Take a Hike

Here’s one way to reclaim a phrase: Make it into an unofficial national holiday. Nov. 17 is National Take a Hike Day, meant in the literal sense. Get outside in nature, on a trail, any trail, and walk. It’s that simple. As an American Hiking Society announcement reads, “We like to remind folks hiking can be simple – no heavy pack or rugged mountain required. You can enjoy the mental and physical health benefits of hiking right in your neighborhood.” This is no more true than in a place like Monterey County, where even dense neighborhoods abut natural places, with hundreds of miles of trails. You can hike on the beach, you can hike on Fort Ord National Monument’s wide, paved roads (closed to vehicles), you can hike on the Rec Trail. You don’t need fancy gear and you don’t even need to break a sweat to get in on the joy and benefits of hiking. All you need is comfortable footwear, and to put one foot in front of the other. (Pro tip: Snacking is a critical part of hiking, at least for some of us. If putting down miles isn’t your jam, brings snacks or lunch, and maybe a book, and walk until you find a pretty place to sit.) Wherever you go, however fast you go, there’s a way for everyone to celebrate America’s 60,000-plus miles of trails, and get a breath of fresh air. 

Sara Rubin loves long public meetings, red pens and reading (on newsprint). She has been editor of the Monterey County Weekly since 2016, and has been on staff since 2010.

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