As a fellow writer friend of mine recently said, “City = landscape. Treat it that way.” Sometimes we’re so caught up in doing the right things to get away from city life that we forget how rich the urban landscape itself can be. We all know that we should be making an effort to spend more time outdoors, but if you’re not lucky enough to live with acres of, say, a protected wildlife refuge in your backyard, it can be difficult to find the time to invest in driving a few hours just to take a quick hike. Which is why I love the concept of urban hiking.
Yes, I am fully aware that the words “urban hiking” can easily be equated to “walking,” but somewhere along the line we lost respect for this simple, yet energizing and fun, activity. Urban hiking is taking the simple human function of walking and turning it into a vehicle to slowing down and truly exploring the nooks and crannies of new cities, and even our own neighborhoods that we think we know like the back of our hands.
Sometimes the best adventures are right down the street, and we’ve got a list of tips and suggestions to make sure you find them, and enjoy yourself while you’re at it.
1. Plan a fruit hunt.
Spring and summer are quickly approaching, and you know what that means? Fruit picking season. Finding fresh fruit isn’t limited to rural environments, there are plenty of cities filled to the brims with fig trees, apple trees, plum trees and beyond. Urban fruit harvesting groups have popped up around the country with one simple goal: making use of fruit that would otherwise go to waste.
Many cities have fruit groups that even provide maps. Two such projects are Forage Oakland and the Philadelphia Orchard Project. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, check out Fallen Fruit. And if you can’t find a local organization that maps out fruit hot spots, take an afternoon to explore a neighborhood and make your own.