We live in an amazingly beautiful country that boasts stunning forests, mountains, and waterways. National Hiking Day is the perfect opportunity to grab our boots and head outdoors with your family where we can really appreciate the immense wonders of our natural ‘backyard’.
Did you know that Colorado's diverse landscape boasts over 39,000 miles of hiking trails, crisscrossing the state?
As a species, we can choose to hurt or heal the environment we inhabit. Of course, we want to conserve our natural world and help it to thrive; and to this end, it’s a great idea to get up close and personal - to see, hear, smell, and feel it. Hiking is one of the best ways to do this. Reminder to only hike on trails where you can properly socially distance yourself from other people!
Connecting to nature is essential to our mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health. Experiencing the natural world, especially the diverse landscapes our state offers - from urban trails like Cherry Creek State Park, to the rugged and striking Rocky Mountains - drives us and our families toward conservation. Protecting the places we love is not just an ideal, but a practice, that begins with a hike.
Explore and Learn as You Hike
While hiking in nature, why not:
Hiking: Serious Fun!
Trail travels may take hikers toward mountain summits, along alpine lakes, through towering forests, and even into punishing desert heat.
Though some of these journeys may sound a bit ambitious, rest assured that not all hikes require expertise and expensive gear. There are plenty of safe, entertaining trails that are perfect for beginners and families, and they're a great place to spend National Hiking Day. The awareness day reminds current and prospective hikers to care for America's beautiful trail system by protecting and preserving it. One great component of maintaining our beautiful trails is the Land and Water Conservation Fund which has funded over one thousand projects in our state alone!
National Hiking Day, also called Take a Hike Day, is also intended as a reminder of the many ways hiking can benefit people of all ages. Children are especially liable to reap personal growth from hiking -- in addition to an intense physical workout, hiking can help kids boost their mental, emotional, and social skills. They're likely to learn early appreciation for the environment,1 improve their executive function through new life experiences,2 and form stronger and more cooperative bonds with their peers.3
Coloradans love the outdoors, which is why we rushed to our public lands in droves this past summer. This fall, we should celebrate America’s best idea on Take a Hike Day by doing just that - before the snow comes and hiking becomes snowshoeing! Again, reminder to only take hikes with your family and maintain at least 6 feet in between you and the other people on the trail to keep everyone safe from COVID-19!
Heading out on a family hike? Check out these tips for staying safe and hiking responsibly.
Dress appropriately for the weather, and always wear boots with good traction; wearing layers is helpful
Bring an appropriate amount of food, water, and other necessary supplies, including clean, dry clothes and a way to call for help if needed
Always have a contact who knows where you'll be and expects to hear from you post-hike
Review the equipment and safety lists found here to be sure you're prepared
Responsibly enjoying America's trail system means taking only pictures and leaving only footprints. Take care to keep paths clear, extinguish any fires completely, remove all refuse, and avoid disrupting plant life and animal habitats. In addition to following safety rules and wearing the appropriate gear, these tenets are the habits of a responsible and considerate hiker.