I’m always surprised when people think one needs to travel to the mountains to hike. True, that’s where most of the spectacular hikes are, but you will be surprised at how many hiking trails are close to you.
In southeastern Massachusetts, for example, we have Blue Hills Reservation. This state park is only minutes from Boston and comprises over 7000 acres of hills and woodlands. There are 125 miles of hiking trails within.
The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) plans hikes along the eight-mile Skyline Trail in Blue Hills. If you didn’t know you were in this reservation, you would think you were hiking in forests and mountains. Indeed, much of the eight-mile hike reminded me of sections on the Appalachian Trail. There were rocky stretches with short but steep climbs and descents; there were large outcrops of rocks to scramble over. The rocks were slippery and in some places we could not use our poles.
What a great place to train for a long-distance hike! You will experience just about every type of terrain. Although there are no mountains (Blue Hill is only 635 ft), Blue Hill is one of 22 hills in the reservation.
Here is where to find hikes near you in the USA: www.localhikes.com Looking at the website, I note 80 hikes near Tuscon, 241 hikes in Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, 26 hikes out of Orlando Florida, and so on. I encourage all of you to take a look at the trails near you. You will be surprised.