Hiking in Blue Ridge, Georgia

Blue Ridge Hiking Suggestions

Hiking is one of our guest’s favorite activities so we thought we would provide you with some suggestions to make your hiking trips safer and more enjoyable. There are many trails in the Blue Ridge area including the famous Benton MacKaye Trail and the Appalachian Trail. These trails provide ample hiking opportunities for all level of hikers. Several trails lead to some beautiful waterfalls including Long Creek Falls. There are trail heads located all around the Blue Ridge area.

• Let someone know where you are going before you leave. If there is not anyone at the cabin you are staying then call a friend back home just to let them know the exact location you will be starting and what trail you will be on. Tell them you will call when you return.

• Hike in groups or use the buddy system. Anyone even experienced hikers can run into trouble while in the wild so use the buddy system. A variety of things can happen in the wilderness from snakebites, bug bites, to a slip and fall. It is best never to hike alone. Even if you are hiking with a group make sure someone not on the hike knows where you are starting and when you expect to return.

• Stay hydrated. Carry enough water for the day and your pack will get lighter as the day progresses. We suggest that you carry more water than you think you will drink because you never know if you will be out longer than you think, the hike will be more challenging than expected, or hotter than predicted.

• Bring snacks to keep your energy level up during the hike. Also, make sure you have a little extra food and water just in case. Be sure to pack up all trash and keep all your food in airtight containers to prevent attracting predatory animals. We also want to keep our natural beauty litter free.

• Bring sunscreen and bug spray. I also like to carry a stick so I can move plants that I am concerned could be prickly or poisonous. We suggest that you wear hiking boots for better footing and to protect your feet and ankles from bugs, animals, and plants.

• Plan a hike that is suitable for all members of the party and let the slower person set the pace. When resting investigate the area that you plan to sit and be aware that snakes like rocks.

• Wear wicking type fabric not cotton, it will keep you cooler and wick away moisture even in cold weather. Layer clothing in cold weather. Wear bright colors not camouflage clothing so you can be seen if lost or if hunters are in the area.

• Do not climb waterfalls it can be dangerous and harms the natural environment.

• Remember you are in the home of many wild creatures so respect their home and pick up all trash, don’t remove rocks or anything from the natural setting. Snakes like to hide in thick brush, leaves, and under rocks or wood so stay on the trail and don’t disturb any rocks or wood.

• Bring a whistle so that you can be easily heard and located in case of emergency or if you get lost. It is much easier to use a whistle for a long time than it is to yell.

Most of all enjoy the wildlife, nature, and beauty.

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Take a Hiking Pole on Your Next Hike

It is the downhill ski racing competition of the winter

Olympics. You watch a ski racer zoom down the slope manoeuvring

through the ski gates. However, you notice that something is

missing. The skier has on skis, boots, and a giant slalom skin

tight racing suit. You realize what’s missing when their arms

flail about causing them to lose their balance on a patch of

ice. They are missing their ski poles.

It is the cross country skiing competition of the winter

Olympics. You cheer from the crowd as the skiers fly down the

trail. Each skier pushes hard with their ski poles. However,

one skier is left far behind the pack because he does not have

any ski poles. His graceful cross country rhythm has been

interrupted due to a lack of balance.

In both cases, the skiers lost the race because they were

missing their ski poles. Ski poles are vital because they help

maintain balance, provide support, and relieve some of the

pressure off your body. If the use of a ski pole is so crucial,

then why is it that many hikers do not use a hiking pole during

their hikes?

You might not think of a hiking or trekking pole as a necessity

until you compare hiking to cross country skiing. In hiking you

traverse across a terrain of varying degrees and obstacles.

There is constant stress and strain on your muscles and joints

as you navigate through rocks, sandy areas, and elevated

terrain. Your knees and lower back are constantly adjusting to

the pressure placed on them. This can lead to soreness and

pain. This is comparable to the demands of cross country skiing.

Hiking pain can be reduced by investing in a hiking or trekking

pole. Hiking poles have a wide range of benefits including:

improved balance, endurance, and ward off knee injuries. Hiking

poles can enable you to successfully cross streams and work

through steeper terrain. A mental side effect is that they can

boost your confidence allowing you tackle the hiking trail with

vigor.

There are different types of hiking and trekking poles

available. There are long wooden poles, shorter aluminum poles,

snow poles, and ice axes. Want to beef up your regular hiking

pole? Hiking poles have various accessories to choose from

including: hand grips, shock absorbers, and camera mounts. If

you are going on a winter hike you can add a basket to your

pole. Another important aspect of your hiking pole is its tip.

The common tip is made of carbide. However, rubber tips are

also available. Each tip has pros and cons which should be

considered when purchasing a pole. Consult a hiking

professional to assess which pole is best for you.

If you want more stability and less stress on your body consider

investing in a hiking or trekking pole. The ability to navigate

through difficult terrain will become a reality. Hiking poles

can cost money, but they are worth every penny.

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