comes cooler temperatures, and with cooler temperatures comes long sleeves and pants, which are great tick prevention. Besides not worrying about ticks, it’s nice to not be overheating during a workout.
Fall is such a special time of year, and what better way to view the changing trees than get right in them? Hikes typically offer some spectacular natural views, made even better by the orange and yellow fall foliage.