Hiking Hawk Mountain
Last month, I went on my first legitimate hiking trip. Although I would definitely classify myself as an outdoor girl – I love biking, running, camping and anything that requires me to be on or in the water – I had never gone on a trip that required any form of hiking gear and athletic clothing. My older brother, Justin, was determined to change that.
So at the end of July, I packed up my bags (again) and caught a bus to Philadelphia. No, we didn’t hike in Philly – although I must say, we spent Sunday at Wissahickon park and it was amazing! Never would have known I was in Philly if I hadn’t, ya know, actually known I was in Philly.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
After a leisurely Saturday morning, Justin and I drove about 1.5 hours outside of the city until we hit Hawk Mountain. We knew it would only be a day-hike (no overnighters quite yet), so Justin brought his pack with water, snacks, lunch and hiking poles. The trip was about four miles in total and went in a loop, which I loved way more than an out and back.
Including stops for photo ops and our lunch break, we spent about three hours out on the trails. It was so much fun! The views were amazing and I loved the constantly changing scenery. I was also fond of the fact that the terrain changed quite a bit – we used our poles most of the time to keep my less-than-sturdy ankles from rolling, but at one point we had to ditch them because it was a straight-up rock scramble. I felt like a kid all over again.
The changes kept me distracted easily, too. I never felt like I was out there to work out; I was just spending time with my brother, catching up on life and being outdoors. I’m sure it would be different on a more difficult trail (and if I were the one carrying a pack), but this was definitely fun.
I didn’t mind spotting an owl at the top, either.
Juuuuust kidding. That’s totally a fake owl. But this butterfly is real!
So what gear did I need? For this hike, not much. Other than moisture-wicking workout clothes and a Sparkly Soul headband, I had:
- A Camelbak filter water bottle
- Snacks – we packed granola bars
- Hiking boots – I have these
- Hiking poles (my brother’s)
- Hiking pack – my brother’s a regular hiker, so he had a great one, but for a day trip like this, a backpack would have been fine. It was just to pack extra layers (in case it got cold or rained) and the stuff mentioned above.
Obviously you would need more stuff for an overnight trip, but I’ll go into that whenever I decide to go on one. We lucked out with great weather, so we never needed any of the extra gear we packed, but it’s always a good idea to have it on hand.
It was really nice to immerse myself in nature again, and spend time with my brother. Between my busy work hours and his crazy medical school schedule, we don’t get the opportunity to hang out super often. Next time he’s coming my way and we’ll hit up a few trails nearby!
What about you? Any favorite beginner hiking trails I should hit up before the weather turns cold?