The autumn season is fast approaching, and there are new epic walking and hiking trails around the world to take your SOM shoes on an adventure. From going on a safari to exploring the cascading mountains and castle ruins in Scotland to visiting the majesty of Yellowstone, hiking vacations have surged in popularity. Below, we have highlighted a few of the many once-in-a-lifetime walking destinations waiting for SOM adventure.
Chitwan National Park- 367.81 sq. miles (952.63 km2)
Have you ever wanted to go on a safari? How about walking through a safari? The Chitwan National Park Safari puts your feet in the heart of the animal kingdom quite literally. “The name 'Chitwan' has several possible meanings, but the most literal translation of the two NEPALI words that make it up: chit or chita (heart) and wan or ban (jungle)” (https://www.junglesafariresort.com). “Chitwan is thus 'the heart of the jungle'.”
If you’re up for a true Indiana Jones adventure that can include a river boat through crocodile waters, your expert guide will help you navigate the history, plants, and animals through the vastness of open landscapes.
“The Chitwan National Park is the first National Park of Nepal, established in the year 1973 (http://www.allgudthings.com). It spreads over an area of 952 km2 and its altitude ranges from 330 feet in the river valleys to 2674 feet in the Shivalik hills. In 1984, Chitwan park was granted the status of a UNESCO world heritage site.
The terrain and plant life is diverse, making for hikes filled with variety.
“Chitwan National Park consists of tropical and subtropical forests. Sal forests cover 70% of the jungle land, whereas 20% is grasslands. There are more than 68 different types of grasses and the most common one can see during the jungle safari is Elephant grass, known for its immense heights, (which can grow up to a height of 8 meters).”
While the ground beneath you changes in elevation and vegetation, the animals you may encounter with your guide will be unlike any zoo experience you’ve ever had.
“Transferring to the Royal Chitwan National Park, you will explore one of Asia's best wildlife havens. A combination of jungle and river safaris offer a chance to see rhinoceros, four species of deer, two types of crocodiles, sloth bear, leopards, Royal Bengal Tiger – plus, with the help of an expert guide, over 450 species of exotic birds.” (https://www.responsibletravel.com)
Spotting a Royal Bengal Tiger without fences between you is not an encounter everyone would put on their Bucket List, but for outdoor adventurers, the Chitwan National Park provides the backdrop for a true safari venture.
Far from the rhinos and leopards, the Scottish National Trail will challenge hikers and backpackers on an epic five-week journey across the picturesque green landscape.
Scottish National Trail- 537 miles (864 km)
“Devised by outdoors writer and broadcaster Cameron McNeish, the Scottish National Trail is a challenging, 864 kilometre-long unofficial long distance walking route running the length of Scotland from Kirk Yetholm to Cape Wrath” (https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk).
While some will tackle the entire trek in a single outing, the trail is broken up into stages, which allow the traveler to choose how much, or how little, they wish to cross off on their first trip.
As award-winning journalist and travel blogger Yvette Webster of wayfaringkiwi.com put it, “It takes you on a journey through Scotland’s varied terrain, from the rolling hills of the Scottish Borders, through cities and along canal towpaths to reach the rocky and wild heathery mountains in the Scottish Highlands.”
Villages, abbeys, stone bridges, waterfalls, while Chitwan National Park is a safari, the Scottish National trail is walking through a fantasy novel, where you feel a dragon could fly overhead at any moment.
Upper Geyser Basin Trail- 5 miles (8 km)
One of the most popular travel destinations in America, Yellowstone National Park offers dozens of walking paths throughout its over two million square acres, and one of the best places to start is the Upper Geyser Basin Trail.
“This is by far the best trail for viewing hydrothermal features in the park, hosting the highest concentration of geysers in the world” (https://wildlandtrekking.com). “Many of the park’s predictable geysers including Old Faithful, Castle, Grand, Daisy, and Riverside are also located here.”
Geysers are a breathtaking natural wonder and the main attraction at Yellowstone. Not only will the collection of paths comprising this trail cover many of the best blasts, you will also witness “Morning Glory, one of the most brilliantly colored hot springs in the world.”
Magic awaits around every corner. In some places, it’s literally bursting from the ground. Now is your time to find it.
Find Your Escape
From the safari thrills of wildlife without fences to the fantasy quest through the Scottish Highlands to the natural eruptions at Yellowstone, SOM Footwear is the only made in America, zero drop, wide toe-box shoe up to the challenge. SOMs relax toes with room to breathe and strengthen feet with every natural step. There’s no better way to explore nature than under the power of your own natural sense of motion.
Escape is where walks take us–away from the noise and rushing of everyday routines and into a steady pace of collective clarity. Whether a path transports you to another time, surrounds you with wildlife, or wraps you under a forest canopy, the restorative effects found in a walk, no matter its distance, will last long after its over.
No matter where your feet take you, at home or abroad, trails etch our world in opportunities for adventure.
Have you been on an epic adventure or have a trail we should feature on our next list? We will highlight a new set of three walking destinations in future blogs, so share your stories and pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org and they might feature in our next collection.