Do you enjoy hiking? Many women our age find hiking enjoyable. There’s no better feeling than sliding into my hiking boots and setting out to lose myself (not literally) in nature.
Hiking is an excellent activity for us for several reasons. It can help improve cardiovascular health and strength, which can help prevent age-related conditions such as heart disease and osteoporosis. Hiking also provides a low-impact workout that is easy on the joints, making it an ideal form of exercise for those with arthritis or other joint issues. It also offers a chance to get outside and enjoy nature, which can help reduce stress and improve mental health.
There are plenty of renowned hiking trails in the USA that are suitable for women over 50. You choose how many miles you want to hike – you can do a simple day hike on a part of the trail or a multi-day hike spanning a larger part of the route.
Several factors can make a hiking trail good for women over 50.
Trails that are not too steep, with gradual inclines and relatively even footing are good for women over 50 who may have mobility or balance concerns.
Access to restrooms, water, and shaded areas is important, especially for longer hikes or hikes in hot weather.
Trails that are well-marked with clear signs and maps are helpful for women over 50 who may have concerns about losing their way.
Trails with beautiful scenery can be very motivating and uplifting, making the experience more enjoyable and memorable.
Hiking trails that are safe, with minimal risks of dangerous animals or hazardous terrain.
Hiking trails that offer varying lengths, from short walks to longer treks, can provide options for women over 50 with different fitness levels and preferences.
Hiking apps are mobile applications designed to help hikers plan and navigate their hikes, track their progress, and access helpful information about their surroundings.
AllTrails is a popular mobile application and website that provides a comprehensive guide to hiking, biking, and running trails across the world, with a focus on the United States and Canada. The app offers an extensive collection of trail maps, GPS tracking, wayfinding features, user reviews, and community features.
AllTrails also allows users to record their hikes and track their progress, and offers personalized recommendations based on the user’s location and preferences.
Hiking Project is another very popular mobile app that offers a comprehensive guide to hiking trails throughout the United States. The app provides detailed trail maps, descriptions, photos, and user reviews for thousands of hiking trails, as well as GPS tracking and wayfinding features to help hikers navigate their way along the trail. Hiking Project also offers personalized recommendations, allows users to create and save their own trail lists, and provides up-to-date information about trail conditions and closures.
The Appalachian Trail is a 2,200-mile-long hiking trail that runs from Georgia to Maine, passing through 14 states in the eastern United States. It offers stunning views of forests, mountains, and waterfalls, as well as opportunities to encounter wildlife and connect with nature.
The best time of year to hike the Appalachian Trail depends on your personal preferences and level of experience. Generally, the trail is open year-round, but the best time to go is during the spring or fall when the weather is milder and the foliage is at its most beautiful.
In the spring, you can enjoy the wildflowers and budding trees, while in the fall, you can experience the breathtaking fall colors. The summer months can be hot and humid, making hiking more challenging, while the winter months can be icy and treacherous, requiring more advanced hiking skills.
Visit the Appalachian Trail website for more information.
Grand Canyon National Park is a natural wonder of the world and a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. The park covers over 1.2 million acres and is home to the Grand Canyon, a massive, colorful, and awe-inspiring geological formation that is over 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and over a mile deep. The park offers a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy walks along the rim to challenging multi-day backpacking trips into the canyon.
The best time to visit Grand Canyon National Park is during the spring or fall when the temperatures are milder and the crowds are smaller. The summer months can be very hot, with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while the winter months can be very cold and snowy, making hiking more challenging.
The park offers a variety of ranger-led programs, educational exhibits, and visitor centers that provide information on the park’s geology, ecology, and history, making it a great destination for learning and exploration.
Head on over to the Grand Canyon National Park website to plan your hike.
Yellowstone National Park is a vast wilderness area covering over 2 million acres in the western United States. It is known for its unique geological features, including geysers, hot springs, and mud pots, as well as its diverse wildlife, such as bears, wolves, bison, and elk. The park is also home to a variety of hiking trails that offer visitors the opportunity to explore the park’s natural beauty up close.
The best time to visit Yellowstone National Park is during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall when the crowds are smaller, and the weather is milder. The summer months can be very crowded, with long lines and wait times, and the winter months can be very cold and snowy.
Visit the Yellowstone National Park website to learn more about the hiking trails.
Zion National Park is a beautiful wilderness area located in southwestern Utah. It is famous for its towering red sandstone cliffs, narrow canyons, and lush vegetation.
The park has a range of hiking trails that cater to all abilities, from easy walks to strenuous hikes that offer stunning views of the park’s natural beauty.
