By nature, hikers tend to be an adventurous group, always up for a new challenge. Thus, it's no surprise that when setting New Years resolutions, Georgia's hikers tend to focus on goal-oriented achievements.
While this is not scientific survey, we talked to (and e-corresponded with) a selection of Georgia hikers to learn more about their resolutions for 2023. Here's a sampling of what we learned:
Hike the Highest
It's no surprise that Georgia hikers look to the mountains for New Years inspiration. For those who haven't hiked Georgia's highest elevation, visiting Brasstown Bald makes the resolution list. Hikers also list the longer and more rugged hikes at Rabun Bald, Blood Mountain, and Tray Mountain among their top 2023 destinations. If you need inspiration, Atlanta Trails has a list of their favorite Georgia mountain hikes.
Yes, peaks are popular, but Georgia hikers also like to get down -- into the canyons and gorges to follow unique trails, streams and find great waterfalls. Hiking the Sitton Gulch Trail at Cloudland is frequently mentioned for its known, named and hidden waterfalls. Tallulah Gorge is another popular North Georgia canyon for resolute hikers in 2023. Further south, Georgia's "little grand canyon" and monument to soil erosion at Providence Canyon State Park makes the hiking resolution list. Since some mentioned cave exploration, we'll also mention it here -- but leave details to others.
Seeking out new and unique Georgia destinations made the resolution list for many Georgia hikers. With diverse locations like Fort Mountain State Park, the maritime forest at Cannon's Point in St. Simons and near-urban treasures like the Palisades in the Chattahoochee NRA, there's no shortage of new destinations to discover and explore. Several hikers included the Appalachian trail in resolutions, focusing on short Georgia segments, covering all 76 Georgia miles or even the entirety of the 2,200 mile trail.
For some Georgia hikers, destinations were less important that measuring mileage in the New Year. Georgia's mileage markers tended to focus on surpassing a personal best or reaching a significant milestone. Novices tended to set goals in the 50-100 mile range for true trail hiking. But we know multiple hikers who set goals into multiples of thousands of miles for the New Year.
Counts Count, Too
Another popular hiking resolution was tracking the number of hikes achieved in 2023. The 52-hike challenge -- averaging one hike per week -- is back again in 2023. Others set more modest goals in the 20-30 hike range, and that also led to the ever-popular discussion of the difference between a real hike and a walk.
We did set a number of resolutions ourselves, mostly around adopting a more healthy lifestyle and including our family in more outdoor activities. But this year, we eschewed our traditional 2,500 biking mile resolution, and avoided the 52-hike challenge. Instead, we're focusing on simply enjoying hiking and the great outdoors everywhere we go.
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If you enjoyed this article, see others on similar topics by DeanLand. Simply use the "follow" button, located before and after this article on your phone, or on the left side menu on your computer. And see these recent posts by DeanLand on Newsbreak:
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