I've always enjoyed hiking and what better way to burn a few calories while enjoying the beauty of nature! Hiking is a great way to relax your mind and breathing in fresh air supplies oxygen to the brain and body. I have hiked way too many trails to count, but personally I always end up going back to local ones. Occasionally, it's nice to venture out to different cities, but it can be quite a commute and the drive may take up most of the time. The best way to search for trails around your area is through Yelp! I know, I know there is the famous Google as well, but Yelp has pretty much been my best friend since I've discovered it. This holy grail app is a life saviour when searching for places to eat, things to do from malls, nightlife, entertainment, etc. You name it all! The best part is searching within a specific location and "checking in" the places you have been. When Pokemon Go grew and everyone was downloading it, Yelp included the feature showing nearby Pokestops. Thinking back during the months of July and August, I would venture out to several hiking trails and a few of my buddies would come along while catching Pokemon.
In the beginning I would search up the word "hiking trails" on the Yelp search bar. Different parks would show up. Then I would click on one and look in the "more info" section and see if there are options for biking as well. Another great activity is biking! Its an enjoyable way to tone your legs and keep active. Also a few of my buddies own dogs, so it's important to check if the park is dog friendly. After researching all the information I would go into Google and search if there are specific websites on the trail or park. Lastly, I would search on maps to find the best spot for parking. There are streets around the neighbourhood where you could park for free instead of paying for a parking fee. You may need to walk a few streets, but its worth saving a few bucks. As mentioned, it's important to research prior to checking out a new hiking trail especially in a different city. You don't want to get lost or end up scurrying to try and find your way back before the sun sets.
Hiking is overall is a great way to get your body moving. Remember to also check reviews on trails that are new to you. There are some trails that are more challenging, so do your research and also pack accordingly for yourself and also the weather. Before heading to a trail, I recommend eating a light meal. I love eating fresh fruit and drinking a smoothie is also a good option. Packing snacks is also a good idea, such as a variety of nuts, raisins, a granola or energy bar. Also never forget your bottle of water! If your trail is more challenging and has more hills and slopes, staying hydrated is very important. I always carry a small backpack to fit all my hiking essentials and below are a few of the items I carry.
Let me know in the comments what you bring to your active adventures with friends and family!