Hiking Destinations in France

France is home to some of the most striking mountain ranges. The Pyrenees and the Alps are the two most favored destinations among the hikers. These mountain ranges offer exceptional conditions suitable for trekking as well as for hiking adventures.

Hiking is famous all over Europe. But France is considered as the best place for its unparalleled natural variety. Besides, the country also offers a good network of hiking trails. It provides diverse levels of hiking routes.

The hiking routes of France is spread over 40,000 km. It includes a range of stunning terrains which meet requirements of both experienced and amateur hikers. If you are in search for the best and the most exciting hiking experience, you can always go out hiking in the wonderful terrains of France.

Some of the major hiking destinations of France are the French Alps, the Jura, the island of Corsica, the Pyrenees, the Massif Central and the Champagne. Some of the other famous hiking spots include the Dordogne valley, Brittany, Languedoc, Burgundy, Aquitaine, Mont Saint Michel, Perigord region, the Ile de France region and the Alsace region. Tourists coming here can also opt for rock climb hiking at the Chamonix alpine.

Hiking in the French Alps will offer an opportunity to enjoy the breath taking view of this highest peak of Europe. On the other hand, Alsace region is another most popular hiking spot which attracts many travelers each year. This particular hiking area provides the taste of the wonderful French architecture and culture. You can also explore the popular Alsatian wine yard, medieval villages and a variety of French delicacies in the Alsace.

Hiking is common in the Queenstown area of France as most of the multi-day French hiking trails begins from here. One of such hiking trail is Routebourne track which starts from the Queenstown region. Hiking Tours in France are conducted by different reputed agencies for the convenience of hikers visiting this country all round the year.

Hiking and Backpacking

Hiking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while giving your body an excellent cardiovascular workout. It challenges your heart and lungs, and works the lower back and abdominal muscles. According to the American Hiking Society, an average 140-150 lb. woman can burn approximately 300 calories during a 40-minute hike at a moderate pace of 2 to 3 miles per hour. Carrying a light backpack will increase your caloric expenditure by at least 15%.

If you’re out of shape or are a novice hiker, begin with a regular exercise program that includes walking. Take walks around the neighborhood or on flat nature trails. Ask an outdoor outfitter where to find the best trails in your area.

It’s best to start below your fitness level so you can comfortably complete your hike. The fitter you become, the more you can do; meanwhile, you’ll be able to adapt to the terrain both physically and psychologically. Don’t attempt hills on the first day unless you’re accustomed to them or have been exercising regularly. Be sure to include lower body stretching and strengthening exercises in your routine.

For best results, stretch your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps and lower back before and after hiking. Be sure to get the blood circulating in your muscles before you stretch by walking slowly for 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t ignore the upper body–hiking uses both arm and leg movements. A strong upper body may help you do more advanced hiking, allowing you to tackle rocky trails or steep inclines. Target the chest and shoulders when stretching the upper body in preparation for a hike. Stretch within your own range of comfort and flexibility. Never stretch to the point of pain. In addition, stretching after a hiking and backpacking helps alleviate muscle fatigue and soreness.

During a hike, you can go from hot and humid conditions one minute to rainy and cold conditions the next. For this reason, proper gear and apparel are essential for safety and protection.

Purchase good hiking shoes in a sporting goods or reputable shoe store. You need three things to find the perfect hiking shoe: time, patience, and socks. Try boots on at the end of the day, and you should be wear the sock combo you’ll hike in–preferably a thin liner with a thick sock, for an accurate fit. Hiking shoes should be a half-size larger than regular shoes to allow for toe room (versus toe smashing) on downhill trails. This space will also trap warm air and allow for an extra pair of socks when it’s cold. With the boot unlaced and your foot moved forward, you should have room to slip your forefinger down the back to your heel. Look for a high ankle for stability and a good tread to prevent slipping. All boots require waterproofing.

West Virginia Hiking Trails

Loudon Heights Trail

This hike passes through three states from Georgia to Maine. This section of the trail also passes through the idyllic Harpers Ferry, a small tourist town on the banks of the Shenandoah and the Potomac rivers. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park — located close to Harpers Ferry, is home to Redoubt Trail, a short, wheelchair-accessible through some historical military buildings and spaces once used in the defense of Harpers Ferry in the Civil War.

Lower Otter Creek Wilderness

Hike to and camp on Otter Creek — a beautifully clear mountain stream with interesting rock formations. You can also climb up on to the high country on Shavers Mountain. Pitch camp here and call it a day to give yourself time to savor the view. Finally amble along Green Mountain, enjoying a few more vistas before walking back down to Otter Creek and the end of the trail.

