Hiking is a wonderful exercise. Strapping on some boots and stepping out into nature is a thrilling experience. In fact, it’s one of the best exercises you can do for both your physical health and mental clarity. Regardless if you’ve never been or you go twice a week, we have some fun facts that will put a smile on your face!
As the fourth most popular activity in the US, it’s only outpaced by biking, fishing, and running!
There are over twenty different types of hiking trails.
A 150 lb woman can burn over 300 calories hiking for an hour. If she takes a pack, that number can top 350.
Hiking has been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety, stress, and depression.
For people who have osteoporosis (and those who don’t), hiking is an excellent exercise for building up bone density.
In Switzerland, there are nearly 2km of hiking trails per square kilometer of land. In some places, that number rises to almost 4km!
During WWII, the Swiss took down all the hiking markers so invaders couldn’t follow the trails.
The oldest hiking path in America still in use today is New Hampshire’s Crawford Path. The 8.5-mile trek has been in use since 1819 and is part of the Appalachian Trail.
Over 2 million people trek at least a portion of the Appalachian Trail yearly.
The oldest hiking path in the world is the Via Francigena, which runs from Canterbury, England, to Rome, Italy. It is over 1,200 miles long.
The hiking industry in the US is a multibillion-dollar behemoth, valued at over $6 billion annually, once you add in everything from boots to water purifiers. The outdoor industry itself comes in at $124 billion.
The Great Trail, formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail, is the longest in the world. It’s 14,912 miles long.
People hike at roughly 2.5 miles an hour.
According to historical documents, the first hike on record was in 125 AD by Roman Emperor Hadrian. His destination was Sicily’s Mount Etna. Hiking boots hadn’t been invented yet (obviously)!
A famous poet, Petrarch, was an avid recreational hiker. He recorded many hikes with his family and friends in the 1300s, including one on April 26th, 1336, to Mont Ventoux.
Over 50 million people hike per year in the US.
After some number crunching, it’s estimated that hiking is one of the top outdoor recreational activities undertaken by adults that is expected to grow astronomically by 2060.
See? Hiking is pretty awesome and has a long history. Check out a few hiking apps to find a trail near you and get out in the fresh air. You won’t regret it! Just be sure to take a hiking buddy and pay careful attention to trail ratings, so you don’t end up climbing over rocks if you aren’t prepared for it!