24 fun & interesting facts about hiking

24 fun & interesting facts about hiking

Do you like hiking? Hiking is really fun to do and it has many health benefits. These are the most interesting facts about hiking.

Fun facts about hiking

Why do people like to hike? There are numerous reasons. Hiking is a very popular activity and it has some great benefits for your health. What else is there to know about hiking? As an avid hiker myself, I would like to know! Here are 24 fun facts about hiking.

A long long time ago, hiking was our daily activity

Remember prehistoric times? We – people – were nomads. And hiking was our way of transportation. Back then, it wasn’t just a recreational activity. We needed to hunt to get ourselves some food. Only when we started growing fruits and veggies, we decided to stay more in one place.

The longest hiking trails in the world

Most people are day hikers, but some people like to hike for multiple days or even months. A larger number of hikers go out on long-distance trails every year. These are some of the longest hiking trails in the world:

  • The Great Trail, Canada: 14,912 miles (24,000 kilometers)
  • Great Western Loop, USA: 6,875 miles (11,064 kilometers) – This trail includes the Pacific Crest Trail, Pacific Northwest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, the Grand Enchantment Trail, and the Arizona Trail.
  • The American Discovery Trail, USA: 6800 miles (10,944 kilometers)
  • The E1 – European Long-Distance Path: 4,300 miles (7,000 kilometers) – The trail goes through Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.
  • Grand Italian Trail, Italy: 3,832 miles (6,167 kilometers)

This list probably changes every year, because more and more trails are being developed. But it is impressive for sure if you can finish one of these!

Hiking trail in California
A section of the Pacific Crest Trail in California.

Hiking helps you lose body weight

If you hike an hour a day, you’ll burn 300 to 400 calories. It doesn’t seem like much, but if you do it every day of the week, you’ll burn 2100 calories a week!

Hiking is becoming more and more popular

Hiking used to be a more “boring” hobby, but nowadays it’s a very popular outdoor activity. This might have something to do with the lockdown, but it’s also very nice to do some outdoor activities if you have a desk job.

Hiking helps to improve your relationship

Do you like to go hiking with your partner? That’s awesome and actually really good for your relationship or friendship! Even though it’s a physical activity, it’s also easy to talk when you’re hiking. Get to know each other better!

There are special healthy hiking trails in Japan

In Japan, slowly walking in a forest is called Shinrin-yoku, which means something like forest bathing. They did field experiments, and they found so many health benefits that they now have special Shinrin-yoku hiking trails!

Hiking is a full-body workout

Especially when you’re hiking in rough terrain, you use a lot of different muscles while hiking and it improves your core strength. And how about hiking with a (heavy) backpack? You need a good balance and use even more muscles. So yes, hiking is a full-body workout.

The most famous hiking trails in the world

Some trails are more famous than others. I bet you’ve heard about one of these popular hikes:

  • Inca Trail, Peru: 26 miles (43 kilometers)
  • Appalachian Trail, United States: 2.194 miles (3.531 kilometers)
  • Camino de Santiago, Spain: the Camino has several routes that differ in length. The most popular hike, the Camino Frances, is about 500 miles (800 kilometers).

Which one is on your bucket list?

Hiking on the Camino de Santiago
The famous yellow markings of the Camino de Santiago.

Morning is the best time to go for a walk

You can go out for a walk all day, but did you know that hiking in the morning is the best? There are several reasons why:

  • You don’t have time to find reasons why not to go for a walk.
  • There’s less pollution.
  • There’s more oxygen in the air.

So get that fresh air in the morning!

Hiking is a cheap hobby

You don’t need to buy expensive equipment to go hiking. Just put on your shoes and go outside. Ok, you do have to make sure that you have some decent hiking shoes. That will cost you something, but if you pick the right ones, they’ll last pretty long and you’ll be so happy!

Improve your senses

Did you know that walking outside improves your senses? When you’re outside, you don’t have all the distractions like phones, loud tv screens, and people. You actually start listening to the sounds around you (maybe some wild animals?), see more interesting details and your smell also gets better. This makes it a fantastic hiking experience you don’t want to miss.

