Planning your hikes is part of the fun, although being spontaneous can be fun, too. There are so many resources out there to plan hikes these days!
I’m linking up with My First 5K and More, Running With Attitude, Runs with Pugs, Zenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 ways (and things to think about) when planning your hike.
1: AllTrails App
AllTrails may not be perfect, but it’s a great help in planning your hike. I like to look at the most recent comments. Is it buggy? Muddy? I always look at the elevation gain, too, because I’m usually hiking with Mr. Judy and Bandit. If you have the Pro version (which I suggest), you can do things like print out trail maps, look to see where nearby rest stops might be, and create lists.
2: Bring Fido
I like to check out Bring Fido if we’re hiking with Bandit. There’s not usually a wealth of information there, but you might find a hike you didn’t know about or a caution about a certain hike if you’re bringing your dog.
3: Actual Books!
Yes, I bought an honest to good, real life book for the vacation that didn’t happen. It has plenty of hikes that are within driving distance of us, so it will be useful and hopefully someday we’ll actually get back to that vacation (or somewhere similar). The book I bought was about hiking with your dog, and it rates hikes by difficulty and also dangers for dogs (among many other features) so very useful.
4: Facebook Hiking Groups
I also got on a local Facebook Hiking Group I’m a member of (and often get ideas for hikes from) and asked for any suggestions on where to eat, parking, and hikes that might meet our requirements. They were very helpful!
You gotta refuel before or after your hike, right? I use Yelp (and sometimes TripAdvisor) to search out nearby restaurants, and whether or not they’re dog friendly — or at the very least have an outdoor patio. Not all restaurants with outdoor dining are also dog friendly. The one we ate at before our most recent hike was a real winner and even brought water for Bandit.
Bonus Tip: Blogs
One thing AllTrails isn’t always very good at is giving you an address for the Trailhead. We’ve usually had good luck finding something when we search for blog posts on hikes we want to do. Some hikers write really detailed posts that are so helpful!
Mr. Judy and I have been hiking, on and off, since before we were married. It all started with a visit to Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks when my brother graduated from law school. I remember when we went to Great Smoky Mountains in the 90s, we had a lot more trouble trying to plan and pick our hikes. There’s so much information readily available now!
Do you plan your hikes?
What resources or tips would you add?