There is a trend in the way social media and the internet are influencing where people play outside. It seems that more and more the most beautiful well known spots are being flooded with visitors. for example National Parks throughout the nation are seeing record high visitations for the 3rd year in a row. Parking lots are full, and some trails look more like a line at Disney Land than a wilderness area. Now this is likely due to many factors but its hard to ignore the elephant shaped app in the room. People see a beautiful photo on Instagram and they want to recreate it. Geo tagging is making is easier for people to find places and the result is parks and open-space filled to capacity. I am in full support of people getting outside and enjoying nature but It is also easy to love a place to death. Simply asking people not to go outside is not a practical option. My solution is to have people visit somewhere unexpected. Go to a National Park but in the off season or look over a map and find a random little State Park to visit. Better yet just go on a road trip and pick spots along the way. Don’t use social media as your guide, instead ask a friend or better yet a stranger where they would go for a hike or see wildlife.
I try to highlight hidden corners on this blog; to feature places that not everyone would think to go. Ill always have my secret spots but I think its important to show people they don’t have to go to a place like Yosemite to see nature in all its grandeur. To this end I have decided to enlist some help. I will be featuring guest bloggers over the next few months who will talk about their favorite hidden corners. These places may be in the outdoors but I also want to include small towns, hole in the wall eateries, and culturally interesting areas. The idea is to inspire people to look past their tiny computer screens. To explore with open eyes and find their own hidden corners.
Always remember wherever your hidden corner lies make your footprint small and leave your phone in the car from time to time.