The Beginner’s Guide to Hiking

Hiking is an excellent outdoor activity. If you enjoy being outdoors amidst the beauty of nature, then hiking might be the right activity for you. You do not necessarily have to head into the woods or the mountains to hike.

Most local parks have dedicated hiking areas where you can build up your stamina and whet your appetite for larger hiking trips in the future. Hiking is a great way to get in shape and prepare yourself to start running. Here are a couple of tips you can use if you are starting out with hiking.

Angela Lynn Rapley

Decide How Long You Want to Hike

Since you are starting out with hiking, you do not have to take up too much. Start with trails that are not too long and that can be completed in a couple of hours’ time. You can choose a trail that does not require you to carry extra clothing and camping gear. If you have a just a couple of hours spare during the weekend, you might want to pick a trail that is four or five miles long. It will take you just a couple of hours to complete the trail. Work with small trails and build up your stamina before you take on other longer trails.

Going Alone or in a Group

You can choose to hike alone or in a group. While hiking alone might be a good idea, it is not recommended. Hiking alone leaves you vulnerable on the trail, and it is not safe to hike alone. On the other hand, hiking with a group or a friend is better. You have company, and you can use this time to learn valuable hiking tips from the group you are hiking with.

Angela Lynn Rapley is a registered nurse who enjoys hiking during the weekends.

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Top Three Beaches for Families in Delaware

Delaware is home to some of the most beautiful beach destinations north of Virginia. The weather is great during the summer, and the beach communities are open and welcoming to tourists visiting the area to enjoy the states’ beaches. Add in the fact that Delaware is a tax-free shopping state; Delaware is a great place to vacation. Here are three of the best beaches in Delaware.

  • Rehoboth Beach is home to the iconic Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk. The boardwalk is known for it’s iconic views of the ocean and the phenomenal food including Grotto Pizza, Snyders Candy, and Thrashers Fries. The boardwalk is also home to Funland, which is a small amusement park for the kids if you are tired of the beach.
  • Bethany Beach is home to the annual Bethany Beach Arts Festival. The festival is held every year on the Saturday after Labor Day and offers you the opportunity to interact with artists and take part in watercolors and metalwork art pieces. The beach is beautiful and provides a scenic view of the coastline.
  • Cape Henlopen State Park may not be a beach town, but it is still one of the most beautiful beaches in Delaware. You can go fishing while surfing at this state park or climb the World War II observation tower that provides you a 360-degree view of the coastline and the entire state park. You can camp in the area as well, making this a great place to vacation as a family.

Angela Lynn RapleyAngela Lynn Rapley is a registered nurse in St. Louis. As a child, her and her family made annual trips to Delaware during the summer months to enjoy the beach. She has been doing the same with her husband and four-year-old daughter the past couple years.

Top Three Running Trails in Missouri

Missouri is full of beautiful hiking, biking, and equestrian trails that are excellent for running as well. The views on these trails are beautiful as is the scenic wooded natural landscape that you will run through. Here are three of the best running trails in the state of Missouri.

  • Angela Lynn RapleyRock Bridge Memorial State Park has some of the most diverse trails for various outdoor recreational activities. The park is close by Columbia and takes you on a running trail that is 15 miles long in total. The area is popular so the trail might be busy, but if you go early in the morning, you could have the trail mostly to yourself.
  • Magruderville is in Edgar Springs, Missouri and is an 8-mile long running trail. The trail is interesting and unique because it takes you through private land that is only open for public use on Wednesday afternoons. The trail is excellent for running but might be busy because of the limited hours that it is open to the public.
  • County House Trail is a 2-mile paved pathway that goes through the southwestern part of Columbia. The trail connects to the scenic MKT Nature and Fitness Trail, which then reaches the Katy Trail State Park. You will run along the Win Lakes Recreation Area where there are picnic tables, restrooms, swimming, boating, and fishing areas.

Angela Lynn Rapley is a registered nurse in St. Louis, Missouri. She enjoys running after work because it takes her mind away from her stressful job at the SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center.

Biking Trails In St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri and the surrounding area is covered with excellent biking, hiking, equestrian trails. With summer quickly coming to an end, now is the time to get in some quality time on your mountain bike or your road bike. Here are three of the best biking trails in St. Louis.

Angela Lynn Rapley
Angela Lynn Rapley

• Castlewood State Park is a diverse park that offers eight different trails for both hikers and bikers alike. The trails vary in difficulty and are an excellent area for both beginners and experienced bikers. The surrounding area will provide you with scenic views of the Meramec River and the surrounding meadows around Castlewood State Park. • Key Trail State Park is the second longest trail in Missouri and totals 225 miles of trail. The entire path is available for both hikers and bikers, with various parts of the trail open to equestrian. With so much trail, you should have plenty of space as a biker. In total, it could take about five days to complete the entire trail on a bike. • Route 66 State Park is a 420-acre park with four trails that are friendly to bikers, hikers, and equestrians. The area is known to be an excellent spot for bird watching and is home to 40 different types of birds. The park is nearby Castlewood State Park and Rockwoods Range.