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Whether you’re an amateur or have been hitting the trail for years, these ten interesting hiking facts will have something for you to be inspired and surprised by. However, before we go on, here’s an interesting quote that best describes the activity.
“Happiness and hiking often go hand in hand or foot in boot.”
What’s more? With this one, you won’t have to wait for someone your age to accompany you. Take your friend, spouse, kid or even your pet (after consulting a veterinarian) as the activity suits anyone and everyone.
Did you know that in the UK, terms like rambling and walking are used instead of hiking? In some countries, it’s also referred to as bushwhacking, especially if it involves dense forests. In fact, in many countries, the activity isn’t even recognized by the word “hiking.” For instance, in certain Asian countries, it’s called trekking, and in others, the terms “trekking” and “hiking” are used interchangeably.
Did you know that hiking could get you the same results as a good cardio workout? For example, if a person weighs 150-160 pounds, they can easily burn about 400 calories just by pursuing the activity for an hour. If the terrain is uneven, you’re in greater luck as it makes your muscles work much harder, resulting in more calorie burning.
The first-ever hike dates back to 125 AD when Hadrian, a Roman Emperor, undertook the activity and embarked on a journey towards Sicily’s Mount Etna. Moreover, one of the earliest hikers the world has ever seen were discovered in the year 1336.
Poet Petrarch hiked to the summit of Mont Ventoux in France with his servants and brother in the same year. It’s interesting to note that during the stated period of time when he was pursuing hiking recreationally, most other people were busy dealing with wars and plagues.
The recent gain in the numbers of people choosing to go for day hikes has further increased the chances for the activity to see a striking growth by the year 2060, at least according to the American Hiking Society.
The Great trail, which was previously known as the “Trans Canada Trail”, is the longest one in the world. It stretches to over 14,900 miles and is probably one of the most difficult journeys to embark on as there are hardly any people who have been able to complete it.
6. 24 Different varieties of Trails
Did you know that there are about 24 different types of hiking trails across the world? Here are the names of all of them:
⮚ Access trail
⮚ Backcountry trail
⮚ Feeder trail
⮚ Extended trail
⮚ Directional use trail
⮚ Day trail
⮚ Connecting trail
⮚ Fire road
⮚ Hiker-biker trail
⮚ Goat path
⮚ Lollipop trail
⮚ Interpretive trail
⮚ Loop trail
⮚ Long-distance trail
⮚ Multi-use trail
⮚ Single-track trail
⮚ Side trail
⮚ Recreation trail
⮚ Point-to-point trail
⮚ Out-and-back trail
⮚ Thru-hiking trail
⮚ Social trail
⮚ Single-use trail
⮚ Hiking trail
Established in 1819, the Crawford Path in New Hampshire is the oldest maintained and used hiking trail in America. The trail meets the Appalachian Trail right before continuing to the Mount Washington summit.
Have you ever hesitated to go for an outdoor adventure due to a lack of funds? Well, fortunately enough, that isn’t the case with hiking. Unlike other sports like heli-skiing and rock climbing, for example, you don’t need a lot of gear or gadgets for hiking.
All you need is a nice pair of shoes, a bottle of water and maybe a bar of chocolate, and you’ll be good to go. However, if you do wish to spend money on gadgets that you may deem necessary, go ahead by all means.
Did you know that hiking is linked with increased melatonin levels in your body? According to a 2017 study from Current Biology, the natural light you receive during a day hike or a simple camping trip can increase levels of melatonin in your body in order to help shift your internal clock.
Moreover, there are also other factors at play, such as staying away from electronic gadgets and allowing your body to get all that natural workout, which eventually helps you sleep better at night.
We’re often told how moving your body and exercising can help increase overall happiness by reducing stress levels. In the same way, hiking can also work to help you achieve the same goals. Enjoying nature and being outdoors more often does more wonders for our mental health than we would like to believe. Moreover, regular hiking is also known to improve our physical health by strengthening the lungs, muscles and heart.
Interestingly enough, hiking is one of the very few activities where we end up using all the muscles of our body. It’s almost like a full-body workout that may also leave you feeling sore for days to come but just know that feeling this way isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It eventually works out in your favor by keeping your heart and body strong and healthy.
In the end, there isn’t a single way to describe what hiking truly feels like. Some people take their time to settle into a routine, while others just can’t get enough of it. After all, who wants to give up on an opportunity that not only gives their body a much-needed workout, but also does wonders to improve their mental health, and provide them with an experience of a lifetime?
On an ending note, here’s how one can truly define the activity.
“Hiking is a lot like life: All the journey requires is for you to place one foot in front of the other, again and again. Again, if you allow yourself the opportunity to be present throughout the journey of the hike, you will witness beauty in every step you take and not just at the summit.”