Walking is a great form of exercise, whether it’s up a mountain or around the block. Walking with a group of people promotes safety and bonding. Encourage your class or family to take a walk together and enjoy the numerous benefits.

For the unexperienced hiker, even a short walk may seem daunting. Even regular hikers may long for new activities to spice up their walking routines. Here are a few new activities to try.

  1. Whenever you come to a corner or a fork-in-the-road, flip a coin. Heads means you turn left, and tails means you walk right. Keep flipping coins until you return to your starting point, which could take either a few minutes or several hours!
  2. Create a scavenger hunt list filled with items that are likely along your walking path. No returning home until the entire list is checked off!
  3. Play the alphabet game. Find something that begins with the letter A, then B, and so on until you reach Z. This is a fun way to teach young children letters and spelling, but even older kids can get excited by this challenge!
  4. Purchase an inexpensive guide book or download field guide apps on your smartphone or tablet. Field guides will help you identify birds, plants, insects, or many other things you will see in nature. Make a few stops along your walk, find an interesting specimen, and see if you can figure out what it is.
  5. Make it a mystery! Ahead of time, the adults plan a secret destination, such as an ice cream shop or a park. On the walk there, the kids try to guess where they’re going. For an even more unique twist, leave the adults in the dark. Let the kids work together as they plan a mystery walk!
  6. Walk for a cause. Many charities host walks, hikes, or jogs as fundraisers, and you could be a participant. You could even make your own fundraiser for your favorite charity by planning a walking route and collecting pledges.
  7. If you have a GPS device, visit geocaching.com. There are geocaches all over the world, so there is likely one near your regular walking route. See who can be the first in your group to find the hidden container.
  8. Is there a historical site near you? If so, then there’s probably also an interesting hike waiting for you. Many historical areas and other points of interest offer either guided or self-guided walks. This is a good way to exercise both your brain and your body!