5 Off-the-Beaten-Path Hiking Trails to Tackle This Year
For many of us, 2018 was a doozy, but we here at Brit + Co are ready to hit refresh in 2019! Follow our Hit Refresh series through January and February for new ideas, hacks, and skills that will help you achieve (and maintain!) those New Year's resolutions.
'Tis the season for being sedentary! Between watching Hallmark Christmas specials on a constant loop, endless holiday travel sitting in cars, planes, and trains, and plopping down with a plate piled high with a seasonal feast, there's just not much time (or desire) to exercise. Thankfully, once the presents have been unwrapped, the confetti has been thrown, these hiking-friendly destinations, both domestic and international, are waiting to be explored. Lace up your hiking boots — you've never done cardio like this before.
1. Galapagos Islands: If you're looking for a holiday break, the Ecoventura luxury expedition cruise is your ticket to cardio — Ecuadorean style. The sleek design of the yacht allows its guests access to the less touristy destinations in addition to the must-sees like Darwin Station in Santa Cruz. Get your heart rate up at Tagus Cover on the island of Isabela: The short but challenging walk to the overlook of Darwin's Lake awaits. The additional views of the ocean, lava fields, volcanic formations, and 200-year-old graffiti courtesy of pirates and whalers are not to be missed. (Photo via Ecoventura)
2. Adairsville, Georgia: Southern cooking might be notoriously unhealthy, but the hikes at Barnsley Resort in northwest Georgia are here to keep you in shape and give you a good time. In the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the resort's 3,000 acres are just waiting to be explored by both hiking novices and vets. Trek through 12 miles of trails that feature peaceful ponds, wooded bridges and — if you're willing to attempt the land's trickiest terrain — a view of the historic resort from above. And, of course, there'll be a down-home meal of local fare waiting for you at the two onsite restaurants once you've hung up your hiking boots. (Photo via Barnsley Resort)
3. St. Lucia: This Eastern Caribbean island is one of the region's hottest destinations, but it's not just for luxe relaxin'. If you're looking to fit some exercise in between the infinity pool and watching awe-inspiring sunsets from your suite at Jade Mountain resort, discover the area's 12 miles of meticulously maintained private trails that boast tropical birds and foliage and historic ruins. (Plus, if you're not feeling so brave, there are guided hikes available upon request.) After your trip, you'll be able to cross “hike in a jungle" off your bucket list. (Photo via Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet Resorts)
4. San Luis Obispo, California: If eating and hiking are both high up on your favorite hobbies list, it's time to take on the Central Coast's Tri-Tip challenge. The unofficial (yet iconic) activity involves hiking the town's most popular trails — no small task. Madonna Mountain, Bishop Peak, and the Cal Poly “P" take adventurers to impressive elevations and breathtaking views. Do this in one day and then replenish yourself with a Tri-Tip sandwich, a SLO staple, from Firestone Grill. Pro tip: Start with Bishop Peak, the hardest of the three, when energy is still high. (Photo via SLO Chamber of Commerce)
5. Curaçao: The Grand Canyon won't be the only national park on your bucket list once you've heard about this tiny Caribbean island's nature-filled treasure trove, Christoffel National Park. The park's eight hiking trails are home to 450 species of local flora and fauna, including orchids, cacti, iguana, and deer. For a worthwhile workout, take the two-hour hike to the top of Mount Christoffel, from which you can see the westernmost edge of the island and, if it's a clear day, Venezuela, 40 miles off in the distance! (Photo via Getty)
Which trails are your favorite to hike? Let us know @BritandCo.