Trails for everyone, forever

Home News Blog Tips and Inspiration to Help You Set Goals for a Year of Happy Hiking

Tips and Inspiration to Help You Set Goals for a Year of Happy Hiking

Posted by Washington Trails Association at Dec 28, 2021 05:00 PM |

Resources and inspiration to help you create your own hiking goals and meet them.

The new year is almost here, and it's a wonderful timed of year to reflect on the past while dreaming about the future. At WTA, we love to see folks setting new goals for their hiking — whether that's to simply go for a single hike in your local park or to complete a challenging hike you've always dreamed about. 

It's hard to know what the new year will bring, but we do know that hiking will continue to be a great way to care your brain and your body. With that in mind, we've collected some resources and inspiration to help you create your own hiking goals. 

And, we'd love to hear from you! What are your goals for the year to come? Let us know in the comments. 

Starting out

If you're new to hiking, easing into things is a good way to get started.

An images show how to use filters on the WTA Hiking Guide to select a low-mileage, low elevation gain hike.
Using the filter on our Hiking Guide can help you find a trail that's just right for you. 
  • Use our Hiking Guide to search for hikes that are lower in mileage and have less elevation gain. See if you enjoy hiking easier trails before tackling the big stuff. This is also a great way to find a good trail if you're recovering from an injury.
  • If you find some hikes to try out, save them to My Backpack, which acts like your own personal organizer here on the WTA site. Save hikes, leave trip reports, upload photos and more!
  • Before you head out, take a look at our Hiking 101 guide, which will tell you what you need to know to get started safely.
  • How to make a perfect hiking plan in five steps.

find inspiration

To get you started, here are some of the stories we've shared over the years about getting ready for a year of hiking. 

Explore somewhere new

Washington has a huge range of trails and areas to discover. Whether you like hiking in old growth forests, on the beach, or along craggy ridges, there's a hike out there for you. Explore the state at a glance with our Hike Finder Map to get info on regions you haven't been to before. 

Hiker along an open ridge at Horseshoe Basin.
Hike on a new trail this year! Photo from Horseshoe Basin by Mike Warren.

Putting on the miles

If big miles and long hikes are on your agenda, take a look at these resources:

Family fun

Looking to spend some quality time with the family this year? Hiking is a great way to get out as a group!

Men hiking with infants
Bring the whole family along for a fun day outdoors. Photos by Serina Chea (left) and Rose Lavoie (right)

Gaining endurance

Steep trails and high peaks can be exhilarating to climb, or miserable if you're not in shape for them. If you have a goal for the year that requires you to build some fitness, here are some tips for getting in shape:

However you enjoy hiking, we wish you the best this year, and hope to see you on trail!