From enjoying breathtaking views to discovering new locations and connecting with nature, the advantages of hiking are endless. With plenty of hiking trails available worldwide, all an individual needs is a passion for it, and they are good to go. Here, we discuss some exciting hiking facts, some of which you probably didn’t know.

1. The Great Trail in Canada is the Longest Hiking Trail

Stretching for 14,912 miles, the Great Trail in Canada is the longest hiking trail in the world. Initially known as the Trans Canada Trail, the path goes through 13 provinces and was opened to the public in 2017.

2. Hiking Has Been Around for Centuries

The first form of hike recorded in history was when the Roman Emperor trekked from Hadrian to Etna in 125 AD. There is also evidence of hiking during the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries amongst the people of the Inca Empire. This physical activity, however, became more relevant in the 1800s.

3. A Placerville Hiker Once Scared a Mountain Lion with an Opera Song

brown and white bear walking on dirt road during daytime

In 2014, Kyra Kopestonsky took a hike through the trails in Down Valley Park. While exploring the trail, she noticed a mountain lion stalking her. The lion kept stalking her, and when it got close, Kyra decided to sing an opera song loudly. Surprisingly, this made the mountain lion leave her alone.

4. There are More than 57 Million Hikers in the US

Even though most of the US population lives in cities and urban areas, more than 57 million Americans are hiking enthusiasts. Of these, 55% are male and 45% are female, with the figure estimated to shoot in the coming years. Based on the provided data, hiking is the most popular outdoor activity in the United States.

5. Hiking is a Popular Way of Celebrating Father’s Day in Germany

Father’s Day (Vatertag) in Germany differs slightly from what happens in other parts of the world. To mark the day, men from the region usually gather and go for a hike armed with drinks to keep them hydrated and psyched up. All men, including those without kids, are allowed to go on these hikes.

6. There Is a National Hiking Day

Every November 17, hiking enthusiasts take the day to encourage others to get outside and hit the trails. Over 80,000 miles of hiking trails are waiting to be explored; the day is used to spread awareness of the importance of taking advantage of them.

7. Enthusiasts Must Take a 15-mile Hike to Reach Britain’s Most Remote Pub

To reach the Old Forge Pub, Britain’s most remote bar, one has to hike for 15 miles from Kinloch Hourn, a village in Scotland. Alternatively, an individual can take a 5-mile boat ride from Mallaig. However, hiking enthusiasts say the best trail to the Old Forge is the 28-mile hike from Glenfinnan.

8. It is Safer to Hike in Groups

group of people walking on pathway between green grass background of tree

Even though one can go hiking solo, experts agree that it is safer to go as a group. Hiking in huge numbers gives you a better chance of scaring away animals and even defending yourselves in case of an attack. Also, you have access to more resources and ideas as a group.

9. Hiking is Therapeutic

Although hiking can be tiring, it can also be therapeutic. A hike brings the hiker closer to nature, which can be peaceful and relaxing. People struggling with mental health issues are sometimes advised to go hiking.

10. Hiking Goes by Different Names in Other Parts of the World

It’s mainly in the United States, where the physical activity is called hiking. In Australia, it’s called bushwalking, while in the United Kingdom, it’s called fell walking. People from New Zealand call it tramping.

11. The Tallest Mountain in the World is a Popular Hiking Destination

Mt Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, is a well-known hiking destination. It has many unique trails that give hikers a fantastic view of the mountain’s flora and fauna.

12. Hiking is Not a Year-Round Activity

Depending on the environment, hiking can’t be categorized as a year-round activity. During winter, most trails are usually dangerous. The same applies to rainy and extremely hot weather. Therefore, hikers are advised to familiarize themselves with the weather conditions of their hiking trails in advance for the best experience.

13. Hiking Scares Away Animals

brown animal on green grass

Did you know that most animals are shifting from day to nighttime explorations in fear of hikers? All animals are scared of noises. Therefore, the more common hikers frequent a trail, the more animals are afraid of moving around during the day. This is why most animal encounters occur during night hikes.

14. Hiking Is for Everyone

Unlike most physical activities, hiking is one of the few options people of all ages can enjoy. Anyone can hop on a trail, whether they’re 4 years old or 70. Hiking trails are categorized to suit all skill levels; there are easy and complex trails.

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Last Update: May 1, 2024