How do I find a trail for me to hike?
After having clarity on more or less where – in which area – you want to hike and who your companions will be, the first question normally arises: “Will we be able to make it?” I.e.: How difficult is the trail. Here comes into play the fitness level, as well as the aptitude of the group in terms of experiencing excitement or even desiring a serious challenge. Do the hikers in your party like an adrenaline rush or do they look for a sedate walk in nature? The element of safety thus also comes into play: will they prefer to “do their own ting” or have the enlightening and relaxing experience of walking with a knowledgeable guide?
If there will be elements of danger you would like to be informed fully beforehand and be assured of the responsible management by the trail authorities. Together with this goes the trail type: i.e. element of walking on a prepared path or using your GPS to find your own way.
Green Flag describes the environmental character and distinguishes between pristine environments, natural areas, rural surroundings or semi-urban surroundings. In the same vein Green Flag assesses the level of cultural value a trail will provide to the hikers.
When it comes to preparing for the hike one needs to know the format of the trail and its facilities: is it a circular trail where you end up again at the start or do you need to organize transport back? Will my car be safe while I hike? Will I have to carry my own pack and provide my own meals? What will be the level of comfort at the overnight accommodation? Not to say that “comfort” is better than “rustic” – all you need to know are the real facts so that you can make an informed choice.
If you choose a trail on this basis and you do find it to be as such, you will have a quality experience hike.
Pls note: For detailed information on trails, go to greenflagtrails.co.za