Warm weather has returned to Tennessee and that means residents and visitors alike can embrace the abundant outdoor activities that are only a short drive away. While there are tons of ways to bathe in the sun and navigate the many lakes, sweating it out on one of the state’s many hiking trails is a select style of exercise that many Tennesseans take part in on a daily basis. However, embarking on one of these picturesque hikes isn’t a simple walk in the park, so it’s important to prepare! Here are Nearly Native’s 5 things for going on a nearby hike:
- Do your research – Before you set out on your hiking adventure, make sure you research your hikes. Pick something that’s perfect for your desired level of activity. It can be disappointing to travel to a hike and it be significantly easier than you wanted it to be. Visit the Tennessee State Parks website to review trails, maps, and lodging.
- Gear Up – Just because your thermometer says it’s going to be a warm day doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring layers for your hike. Make sure to wear clothes that you can feel comfortable being active in and shoes that will help you get a good grip as you navigate the trails. It can’t hurt to bring a change of clothes too in case you encounter a spotty shower or trip into a muddy spot. What you wear can seriously change your experience, so it’s important to pay attention to!
- Fuel Your Energy – Not only is your gear important, packing up ample water and some energizing snacks is important to keep you moving. Dehydration, especially in high elevations, can come on quickly, so sipping on water regularly is key. Plus, if you bring a snack, you’ll have an excuse to stop at a waterfall or a nice overlook to take in the scenery will you have a quick bite.
- Capture the Moment – As you adventure out to these many beautiful places, be sure to bring your camera to capture your memories. Who doesn’t love an Instagram-worthy (or perhaps just frame-worthy) picture of a great day outdoors? A quick note though – many of these hikes can fall out of range for good cell reception, so be sure to use airplane mode to avoid draining your battery searching for service.
- Know Your Surroundings – This may go without saying, but when you’re out on the trails, don’t venture down an unbeaten path. There’s a reason for the trails – to preserve the nature around you and help you avoid pesky things like poison ivy. Also, be mindful of the time of day that you go. If you’re caught out on a trail after the sun goes down without and gear to keep you moving in the dark, it could be difficult to navigate.