• Fall is hunting season, so if you’re hiking in the backcountry or densely-forested areas be sure to wear bright colors. This makes you easily distinguishable to anyone who might be hunting in the area.
  • This time of year the weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared. In addition to the usual water, snacks, and sunscreen, be sure to bring a jacket or coat in case the weather changes suddenly. As a general rule, longer hikes at higher elevations and backcountry hikes require you to bring heavier clothing items and additional safety gear. Use good judgement.
  • Animals generally want nothing to do with us and will usually avoid people. However, there are always exceptions, so know the area you’re hiking in and bring bear spray and keep an eye out for bears and cougars, especially if hiking with small children.
  • Be respectful of mother nature. Every hiker should know and follow these basic rules: Don’t cut trails; pack it in, pack it out; and never approach wild animals.
  • Finally and most importantly, enjoy the experience! Studies suggest that hiking is good for not only your physical health but your mental health too. Whether you prefer to hike with friends and family or alone, get outside this fall and experience the healing power of nature for yourself. //

[Feature photo: Chic Burge]

For fall hiking suggestions be sure to check out some of our contributor’s favorite fall hikes.