Hiking is not without its challenges, no matter how experienced the hiker might be. Sometimes it may seem as though the trail is getting longer than it used to be, while you’re growing more and more tired. All that could be standing between you and your next adventure is a little motivation. Here are some quotes that might inspire you to get back in touch with man’s best medicine!
1. “Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.” -John Muir
This quote from John Muir is great for those who love hiking in forests that are full of pine trees.
2. “Hiking is not escapism; it’s realism. The people who choose to spend time outdoors are not running away from anything; we are returning to where we belong.” -Jennifer Pharr Davis
Davis makes a good point about how many people believe that those who like to spend lots of time outdoors are running away from something, when in fact, they are just being human.
3. “Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb.” -Greg Child
In this quote, Child is saying that people who climb mountains during the journey, not at the destination.
4. “I think I cannot preserve my health and spirits unless I spend four hours a day at least—and it is commonly more than that—sauntering through the woods and fields absolutely free from all worldly engagements.” -Henry David Thoreau
Thoreau is talking about how as humans, we aren’t meant to spend lots of time inside. We need to spend time within nature to become who we truly are.
5. “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” -Waldo Ralph Emerson
This quote means that you shouldn’t be a follower; be a leader and go where no one has ever been before.
6. “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” -Frank A. Clark
Taking the easy way is just that: easy. Try taking the hard way and see what you learn along the journey.
7. “Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.” -Albert Einstein
Einstein is saying that nature has most of life’s answers inside it; we just have to go out and discover them.
8. “Walking is a man’s best medicine.” -Hippocrates
Humans walked everywhere for the longest time, and now, walking has become therapeutic for many people.
9. “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in an office or mowing the lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” -Jack Kerouac
Memories aren’t based on regular days; they’re based on the days where you do something extraordinary.
10. “To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.” -Mary Davis
Nature is built up of so many things that are happening all at once that you can see miracles happening wherever you look.
11. “Happiness and hiking go hand in hand or foot in boot.” -Diane Spicer
By saying this, Spicer means that hiking creates happiness. You can’t have one without the other.
12. “On a hike, the days pass with the wind, the sun, the stars; movement is powered by a belly full of food and water, not a noxious tankful of fossil fuels. On a hike, you’re less a job title and more a human being. A periodic hike not only stretches the limbs but also reminds us: Wow, there’s a big old world out there.” -Ken Ilgunas
The world was meant to be explored, and when you go on a hike, you’re reminded that the world is waiting for you.
13. “Doubly happy, however, is the man to whom lofty mountain tops are within reach.” -John Muir
People who can reach the top of a summit have nothing out of reach. It makes them happy in more ways than one.
14. “Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” -Gary Snyder
Snyder is saying that being in nature is the most natural thing in the world. Nature is where humans belong.
15. “The long-distance hiker, a breed set apart, from the likes of the usual pack. He’ll shoulder his gear, be hittin’ the trail; long gone, long ‘fore he’ll be back.” -M.J. Eberhart
Hikers who prefer to hike long-distance are different from regular hikers. They don’t have a destination in mind; they just enjoy the journey they’re on.
16. “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” -Ed Viesturs
Viesturs means that reaching a summit is optional. The aftermath is unavoidable. When you reach a high point in any part of life, you have to come down eventually.
17. “Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion.” -Anatoli Boukreev
There isn’t anyone to impress when you’re climbing a mountain. All you have to do is be yourself.
18. “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” -Beverly Sills
When you take shortcuts to get places in life, you don’t wind up in the same position you would be if you took the difficult path.
19. “Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you are climbing it.” -Andy Rooney
The top of a mountain is great; the journey to it is what makes it a great story and memory.
20. “The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.” -Carl Sagan
The world is full of beauty and life, we don’t have to act like we aren’t grateful for its beauty every day.
21. “We live in a fast-paced society. Walking slows us down.” -Robert Sweetgall
Everything in life moves very fast these days. When you walk, you learn things you didn’t know before and experience new things too.
22. “Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.” -Cindy Ross
Long-distance hiking can change you as a person. When you finish it and get home, you’re not the same. And it’’ll be hard to continue life as you knew it before.
22. “If a walker is indeed an individualist there is nowhere he can’t go at dawn and not many places he can’t go at noon. But just as it demeans life to live alongside a great river you can no longer swim in or drink from, to be crowded into safer areas and hours takes much of the gloss off walking–one sport you shouldn’t have to reserve a time and a court for.” -Edward Hoagland
Walkers are their own breed. They can truly go anywhere at any time. They don’t rely on outside sources to get them from point A to point B; they only need to rely on themselves.
23. “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” -Edmund Hillary
Hiking is a mental game. You have to be strong in mind to overcome the physical hill, as well as the mental hill.
25. “Nature is one of the most underutilized treasures in life. It has the power to unburden hearts and reconnect to that inner place of peace.” -Dr. Janice Anderson
People take advantage of nature every day. It’s right outside, and many people ignore it. However, if they simply embraced it, they could find new peace.