Hiking lowers your blood pressure

Hiking has so many health benefits! One of them is that it lowers your blood pressure. So if you have high blood pressure, go out and hike!

Hiking is the best way to explore new places

Yes, you can visit many places when driving your car, but when you go hiking, you might explore that hidden gem. Over the past few years, I’ve visited so many incredible places that I would never have found if I didn’t go hiking.

Hiking on the Camino del Norte in Spain
There are some amazing hiking trails in the north of Spain.

Hiking keeps you young

Walking on a daily basis is the best way to keep you young. Research has shown, that people who walk for 20 to 30 minutes a day live up to seven years longer than people who don’t.

Hiking makes it easy to get Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important to keep your muscles healthy and it also helps maintain your bone density. How do you get vitamin D? Sunshine! So go outside for a walk and enjoy that natural light.

Day hike in the desert
When you’re hiking in the desert, you’ll get plenty of sunshine!

Hiking lowers the risk of diabetes

According to this study, the more steps you take in a day, the lower the risk of diabetes. Short hikes are ok too!

Wear the right hiking backpack

If you plan a longer hiking trip, it is very important to wear the right backpack for hiking. You need a bag that holds a bottle of water, a first aid kit, and a great number of snacks, right? Don’t overpack though because that can cause pain. The recommended backpack weight is 10 to 20 percent of your body weight.

Hiking in the netherlands
Hiking with a large backpack.

Hiking improves your mental health

Walking every day doesn’t only help you lose weight, it has way more health benefits. Did you know it also helps improve your mental health? Studies have shown that if you walk more than 90 minutes a day, you’ll feel more positive about yourself. It makes your body release endorphins, and that also helps reduce depression and anxiety. Just remember next time you’re feeling down, just go outside and walk!

Hiking helps with sleep issues

Do you have a problem falling asleep at night? Go hiking! When you’re out hiking, your melatonin levels will rise, which makes you sleep easier and better. It absolutely improves your overall sleep quality.

Hiking is a great way to meet people

Especially when you’re hiking a long-distance trail, you’ll likely meet lots of like-minded people. I know I have! And when you’re hiking all these miles of trails together, you can get into really deep conversations, which is – again – good for your mind as well.

Meet interesting people while hiking
People that love hiking are the best!

Hiking makes you more creative

Another fun fact about hiking: walking outside boosts your creativity by 60 percent! There are fewer distractions when you go out hiking, so your brain has more time to think. If you’re in need of a good idea, go for a long walk. You’ll get plenty!

You’ll get more confident if you hike often

Hiking can be quite adventurous, leaving you to make a lot of decisions. What to do when you suddenly find yourself in a thunderstorm, or what to do when you get lost? You’ll definitely learn a lot from these kinds of experiences. Be prepared and stay calm. You’ve got this!

Hiking in the snow
Snow on the trail can be quite a challenge.

You don’t have to hike an entire trail to get the benefits

As you know by now, hiking has so many benefits! But no, you don’t need to hike long distances for days to get these benefits. Just some regular hiking for 20 minutes a day already improves your health!

Hiking makes you feel alive

Every time when I find myself hiking on a long trail, I ask myself: Why do I like hiking so much? My answer: it makes me feel alive. Just being in the moment, enjoying the open space, being in nature. It just makes me forget every stupid thing that I need to do at home. And when I get back, I always feel rejuvenated. Hiking really boosts your happiness!

Want to read more about hiking?

I hope you liked these fun facts about hiking! Would you like to read more about the benefits of hiking and the most epic hiking trails in the world? These are some great books filled with tips and inspiration:

Hiking Is Fundamental – Barbara Kipfer

Great Hiking Trails of the World: 80 Trails, 75,000 Miles, 38 Countries, 6 Continents – Karen Berger

In addition, you can also read a lot about hiking on this website. You might like to read these articles as well:

And subscribe to my newsletter for more tips and travel inspiration.

Fun and interesting facts about hiking

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As a girl from a small town in the Netherlands, I always dreamed of traveling. I thought it would always be a dream, but nowadays, I travel 6 to 8 months a year and I hike thousands of miles on the most beautiful hiking trails. On this website you can read all about my favorite destinations.

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