US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Louis District

Hiking 101: Autumn Hiking

Riverlands Trail Now that autumn is underway throughout the country, we all have several things to look forward to: pumpkins, apple cider, and fall hiking!

When planning an autumn hike there are several factors to consider in order to make it the most safe and enjoyable experience possible:

  • Obtain schedules of local hunting seasons and wear a blaze orange hat, vest, or pack cover. Also, if hunters are in the area, call out "Hikers on the trail!" to let them know that it's a person rustling down the trail, not wildlife.
  • Be aware that days are getting shorter. In some areas the sun is setting close to 5 PM now, so when planning that little "shortcut," make sure the batteries in your headlamp are fresh.
  • Days are also getting colder and even a little drizzle can leave you dangerously chilled. Have waterproof and insulating garments available and try to incorporate a few more calories into your trailside snacks.
  • In the colder regions, fall is a great time to see wildlife stocking up for winter hibernation. Most of these critters will be active around dawn or dusk - sitting still during these times can increase your chances of seeing some great wildlife!

Enjoy the crisp fall air and the changing color of the leaves.

Check out more tips from the American Hiking Society