Days are getting longer, the weather is getting better. It is time for some lovely hikes again. To get you started, here are some ideas that will make a hiking daytrip even more fun.
Explore New Terrain
If you are used to walking a lot, you might feel stuck in the same old routes over and over again. Get renewed energy by shaking things up and trying a new route or area. Maybe cycle a bit first, or take the bus or train to a different nature area. It doesn’t have to be too far away, only being at the other side of a river or mountain can make a difference already. You will find that with new paths to discover, the miles will come easier then ever.
A Culinary Stop Along the Way
What is a hike without some good food on the way? You will need to eat well to keep your energy balance right. So you can just as well turn the eating bit into something special. Look for a café or restaurant in the area when planning your trip. You might find something that is just along your route. You can walk to it, take a good rest with a delicious meal, and then walk back home again. Or, if you are walking in a very remote area, take your own culinary treats with you. If you pack a blanket as well, you can make it into the perfect picnic!
Finding Your Way
It is always very easy to just take a ready-mapped route. This time, try something different. Use a map to determine your own way. Or for the more experienced hikers, switch to GPS or a compass for finding the way. If you make discovering the route to your destination a challenge of itself, your walk will definitely stay interesting. (But be honest to yourself about your skills, don’t risk getting lost in unknown terrain.)
Yes, a study trip. But a very fun one, because you are going to learn about the area you are walking in. With just a little bit of background information, your surroundings might suddenly surprise you. For example, if the area would have a couple of very rare plants that you read about before your trip, think about how proud you would feel when you would find them! Or after reading one or two things about the (cultural) history of the area, imagine how people in former days would have walked there. Maybe you spot the perfect place for a farmer to have his cows, hundreds of years ago, or you can almost see an old woman collecting firewood along a mountain track. With only a tiny bit of information, your imagination can do the rest!
An Unusual Companion
If you have walked with animals before, you probably know what amazing companions they can be. They usually love to be outside, and their happiness is very contagious. Plus, they can often spot wildlife a lot better than we can. If there is a deer or roe hiding in the bushes, your animal friend might alert you of that. Otherwise you might just have walked past it. Of course you can take a dog with you. But there are some other, very interesting options! Try walking with a Shetland pony, for example. Or hire a donkey for the occasion. There are actually companies that offer that kind of thing, so look around in your area a bit. There is sure to be some sort of furry walking companion to be found!
(For walking with a donkey in the Netherlands, the website ezelverhuur.nl might get you started.)
Have fun on your next hiking trip!