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6 Tips I Use to Find the Best Hiking Trails Near Me

Updated: Jul 13

If you're an intermediate or advanced hiker, odds are you've already visited most of the state parks near you. But when you've already visited all the state parks (and national parks if you have them) in your state, how do you find new places to hike? Below are 6 tips I use to find the best hiking trails near me!

Do a Google Maps search for nature preserves as opposed to trails or parks. Indiana for example, has a TON of nature preserves that won't show when you search "trails" or "state parks." The trails in nature preserves are likely not as long as ones in state parks, but you can have a relaxing time at a new nature spot in one of the many nature preserves in your state!

Download a trails app. I personally use AllTrails and pay for their yearly subscription to have maps downloaded to use in areas with no cell reception. Strava is another trails app that combines running, hiking, and biking trails, but costs a subscription fee just to use the app.

Join a Facebook group for hiking in your state. I personally don't use Facebook much, but one of the perks Facebook has that Instagram and Tiktok still don't is the group feature. I'm in a couple Facebook groups for Northern Indiana hiking and paddling, and I can source new trails from other group members!

Find a new way to experience parks you've already visited! This year I invested in my own inflatable SUP and it's given new life to trails and parks that I've already visited. I can visit familiar parks but from a new perspective in the water. Consider trying a new outdoor activity like kayaking or biking to experience your state parks in a new way. Some parks, like Potato Creek State Park, have hiking trails, a bike path, and a lake for paddling.

Save money this year by spending more time opting outside! If you're in a season of life where you're traveling less or trying to save money, it can be easy to get bored during the summer, and easy to feel like you're not doing anything exciting compared to other people. And if you're already an experienced outdoorsy girl, finding new things to do can be even more challenging.

But you don't need to road trip hours away or drop a thousand bucks on a weekend Airbnb trip to have an aesthetic and exciting summer! No matter where you are, there are SO many places to get outside and enjoy nature.

Make sure to hike safely! Before going on any hike, make sure you are properly geared up. Grippy hiking boots, a hiking pack to hold water, snacks, and emergency supplies, and emergency layers for wet or cold weather are essential. These Columbia hiking shoes are grippy, waterproof hiking shoes that aren't as heavy or clunky as traditional hiking boots.

If you plan on hiking alone, you should also bring an emergency satellite communicator for in case you're lost without cell service. I hope you find new trails in your area and have a safe and happy hike!

Since you love hiking, check out these other articles from Sarah's Cozy Life!

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