This New Year's, make a resolution to get outdoors, no matter what the weather!

Winter smile (Photo by Amanda Cashin Photography)

Winter smile (Photo by Amanda Cashin Photography)

December 31, 2013 | by Amanda Cashin | 5 Comments

So, it’s a little chilly? That’s no reason to stay indoors. I make it a point to stay connected with nature year round. In fact, I enjoy being outdoors for a hike more in the winter than in any other time of year. Here are my top 11 reasons why I love winter hiking:

    1. No bugs! Okay, I'll admit: I do miss the dragonflies, and watching the bees pollinate our planet. But I don't miss the buzzing mosquitoes, relentless black flies, sneaky ticks and surprise hornet nests.
    2. Chickadee (Photo by Amanda Cashin Photography)

      Chickadee (Photo by Amanda Cashin Photography)

    3. The likelihood of stumbling upon a bear mid-trail is slimmer in winter. They are tucked snugly away, waiting for spring. I would be both honoured and terrified to cross a bear's path in the middle of a forest trail, and am happy to decrease my odds this time of year.
    4. While the bears are sleeping, other animals are still out and about — and in the winter there is a better chance to witness their existence. Animal tracks are more easily seen in the snow, and visibility through the trees is increased because of the bare branches.
    5. Because the trees are bare of leaves, those shy little birds have fewer places to hide, and they too are easier to spot.
    6. I'm warm when everyone else is chilly. Trudging through snow is a great workout. Halfway through a hike I usually end up with my warm winter coat tied around my waist. And when not warm from a little cardio workout, the shelter of the trees keeps me warmer than say, a wide open parking lot in the city.
    7. My sinuses are clear and I can breath crisp clean air deep into my lungs. No pollen, no humidity, just crisp clear air during a time of year when my allergies are stifled.
    8. Winter bud (Photo by Amanda Cashin Photography)

      Winter bud (Photo by Amanda Cashin Photography)

      There is no other time of year when the forest feels so still and peaceful. If you have never experienced the tranquility of being surrounded by trees while listening to the snow falling in the still winter air — stop reading this right now and get outdoors onto a forest trail!
    9. Oh're familiar with the serenity of winter forests. Then you know, with everything underfoot frozen, hiking in the winter is the least messy — no mucky mud to cross, and no wet pools to maneuver over — both are neatly frozen beneath my hiking boots.
    10. It isn't too hot for a steamy Epsom salt bath when I get home from my hike. I dare you to try to soothe your sore muscles with a hot bath on a humid day in August. But in winter, a post-hike bath is pure bliss.
    11. There are more fun things to do on a trail in winter. You can't build a snowman, make a snow angel, or have a snowball fight in July!
    12. And finally, because everything tastes better outdoors mixed with the smell of balsam and pine needles, a sturdy thermos filled with piping hot cocoa to warm me in the chilly air is my final reason. Hmmm...Maybe that reason should be at the top of the list.

    Do you have any favorite reasons for enjoying the outdoors in the winter? Comment here below, or email us at!

    About the Author

    Amanda Cashin is an enthusiastic blogger from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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    • Jinxie January 06, 2015 - 6:01
      All your reasons are good! And ones that our household has enjoyed for many years one of the joys of winter is to sit in the HOT mineral water of Moose Jaw's Temple Garden Spa in the OUTSIDE part with fog last week so thick could not see tub mates, and with a beautiful moon shining, what a why to end a year! Embrace Canada! Jane

    • Anonymous January 02, 2015 - 12:56
      I always do a hike/ski or snow-shoe trip in winter ensuring that a meal is cooked over a camp fire. With the birds singing, animal tracks for wonderment, natural sculptures for intrique, peace and tranquility all about... Nature's gifts change w the season but its willingness to share its complex and yet simple beauty does not.

    • jowan January 01, 2015 - 9:26
      My reasons for loving winter and snow are: 1.Being proud to let my friends of the south of the border that I am a true Canadian if you love winter and most importantly SNOW... 2.I love listening to the cold crunch crunch while walking in the extra cold show. 3.The cutest BUNNY paw prints in the untouched fresh snow! I live in a city and it amazes me to see Bunny paw prints 4.i take time to admire bird feet prints in the snow, and more amazed to wonder how can such tiny feet dont snap in this cold weather! 5. The happiness i get watching my dogs roll around in the fresh snow and have a blast! i'v only listed 5 of the most important one for me, and thanks for giving us a chance to share!

    • Anonymous January 01, 2015 - 3:25
      Just wondering----what is a "snow angle" ? LOL Loved your reasons--makes me want to bundle up and get outside--but being 89 and recovering from a broken ankle just now, I guess I better not risk it!

    • hurricane January 01, 2015 - 9:01
      Walking in the forest in summer feels cool and refreshing and when the wind is blowing through the trees that is the ultimate in peace and tranquility. Hurricane art

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