Post by Sharon
Easy hikes don't take a lot of prep or conditioning. Folks often assume that we need to hike five grueling miles to see something worthwhile, but beautiful easy hikes abound in the US. Some hikes are best at certain seasons, to really enjoy the area's offerings. Here's some of my suggestions.
If you want good weather and a hike that gives you views of Phoenix skyline in the distance, ancient petroglyphs, and mountains all around you, this park only a few blocks from my home is a dream!
The air even smells different here with the creosote and desert bushes, cactus and earth meeting the rocks. You might see some cool wildlife too, like Javelina ("HAVE-a-leena") wild boars), turkey vultures, roadrunners, and quail.
My suggestion for a lunch spot not far from the hike is The Farm at South Mountain. This fantastically lush farm is organic and serves amazing food utilizing much of the pickings. They also have a lovely pecan grove where you can sit under the trees and relax.
Hemlock forests and rhododendrons await your springtime hike. This 1.9 mile hike is considered a very beautiful one. If you like creeks, this is a great hike and springtime is a perfect showcase for the greening up of this lush area. This is considered part of the Appalachian Trail and gives you that vibe very strongly.
In the case of this location, I'd suggest a picnic instead of a restaurant. You want some real green wilderness after a long cold winter and I'd suggest you sit down and drink it into your soul.
When it's summertime, there is nothing that draws us more than the beach. This hike is along the beach and offers 2.3 miles of cool breezes and beautiful ocean vistas.
For lunchtime, I'd suggest The Lobster Shack. And if you're like me, you appreciate their policy on sustainability.
Side Street Cafe in Bar Harbor would make a wonderful very Maine'ish lunch spot.
(I use this one!)
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