As spring wakes up the woods, and hiking/outdoor season really begins, I'd like to bring up a few basic guidelines to ensure you and your fellow hikers will have a great time outside.
The old saying "Take only photos, leave only footprints" holds true:
- don't litter
- do clean up your doggy's do do
- leash your dog, while your dog may be great, you never know how it'll respond to another dog or how that dog will respond to it, also a number of people have a fear of strange dogs so to avoid all issues, please leash fido
- don't pick the wildflowers, let everyone on the trails see their beauty
- don't play loud music: I never thought I would have to list this one but it's here for a reason...
- do stay on the marked trails to help prevent erosion and damaging delicate plant life
- do greet your fellow hikers, it's just good manners
- do walk through muddy puddles, walking around them widens the trail and erodes the land around
- do take lots of photos and keep wonderful memories
How to have the best time:
- prepare for the weather
- layer up! Winter takes more layers, spring and fall less, and summer even fewer. If it looks like rain take a poncho. Hiking through all the different elements can be rewarding if properly prepared for.
- wear appropriate footwear for the specific trail you'll be on
- eg: paved tennishoes -vs- muddy waterproof boots
- keep an open mind
- sometimes you'll see flowers, animals, rainbows, whatever, sometimes you won't
- be present
- put your phones away, this is time for you
- allow yourself these few minutes, hours, etc to be completely in the moment, forget about your to-do list, about that traffic jam, about your boss, about all of life's expectations and just listen to the sound of the Earth.
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.