Hiking is an excellent sport for most of the general population. There are areas available around the country that are accessible to people of all abilities, thanks to fairly level or even paved walking surfaces. Hiking is not just about walking around in the woods and climbing up and down mountains. Of course that is the main attraction for most hikers, but while you are out there, take in some of the beauty and features of the land and the creatures living in it. Below are a few ideas to get you thinking about what to see on your next hike. Be sure to leave precious jewelry, like that Chopard watch, at home and take plenty of water and a snack with you.
Hunt for Mushrooms
First, a warning: do not ever, ever eat a mushroom that you can not positively identify. Some mushrooms can kill you after eating just one bite. If you are not a seasoned ‘shroom hunter, do not collect any mushrooms at all but rather take pictures of them. Many of the poisonous mushrooms are more interesting to photograph, anyway. Before you begin the hike, check out one of the many mushroom field guides available at the local library to discover what can be found in your area.
Become a Rockhound
Especially in the western states, rocks are abundant along the trails. While most of them are “just rocks” you may be surprised to see that some of them are quite interesting when they are really inspected. Check out a field guide from the library to find out what features to look for. Do not take rocks from the national parks unless you have been told it is not prohibited. Try to take a portion of the hike along the shoreline because rocks are much easier to identify when they are wet.