Spring is here and anyone who loves hiking is SO ready for it!
Sure, we all know winter hikes are great too. The air is crisp and the trails less crowded. You can work harder and stay cooler. The scenery has a new look. You have a better chance of escaping sunburn.
Come September I’ll start to feel little hints of fall in the air and see yellow creeping into the summer foliage and get giddy about fall. I’ll grow nostalgic about bonfires and warm sweaters and start drinking apple cider and gushing over how much I love hiking when it’s nice and cool outside.
But right now I can see new specks of green peeking through the beige blanket of last year’s dried grasses. The air has a welcome humidity to it that my skin loves. The birds are filling the air with their songs. And thank goodness for sunshine and tiny buds on tree branches!
I just love the seasonal change, alright?
If there’s one thing that brings the Elira people in our online community (link) together it’s our love of the great outdoors. No matter what it is that drives us into nature – winter sports, summer sports, an amazing job (link), a need for grounding (link), or something else – we all love going there.
When we asked our members to share their favorite local hiking trails, they did NOT disappoint. Here’s an insider look at how these Elira community members enjoy their local nature haunts!
1- Moul Falls Trail, Clearwater, British Columbia, Canada
This beautiful hike is one of the most popular ones in Wells Gray Provincial Park. You’ll find the trailhead at the “Moul Falls” parking lot on Clearwater Valley Road. Come early during peak hiking season! Definitely come prepared for a dip in the pool at the base of the falls! And if you come before things start to head up, you’ll be able to wonder at impressive ice formations. During the summer months, you can hike into the cave behind the waterfall, but hikers are urged to be careful on potentially slippery surfaces.
“A drink at the foot of the falls is the perfect way to cap off the ‘work’ part and enter the ‘awe’ part of this hike. It’s not too long of a trek, only about an hour and a half of steady walking. And even in the middle of summer, the water is icy cold… perfect for cooling off if the walk works up a sweat!” – Kayla H.
Hike 2 – North Chickamauga Creek, Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, USA
The North Chickamauga Creek Section of the Cumberland Trail may look daunting on paper due to its length. But there’s a branch-off the locals love that offers the best area for a much quicker outing. It’s called “Blue Hole” and requires crossing the creek near the trailhead to get to it. Our member recommends water shoes and a wetbag for the crossing and warns the rocky creekbed can get slippery! After crossing the trail is easy and obvious to follow, and rewards you with ethereal surroundings.
“It only takes about an hour of hiking to reach a tranquil, swimmable blue hole surrounded by shallow wading pools in the gently flowing creek. There are plenty of trees to stretch out a hammock if you prefer to just relax and take in the beauty. It is, by far, my favorite place to come and just ‘be’.” – Annette L.
Hike 3 – 40 Foot Hole, Wichita Mountains, Cache, Oklahoma, USA
This 1.5-mile loop trail consists of mostly rocky terrain and some boulder scrambling. In the rockiest sections the trail can be difficult to see but hikers can typically spot it again quickly or find the old metal markers along the way. During the wetter months, it features a rushing creek and small falls flowing through the canyon. Exploring off the trail is allowed but hikers are urged to be cautious of falls and watch for snakes in the warmer months.
“The sound of rushing water does something for me – like soothing my soul. This trail gives me that and more with the option to take an easy stroll along the rim of the canyon (where the trail actually exists) or a rock-hopping scramble down on the floor. I almost always go out one way and back the other… giving me the best of both worlds.” – Jessica C.