Seneca Creek / High Meadows

Walk down Seneca Creek for watery vistas and some great trout fishing; while there, you can opt to spend the night at Judy Springs, a walk-in campground. Challenge yourself by making your way down Seneca Creek to the upper Falls of Seneca, and then back up to the High Meadows Trail. You can also leave your packs at your hotel in town and just take a day-pack for some quick romps on shorter trails that branch of the main route.

Blackburn Trail Center

This hike offers a number of excellent views of the Shenandoah Valley, and the rocky footing and steep climbs pose a challenge for avid hikers. Hikers are rewarded with stunning views and memorable picnic spots. The best thing about this trail is the fact that it is easily accessible from Charleston and nearby Washington D.C. — perfect for a quick weekend getaway.

Ways To Enjoy Hiking

Hiking is a wonderful means to view mother nature herself and get some excellent exercise at the very same time. It is a fantastic method to lower daily pressure and just get away from it all for a while. You may opt to share the experience together with a companion or perhaps backpack on your own, allowing you to clear your head. Hiking is great for body weight control, for your cardiovascular system and circulation, and is a good cardio exercise workout to deal with high blood pressure

If you are scared to hike alone, you will be able to better enjoy yourself if you have your dog come along with you. This way, you will not feel so alone and you will have a little bit of protection as your dog will serve as a deterrent from criminals should your dog look the part.

Another way to make sure that you are going to enjoy your hiking experience is to take your camera along. This way, you will be able to properly document and remember everything that you experience on your journey. You will also have something to share with your family and friends once you get back home.

Take your family along for an adventure of a lifetime. Explore all that there is to explore within nature and give them an education that they simply do not get in the classroom. This is also a great chance to bond with everyone.

Above and beyond all of that, there is the benefit that hiking will give your body the workout that it has been longing for. You will work out just about every muscle in your body. At first, when you come home, you might feel as though you can never handle another hiking trip again. However, if you keep pushing forward, you will realize that this is indeed something that you can handle and you will be much healthier for it. It just a bit of time for your body to get used to this type of training and hiking.

Food For Hiking Trip

Nutrition and ease of preparation should be kept in mind when deciding what foods you want to take with remembering also that you have to carry everything on your back, making the weight of your food an important factor as well.

Planning trail meals shouldn’t necessarily be difficult. A wide range of instant, dehydrated or freeze dried meals can be bought at most grocery stores. Although some people will not always like the taste of these products it can easily be improved by adding your own spices or herbs. Making these meals on the trail is very easy and quick. Some hikers prefer to prepare their own recipes.

Lightweight foods made especially for hiking can also be found at many outdoor stores and specialists. These meals are very tasty, very light, and in some cases no preparation or cooking is needed. Made-for-hiking food, though convenient, can be very expensive and portions too small for hikers with big appetites.

Although it is important to be self sufficient on a hike, hiking in larger groups has its benefits. Equipment and food can be divided between hikers to help lessen the load. For example: in group of four hikers, two can carry stoves while the other two can carry utensils like pots and pot grips, avoiding over-equipping. Each person must carry his own essentials like matches and emergency rations though. Emergency rations should be enough for at least two days.

Getting Hiking Gear

Hiking Boots

Among the essentials in any set of hiking gear would definitely be hiking boots. And you will need to choose them carefully based on where you’re planning on walking. For most purposes, a good set of hiking boots should remain waterproof and provide support especially to the ankles, which can often twist easily if you’re going to be hiking for a long day or on rough terrain.

Personally, I prefer a good solid boot without anything too fancy. But really, it is a case of experimenting with your preferences and trying on a few different styles and brands until you’re happy with your choice. Once you’ve got them, spend a bit of time hiking regularly while breaking them in, and soon enough, you’ll have a pair of hiking boots that will almost feel as though they’re a part of your feet.

Pants

If you’ve ever found yourself hiking on the trail with the pants chafing between your legs, then you’ll know that getting the right pair of trousers is vital. Polypropylene is the usual material used for hiking trousers because it is comfortable and quick-drying. Aside from being comfortable, I like my hiking pants to have plenty of pockets for storing granola bars or almost anything that you need quick access to on the trail.

When choosing my hiking trousers, I usually go for the ones that have the lower legs which can be zipped off, and be converted into shorts. It might just be a small thing, but when the heat is baking, then putting the bottom of the legs into the pack and getting on with the hiking does feel great.

Shirts And Base Layers

When it comes to hiking, the base layer is probably the most important garment that you will wear, second to your boots. A good base layer will be wicking away the sweat from your skin, while making sure that you stay at the right temperature. Most important of all, you need to make sure that you’re comfortable, so try a few different materials, and make sure you’re happy with the one you choose, and it’ll look after you while you’re hiking.

Once you start moving on to shirts and fleeces, the old adage about thinner layers and lots of them being better than a small number of thicker layers is completely accurate. If you’re hiking to the really cold areas, a thicker coat can be a good addition, but most hiking trips will suffice with a few layers and a set of waterproofs.