Saturday, June 7th, is National Trails Day. What is that? It's a day to celebrate all our wonderful National Park Trailways. We have some beautiful hiking trails here in New England, and all across this country. There is something so relaxing about exploring a trail, you could almost forget that you are also exercising! So we would like to encourage everyone to get outside on June 7th and take a hike or walk. You do not have to live in the United States to participate, all you have to do is step outside, and put one foot in front of the other! We realize that June 7th is a long way off, but we want to encourage people not to wait, and to start hiking now, there is no better time than the present!
Hiking is an activity that the entire family can enjoy together, even the canine family members love to hike. Our collies really enjoy hitting our local hiking tails. In fact, they love it so much, that we began traveling to parks all over our state. Last Spring we managed to visit six new parks, as well as our local parks, for some beautiful and scenic hikes. We discovered waterfalls, covered bridges, light houses, wild flowers and peaceful woods.
The hot Summer weather shortened our hikes, but the return of the cooler temperatures in the Fall had us once again hitting the trails. It's currently Winter, here in New England, so for safety reasons we have been sticking to our local park, with it's familar trails. But we are all eagerly waiting for Spring, so we can set out to discover new parks that we can explore and enjoy.
Did you know that hiking can be one of the best ways to bond with your dogs? And sharing the adventure of hiking a new trail is beneficial to you both! So much of the destructive behavior a dog exhibits is due to a lack of exercise. Even excessive barking can be the result of boredom and too much pent up energy. You can leave your home whenever you choose, your dogs are stuck in the house or yard until you decide to take them for a walk or car ride. By hiking with your dogs, you give them a chance to experience new smells and terrain, getting them off concrete sidewalks and giving them the opportunity to feel some dirt and grass beneath their paws. This is exciting for them, and it tires them out. Remember, a tired dog is a good dog!
We spend so much of our lives working and rushing around. Our schedules are packed full of events, and jobs to do. We lead very stressful lives, and spending a few quiet hours outside, enjoying the peace and tranquility found in nature, can lower our blood pressure and improve our moods. And a good hike will help to keep you fit and healthy. But you aren't the only one who needs exericse to remain strong and healthy, your dogs need it too! Hiking with your dogs on a regular basis will keep them healthy, which can help to extend their lives!
But there is more than just the health benefits to be considered. Completing a challenging hike can fill you with pride, and it's fun. There are no demands on your time on the trail, you can wander and explore to your heart's content. Many times we let our dogs choose which trail we will follow, we let them have the freedom to explore, and they have led us to some amazing places. And we always bring along a camera, as you never know when the next curve in the trail will lead you to a peaceful spot, that will stun you with it's beauty or touch your heart.