For some people, hiking is nothing more than a long walk in the woods, through the desert over or across the plains. I’m one of these people.

Even before I could walk I was hiking, I may have been strapped to my mother’s back, but I was hiking. I spent my childhood stomping around the Pembina Trail, Fertile Sand Hills and miles of trails snaking the North Shore with my family.  I can honestly say hiking is in our blood.

Most weekends, my mom would drive my brother, the dogs and I out to the middle of nowhere and we’d go exploring. For the longest time, I thought that’s how every kid spent on their weekends.

It was only later that I learned this sadly was not the case. I guess in that respect, I was lucky to have parents like my mother who adored exploring these far off places.

Hiking has and remains an act of discovery.  Hikes were a chance to get outside, learn about the world around me and snap some pictures. I can’t count the number of hiking trails my dad and I have ventured down with our cameras in hand.

Unfortunately for some people, hiking does not offer the same reward. Niecie falls into this category. While she enjoys a nice walk at the wildlife refuge, downtown or just around the block, a hike is work, and rarely worth the reward. Maybe I’ll convince her otherwise one day.

Exercise vs. exploration

Hiking Kings bluff trail

These days, hiking is a still chance to immerse myself in nature’s hidden treasures, but it’s also a chance to push myself a little further, to see what lies around the next turn, over the next rise and beyond the horizon.

This year marks the first time I’ve thought about hiking as an act of exercise. My goal is to hike 15 miles in less than six hours by the end of summer. Whether or not I reach this goal, I’ll have become richer for every step I take on the trail to discovery.

But if I do reach my goal, I’m celebrating with tacos!

Further reading

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Comment and share

So tell us in the comments section:

  • Why do you hike?
  • What motivates you, exploration or exercise?
  • Do you have a goal you’re working toward?

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