Hiking in Southern Illinois for Great Outdoors Month

7 Best Hikes To Experience In Southern IllinoisMy family is fortunate to live in an area abundant in park lands and historical sites. Enjoying the great outdoors is something we look forward to and take advantage of frequently. Hiking is our favorite way to enjoy the natural wonders and historical symbols of our area. Hiking in the great outdoors is also provides excellent health benefits and a chance to create memories together.

Hiking in the Great Outdoors – Cave-In-Rock, Il

Overlooking the Ohio River and located in Hardin County, Cave-In-Rock offers beautiful vistas to visitors. Reaching the cave can be grueling as the only way is to climb a steep hill or take a seemingly unending stairway to the top of the hill and then descend the other side to enter the mouth of the cave. Once used as a hideout by outlaws and pirates, the cavern appeared in the film “How the West Was Won”. The …

Laguna Beach Hiking Trails Have it All for Tourists and Locals Alike

Whether you are looking to enjoy scenic ocean views or you want to amble through lush chaparral land that was once used to shoot Hollywood Westerns, Laguna Beach has a multitude of trails for a hiker of any experience level. And especially as we are now entering the months where Laguna Beach is now free of the daily fog overlay known as “June Gloom,” there really isn’t a better time to go hiking in or around Laguna Beach.

Laguna Beach is located in Southern California along the coast just north of San Diego County. It is an artist’s colony that prides itself on being that little bit outdoorsy and creative. For example, it is not abnormal on a local Laguna Beach hike to see a group of painters sitting outside drawing a picturesque vista. So what are some of the most promising hiking trails in Laguna Beach?

Crystal Cove Beach

Hiking Queen's Canyon in Colorado Springs: To the Punchbowls and Beyond

In 1881 the final version of General Palmer’s Glen Eyrie castle was completed in West Colorado Springs. Standing in the mouth of Queen’s Canyon, it was and is a beautiful example of English Tudor architecture. But, despite its advanced design, lovely appearance, and historical interest, it is the canyon in which it stands that is the true marvel. Queen’s Canyon, named the for the General’s beloved and oft-missing wife, is a jewel in the crown of Colorado Springs.

Starting at the parking lot next to the castle, a hiker winds up the narrow, cliff-sided creek over a system of waterpipes and bridges. The creek is rocky and narrow. The cliff walls tower above you on both sides, red and rugged. From time to time the mountain wind blows down the canyon through the aspens and pines, cooling you off.

At a quarter-mile, you arrive at a beautiful waterfall, perhaps one-hundred …

Hiking Trails of Jones Gap State Park in South Carolina

Why Jones Gap State Park is a Must-Visit this Fall

Located in foothills of the Upstate near Greenville, South Carolina, Jone’s Gap State Park is the closest park to the city other than Paris Mountain that affords a solid selection of hiking trails, as well as a chance to get about as deep into the forest as you would care to. With a selection of trails that ranges from family friendly to fairly strenuous , Jones Gap State Park has something for hikers of every fitness level. As with all trails in the South Carolina Upstate, be sure to fill out the registration form at the trail head and drop off the pink receipt in the box at the end of your hike. Here are a few of the more popular hikes in the park.

Jones Gap Falls Trail

The Jones Gap Trail is a moderate in and out hike that is 5.3 miles each way. Follow blue blazes all …

Hiking Trails in Kansas City

Five nature getaways to get your hike on near Kansas City | UMKC Roo NewsSummer is the perfect time to take your family out into nature and explore the habitats and wildlife found in this area of the country. Enjoy time away from all of the city hustle and bustle and get back to nature for an afternoon.

Burr Oak Woods Nature Center

Location: 1401 NW Park Rd., Blue Springs, MO

Price: FREE

This nature center has 5 unique hiking trails that you may choose from. Hands-on exhibits for children are located on the trails along with wildlife from the area and woodlands. Enjoy the limestone outcrops and listen for a barred owl call as you hike along these beautiful trails.

