No matter the season, it’s important to get outside, take in the fresh air and go for a walk. Depending on where you are, you can change things up by turning that walk into a hike.
Nestled in the South Carolina Upstate you will find a sort of hidden gem with miles of marked trailers for those who love to hike or bike. Biking or hiking Paris Mountain State Park allows you to explore different trails with scenic views all year long.
Which trail should you choose for your weekend adventure? That depends on you and your level of comfort.
Hiking can allow you to explore new places or somewhere in your own backyard.
That’s what I recently did.
One of the most traveled trails is Lake Placid Trail, which loops around the lake.
One of the features of the trail includes a dam: a pretty big dam towards the end of the Lake Placid Trail. You have the opportunity to walk through the dam on stepping stones or walk around it to continue the loop but the views of the dam and its refreshing, relaxing noises made it a crowd favorite for all of us.
The trail system in the park offers a varied and dynamic perspective of the natural beauty of Greenville County.
Mountain Creek Trail, which connects to Lake Placid Trail and an out and back trail, is a moderately difficult dirt trail. Along the trail is the amphitheater. More than a mile along the trail you will come to a junction with the Sulphur Springs Trail. You can follow a section of the Sulphur Springs trail, but only to Mountain Lake.
There are many benefits to hiking that are physical and mental.
One benefit of hiking is more for the core
Like brisk walking, hiking is a good way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, particularly if your route includes some hills, which will force your heart to work harder. Taking a hike on the slightly uneven surface of a trail also provides a natural way to engage your core muscles and work on your balance skills.
If you have problems with stability or vision, using walking or trekking poles can give you an added level of security on uneven terrain. Use poles with a spiked metal tip when walking on dirt or grass.
Encourages an appreciation for nature
Some hiking trails offer views that are breathtaking and inspiring while others are so deep in the woods, you can’t help but admire the trees.
Without television or electronic devices we can learn to take in all the sights and sounds of nature.
Uses muscles in different ways
Walking and hiking may seem like the same exercise, but they’re actually very different. Research shows that your joints, heart and lower-body muscles perform in very distinct ways while hiking compared to what they do during a stroll around the block.
How to find trails near you?
Looking for hiking locations to try? Local, state and national parks are a good place to start. Hiking Project has information with hiking trails around the country. You can pick location, difficulty, trail type and distances.
How do you enjoy spending your time outdoors?