The best time to visit Zion National Park is in the spring and fall when the weather is mild, and the crowds are smaller. Summers can be very hot and crowded, while winters can be cold and snowy.
Like most National parks, Zion has ranger-led programs, educational exhibits, and visitor centers that provide information on the park’s geology, ecology, and history.
It’s important to stay hydrated, wear comfortable shoes and clothing, and carry plenty of snacks and water when hiking in Zion.
Check out the Zion National Park website.
The Pacific Crest Trail is a long-distance hiking trail that runs from the border of Mexico and the United States through California, Oregon, and Washington, and ends at the border of the United States and Canada. It covers over 2,650 miles of stunning wilderness, including deserts, forests, and mountains. The trail is a popular destination for hikers seeking a challenging and rewarding outdoor adventure.
The best time to hike the Pacific Crest Trail is during the summer months, typically from late May to early October, when the weather is mild and the days are longer.
It’s important for older hikers to take their physical abilities and health conditions into account when planning a hike of this magnitude, and to consult with a doctor before embarking on such a journey.
The trail offers a unique opportunity to experience some of the most beautiful and remote areas of the western United States and provides a chance to challenge oneself physically and mentally.
Hikers should make sure to carry plenty of water, food, and appropriate gear, and to take precautions for wildlife encounters and trail hazards.
After reading the book Wild by Sheryl Strayed several years ago, I added the PCT to my bucket list. The book has since been adapted into a movie featuring Reese Witherspoon.
Get more information about the Pacific Crest Trail here.
Acadia National Park is located on the coast of Maine and covers over 47,000 acres of rugged coastline, forests, and lakes. The park offers numerous hiking trails that range in difficulty from easy walks to strenuous climbs, as well as opportunities for wildlife watching, kayaking, and rock climbing.
The best time to visit Acadia National Park is during the fall months, from mid-September to mid-November, when the weather is mild and the crowds are thinner. The park can be crowded during the summer months, making it difficult to find solitude on the trails. Hiking in the fall also provides an opportunity to see wildlife preparing for winter and to enjoy the stunning fall colors.
Hikers should make sure to carry plenty of water, food, and appropriate gear, and to take precautions for ticks and other wildlife.
Visit the website to plan your hike.
Rocky Mountain National Park is located in the western part of the United States, in the state of Colorado. The park is known for its stunning mountain landscapes, wildlife, and outdoor recreational opportunities.
It encompasses over 400 square miles of wilderness, including more than 100 peaks that rise above 10,000 feet in elevation. The park offers a wide variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging backcountry treks, as well as opportunities for camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing.
The best time of year to visit would be during the summer months, from June to August, when the weather is warmer and the trails are more accessible.
For more information on this national park visit the website.
Remember to always prepare adequately before embarking on any hiking adventure. Adequate preparation includes bringing the necessary gear, such as appropriate footwear, clothing, and equipment for the specific trail and weather conditions.
It’s essential to consult with your doctor before engaging in any strenuous physical activity, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions that may be affected by hiking.
It’s also important to research the trail and its difficulty level, terrain, and potential hazards beforehand, as well as to let someone know your planned route and expected return time. By taking these precautions, you can reduce your risk of injury, illness, or getting lost while enjoying the beauty of nature.
Read HOW (AND WHY) TO CULTIVATE A LIFELONG RELATIONSHIP WITH WALKING.
Do you enjoy hiking? Have you hiked any of these trails? Do you plan to hike the trails mentioned in the article? Tell us about it in the comments below.
I have been hiking for over thirty years and have hiked in many of our stunning national parks. I’ve hiked many of the trails in Acadia, Yellowstone and Zion. I’ve also hiked some trails on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Hiking to the top of Angels Landing Trail in Zion was one of the thrills of my life. The first time that I attempted the hike, I chickened out at Scouts Landing. After this spot, the trail is extremely narrow with sheer drop offs on both sides.
I went home determined that I would return to Zion and complete the hike. I did five years later and, at fifty-three years old, I left young men and women behind at Scouts Lookout and scaled the ridges confidently and carefully.
That hike gave me confidence to hike HalfDome in Yosemite National Park. That trek was much more physically taxing than Angels Landing. I won’t be topping that hike and I’m fine with that.
Hiking our breathtaking national parks over the last thirty years has reinforced my pride in our country. I’m amazed with how much backbreaking work was performed to create the roads, bridges and lodges for all of us to enjoy.
I’m retired now and live directly off the twenty-three mile long American Tobacco Trail in North Carolina. I belong to a Meetup group of seniors and we hike many of the parks in my area. Hiking is a way of life for me and I plan to do my entire life. The trick is to use hiking poles. They save your knees and can save you from doing a face plant. Happy Trails!