Travel

Discover the Untamed Thrills of Urban Hiking

Who comes to mind when you picture someone “outdoorsy”?

Is it a thru-hiker trekking the Appalachian Trail – or a hiker walking through a city forest preserve? A trail runner summiting a Colorado 14er – or a bike commuter riding to work? A rock climber completing a first ascent – or a family visiting their local park for the first time?

Reality check: It’s all of the above.

“As an industry, we need to expand the idea of what it means to be outdoorsy,” says Yvonne Leow, founder of Bewilder, an experiential retailer that hosts interactive outdoor-focused events for urban families. “The pandemic accelerated a cultural shift where nature isn’t just an escape for epic adventures, but rather essential to our everyday lives. My personal definition of outdoorsy is when we feel connected to ourselves, to our communities, and the world around us.”

Urban dwellers represent over 80 percent of the U.S. population. Combined, more than 15.5 million people live in the country’s three largest cities (New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago). Leow argues there’s already a huge slice of urban adventurers getting outside and there’s an even more enormous appetite for it. Read more…

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