Now that you've go your gear, it's time to find somewhere to head out to for your first backpacking adventure. Before you leave be sure to leave an intinerary with friends or relatives so they know when to expect you to return from the backcountry.
Finding a place to head out to hike can be a little difficult especially if you are not familiar with parks and forests in your area. One of my favorite ways to explore is by Google Earth. Under the Layers tab on the bottom left hand side of Google Earth is a button for that says More. Under that is a layer called Parks/Recreation Areas. If you turn that on it will bring up icons showing areas like National Forests and National Parks. You might be surprised to see what is around you!
Discovering some of those areas are one way to find a place to hike. Of course you may be lucky enough to have one of these trails nearby: Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Florida Trail, Colorado Trail, or maybe the Allegheny Trail, which are great places to start.
Here are some other great places to take a look at to scout a place to hit the trail:
+Appalachian Long Distance Hiker Association: This particular link lists many other long distance trails in the United States as well as local hiker organizations you might reach out to for more information.
+U.S. Forest Service Find a Forest or Grassland
+Every Trail: Hikes around the U.S. and world.
+Two Heel Drive: Hikes within the Bay Area and North Carolina.
+Florida Hikes: Trails that connect with the Florida Trail as well as side trails in state parks and other areas within Florida.
+Live Free and Hike: Hiking within New Hampshire
+Texas Hikes blog
And that is just a start. Diving in through those sites will lead to an endless array of places to explore and see.
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