Be A Tourist in Your Own Town
When travel isn’t an option, you can be a tourist in your own town. I’m referring to the geographic part of your town – get ready to take a hike! If you conduct a web search for “hikes near me”, you’ll be amazed to learn that you’ve got many active options away from people but close to home. Here are my favorite answers to the query.
American Hiking Society
For readers in the United States, did you know that there is an American Hiking Society? Yes! And they have an incredible resource to find a trail near you. Simply click this link and the location data on your computer will enable the site to pull a map with American Hiking Society trails near you. I appreciate that it highlights the trails in the relative geographic location. It is quick and easy to select a trail based on the shown trail proximity and color-coded difficulty levels. The American Hiking Society site masterfully curates relevant articles and posts trail notices when applicable. You can also download the American Hiking Society app to access the resources on the go.
REI’s Hiking Project
When you click on a hike on the interactive map, American Hiking Society may redirect to the REI Hiking Project which shows all kinds of statistics for each hike you pick including elevation, grade, distance, driving directions and pictures. It also has a dog feature that lets you know whether the trail is open to dogs. (I’m not sure about cats. If you give it a try though, I’d love to hear about it.) The user interface is simple and friendly. I appreciate how there is a constant “trail conditions” meter and weather forecast in the same window. Weather is a critical factor to consider when planning a hike!
Another great resource is All Trails. I like this resource because it not only offers, and interactive map with green trail markers and color coded difficulty lines, but the community is personable and authentic. Reviews are frequently left and you can depend on them. Another excellent feature of the site is the ability to filter hikes based on criteria such as difficulty, length, elevation gain, route type and rating. It can be overwhelming to choose which hike to choose with so many options.
When it comes to finding a hike, test different platforms and discover which one you like best. You can embrace your inner lone wolf and silently use the resources or easily give back by adding your own photos and reviews. Every bit helps.
I highly encourage you to get outside and enjoy the health benefits of hiking. I think you, your body and mind will be glad you took time to tour your own town and discover local hikes.
Happy hiking! #dreambigalpsawait