3 Reasons to Take a Hike (and 5 Resources to Help You Get There!)

Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who’s always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and thus more interesting. You have time to observe the details.

– Edward Abbey

Enjoy summer’s sun-dappled trails, like this one in Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve. Photo by Julie Martin
Enjoy summer’s sun-dappled trails, like this one in Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve. Photo by Julie Martin

It’s the last day of July and, as Edward Abbey points out, life is short — and the summer is even shorter. My kids’ summer vacation just crossed the dreaded halfway mark, so in the spirit of making the most of the summer, I’ll keep this post brief and maybe we can all put the extra time towards a walk in the woods. Summer holds enjoyment for people of all ages and the trails are beckoning!

Summertime often brings travel, and it has never been easier to get from point A to point B. A few hours on a plane or two and you can be practically anywhere. But, as a recent post from Matador Network points out, when we hurry to get around some of the best aspects of travel get lost in the frenzy. Remember the old saying, “Getting there is half the fun”? In our results-oriented era of instant gratification you don’t hear that much anymore.

Abbey, the author of environmentalist classic Desert Solitaire, noted that walking opens up a whole new world of observation. When one walks a trail we become part of the slow, rhythmic pace of nature; and we witness glimpses of awe and beauty, like a bird we’ve never seen before, a perfectly-camouflaged salamander on the forest floor, or a waterfall tumbling over a mossy ledge.

Plus, as a Huffington Post article recently reported, hiking has very real benefits for our health and happiness. As if we needed more convincing to get out there! But since you’re still with me, maybe you’re just not sure where to go. Check out the resources below to peruse the possibilities (hint: they’re all great, so you really can’t go wrong), and make the most of the remaining long summer days. Happy trails!

Sam Hodder

About the author

President and Chief Enthusiast for the Outdoors (CEO) of Save the Redwoods League, Sam brings more than 25 years of experience in overseeing land conservation programs from the remote wilderness to the inner city.

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