First and foremost I love hiking because it takes you into the mountains. I'm the type of girl that rather than own a beach vacation home I yearn to own a mountain vacation home (in Montana if my dreams really were to come true).
Also, it's SUCH a good workout without really feeling like you're exerting yourself. Some parts of trails are more difficult, that's for sure, but usually you can just go for hours and hours, and instead of worrying about getting tired, you're just taking in the beautiful views. The next day you definitely feel it, but it's one of those 'hurts-so-good' feelings.
Growing up in Western Pennsylvania I was constantly in the mountains to ski, hike (even though I HATED it when I was younger), and camp. Because it was such a part of my childhood I think I also love it because it brings back just a bit of nostalgia.
Those same mountains still aren't very far from me here in D.C. (Pittsburgh is only a 4-hour drive away), but I've also been recently exposed to a whole new range of mountains south and south-west of D.C.: The Shenandoah and Blue Ridge Mountains. These are two new ranges I'm thrilled to have gotten the opportunity to adventure because they're definitely on a bit of a bigger scale than Western Pennsylvania peaks.
I've said it before and I'll say it time and time again that D.C. is in such a great location because we're just hours (often even less) from many mountain ranges, beautiful beaches, and other cities worth exploring.
With the spring weather rapidly approaching I simply can't wait to get back out there and hike my weekends away. I do go hiking in the winter months, but I find it just so much more enjoyable in just a tad-bit warmer air.
Those day-dreams considered, I wanted to share some of my favorite hikes I've been on both in and around Washington, D.C. Some are a little bit farther away and I'll indicate the time it takes to drive, but others are right in my backyard. I'll tell you about five of my favorites that I've been on in the past couple years, but I can't wait to keep you all updated as I begin to explore more and more!