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Date: Jul 25, 2017

by Michael Schneider, Baltimore County Recreation and Parks

Time to break away from that screen.

How about a hike at your favorite Baltimore County Park?  There are easy trails to enjoy a brisk or slow paced hike and more challenging trails to test your stamina – all while sharing fun, beautiful views, and if you like, a quiet and serene time for reflection.  

Safe summer hiking is common-sense hiking.  First, let your friends and family know where you’ll be going. Take your charged phone in case of emergency. Check the forecast and prepare for changes in the weather.  

Summer hiking tips

With a great day in mind, here are some basic tips to make your hike safer and more comfortable.

  • Plan your trip around the weather.  Early morning hikes are the best. Avoid the hottest time of day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Hiking in shaded areas is safer than in the direct sunlight. Try a hike near water - dip your hat or bandana in the water to cool off.  
  • Wear loose, breathable clothes. Light colors reflect the sun.
  • Wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim all the way around.
  • Wear closed-toe, flat shoes and socks for comfort and safety.
  • Bring plenty of water, but don’t over-drink.
  • If you are hiking with your dog, don’t forget that pets need to be hydrated, too.
  • Remember sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher. Reapply every two hours.
  • Listen to your body. Be aware of the symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion and dangerous heat stroke. Learn the warning symptoms here before you set out on your hike.  

Use the easy online Baltimore County Trail Finder to search for a walking trail near you. Now get out to your favorite Baltimore County Park and have a great time on the trails!

Revised October 16, 2020               
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