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An Affordable, Outdoorsy Date

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As spring arrives, so does prime hiking season. Even if the outdoors isn’t your thing, you might find that it makes a surprisingly romantic date.

Everyone knows that happy moment you get when you finally feel the warmth of sun on your face for the first time in the spring. Go spend this moment in the great outdoors with your loved one and use this opportunity to distance yourself from responsibilities, worries, and technology. What better opportunity to have uninterrupted heart-to-heart talks when your only distraction may come from birds or rabbits?

One reason spring is prime time for hiking is that waterfalls are at their scenic best. This is because of the upcoming rainy season along with the melting snow and ice from winter. In the summer and fall, waterfalls are not as splashy. (So if you want a better waterfall Instagram picture than your friends, go now).

If you are in the New York state area and are looking for a getaway weekend, try traveling up to Ithaca, NY. This city, also home to Cornell University, has over 150 breathtaking waterfalls within a ten square mile radius.

Most people look at the first blooming flowers as little signs of hope that winter is finally over. Certain hiking trails can give you a look at breathtakingly colorful spring wildflowers that you wouldn’t see elsewhere.

The Washington state area has a wildflower season that lasts from March to August, with lots of places to hike. Hiking trails surrounding Mount Rainier are known to have wildflower displays that are so beautiful they are described as “a phenomenon you must see to believe.”

Another amazing hiking spot for this year in particular is Death Valley in California. Due to record-breaking rains this past winter, the desert is ablaze with flowers that haven’t bloomed in that area in years. Scientists believe some of the seeds have been buried for more than 10 years, just waiting for the right conditions to once again cover the desert floor with color. Hikers are warned to bring plenty of water since the rains are now long gone.

It’s important to get outside after being stuck indoors for a few months. Getting away from everything is the best way to reflect on things with deeper consideration. Disconnecting from technology and surrounding yourself with nature is the perfect (and most affordable) way to destress.

Hiking is not just for the super athletic. Research online before you go and you can find trails ranging from easy to extremely strenuous. An easy trail is a good excuse just to get outdoors. Bring a picnic for the two of you, some books to read, or even any work you’ve been avoiding. Sometimes work isn’t so dreadful if it’s done beside a beautiful backdrop.

If you and your partner are more on the athletic side, strenuous trails also serve as an excellent workout. Be sure to check local conditions to be sure the trails you choose are dry enough for climbing or haven’t been blocked by winter tree falls.

So, for all of you couples who have spent the winter going out to dinner and the movies, why not throw a bottle of wine in a backpack, add some cheese and crackers, and head outside?

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