How to Enjoy Solo Hiking When You’re Afraid to Hit the Trail Alone

Practical tips and advice for the aspiring solitary adventurer

Y.L. Wolfe
Liberty

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Photo by Alex Moliski via Pexels

I recently traveled to the Oregon coast, eager to have a short break from my father’s hospice journey — one that has thus far spanned five months and could go on for another five. Long-term anticipatory grief is far more exhausting than I ever would have imagined. But a little road trip to the ocean was just what I needed to soothe my soul.

Naturally, I hoped to fit in at least one good hike. I can’t consider a trip successful if I don’t explore the local trails.

I didn’t plan ahead for that on my last trip to the coast. But this time, I knew exactly where I wanted to go. My chosen trail was a 3-mile loop called The Knoll, named after the target destination of most hikers who visit there: a grassy knoll at the top of a hill overlooking the ocean and Lincoln City.

Almost immediately into this hike, I began to feel anxious. It’s been a few months since I’ve hiked alone on a new-to-me trail and I had forgotten how scary it can feel. This trail also cuts through a dense coastal forest, which means it’s covered by a thick canopy. And though I find heavy forest canopies to be beautiful (and a nice break from the sun), they also tend to heighten my anxiety. A…

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Y.L. Wolfe
Liberty

Gender-curious, solosexual, perimenopausal, childless crone-in-training. | Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gleDcD | Email: welcome@yaelwolfe.com