Five Fun Ideas to Get You Out the Door for a Hike This Fall
As you plan for the cooler temperatures that autumn ushers in, it’s important to realize that there’s still plenty of fun to be had outdoors. Yes, both spring and summer bring us greenery and warm, sunny days, but the fall is a prime time of the year to get outside. One of the best activities to get you out the door to enjoy fall weather is hiking. Fall hikes can be casual or athletic and be completed as a solo or group activity. So, as the temperatures drop, don’t feel like you need to be a couch potato and hibernate until the weather is warm again. Hiking with family or hiking with friends in the fall is the perfect way to appreciate nature, try out new activities and gear, and bond with your favorite groups of people through a shared experience.
1. Observe Foliage and Wildlife
One of the best activities to do outdoors during your fall hikes is to find ways to appreciate nature. Fall is a prime time to go for a hike merely to enjoy the changing colors of the foliage and to see animals in their natural environment before they, too, start to tuck themselves away for a long winter’s nap. If you are hiking with friends or hiking with family, you can spice up your hike by including activities like a leaf-search. You could split into teams during your hike, trying to find the most unique leaf colors, sizes, and shapes. Similarly, you could hold a similar type of competition using animals. A quick internet search will reveal to you the kinds of wildlife that are common in your area. You could quickly create a game, tallying who among your group has spotted the most of each creature.
2. Try Out New Clothes and Gear
Another great reason to get outdoors and enjoy fall hikes is the fall clothing and gear. From boots, sweaters, jackets, backpacks, and other hiking gear like canteens, picnic supplies, rain gear, walking sticks, and lanterns, fall hikes are a great way to make an investment in outdoor clothing, accessories, and supplies. You can set individual hiking goals for the fall and make additional fun out of planning your hikes. You can even visit your local sporting goods or outdoor supplier to explore their inventories and see what products may make for a fun investment to enhance your hikes. Purchasing new clothing and materials specifically for hiking and the outdoors will increase your likelihood of getting outside into the fresh air. Even technological devices like digital cameras and photographic binoculars can add to the fun, immersing yourself in nature, allowing you to take beautiful photoshoots. When you return from your hike, you can recreate the best parts of your experience as artwork or even as attention-grabbing social media posts.
3. Explore New Trails and Summits
One of the best ways to plan a fall full of hiking adventures is to scope out a list of all local trails or those within reasonable driving distance. Continually traversing the same paths can get somewhat monotonous, so having a list of new spots to visit can help to add some variety into your fall hiking itinerary. Try to find a mix in the length, elevation, and challenge of your hiking trails to always have variety. If you have a large group of friends or join a community hiking club, you will also be able to compare experiences and gain further guidance on which hiking trails are the best ones to explore.
4. Outdoor Picnics and Campfires
Indeed, when you are out hiking all day in the fall, you are bound to get hungry. What better way to enjoy a hiking trip than to prepare a packed lunch or picnic. Even better, if you plan a late afternoon hike, you may also be able to wrap up your experience with food and drinks over a campfire. You and your family and friends will have a great time sitting outdoors, sharing prepared meals, or even roasting marshmallows over an open fire. You can also bring along a small, portable speaker to play music and unwind after your hike. If you or someone you know has a talent for the guitar, this would definitely be a proper occasion to bust out that guitar and have an old-fashioned sing-along!
5. Geocaching and Scavenger Hunts
The last idea for hiking fun builds from the nature hunts mentioned in the first recommendation. Carefully orchestrated scavenger hunts or even a pre-made hiking Bingo game can add to the immersion of you and your friends in the natural environment. You could brainstorm a list of typical hiking sights, sounds, and experiences. During your hike, you can check off how many items you and your friends are able to find. If you are more tech-savvy, you could also investigate geocaching potential for the hiking routes in your area. Geocaching is a worldwide, GPS-assisted scavenger hunt in which people hunt for and hide treasures throughout the planet. Participating in geocaching will incentivize you to return to hiking routes that you’ve already visited but without monotony. You never know what you may find during one of these quests.
So, as the weather gets cooler, don’t force yourself to stay indoors and hide under a blanket. Get out the door and hike this fall. There are plenty of benefits to exercising in the crisp, fall air, and the spectacular sites and changing landscapes can only enhance your hiking experience.