One of the greatest surprises and passions that emerged from our full-time travel experience was a discovery and love for hiking. There is something deeply moving that happens in your soul when viewing the world from atop a majestic mountain or among a field of wildflowers. This upcoming year I’ve decided to hike towards better health in order to enhance my travel experiences.
Falling in Love with Hiking
I distinctly remember the first official “hike” we took as a family. We had only been on the road for about a month. We were visiting Bozeman, Montana. As I searched for free things to do in the area, I came across a hike, the College M Trail. Fittingly, it led up a steep hill emblazoned the letter “M” on it. It was the first time I remember taking a hike simply to take a hike, and not necessarily see some viewpoint or attraction at the end. (It was also then that I realized that cities love to put the first letter of their name on mountains. Lol.)
I recall feeling excited about the hike. Then hesitant at the incline. Then uneasy as I saw signs warning about bears! We clutched our bear bell, and headed up the well- traveled path, making sure to be noisy enough to deter bears. We checked over our shoulders and around corners for signs of scary wildlife.
If I remember correctly, the four of us didn’t complete the whole trail. But, in the end, it didn’t matter. The views, the sounds of silence, the peace and contentment, it was spectacular. I decided then that I wanted to experience that feeling as much as possible. I’ve been hooked ever since!
Hiking Through the USA
So, why write about hiking on a blog about traveling the 50 states? Because what a wonderful and inspiring way to travel through the United States! We have thousands and thousands of trails out there to be explored in every single state. Many people plan entire trips around special hikes that they want to accomplish.
Did you know that the Appalachian National Scenic Trail covers 14 east coast states? Or that the Pacific Crest Scenic Trail begins in Mexico, covers California, Oregon, and Washington, and ends in Canada? It is an amazing way to see our country, whether it’s a 30-day backpacking trip or a 2 hour day hike (which is definitely more my speed)!
Hiking, Health & Travel
Personally, I want to be in good enough health to take those special hikes whether I’m traveling locally or internationally! The end goal is to be able to travel anywhere around the world and hike the most amazing trails. Missing out on an experience because I can’t physically make the trek up the trail is not something I’m willing to do!
Check out this infographic on the physical, mental, and emotional health benefits of hiking.
52 Hike Challenge
For 2023, I’ve made it a goal to join the 52 Hikes Challenge, which is a free challenge (or paid, with prizes – your choice) to participate in 52 hikes for the year, or one hike per week. For more information about the challenge, click on the image below.
Hiking Challenge Printables
My Hiking Logbook and Journal was inspired by my own hiking experiences as well. Record each and every hike, including trail names, distance, difficulty, mileage, and more. There is even room for sketching or pictures to remember each hike. Click HERE or on the images below to learn more.
In my mind, hiking, health, and traveling go hand in hand. I can’t wait to get started! Who’s with me?
Has hiking changed your life? Have you experienced a hike during your travels that was unforgettable? I’d love to hear from you…