Take a Hike Over Thanksgiving
A good friend of mine once shared that he and his family never do the “traditional” Thanksgiving celebrations. Sure, they gather from miles around and there’s turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy, but they don’t camp in front of a TV and watch the Macy’s parade or hours and hours of football. Nor do they pile into the malls for Black Friday shopping. Instead, they stay together in cabins in Hocking Hills and spend most of their time – when they’re not eating – hiking the miles and miles of trails.
He said the goal is to get outside in the beauty of nature and just talk. And this is the whole family we’re talking about: grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, spouses, kids, you name it. Like many families, their extended family doesn’t often get together, so they use the holidays as a chance to catch up and have meaningful conversations. If younger kids are present, they can run and explore the woods. If anyone brings their dog, they’re free to roam.
The more I think about that, the more I love the idea. Late November in Ohio is still warm enough to be outside, but cool enough to be crisp and refreshing. Leaves have changed colors but haven’t all fallen. There are still hints of green, but even if it’s snowing, it’s still beautiful just to be out in the woods.
Even though we’re staying in the city for Thanksgiving this year (we’re hosting!), I’m going to make a point to take a good long walk over the weekend, preferably at park with hiking trails. It’ll be good to be outside and walk off some of the turkey and mashed potatoes, and to take some time to reflect on this past year, to connect with family members, and to unplug for a bit.
Wherever you are this Thanksgiving, take some time to get outdoors with loved ones. Hike, talk, connect, enjoy some quiet. Take in Ohio’s natural beauty and reflect on what you’re thankful for this year.
There are plenty of parks and trails to hike throughout the state. Here’s a few, to give you some ideas:
Highbanks Metro Park, Lewis Center
Holden Arboretum, Kirtland
Oak Openings Preserve, Swanton
Plum Creek Park, Brunswick
Rising Park, Lancaster
Sand Run Metro Park, Akron
Slate Run Metro Park, Canal Winchester
And be sure to find more festive fun for the Holidays in Ohio!