4 Reasons Why I Love Fall Hiking

I love hiking, and thankfully I can do it almost all year long—but I must admit my favorite time to hike is the fall. It’s a different kind of beauty with the leaves changing colors, the slow steady speed of creeks and rivers, and the crisp fall air that awakens the senses. I love to watch a single golden leave float down a river, pulled by the current, as I feel my thoughts slowing and keeping pace with the leaf.

Here are my top four reasons to try hiking in the fall:


The Weather

I personally prefer to hike in cooler weather—its easier to add and take off layers. I feel like it’s the Goldilocks of hiking: not too hot, not too cold, but just right. Once you start moving, it’s easy to find a comfortable temperature by adding or removing layers. Plus, less humidity in the air (I find) helps me breath better. As another bonus, your drinking water tends to stay colder.


The View

The trails are beautiful this time of year, and a quick search online can help you pick the peak fall foliage dates in your area to plan your trip around. The trails are less busy this time of year which allows you to take your time and enjoy your surroundings. Though you will still see people, it’s this time of year that I notice more people stopping to pick up pieces of garbage or bottles forgotten on the trails. I love to see people participating in preserving the environment and taking role in our community!


The Company

One thing to be aware of is that fall is the time of year animals are preparing for a long winter ahead, which means you are more likely to see animals on your hike. Take caution, makes lots of noise, use a bear bell, bring bear spray, and wear bright colors. I personally prefer to hike in National parks as hunting is not allowed, helping ensure the safety of hikers.


The Preparation

When hiking in colder weather, there is less to worry about bringing; you often start the day in your warmest layers and take them off as needed. Because it’s cooler, your water stays cold so you don’t need to pack ice packs, and often don’t need sunscreen or bug spray. Yes, that’s right! The fall has significantly less bugs then spring and summer hiking.


I hope you will take some time this fall to enjoy some hikes in your area!


By Kelsey Hagen – Registered Dietitian (Nutritionist)

September 5, 2019