Fall Hiking Tips

Enjoy the fall season and go hiking! In many areas, this is the best time to hike the trails. The days are getting shorter and the leaves are starting to turn. There is more wildlife to see and the cool air means you will have an easier time on the trail!

5 tips that will hiking during the fall even more enjoyable:

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1. Stay comfortable. Staying comfortable on the trail is as easy as "wearing layers." The morning chill can give way to bright sun and nice temperatures. A heavy jacket you're wearing in the morning can become too warm in the afternoon. Three to four layers and convertible pants will add flexibility to your trek. As you get warmer you can shed layers. If things get really warm, convertible pants allow you to zip off the legs, instantly turning them into shorts. Whatever you do don't forget to wear a hat. It can help keep you warm in the morning and cool in the afternoon. Bringing a backpack is convenient when you can put your extra layers of clothing in it.  

2. Get an early start. Shorter days means you need to maximize every minute on the trail. You will be rewarded with beautiful sounds of songbirds and the bustle of wildlife activity. Remember the sun will set earlier, so don't get caught out in the dark on the trail.

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3. Move quietly. As the leaves turn and start to fall off the branches that hid wildlife in the forest before, you might just catch a glimpse of the forest animals. Walking quietly will be rewarded with opportunities to see many animals closer than you normally would. If you live in an area where there are bears or cougars, then don't follow this advice. As a matter of fact if you are hiking in bear country during the fall you should make extra noise!

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4. Eat some food. Snacking as you're hiking is like adding fuel to your car; it keeps you moving. Avoid having a heavy meal before or while on the trail. If you eat a lot, your digestive system will rob you of body warmth.

5. Take a friend with you! The fall is the perfect time to go hiking with friends! No insects, cool temperatures, no crowds, greater chance of seeing wildlife, and clear skies all add up to a great first time experience.  

Leave a comment on what you love about hiking or what you do to make the most out of each hike! What do you love most about hiking in autumn?