With cooler temperatures elevating the risk of contracting COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to spend time outdoors. This winter, we’re providing more options than ever to help you do just that. We have six programs designed to address every level of outdoor enthusiast, from the backcountry explorer who’s comfortable going off the grid, to the aspiring hiker yet to set foot on a natural surface trail. We’ll start with the latter:
When I stepped out the front door early Sunday morning I was immediately struck by an odd thought: Do I need a coat?
That thought hadn’t crossed my mind in nearly four months.
We look forward to Labor Day because, psychologically at least, it marks the transition from summer to fall. More often than not, this transition is in theory. The holiday weekend usually is better-served for one last fling at the pool than it is for a six-mile hike in the Piedmont. Not this year.
We typically wait until the end of Daylight Saving Time to advocate hiking at night, for strapping on a headlamp and venturing down your favorite trails after dark. We’ve long been fans of hiking in night in winter because, for those of us in the workforce, it’s typically the only time we can work in a midweek hike. The sun sets at 5 p.m., before the whistle blows at the Widget Works, who cares? You’ve got a 300-lumen torch strapped to your forehead to light the way.
Even with the temperature living in the 90s this summer, it’s been hard to find solitude on the trail. Everyone, now, is a hiker.
But not everyone knows to look for the more subtle stretches of trail. Trail, for instance, that doesn’t start from a visitor center, that doesn’t have a privy, that doesn’t even have paved parking — official parking, period. Finding these gems is tricky. But they’re out there.
Hiking has long been lauded for it’s health benefits. Hiking regularly can lower your blood pressure and reduce your chance of heart disease. It can lower your risk of certain cancers and of getting diabetes. It improves muscle fitness and can help stave off osteoporosis. When you hike during the day, you sleep better at night.