George Owens Nature Park

Location: 1601 S Speck Rd., Independence, MO

Price: FREE

This park is host to a fishing dock and trails, including a “storybook” trail that you or your child may read from a giant children’s book as you walk the …

How to Stay Hydrated While Hiking and Biking

Stay hydrated while hiking and biking to get the most from the exercise and the experience. Hikers and bikers have choices across America and all around the world to experience nature up close. Maintaining their health and energy levels are key to getting the most from the experiences.

Drink Enough Water

Experts say that hikers should drink one-half a liter of water per mile. So if you're planning a 10-mile hike, you need to carry or have access to at least 5 liters of water. The hotter the temperature, the more water you'll need. Plan ahead to stay healthy on your hiking trips or biking trips. The most important fact of hiking or biking and staying hydrated is to fill your water containers at every opportunity so you don't run out of water.

Carry Bottled Water

One of the simplest ways to stay hydrated is to carry bottled water in …

Hiking in a Haunted Forest: Dawson Forest in North Georgia

We had gorgeous weather here in Georgia this weekend. After lots of cold and cloudy days, it was a relief to have a beautiful, sunny Saturday with temperatures nearing 60. My family and I have taken up the sport of kayaking after a good family friend showed us what great fun it is. We are not river kayakers. That sort of thing can get you killed if you don’t know what you are doing. We generally just paddle around in some of the lakes nearby. We haven’t been kayaking for a couple of months since it has been so cold. It’s still too cold to kayak, with the water in the 40s, but it’s not too cold for hiking. With this in mind, we planned a hike for Saturday afternoon.

I have a great book called “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Atlanta.” I believe there are other books with this …

Awesome Free Outdoor Hiking Trips in Colorado

Colorado is a land of natural beauty and rugged wilderness, with plenty of gorgeous hikes for those who love the outdoors. While many places charge an entry fee, there are plenty of free parks with free hikes available. Here are three recommended free hikes, two in the Fort Collins area and one at the famous Pikes Peak. Get outside and enjoy these freebies!

Fossil Creek Open Space:
Situated alongside the picturesque Fossil Creek Reservoir, the Fossil Creek Open Space offers three trails and 843 acres of habitat to a variety of species. Unfortunately, fishermen, pets and biking are not welcome at this park, but bird watchers and hikers will enjoy Fossil Creek Open Space. This park is located off of Carpenter Road, roughly a mile west of I-25. Trail names include Sandpiper Flats Trail, Heron Loop Trail, and the Cattail Flats Trail. The longest of these is the Cattail …

The Ultimate Hiking Experience

It was 1948 and Dave was fresh out of the marines after a four-year term when he and his best friend Roy agreed to go hiking and camping. Dave wanted to spend a few days with his parents first and the day before they were supposed to head out, he got a call from Roy.

“Sorry, Dave, but I think we should wait a while. It’s too far into the rainy season and too dangerous this time of year.”

“Come on, Roy, we’ve been up there so many times we know it like the back of our hands.”

“We’re not teenagers anymore, Dave. I know you’re anxious to catch up on missed time but the mountain isn’t going anywhere.”

No matter how much Dave pleaded, Roy wouldn’t budge.

During his four years in the marines, Dave developed a close relationship with Jesus Christ who became his Savior and Lord through …

Hiking to La Mina Falls at El Yunque Rainforest in Puerto Rico

My husband Bill and I spent four nights in San Juan, Puerto Rico last month before we boarded a cruise. Since neither of us had ever been to Puerto Rico before, I did some research before we made the trip. One of the places I wanted to see the most during the days before our cruise was El Yunque, Puerto Rico’s rainforest.

Bill and I rented a car and drove to El Yunque, which is located about an hour east of San Juan. We arrived at the rainforest just in time for lunch. There was a roadside stand near what has to be El Yunque’s most popular trail, the hike to La Mina Falls. While we ate barbecue in the rain under an umbrella, we heard tourist after tourist ask the grillmaster where La Mina was. And the very patient grillmaster told each and every one of them that La …