In a post I did a couple of weeks back I looked at what to think about to help you try and decide whether you’d like hiking as a pastime before committing to it on an ongoing basis. To continue in that vein, I wanted to have a look at some creative ways you can put this trial into action!
What am I getting at?
Well, not everyone has easy access to mountains or even the countryside. As many people live in towns and cities, sometimes transport out to hiking locations is at best infrequent if not non-existent. However, this doesn't spell the end of temporary possibilities to keep you going while you wait for those weekend days away in the mountains. As with anything you can get creative and many towns and cities offer different and alternative hiking possibilities.
Canals and Rivers
Many cities have canals and rivers running through them. These can, although not always, be a really nice place to go for a long trek. Generally speaking, while not getting totally away from the city as such, you should be able to get yourself into an environment where you’re surrounded by the trees, a bit of wildlife and the soothing sound of running water. Not exactly open mountains but still pleasant all the same with its own set of unique and admirable qualities.
Most cities will of course have public parks which can be a welcome oasis in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day city life. You can take advantage of these to get your legs out for a good stretch.
For smaller parks, you'll of course have to walk around them a few times to get a decent hike type walk in, but that’s cool. It’s enough to give you a flavor if you’re just trying walking and hiking out for the first time and it is also enough to dust the cobwebs off from a physical workout perspective. They do say that only thirty minutes of walking a day will be a great help to you to stay healthy.
Many cities are on the coast and the beach offers a perfect place to get a good walk in. If you have one close by, you are laughing. Personally, if asked the question if I prefer mountains or the sea, I would say it’s a close tie for me. While I love hiking in mountains, walking along a beautiful beach is hard to beat. If I can hike along a mountain along a beach, then that’s just perfect!
Anyway, a beach is a great place to get out for a good long walk and with the added benefit of a fresh sea breeze. Good for the body and good for the mind so you’re on to a winner!
Often times, you can find a small forest area close by your town or city. These are perfect locations to nearly immerse yourself in nature and the outdoors and get a real feel for what hiking is like. You don't need a huge area of forest to really feel like you're in the wilderness, a couple of square miles will do the trick nicely.
Finally, I wanted to give a nod to country roads. Often times, people may not be based in cities but rather smaller towns but not necessarily with any hills or mountains close by. Sometimes, just getting out on the local roads and walking alongside the fields and countryside can be really pleasant and again, will get the legs moving and give you a feel for what hiking in hills and mountains might be like for you.
Of course remember that if you're planning on hiking on roads, always wear appropriate reflective hiking gear to ensure you can be seen by other road users.
Hiking is of course best experienced in the mountains, hills, etc. but many times, it isn't easy for folks to get to those hiking locations to enjoy them. As shown above, all is not lost and there are other options that may be open to you, at least as a short term substitute. Have a look round your town or city for any of the suggestions above and get yourself out and about, you never know what hidden gems you might find.
It will not only serve as a reasonable introduction to help you gauge whether you want to take your hiking adventures further but either way, it will help you stay fit and healthy. A good walk is great for your general well being not only physically but also psychologically. After a hard day at work some fresh air in natural surroundings can really work wonders for your general mood and orientation.
I hope you found this short post useful.