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via: HOMEGROWN.org Member Blog: Fall Hiking

 

In between water sports and downhill skiing, I get my outdoors fix with some crisp, scenic hikes during the fall season. As the leaves turn and the air cools, it’s the perfect time of year to lace up those boots, fill a daypack and hit the trails!

 

Photo by Caroline

 

Whether I’m embarking on a short day hike or backpacking overnight, there are thousands of great trails across the United States to suit all hiking levels.  

  • The American Hiking Society has lots of information about trails and hiker preparedness.  
  • Backpacker.com features an interactive map to find the best destinations in all 50 states.  
  • I love to catch the best view of the foliage, and the USDA Forest Service has all the prime information on location and timing to see the leaves ablaze in color.

I love to hike new sections of the Appalachian Trail in the spring and fall.  Through the Blue Ridge Mountains or along the White Mountain range, the AT has many beautiful, well-maintained trails.  There are some absolutely breathtaking day hikes, as well as longer hikes with overnight stops. Be sure to follow your trail map and make a plan to fit your timetable.  There’s nothing worse than being stuck out on the trail with no AT camp in sight in backwoods CT (Trust me…I know). Check out the Appalachian Mountain Club website for all you need to know about the AT.

 

Photo by Caroline

 

And, while I haven’t ventured far from Northeast trails, I’d love to hike the Sierras or the Pacific Crest Trail, and through the National Parks! Where have you hiked? What’s your favorite trail or loop? What hikes would you recommend for the fall? 

 

Photo by Caroline

 

As every hiker knows, food and water are the most important items you’ll need to haul up the summit.  Keeping your energy up with good trail meals and snacks is easy when you think…HOMEGROWN! Folks on the site have submitted lots of recipes that would make for good eating along the trail! Try some of the suggestions for dehydrated and dried fruits or healthy granola. Don’t forget the other essentials: a hiking buddy, homemade sunscreen (those UV rays can still penetrate during cooler months), layers of weather-appropriate clothing (it gets cold up at the summit), a first-aid kit (and wilderness first aid training if hiking backcountry), a compass, matches, a flashlight, a map, and a camera (to catch the foliage) – at the very least!

 

What resources do you turn to when planning a hiking or camping trip? What are the essential items in your pack? How do you plan a trip, pack appropriately, keep yourself safe, and pick a manageable trail? Ever seen a bear or had to take shelter? Share your hiking tips and wild experiences with us!

 

Now get yourself out on the trail and enjoy a fall full of fun hiking. Nothing beats fresh air and foliage on a weekend afternoon!

 


Tags: fall, food, hiking, pack, trail

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