26. “The best way out is always through.” -Robert Frost
Frost is saying that you don’t always have to try to get over something; sometimes, you need to get through it. And it’s the same with hiking.
27. “The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy, walk and be healthy. ‘The best of all ways to lengthen our days is not, as Mr. Thomas Moore has it, ‘to steal a few hours from the night, my love;’ but, with leave be it spoken, to walk steadily and with a purpose. The wandering man knows of certain ancients, far gone in years, who have staved off infirmities and dissolution by earnest walking,–hale fellows close upon eighty and ninety, but brisk as boys.” -Charles Dickens
Dickens is quoting another author. He is adding to the author’s idea that walking makes people healthy and happy.
28. “You need special shoes for hiking- and a bit of a special soul as well.” -Terri Guillemets
Hiking isn’t always for everyone. You have to have the drive and the passion to do it. To fully appreciate hiking, you need to love it.
29. “I like being near the top of a mountain. One can’t get lost here.” -Wislawa Szymborska
It’s easy to get lost in everyday life. When you reach the top of the mountain, you won’t get lost. You’ll feel the most found that you’ve ever been.
30. “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.” -Edward Abbey
Lots of people view having access to wilderness as a luxury when it’s really essential to the soul. It’s as important to life as water and food.
31. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Lao Tzu
You can’t start trekking without taking the first step. You have to have the confidence and will to start a hike, and it all starts with one step.
32. “If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.” -Raymond Inmon
Nature is the best place to get inspired. It offers so many miracles and masterpieces.
33. “Above all do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday I walk myself into a state of well being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. But by sitting still, and the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill… if one keeps on walking everything will be alright.” -Soren Kierkegaard
When you stop wanting to hike, you stop wanting to truly live. Hiking makes you healthier with each step you take.
34. “Mountains have a way of dealing with overconfidence.” -Hermann Buhl
Nothing will strike down the attitude of a cocky man more than a mountain.
35. “We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive at where we started / And know the place for the first time.” -T.S. Eliot
In this poem, Eliot is saying that if you reach the end of all your explorations, you will be right back at the place you started at. And, then it’ll be like you’re looking at everything for the first time.
36. “Great things are done when men and mountains meet.” -William Blake
Men can come up with amazing things when they encounter mountains.
37. “While on top of Everest, I looked across the valley towards the great peak Makalu and mentally worked out a route about how it could be climbed. It showed me that even though I was standing on top of the world, it wasn’t the end of everything. I was still looking beyond to other interesting challenges.” -Edmund Hillary
Once you reach the end of a journey, that doesn’t mean you can’t continue with pursuing it. Life is about finding new challenges, not finishing one and quitting. There’s always a new mountain.
38. “You’re off to great places, today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.” -Dr. Seuss
Every day is the perfect day to begin climbing your mountain. You just have to begin the journey.
39. “Carry as little as possible, but choose that little with care.” -Earl Shaffer
When going into the great outdoors, you shouldn’t take too much. But, you should remember that you should only take things that are essential to your wellbeing.
40. “Hiking is a bit life-like: The journey only requires you to put one foot in front of the other… again and again and again. And if you allow yourself the opportunity to be present throughout the entirety of the trek, you will witness beauty every step of the way, not just at the summit.” -Unknown
People move through life without stopping to look around and appreciate the moment they’re in. In that way, it can be very similar to a hike.
41. “Walking: the most ancient exercise and still the best modern exercise.” -Carrie Latet
People have walked since the beginning of time, and people will continue to walk for a long time. It’s the best thing to do for your soul.
42. “It’s impossible to walk in the woods and be in a bad mood at the same time.” -Unknown
Walking in nature puts anyone in a good mood.
43. “Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” -David McCullough Jr.
Climbers climb not for the top of the summit, but the challenge and journey it gives them.
44. “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my sense put in order.” -John Burroughs
Nature heals all wounds and makes sense of the world around us.
45. “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” -John Muir
The universe is infinite the same way the forest is infinite. You can find infinite leaves the same you can find infinite stars.
46. “You need mountains, long staircases don’t make good hikers.” -Amit Kalantri
Hikers aren’t satisfied with stairs. They need summits to feed their soul.
47. “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” -Unknown
One can feel refreshed when walking through the wilderness. It’s one thing to walk through the woods; it’s another to walk within the woods.
48. “May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.” -Edward Abbey
The journey is the whole point of reaching the top. If the path isn’t worth it, then the end won’t be worth it either.
49. “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” -Henry David Thoreau
To live a full life is to live it on purpose. Going into nature will help you live a complete life.
50. “I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” -Rosalia De Castro
Sometimes, the best hikes have no destination in mind. You just start walking and end up wherever you end up. It’s what makes them so memorable.
Bonus tip: Check out this video for 10 legendary hiking trails!