Grab your walking shoes, a dry snack mix like dried fruit and nuts, and some drinking water and go on a walk in the woods or on a trail. November 17th is National Take a Hike Day!
This annual event encourages people to get outside to enjoy nature and the scenery outdoors. Hiking is also great exercise that can be done while tackling America's 60,000 miles of trails. It’s a wonderful way to get that heart pumping while you breathe in fresh air. The changes in elevation from flat, to slight incline, to steeper incline, to downhill — all help to use muscles that may not ordinarily be used. A leisurely hike can be calm and relaxing, contributing to improved mental health. Notice the vistas, the cloud formations, birds chirping and the crunching of leaves underfoot. All of this adds to the enjoyment of a hike in the woods.
Since the 1800s, hiking has steadily built into the hobby that it is today. In the early to mid- 1900’s, technology and innovation opened the doors to mountaineering and hiking to a wider population. People enjoy a nice stroll in the woods. On an extended hike make sure you bring a compass and an ample amount of water.
Trails require debris cleared and regular maintenance. On National Take a Hike Day, the American Hiking Society can suggest a variety of “volunteer vacations,” where individuals or groups can give something back by volunteering time to assist with beautifying the trails. Everybody shares stories around the campfire at the end of the day.
There are not many urban areas that can boast about having a national park and preserve in close proximity. The New Orleans area (NOLA) has that luxury. The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve is right in NOLA’s backyard. Nestled in Jefferson Parish is a National Park that can be enjoyed by the entire family. It is named after French pirate Jean Lafitte and consists of six separate sites and a park headquarters.
A woman and a man are hiking in the woods on a sunny day. The man is carrying a backpack and a walking stick. Both people have water in refillable water bottles. Hiking is the same as walking, but usually refers to walking in the forest or woods or on a trail of some sort outside in nature.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture