With warmer weather, it’s time to get outdoors and benefit from the many free opportunities that the natural world has to offer.

Younger children delight in exploring and learning about new things. There are many great hiking trails such as the ones highlighted in the “Kids in Parks” program of the the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. Others can be found in both state and local parks.

The advantages of “taking a hike” are many including appreciation for the abundance of life outdoors and the healthy benefits of exercise.

A few reminders as you head to the trails:

Use insect repellent.
Apply sunscreen
Be aware of and avoid poison Ivy.
Long sleeve shirts and long pants are recommended.
Sensible and comfortable shoes. They do not have to be expensive!

Above all, have fun and take a hike as often as possible.