The Beauty of Hiking

By: Chloe Seletz, Communications Intern 

When I am asked what my dream vacation would be, it is always a no brainer. Anywhere I can go hiking. I spent a portion of my childhood living in San Francisco which is where I discovered the beauty of hiking. Every Sunday, my family and I took advantage of the amazing trails California has to offer. Even at a young age, I remember the feeling of getting to the top of a mountain and seeing such mesmerizing views.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to travel and hike in many different places. Some of my favorites include Israel, Australia, Costa Rica, and Tennessee. As I have grown older I have noticed hiking has many different aspects; it can simply be walking on a flat surface exploring the streets of a new town. Or it can be a more strenuous activity on mountains where you are really living life on the edge.

Unlike other outdoor activities hiking is accessible to anyone year round. Of course there are places that have more opportunities than others, but just going out for a short walk in a park can be beneficial.

Surprisingly enough, hiking can be a social activity. I have made some of my closest friends while being outside. Going on such excursions, I have met amazing people and even strengthened relationships that I already had. On long hikes, it is great to have someone to talk to or give you a helping hand.

When looking forward to a hike I think about the views, the atmosphere, the workout, and the people. However, the feeling of happiness is most prominent. I have noticed that every time I finish a hike, I feel satisfied and peaceful. I believe that any type of exercise outside is great for your mental health. If I am not in the best mood, taking a 15-minute walk helps me feel so much better. Hiking is a great way to clear your head and put things in perspective.

Having recently moved to Pittsburgh, I preach this philosophy to many people. While I have not hiked as many trails as I may have hoped, I have explored the city to its fullest. Moving to a new city was originally a challenge; however, I can honestly say that walking around Pittsburgh’s different neighborhoods has been the greatest welcoming gift. It has made me a more independent and happier person. I try to walk as often as I can, to see new sights and improve my physical and mental health.

If you haven’t explored the streets of Pittsburgh, now is your time to start. I moved to the city believing there weren’t any places to hike, but I was pleasantly proven wrong. I look forward to my daily walks by the river every morning and I am excited to continue discovering new trails.

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  • The Nature Treasure Hunt is Here – Join Now!

    March 20, 2018

    By: Josh Doty of Foto-Foraging

    Spring is here. If you have been hiding from the snow and cold temperatures, it is now time to venture outdoors again. There is so much to see, even if you only have a chance to go to your local park or even your own backyard.

    The Nature Treasure Hunt

    The Nature Treasure Hunt is a quest to explore, discover, document, learn and share (Instagram #naturetreasurehunt, #ventureoutdoors) nature with others. It is a year-long activity that will provide exercise, fresh air, strong family/friend bonding moments, opportunities to discover and learn,

     » Read more about: The Nature Treasure Hunt is Here – Join Now!  »

  • Winter Tree ID

    March 13, 2018

    By: Iris Marzolf

    My favorite Venture Outdoors program I’ve attended thus far is the Winter Tree ID hike in January at Frick Park.

    It was an educational hike, so participants got a two-for-one deal—exercising while learning how to identify trees without leaves. Winter tree identification is a lot easier and more engaging than one would think. My opinion of trees in winter is generally negative; they look like dull brown skeletons. They’re all the same. Ugly.

    BUT ACTUALLY trees are like people; certain types look the same, and they all have unique characteristics depending on how they grew up.

     » Read more about: Winter Tree ID  »

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid

    March 6, 2018

    By: Maggie Zangara

    On November 20, 2017, I had the opportunity to participate in an interesting training hosted by Venture Outdoors. The name of the training was Youth Mental Health First Aid, and it took place at Venture Outdoors through the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. A fun fact is that Lady GaGa, who is a first aider herself and an advocate of the program, has set a goal of getting 150,000 people trained this year.

    Youth Mental Health First Aid ActivityThe intent of the training was to teach family members, teachers, school staff, health and human services workers and other caring citizens how to help adolescents who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

     » Read more about: Youth Mental Health First Aid  »

  • Rachel Carson Trails

    February 27, 2018

    By: Amy Nelson, Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy, Member and Volunteer 

    In 2015, three friends and I did the Rachel Carson Trail Challenge  for the first time. We were avid road runners, bored with the monotony of pavement.  A 34-mile trek through the woods seemed like a great way to mix things up. Cut to the day of the event. Twenty miles into it, we experienced a torrential downpour which caused mud slides on some of the steepest hills. Mother Nature can be cruel.  By the time the last five miles rolled around our spirits were broken and we prayed for it to be over.

     » Read more about: Rachel Carson Trails  »

  • Leaving No Trace

    February 20, 2018

    By: Sara Cardamone

    At the Annual Volunteer Meeting, I had the opportunity to attend the Leave No Trace breakout session. Led by Joel Johnston, the interactive gathering was focused on educating participants on what Leave No Trace is truly about. Here are some of the things that I learned!

    Leave No Trace was launched when attendance at parks started to increase, so much so that it was taking a toll on the environment. The mission of the organization is to “protect the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly”. This comes in the form of seven principles that one should keep in mind when enjoying the outdoors.

     » Read more about: Leaving No Trace  »

Kayak Pittsburgh

Sunset Paddle

Thank you for another great season!
We’ll see you on the water in 2018!


Featured Outing


About Boating Safely
Saturday, March 24
9 AM – 5 PM

Join Venture Outdoors and members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for About Boating Safely. This course gives participants the knowledge needed to obtain a boat license or safety certification in Pennsylvania.