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Hiking Trails: Seeing Nature in a Whole New Way

There are many established hiking trails all over the world. The main thing to consider when planning a hike is your own ability. Are you a novice or a long time hiking enthusiast, who thrives on the hiking trails less traversed? How much time do you have to spend on the hiking trail? Are you looking for a challenge, or a relaxing hike to commune with nature?

All these questions must be answered before you decide which hiking trail is for you, but once you have nailed down the specifics of your adventure; there are a plethora of choices before you.

Whether you live in the desert or in the mountains, there will be hiking trails that are sure to fulfill your hiking goals. Most states have packages available from the Division of Parks and Tourism that detail what is available in your area, or whatever area you plan to visit. They are normally free, and can be in your hands within two weeks of ordering them. Another alternative is to research hiking trails online, and request material to be sent through the mail according to what you find.

Should you decide to hike a trail, and you are not familiar with that particular region, consider hiring a trail guide. Should you decide not to hire a trail guide, be certain to consult with one, and carry a map, and compass. Hundreds of people are injured or lost on hiking trails every year, and you do not want to become a statistic. Another thing to research is the wild life whose habitat you are hiking through. Check to see when the breeding times of these animals occur, when they are likely to have young to protect, and what precautions you should take in regards to avoiding potential encounters with these animals.

Be certain to chart sources along your hiking trail where water is available (take a portable water purification device with you, because even water that looks crystal clear can harbor unsafe bacteria) and familiarize yourself with local plant life, so you will know what is harmful and what is not. One old rule of thumb is, “Leaflets three, let it be.” If you follow this simple rule, chances are you can avoid a nasty case of poison oak or poison ivy if it grows along your hiking trail.

Consider the individual needs and capabilities of each member of your hiking party. Some hiking trails are easy enough for children, and family hiking can be a wonderful experience. Every new hiker spends time as a novice, and if you are an experienced hiker, it is a great bonding experience when the whole family hikes together. Though expert hikers might think a hiking trail easy enough for a beginner would bore them to tears, seeing a hiking trail through the eyes of a child can be one of the most rewarding experiences you ever have.

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