Y E S!
I decided that 2015 would be the year I would spend outside and if anyone asked me I will say: "Staying inside is so 2014!"
Taking in the scenery and greenery with the blue skies and fresh air at Belle Isle State Park
Hiking can be done at all state parks from the Chesapeake Bay to the Highlands of Virginia
This is not an empty resolution, remorse or guilt from an over indulgence of high saturated fat and white refined sugar over the holidays. This is me getting fed up with the distractions inside the house that prevent me from getting outside to the fresh air and where all the good things are growing.
If you got that momentum going with a first day hike – hang on to it!
And the survey says…
There's an app for that
The good news is that there's an app for that! I will call it the "disconnect to reconnect" app, available for free at any here.
Enter Virginia State Parks
I have an affinity for our state park system. I will admit it right here and now, from the time I first moved to Virginia they have been there to support me. They aren't demanding, stressful or inflexible. They don't badger, criticize or hound me. The parks don't depress me but to the contrary in fact, they lift me up. They are always open, welcoming me home like traveler receiving a warm embrace upon arrival from a long lost friend.
Virginia State Parks are our backyards
The saying goes something like this "You are never more than 1 hour away from a Virginia State Park if you are in Virginia." We often think we need to have all this planning to get out to a Virginia State Parkand get worn out before we even leave the house. Butin reality we only need to grab a backpack with a few items and go.
Good things come in small packages
Don't try to hike Mount Everest, why even go there? I mean, mentally. "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step" so do exactly that, one small step, then another small step, then another. You don't have to be an extreme sports junkie to get outside and enjoy a walk along a trail. If you build up to it and want to tackle a more difficult trail with rocks, ledges and exposed tree roots, then by all means go for it.
Don't be intimidated by being outside at a Virginia State Park
My favorite thing to do is to observe, I bring my camera and binoculars and take in the scenery. While those physically fit physiques are conquering K2… Remember the words ofSir Edmund Hillary "It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." This can be done on a small scale as well, day by day, not in one giant oxygen required climb.
Another brilliant idea – Natural Areas
If you feel up to it, explore your natural area preserves, you can find them across the state too. Natural Area Preserves are managed byhere for more information.
Poor Mountain Natural Area Preserve near Roanoke helps protect the rare "Pirate Bush"
I love the crunch of leaves underfoot at Iron Mine Trail at Fairy Stone State Park
I want to tell those treadmill mice to kick that habit to the curb, there is so much more for you outside at a Virginia State Park! Walking in nature is not just about being physical; the benefits, as I have discovered are much more.