A wise person once said that a vacation should be the opposite of what you usually do. So if you spend most of your workday in a roomful of kids, tending to their needs and being bathed in noise, your perfect Spring Break activity should be spending time alone (or with a few well-chosen companions) in the quiet of nature.
Find a good hiking trail.
If you’re a beginning hiker, pick a trail that’s not too hard and not too long. Google your area for online sources — here’s a list of five family hiking trails in Northwest Arkansas, in case you live in our neck of the woods — or start with a good local hiking trails guide for your area.
Be realistic. The Roman army did a steady three miles an hour and you can, too, if you’re determined, but it makes sense to give yourself extra time. You may want to stop and take pictures or rest and enjoy a beauty spot. You may also find that it takes you longer to safely travel through rough terrain. Unless you’re following a paved path, you may find that you’re walking at a rate of one mile an hour or less.
You can always turn around and go back the way you came, but you might enjoy a loop more. Pick a spot halfway through for a lunch or water break.
Choose appropriate clothing and gear.
A sundress and flip flops will make you want to turn back early. Comfortable layers with long pants and sleeves to discourage insects, plus hiking shoes or supportive sneakers will keep you happy on the trail. Take a hat and wear sunscreen.
You’ll need a backpack, too, for your water bottle, hat, extra layers, and sunscreen. Add a first aid kit and snacks if you’re planning a long hike. You might want a sketchbook or journal. You’ll never regret taking an extra pair of socks.
Think twice about taking electronics aside from your phone. You might be used to bringing music with you on a run, but a lot of the satisfaction of hiking is the peace and quiet. Try going unplugged.
Tell someone where you plan to go on your hike, especially if you’re hiking alone. Stay on the path and watch your footing.
Feeling inspired? Check out our Camping or Hiking Classroom Theme!