In all the world, there is no more common urban activity than walking. In fact, it is the most widely used form of human transportation, used seven times more frequently than any other form of travel! In the United States alone, over half of all people walk to work every day. The average urban hiker is a woman in her 20s. The average distance walked is five miles, and the average hiker spends just under an hour walking.

So, what is urban hiking?

Urban hiking is a growing trend in which people take to the wilds of an urban environment to explore it and appreciate it. Doing so often involves hiking through or near a city, whether that city is large or small. Urban hiking can be done alone or with a small group of friends.

The trails are often marked with chalk, but other times they are not. Urban hikers use the natural features of the cities they walkthrough. Some of the features that are good for hiking are fences, buildings, trees, puddles, gravel, and holes in the pavement. Urban hiking is a way to explore the city. Sometimes it is not easy, but it can be really fun!

Here are some advantages of urban hiking:

  • Healthy amount of exercise plus breath-taking views

Beautiful views can be found at almost any urban hike. However, finding a place where you can do this is easier said than done—especially when you’re on a tight schedule. This is where the modern city comes in. Thanks to large-scale construction projects and more suburban sprawl, many cities have parks, trails, and other green spaces that are just waiting for you to discover them. All you need to do is find a nearby hike that’s accessible by public transit or find a walkable neighborhood to live in. 

  • Cost-Effective

If you’re looking for a way to explore urban areas without having to get into a car, urban hiking is a great way to get around on foot. Urban hiking is best done on sidewalks, where it’s easier to avoid traffic and make sure you’re avoiding obstacles, such as cracks in the sidewalk and construction sites. This also means it is a free activity! 

  • Surrounded by Furry Animals

If you are like me, there are few things more enjoyable than walking into a park or forest and seeing all the different animals that live there. They are all so cute and fluffy, and so many different species live right in our backyards. Sadly, most of us don’t get to see them because they are very shy, and they are usually in the trees. Walking in urban areas gives you the chance to try and spot wildlife. 

  • Easy Access to Amenities

Hiking the city can be a rewarding experience. Still, the reality is that the average urban hiker has to deal with lots of city-related stressors, such as clogged sidewalks, dog poop and urine, and noise pollution. Hiking the city is no different from hiking the suburbs, except that you have access to a greater number of conveniences.

  • Saves Time

Walking in cities is great exercise and good for your mental well-being, but it’s hard to get a decent workout when you are constantly distracted by the hustle and bustle of urban life. This is where urban hiking comes in. It helps fight weight gain, boosts your mental health, and helps you get a decent workout at the same time. Whether you’re a frequent hiker or you enjoy the occasional stroll, urban hiking can help save time, inspire a sense of adventure, and get you outside. 

Urban hiking is a relatively new type of hiking that involves trekking through the city and getting fully immersed in the urban environment. The urban hiking community was born out of the hiking community but in a very different context. The urban hiking community’s roots are the same as the hiking community’s roots: the desire to get out in nature and enjoy the outdoors. However, the urban hiking community is different in that it involves trekking through the city rather than plains or mountains.

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