In the fall, Maine is an insanely popular place to be. You can drive down the highway and see more out-of-state license plates than ones from Maine. Why, you ask? It’s all about the leaf-peeping! The fall foliage is just amazing, and in my opinion, the best way to see the true beauty is to go on a good hike. I decided to trek up Mount Abram with OpenWorld Outfitters. Throughout my hike, I hit some of the basic beginners’ tips for hiking and adventuring in the woods.
Anytime you are hiking an area you are not familiar with, make sure you bring a guidebook or a map. For this adventure,, I brought both, including my trusty Maine Mountain Guide book. It definitely helped me, even while going to the trailhead. You can find it for sale online here.
These can be varying colors and styles, but often on developed trails, they are marked on trees in blue, white, or sometimes orange. Make sure that you follow these when they are available. Otherwise, its very easy to get lost and take off the trail. Similar to blazes, you will see cairns, which are small stacks of rocks utilized in areas that blazes are not applicable.
Take your time
If you are just getting into hiking and think that because you run often or hit the gym consistently that you can just run up the mountain, you’re probably wrong. Take your time, drink plenty of water, and rest when you feel tired. There is nothing worse than cramping up halfway through a hike. Taking your time is just the smart move, and it is all worth it when you get to a view-breaking out.
It is extremely necessary to reward yourself with something as you get to the top — and only at the top. I often bring a craft brew to the peak and try to support local businesses in my community. In this video, I chose a Marsh Island Oktoberfest lager as my summit reward. Check them out on Facebook and visit their tap room for some good local brews.
Watch your footing on the way down.
Just like going up the mountain, taking your time going down is just as important. As you are going down, you can catch that natural momentum that makes it very easy to twist an ankle or slip and fall. Just be careful! It’s also smart to bring a backup shirt in the warm months, as you can see I busted a sweat. Because I had my spare shirt, I was much more comfortable on the way down.
I use AllTrails to gather my plans and review some trail conditions or hiker experiences. AllTrails does a very good job helping you navigate close to the mountain. Some of these are off the beaten path, so you still might need to go to your guidebook!
Lastly, I often bring snacks, beers, water bottles, or other trash-related items along the hike. Make sure that if you do the same, carry out what you carried in. Respect the trails and they will stay clean for all of the other hikers.
I hope you enjoyed watching my hike and that you new hikers learned some basic tips. Stay tuned for more hikes to come!