7 Reasons Why City People Should Hike

7 Reasons Why City People Should Hike

For my fellow city people, I know hiking may not sound like your idea of a good time.  Bugs, physical activity, and no wifi aren’t exactly what most people sign up for when they decide to live in a major city.  But let me tell you, as someone who has lived in New York City for the past six years, hiking has been one of the rewarding hobbies I have had in my life.  Let me let you in on 7 reasons why city people should hike!

#1 Get A Different Perspective

Getting a different perspective is a major reason why city people should hike.  When you live in a big city, your surroundings are much more commercial, such as large buildings, concrete sidewalks, and cafes as far as the eye can see.  But hiking in nature will provide an entirely different perspective to see the world.

This drastic contrast in surroundings is one of the major reasons I got hooked on hiking so quickly.  I went from the concrete jungle of New York City, where almost everything I experienced was man-made, to hiking in areas like the Teton Crest, where the incredible views of nature floored me.  From thick forests to pristine sub-alpine lakes and vast canyons, you can see some pretty amazing things while hiking.  I think that because city people come from such a different environment, they can have a higher capacity to appreciate the natural world.

#2 Great Exercise

Hiking is a great way to get low-intensity aerobic exercise regardless of your fitness level.  That is one of the amazing things about hiking. Practically anyone can do it.  Just jump on the trail and start walking (don’t forget to bring the ten essentials, though!)

#3 Unplug

In today’s technology era, people are always plugged in.  You are constantly bombarded with texts, emails, and push notifications.  I feel that this is amplified when living in a city, where you always have somewhere to be or something to do. The combination of that fast-paced life with constantly refreshing your social media feed can get exhausting.  I know that it was for me.

But the beauty of hiking is that you have no choice but to unplug.  Have you ever tried checking your email in a forest?  Ha, good luck!  Hiking allows you to slow down, relax and enjoy nature, things that all my city people could benefit from.

#4 Mental Health

Piggybacking off my last point, it is easy to get burnt out when living in a major city, and spending time outdoors hiking can do wonders for your mental health.  I was an anxious wreck when I first moved to the big apple.  Between moving to a busy city and starting grad school, needless to say, I was stressed!

But hiking was a godsend.  After every hike, I felt like my brain would hit a reset button, and every time I came out of the woods, I was more mindful and rejuvenated.

You don’t have to take my word for it. There are plenty of studies that demonstrate the mental health benefits of spending time outdoors. Check it out!

#5 Incredible Views

Okay, this is obvious, but it must be said.  You can see some of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet through hiking.  Not to say you can’t get cool views in a city, but when you are out hiking, you should be able to enjoy views without having to deal with hoards of tourists!

#6 Get Some Alone Time

One of the best and worst parts about living in a city is that people constantly surround you.  This is great for your social life because there is no shortage of things to do.  Bars, restaurants, movies. Take your pick.  But sometimes you need some alone time, and let me tell you, hiking is a fantastic way to decompress and recharge your social battery.

#7 We Walk A Lot Anyways

Driving in a major city can be a giant pain, so most people wind up walking everywhere.  I know this was the case for me.  I didn’t even own a car when I lived in Manhattan, so I was actually a hiker in training all these years!

Hiking is just walking, and we city people got that down pat.  So you might as well take your walking up a notch and do it in nature!

Final Thoughts

Hiking is the single greatest hobby I have picked up in my life so far.  I can say it has done nothing but positively impact all of the other parts of my life, from my physical fitness, mental health, and relationships.  Getting caught up in the rat race of city life is easy, but hiking offers a great outlet to connect with nature, exercise, and relax.


About The Author: Dylan is a Physician Assistant from NYC.  Although he didn’t grow up hiking or backpacking, he found his love for the outdoors later in life.  He now travels around in his self-converted camper van, hiking and backpacking everywhere and anywhere he can.  Dylan’s goal is to help others discover their own love for the great outdoors through his website wonderfarr.com where he provides gear recs, hiking tips, and national park guides. He can be reached at contact@wonderfarr.com or you can follow his journey on Instagram.

Note from GirlGoneGood: If anyone is looking for trails in Southeastern Ontario, check out our detailed and filterable Trail Finder Map to discover your next adventure. Thank you Dylan for sharing this article with us! If you’re an avid hiker or outdoor expert and would like to contribute with a guest article, reach out to victoria@girlgonegood.com.


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