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 …

Hiking the Rugged WV Mountains

Mountain hiking is at its best at Holly River State Park. Located on Route 20, 32 miles south of Buckhannon and 20 miles north of Webster Springs and easily found from I-79 that runs north and south through West Virginia. Holly River offers camping, cabins, restaurant, swimming pool and tennis and of course hiking. There are 11 trails to choose from and the one I choose most often is the Reverie Trail.

Starting at the campground entrance the trail parallels Big Run stream with steep mountains on each side. There are many rock outcroppings along the way. The trail then turns right and you approach Dreamer’s Meadow. Here the sky opens up briefly within the dense forest. The climb here is very steep. A rest along the climb will be welcome. You will come to Tecumseh Falls where the path goes under the falls. Up the mountain to the top

Great Hiking Trails Near Colorado Springs, Colorado

Fox Run Regional Park

This is a park nestled in the Black Forest just north of Colorado Springs. These are fairly easy trails which wind through a pine forest. The trails are well-marked and well-maintained. There is rolling terrain with little real elevation gain. There is also a little duck pond near the parking lot that is quite scenic. Exit I-25 on Exit 156A then take Northgate Road east, then turn left on Rollercoaster Road. Drive about 1.5 miles until you see the Fox Run Park sign.

Black Forest Regional Park

Shoup and Milam

Located at the intersection of Shoup and Milam. Take Highway 83 north to Shoup Road, then go east on Shoup Road for 2.5 miles. There are some beautiful peaceful trails here which meander through the Ponderosa Pine forest. There are also restrooms. In the winter, this is a popular place for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing as …

Seniors' Hiking Group Tackles Tough Treks

Strenuous hikes through some of California’s most rugged and remote landscapes are not for the faint of heart.

But one group of retirees can’t imagine life without those weekly 6-to-10-mile-hikes, which have taken them to places like Mount Toro, Point Lobos, and the Ventana Wilderness, among other beautiful and picturesque places.

Add this to the picture: The men making these treks aren’t youngsters – in fact, their oldest member is 94, with the rest ranging between late 50s and early 90s.

“I’m 71, and consider myself to be quite fit, but I can’t keep up with five or six of the older hikers,” said Paul Danielson, a member for the last nine years. “It’s an unusual and most interesting group.”

Don Burnett, another member, said the hiking is great, but what he really enjoys is the camaraderie.

“I’ve established some friendships with people who I would not have met otherwise,” …

Hiking the Dragon's Tooth and Other Trails Connecting to the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail is a Great Hike and Has Many Great Day Hikes Connected to It

For those who love hiking one of the most famous and popular trails in the US is the Appalachian trail that runs from Georgia to Maine, passing through the states of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire. It borders a couple of states like West Virginia and New Jersey. It can take months to walk the entire Appalachian Trail in a single hike. Many people do hike the entire length of the Appalachian trail, but they do so after they are retired or taking a long vacation. Most people who live near the Appalachian trail enjoy it weekly in “day hikes”

I live in Salem, Virginia, and can drive to many parts of the Appalachian Trail in 30 or 40 minutes depending on which day trail we want to

The Great Outdoors 2022: Hiking with Young Children

When we think of exploring the great outdoors, we rarely think about including young children. However, including children in the outdoor experience has many benefits, including environmental appreciation and family togetherness. While the outdoor experience may not be quite the same when small children tag along, it becomes even more rewarding for all involved. By preparing ahead of time, including younger kids in outdoors activities is more likely to be a success. Here are a few tips to make the experience fun and memorable for everyone involved.

  • Be prepared. Bring along a backpack with the necessities for the small child. This may include diapers, wipes, drinks and snacks. Keep in mind the temperature and the amount of time it will take, since these can increase the amount of drink needed exponentially.
  • Remember to cover up. The woods are full of bugs, so bug spray is definitely warranted. Also, apply sunscreen

Hiking Mt. Gleason: Angeles National Forest

On August 4, 2013, at 5:30 a.m., I set out to hike to the top of Mt. Gleason in the Angeles National Forest in Acton California. The hike took me nearly eight hours to complete from start to finish and the total round trip was 19.2 miles.

Mt. Gleason’s elevation is 6,502 feet high and stands high above most of the summits in the San Gabriel Mountains. The well-maintained Pacific Crest Trail is also there and crosses through the paved Mt. Gleason Road way and is available for the more rugged hikers.

I personally decided to stick with hiking along the paved Mt. Gleason Road rather than hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking nearly 20 miles is certainly rigorous, and there are many other dirt trails throughout the mountains. From experience, I know it can be easy to accidentally take the wrong trail and end up lost and re-tracing your …

The CCC Trail — Day Hiking in Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Of the few natural parks in the Texas Panhandle, the most well-known and widely-visited is Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Palo Duro sits in the heart of the high plains and is a welcome change of topography in an otherwise flat region. There are a handful of day hike trails in the canyon, with difficulty levels ranging from the most mild to relatively difficult. All species of day hikers are looking for something in their trips–a leisurely stretch of the legs, awesome vistas, or challenging climbs. In the Palo Duro Canyon, the CCC Trail offers all of these things.

The CCC trail in Palo Duro Canyon, (so named for the Civilian Conservation Corps workers who built and used it in the 1930s) offers day-hikers a change in scenery and altitude, as well as a varying level of difficulty. Unlike other trails in the park, the CCC trail is limited to …