Get Out There

Why Fall Is the Best Time of Year for Hiking

Last week we talked about what to wear for fall hiking. Hopefully, you’ve been pulling out clothes and getting ready to go or maybe even started hitting the trails!

It’s not cool enough everywhere to feel like fall. But the season is definitely here! Fall is the best time of year for hiking, and we wanted to review a few of the reasons!

One of the reasons that hiking in the fall is so great is that the views are amazing! The fall colors are lovely. You get to see all of the leaves changing. And you may see wildlife getting ready for the winter. Be sure to bring your binoculars with you when you go out to get the most out of the gorgeous sights all around you.

Another huge perk is the mild weather. We are past the dog days of summer but haven’t hit the cold days of winter yet! We’re in the pocket of time when you can get out and enjoy yourself without being too hot or too cold. While you need to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen, you’re far less likely to become overwhelmed by heat than you were a couple of weeks ago. And, you’re far less likely to be frigid than you will be in a couple of months! Now is the ideal time to enjoy being outside for long periods!

The paths are likely to be quieter than they have been all summer. With kids back in school and young adults back at college, now is the time for adults to stake their claim to parks! If you aren’t tied to the academic calendar, you have so much more leeway than other folks! Whether you are retired or taking time off work, a mid-week hike is much quieter this time of year. Parents are far less likely to “play hooky” with their children in the fall than in the spring. School is just getting underway, and they don’t want kids to miss class. This is likely to be the quietest time for you to visit wherever you want to go!

The ground is firm underfoot in the fall. While spring also features mild weather, the ground can be slippery or muddy from thawing ice, snow and seasonal rain. Fall offers better ground for all of us, whether you’re steady on your feet or not. Slips and getting mired can have severe consequences, so it’s better to have the best grounds possible. Some areas even close their paths in the spring, despite the pleasant weather, so the soil can harden. Go now while it’s solid, and you can enjoy it.

Fall is a great season for hiking. Remember that it’s best enjoyed with a friend. Not only is the company great, but it’s significantly safer. Falls can be serious, and you can get lost. It’s always better to use the buddy system, and views are nicer when they are shared!

This season, between picking apples and carving pumpkins, make time to go walking out in the wild. You won’t regret it!

Banner image: Johannes Plenio via Unsplash

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