Less than 1 year ago, I set another outdoor goal for myself. To complete 52 hikes in 52 weeks all in New York State. I did this because after moving to Maine for a year, I realized that I knew more about other states than I did my home state. And that’s just wrong.

So fast forward about 38 weeks. I have 14 weeks left in my year and roughly 20 hikes to go, except I’m moving to Denver in 2 weeks. CRAP. How can it be done?

Turns out, I could complete it, and I did. While the last hikes were a bit more about quantity rather than quality (new, unique, and quality hikes were my original plan), I did accomplish my goal and I learned A TON.

adirondacks hiking

I Really Enjoy Hiking

One thing I learned throughout this year was that I really enjoy hiking. Really. I knew I liked it before, but now I’ve become more comfortable than ever on the trail and outdoors and have learned to love every aspect of it. 52 in 52 really allowed me to explore New York as it challenged me to find new places and see areas within the state that I never would’ve explored otherwise. The goal also allowed me to introduce plenty of other friends and family members to hiking because I didn’t want to hike alone each and every time. While some don’t really have any plans to hike again now that I’m not texting them constantly, others are getting outside regularly now. This excites me.

chimney bluffs hiking

Setting An Outdoor Goal Truly Helps

People set goals and write lists for themselves all the time. Why? Because they really do help people accomplish big things. But how many people set a goal for themselves to get outside? Not enough. Every once in a while over the past year, I felt like checking off a hike was a bit of a chore; I just wasn’t feeling it from time to time. But after each of those hikes, I came back energized, refreshed, and excited about what I had just completed. It was during these hikes from which I learned the most about myself, the area, and why getting outdoors is such an important part of my life.

green lakes state park hiking

Hiking Is A Gateway Activity 

Yup, I’m thinking like a gateway drug here. Hiking is one of the few outdoor activities that can be done anywhere and with relatively little to no gear. It’s easy to do and inexpensive. However, some simple, short hikes can lead to incredible backpacking trips. Hiking often brings you to crags so you can try out climbing. Or deep into the woods for some camping and stargazing. Hiking is what got me interested in all things outdoors and adventurous. Hiking is what has kept me outdoors while my schedule was bogged down with school and work. Hiking is what is going to introduce me to my new home in Colorado.

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I’m psyched to see where hiking takes me next, whether in Colorado, or in my outdoor adventures in general. So, do yourself a favor a create an outdoor goal for yourself. Also, stay tuned to the blog for a short recap of my favorite hikes in New York State from my 52 in 52!