“Not all who wander are lost”

One of the most effective ways I have found to clear my head and lift my mood is to get out in nature and take a hike. Hiking recreates that childlike experience of exploration, sparking curiosity and wonderment. Being out in nature and connecting to it is amazingly healing and centering. Whenever I set out on a hike full of worries and stress I finish with a sense of calm, peace and clarity. The simple act of one foot in front of the other causes a slowing down of the mind. Being in nature tends to unconsciously reorganize my priorities resulting in a refreshed perspective on my circumstances and a more simplistic view of needs and wants.

Other great factors about hiking are that it is generally free and requires nothing more than a pair of sneakers. Ok, ok…a bottle of water, sunblock, hat and sunglasses are a good idea too. If hiking is something you haven’t ever done, or haven’t done in a while, consider it. There is tons of information available on-line to help you locate nearby hiking trails.

Check out:

American Hiking Society. The site has a great resource page that links you to each US National and State Park and its corresponding website which holds detailed information on location and descriptions of the available hikes. I love their slogan, which is “Not all who wander are lost.”

National Wildlife Federation. This site provides information on nature sites that go beyond State or National parks. All search results are shown on a map, which makes it visually appealing and quick to identify where each nature site is located. You can do a simple search by zip code or an advanced search by zip code plus criteria such as a farm, fish hatchery, lake, wildlife area, or planetarium.

Enjoy exploring!