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MDC shares hiking tips for National Trails Day

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 4:55 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - If you enjoy hiking, you might want to venture out to some local trails Saturday because it’s National Trails Day.

Sara Turner with the Missouri Conservation Department shares some tips to keep you safe.

”You can go anywhere from the very beginner hiker to something more strenuous here,” Turner said.

Sara Turner is talking about the trails at Cape County Park North, but before you lace up your hiking shoes, she’s got some advice.

First off-be familiar with the trail.

“Most issues happen when people try to do something that they’re not ready for or they’re not familiar with the area,” she said.

If you’re new to the trails and don’t know where you’re going, the MO Outdoors app helps you find your way. It tracks your movement, so you know where you’re at at all times.

“I encourage people to do this before they go on a hike because you can download the maps and they’ll work even if you don’t have cellphone service at those locations,” she said.

While you’re out there, make sure you watch out for ticks.

“What I encourage people to do is to wear light colored clothing so that they can see the ticks if they’re on them and then when they get inside or when they get done hiking out of the woods, to check themselves over for ticks,” she said.

Turner also suggests wearing pants if you can and to stay on the trails.

“It’s when you go off trail and get into the deeper woods that you might encounter more ticks,” she said.

Ashley Kelley and her sons hike the trails often.

“It’s really peaceful being out here, it’s good to bring your kids out, a good way to get out and experience nature in a safe environment,” Kelley said.

Kelley also has some tips for those who might be new to hiking these conservation trails.

“Check out the maps so you know the distance that you’re traveling so you don’t get exhausted that way, make sure you bring a water bottle, yes make sure you bring a water bottle, make sure you stay on the trail that way you’re not disrupting the nature around you,” she said.

“During 2020 last year especially on beautiful days, we saw a lot more people hiking our trails, just looking to get outside and explore nature and national trails day is a great time to do that,” Turner said.

The American Hiking Society established National Trails Day back in 1993.

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