Hiking in the southeastern United States (where I live now) is nothing like hiking in the Colorado Rockies (where I used to live). Winter is my favorite time to hike in the southeast. Here’s why:

  1. I can traverse six miles without feeling or looking like I’ve been through Dante’s Inferno. Well, most days anyway.
  2. No bugs. The consistent reapplication of bug spray is not required. No spider webs across the trail. And no mosquitos.
  3. There are very few people on the popular trails, so it’s a great time to check out the local landmarks.

There’s only one downside to hiking in the winter. Layers. I might start a hike with a shirt, light jacket and throw – accessorized with gloves, scarf, and hat – but by the end of the day, I’m down to one layer and no accessories. If I don’t carry a full-sized pack, I have no place to put the stuff I take off. All in all, not a bad problem to have.

Regardless of my wardrobe issues, winter hikes in the southeastern United States are lovely.