Hiking Main Photo

We’ve talked about the benefits of walking and ecofriendly activities such as botany and running.  Hiking has a different twist — it’s walking (usually on trails and not pavement), could have some running in it, definitely some botany…this is a great human-powered, ecofriendly activity the entire family can enjoy!

Here are 3 ecofriendly reasons to get outside and hike:

  1. Great exercise powered by YOU (save fossil fuels) – Well, yes, you may drive your car to get to trailheads (those special places that open up the backcountry of our public lands!).  But, once you start hiking, you’re engaging in a sport that doesn’t depend on non-renewable fossil fuels.
  2. Immersed in nature – What could be more ecofriendly than observing and learning about nature?  It’s the world around us and the more we know about it, the more we understand and the more we care.
  3. Take a (energy) break – When you’re hiking that means you aren’t driving your car, in the house using electricity and running water…the hours you’re exercising and immersed in nature = taking a nice break from energy consumption.  Every little bit counts!

Sure seems like nothing to lose and everything to gain!  Hiking allows you to hear birds, catch glimpses of small mammals, and not miss that wildflower hiding under the shrub.  You can hike as far, long, slow or fast as you like.  There’s always something to see along any portion of a trail.  As they say — it’s about the journey and not the destination.

Looking for some good hikes in your area?  There are many great books and websites…where to begin!  Do a search for your area and you’re sure to find hiking ideas.  In Central Oregon, I often use 100 Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades:

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And this summer’s plans involve hiking in beautiful Glacier National Park:

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May your ecofriendly hiking this summer be fulfilling and inspiring!

Photo Credits — Katie Grenier

Photos Clockwise from Upper Left:  View from Gray Butte Trail, Crooked River National Grassland; white frasera (Frasera albicaulis), Indian paintbrush (Castilleja sp.)

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