Top reasons to find a place to go
The first thing you can ask yourself is: what exactly are you looking for? Then think about which places are at your disposal. Make sure that the activity you are considering is allowed in the place where you are going. Last and perhaps most importantly, think about what it can do.
Given all this, you can start looking. At the end of this article there is a list of suggestions and resources.
What are you looking for?
Do you want to add very little contact with nature in your everyday life? Consider your local city parks or reserve lands. Even private lands if the owner is susceptible, such as the ends of farms, tree trunks or other such undeveloped areas can offer a peaceful and interesting place to visit wildlife. Check out the city's website and local library for information on outdoor parks and leisure areas or just ask your neighbors. And do not forget your own backyard. There may be more interesting birds, insects and plants than you imagine. You never know until you go out and just open your eyes and ears for a while.
Do you want to find a real desert that you can visit from time to time and get to know each other well? Check your country's website for state and national parks, national forests and other large outdoor leisure areas during your trip. Read books and articles about the area before your first visit to know what to expect. Explore the roads and parking locations to get a good idea of how long it takes you to get there.
Are you planning a business trip or holiday in an unknown place and are you hoping to explore your natural history firsthand? Now you need to do some research! Check the website for tourist sites in the area you plan to visit. Do not forget to look for printed field guides for plants and wildlife in the area. Consider several alternatives if you find out when you arrive that your first choice will not come out. (I never went outside Palermo when I visited Sicily when my planned trip to Mount Etna was taken due to an eruption!)
Are you planning a trip where the main destination is tourism? Good for you! You will want to look carefully and find out how much you can about the place before you leave. Get information from books and websites. Then pick up more. Do not forget to filter the information correctly: If someone has something to sell you, it can make it more appealing and more accessible than it really is. Find out if you need camping bookings, canoe rentals, and more.
Places you can reach
Read these maps carefully! Sixty miles along a road may look like an hour clock, but not if it's a ground-breaking road to a rough country. You do not want to get caught in the desert unprepared and impossible to get out before people start worrying about you.
If you plan to visit the area repeatedly, have enough time to get to know the place. Try several alternative routes to find the best one. Try several different access points – car parks, trails, and so on. – before choosing who will be your "place". You will come back many times, so do not be discouraged if you find that your first choice is not as good as you hoped.
If you go to visit once in a lifetime, you may want to hire a guide. Yes, it's a cost and a bit of invasion, but it's better than running into trouble. When you contact the planning guide of your trip, make sure they understand your goals – whether you want to compete with the mountain tops or simply delay them and watch the birds – and give them a fair assessment of their abilities. If they accept you as part of a group, make sure that the tight graphic tour does not make your vacation for you.
Is It Possible?
Refer to what you intend to do, and whether it may be forbidden or restricted. Many parks do not allow camping. Fishing is banned or restricted in many lakes and rivers. (I know a beautiful pond in a state park where only children can fish.)
Do you plan to bring your dog for hikes? Not all parks allow dogs and most of them require the dog to be on a leash.
There are also limitations for motor boats, snowmobiles and even off-road bikes. Make sure the place you plan to go allows what you plan to do.
Can you pick it up?
Make a fair assessment of your abilities, physically and mentally, and plan prudence. You think you can go twelve miles in a day? Do not plan more than seven miles in an unfamiliar country.
Carefully read the route descriptions and the degree of difficulty before deciding what you can do. If he says "healthy," that means you should not plan to set up landing speed records there.
Keep in mind that most literary reference materials are written by people with abundant tourist experience and above average fitness. If you are a Canadian who hopes to become a great outsider, do not plan to take the same excursion that the great outsider calls "challenging."
Take a look at the contour lines you see on most path maps. They tell you how steep the path is, usually. A mile that goes up to 500 feet is a walk in the park. A mile that climbs up to 2,000 feet may be the average person who is not in transit.
Again, make sure your self-esteem is fair. You can tell a great adventure story at home, but you can not fool the elements. When you walk out of the trail, there is no amount to compensate for lack of physical fitness.
Do not overlook a place because it is popular. It is true that the crowds take away the sense of peace and privacy, and wildlife avoids contact with people. But if you go at the right time of the day, you may find something close to the desert, even in a place that is usually overcrowded. Most people are most active at the end of the day and most animals are most active at sunset and dawn. This tells you this: Wherever you go, try to go there at dawn.
If you are enough to have a state or national park nearby, this is probably your best choice. Otherwise, for frequent quick visits, do not neglect urban parks and private property.
Before you walk into a private property, imagine the owner. As long as they know who you are and what you are doing, most people are happy to allow tourists to use their forests and fields. Of course, some landlords have had bad experiences, and you certainly have to respect their rights to protect their property from damage and their livestock from injuries and harassment. Remember that many landlords have agreements with hunting clubs, so they may not be able to let you go to their land during the hunting season.
When planning a trip to an unknown area, do not forget to do your research a while ago. Again, state and national parks are probably the best choice. Not only are they likely to offer good tourism experiences but are also best documented. You will certainly not be able to find a source on the web to tell you what to expect from Farmer Jones & back forty, but there is plenty of information about public parks. On another note you will find plenty of information about shopping areas for recreation, but they all have a financial interest in making you visit the place. Public parks are more likely to have clear and true information.
- Your local library. Look for books for your chosen destination. If you are planning a trip to an area you are not familiar with, look for local outdoor magazines.
- Google. Enter the city or state name and the word "hiking" and you will find an inexhaustible chain of links to the information you can use.
- The American Tourism Society (http://www.americhaniking.org/). Look for their "Alliance of Walking Organizations" for affiliated organizations in your area.
- National Park Service (http://www.nps.gov/). Mother Lode, for the United States.
- USDA Forest Service (http://www.fs.fed.us/). Another extremely rich source, divided by regions of the United States.