Since June is Great Outdoors Month, it is only appropriate that one goes out and explores the natural wonders around them. If the weekend is weather permitting and you have a friend to tag along, a day hiking trip may be just the thing to break up your usual routine.
Recently, I took a trip to Bearfort Mountain, NJ with a few friends to take on the White Blazes hiking trail. This trail was 5.9 miles long and said to take about 5 hours to complete. The trail was a little challenging but not too bad. We found ourselves climbing rocks, stepping through streams and coming across views like the one in the picture above.
For a few girls living in New York City, we made out okay. However, we did discover a few preparatory steps that may be helpful for fellow amateur hikers looking to celebrate this month’s theme.
There are more hiking trails around you than you think. The only way to find out which hiking trail is right for your experience level is by researching the topography of area and the surrounding trails. Hiking trails are ranked based on difficulty level (from easy to extremely difficult) and it is better to know what you are getting yourself into before you make the trip. A few websites that will help start the search are Trails.com and Wilderness.org. Both websites do a great job of explaining what you may expect and where you should spend a little more time on the trail. On our trip – we ate lunch at a great spot that was recommended by both of these sites!
2) Get the directions
Unless the trail you are seeking is very famous or well known, odds are there isn’t a designated parking lot or flashing signs telling where it is. That is why it is very important, when traveling to a hiking site to know where the trail starts and where you can park your car. One of the ways that we found directions to Bearfort Ridge was through a hiker’s blog we came across. In the post, he wrote out very detail oriented directions describing what landmarks were around the area where the trail started. In addition to finding the blog post, we used the mobile app AllTrails (http://alltrails.com/). This app is great for hikers of every level! It shows hiking trails and parks in the area, the difficulty level of the trails and it gives step by step directions on how to drive to the trail. We will definitely be using this app for our next trip!
3) Take a look around
During the hike, take your time and make pit stops along the way to look around. Even experienced hikers can go on the same trail every week and see something different. The great outdoors never stops changing and there will be something different to see on every trip you take.
If you decide to take advantage of this month’s theme and explore the great outdoors. Let us know where you head off to, we would love to hear about your adventures!