Skip to main content

Depending on who you ask, “Take A Hike Day” (November 17) is either about going for a walk in nature or telling someone to get lost.

Naturally, The Trailmaster prefers you hit the trail rather than tell someone to go away. Hiking is by far the most popular form of outdoor recreation in the U.S., so I’m confident that many will take a hike in the way I do and say.



Five Great Reasons to Take a Hike

*Hiking helps you get in harmony with nature

*Hiking lets you explore places you can only reach on foot

* Hiking gives you special time with friends and family

* Hiking improves your health and fitness

* Hiking lifts your spirit and soothes your soul





When I meet people unaware of my unusual occupation, they invariably ask: “So John, what do you do?”

“I tell people to ‘Take a hike!’”

“Seriously, what’s your real job?”

If I had a pound of trail mix for every time I’ve been asked that question, I’d have a ton of trail snacks.

The fact is, hiking and writing about hiking is my job—and has been for a long time. I served as the Los Angeles Times hiking columnist for 17 years and have written 30 books about hiking and nature. I’ve hiked from youth through middle-age, and plan to continue hiking and telling anyone who will listen to “Take a hike!” until I’m carried off the trail.

I say “Take a hike” is not a negative and imperative declaration, but a  positive and caring suggestion.

After celebrating Take a Hike Day on November 17th, in the days that follow you could celebrate Occult Day on the 18th, World Toilet Day on the 19th or Africa Industrialization Day on the 20th.

But I say, “Take a Hike!” every day instead. Or at least take a hike as often as possible. Whenever and wherever you can.

Take a hike and enjoy the greenery, the scenery and the wonderful world around you. Take a hike and reconnect with nature. Tell your friends and family to “Take a hike!”

As for those kids always on the phones, meddlesome in-laws, and annoying co-workers, well, you know what to tell them.