This is a guest contribution from freelance writer Sally Writes.
Whether you are getting ready for Halloween or you just like a good scare, a haunted hike can be a fun and exhilarating experience that gets your heart rate up for more reasons than one. If you’re looking for ideas, we’ve got you covered! Here are our top suggestions for a haunted hike you will not soon forget.
Take a Cemetery Hike
The Montpelier Loop Trail is designed for both walkers and hikers who want to explore the beautiful park. Many don’t realize that it is also home to the Montpelier slave cemetery as well as President Madison’s family cemetery. Considered one of Virginia’s hidden treasures, the Piedmont Park, and recreation area offers access to the famed Blue Ridge Parkway and one of the nation’s largest Old Growth forests.
Don’t live near Virginia? You might be surprised to learn that there are many national and state parks which are home to old spooky cemeteries.
Take a Ghost Town Hike
Nearly every state has at least one ghost town. While there is no guarantee that you will see a ghost, you are sure to get goose-flesh from wandering through the abandoned streets of towns time long ago forgot. To find a ghost town near you check out Ghost Town USA.
Take a Night Hike
Everything looks different at night. Cities come alive, and small towns feel abandoned and desolate. While hiking at night, you’ll hear new and unusual sounds. You may see a few surprises as well. Unfortunately, a night hiking trip can be easily ruined if you aren’t fully prepared. Be sure to follow these tips when planning your night hike:
Tip #1 – Hike with a Group.
There is indeed safety in numbers. Having friends will keep you from becoming freaked out in the dark, it’ll also be more difficult for wild animals to turn you into a snack!
Tip #2 – Carry a Flashlight, Headlamp, or Night Vision Gear
You never can tell when your batteries might run out. It won’t hurt to bring along a lighter and bit of tinder -like napkins or paper. With these items, you can make your own torch if you get caught without a light. You can also pack extra batteries! If you’re opting to use night vision equipment, you could choose from binoculars, monocular or night vision goggles.
Tip #3 – Wear Reflective Clothing.
Many hiking shoes and backpacks have reflective elements. If you don’t have these, then buy some inexpensive reflective tape and place a strip or two on your chest and your back. This will allow people to see you from a distance if they are using a light source or driving a vehicle with headlamps.
Tip #4 Choose a Trail You Know Well.
The night isn’t the best time for exploring untested areas. It will be challenging enough to make your way about without the sun to guide you.
Tip #5 Bring Water and Snacks.
Hiking at night won’t take it out of you as it does during the hottest part of the day. However, it is still important that you be prepared in case you need hydration! Be sure to use re-sealable containers, though; you certainly don’t want to tip off a hungry predator that you are packing food.
Photo Credit: Jesse Bowser on Unsplash