Hiking is great for physical health. It also improves mental health! It can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. According to a Stanford study, walking for 90 minutes in nature, instead of an urban setting, decreases activity in the brain linked to depression.
Looking for an Iowa hiking destination?
Grab your hiking books and enjoy being active on Iowa’s trails.
Source: Stanford News, (news.stanford.edu/2015/06/30/hiking-mental-health-063015/)
October is a glorious month of the year to enjoy outdoor activities in Iowa. The cool, crisp air is ideal for invigorating hikes or bike rides. The trees are ablaze with orange, red, and yellow leaves. You can spot hawks gathering in the sky for migration. And there are no mosquitos!
Adults should have 30 minutes of moderate activity five days weekly and youth should have 60 minutes daily. When was the last time you visited your local state park?
Most Iowa state parks offer miles of scenic trails for hiking, birding, and mountain biking through woodlands and prairies or along river bluffs.
Visit the Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Parks site to plan your next fall outing. Here you can download trail maps and read about the scenic delights and wildlife each park has to offer.
Early fall is a great time for hiking. Hiking can offer hours of enjoyment, a lifetime of personal fitness, and is a great stress reliever. If it is a family hike, stronger bodies and wonderful memories can be a joint outcome. Don’t forget when choosing a trail to keep in mind the ages and abilities of the family members who will be taking part. Length of the hike and type of terrain are important to consider. Remember hats, sunglasses, and safe drinking water. Use a sunscreen and follow directions for reapplying. Sturdy, well-fitting shoes keep feet happy and injury-free. Don’t forget to include healthy trail snacks to provide fuel to keep everyone going strong. Enjoy!