By Brian Smith
Getting out of your normal routine and being in nature is special. It can bring the family together, cleanse the soul, and have you feeling that you have accomplished something that gives you a sense of well-being.
It is nowadays quite easy to find information on the internet about great local hikes, but at times, the information you get is not what you want and need, even with all the digging around.
Fortunately, I have spent a fair amount of time doing the kind of research that is needed, and I am happy to share these resources so that your hikes can be the perfect ones that you want.
Purchase a Recreational Atlas or a Detailed Topographical Map
It is always a good thing to have on hand a recreational atlas or up-to-date topographical map of your state.
It will be of great help when you move out of cell phone range, and also provide you with an overview of the land ownership, the parks in the area, the trails, as well as backroads made of gravel that you may have to take so that you can get to the trailheads.
It is a great tool for getting a general overview of the wilderness areas, regional parks, and more, which will then provide you with recreational opportunities.
Visit Your Local Visitor Centre
You are often left wondering about the hiking trails that are near to you and fit for your level of fitness. It is a question, a good one, that both your Chamber of Commerce and the local Visitor Center should have answers for. Normally, these establishments are not ones that you will have noticed, but in all probability, your town should have one or both.
They are where you can source maps and a look into the recreational opportunities in your area, with personal advice on the best trails for hiking. They will have maps that will direct you to every park and trailhead, and the latest information on the conditions of the trail, and the park or trial that may suit your particular needs.
Get to Your Nearest State or Regional Park and Ask the Staff There for Advice and Maps on Local Trails
Your reliable recreational atlas should have already helped you to zero in on the park where you would like to go hiking, and if you want accurate information you can get it from the park visitor center.
You can even pick up a trail map there, and get all the scoop from the staff at the park about the conditions on the trail today.
Visitor Center staff and Park Rangers will always have up-to-date information about swollen rivers, muddy trails, and trails that the park has closed.
Google Search: “Hiking Trails Near [Your Location].”
Go to Google and use the search term “hiking trails near [your location]”, so that you can find the best hiking trails that are near to where you are.
This search may take you to local websites that will have articles in local publications about the best day hikes in your area, as well as a curated list of trails.
Use page one of the Google results so that you can then sift through the best options and find the best trails in your area.
To read the rest of Brian’s article, please click here.