WILDWOOD, Mo.—Hiking is a great way to get closer to nature. You feel a real connection to the earth when it is directly beneath your feet. The only thing between you and nature is a pair of hiking shoes, or even just sturdy walking shoes. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has over 1,000 conservation areas and state forests throughout the Show-Me-State, and many have great hiking trails.
For those who are just starting their hikes, MDC offers a Hiking 101 – A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking program Wednesday, September 14 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at Rockwoods Reservation in Wildwood. The event is free and open to ages 7 and up and includes both an educational program and a short guided hike.
This program is designed for beginner hikers who want to start hiking this fall and will focus on the basics of fall and winter hiking. Topics covered include the difference between walking and hiking, clothing and equipment needed, hiking with children, and more. After the educational presentation, an MDC naturalist will lead an easy 1.5 mile hike to Rockwoods Reservation.
This is an ideal opportunity for people who have never hiked before or have little experience and want to explore the many benefits of hiking. The uneven terrain of the meandering, downhill, and sideways paths works various muscle groups and helps with overall balance, increasing the energy you use by 28% compared to walking on flat surfaces. Hikers report benefits such as weight loss, stress relief, better sleep and more positive thoughts.
Hiking 101 – A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking is a free program; however, prior online registration is required at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4c5.
The Rockwoods Reservation is located at 2751 Glencoe Road off Highway 109 between I-44 and Highway 100.
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