In the years that I have been day trekking around Wisconsin, I’ve found that a couple of hours in a forest can do a world of good for my body and soul. A two hour walk in a city can be rewarding but makes my feet hurt and my back yell at me enough that I want to curl up in a ball and sleep the rest of the day.
But, a 2 hour or more hike in a forest revitalizes me and boosts my energy level to an extreme high. It could be the difference between a cement walkway and stepping across the earth but more likely it is the cleansing of the trees.
It is known that trees take care of each other. You’ve most likely seen a fallen tree resting in the crook of another and how they both thrive in each others branched arms. They make sounds audible to our ears if we listen closely, and it is thought that they communicate in other ways. Tree’s depend on each other in order to thrive and continue their long cycle of life.
Of course, we all know that we depend on tree’s for the survival of all life on this planet, it is a heavy burden to carry, and they do it well and with little complaint. Peter Wohlleben is a forest expert and author who studies the relationships of tree’s. You can find more information about him through the following link.
If you haven’t read “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein, although more likely a parable of life, it is a good introduction to the basic magic of tree’s and how they take care of us and the world.
One of my favorite places to escape and get a quick recuperation is Lapham Peak State Park. Located about 30 miles west of Milwaukee via Interstate 94 just south of the town of Delafield on HwyC aka “S. Genesee St” aka “Kettle Moraine dr” it is an easy target from all directions.
Other than its proximity to my daily life, it is a favorite because of its varied trails curving around and over the steep hills and through the kettles that give the eastern Wisconsin forests their names. There are easy flat trails for those who like a leisurely stroll and for those who seek a challenge, you shall find it there.
I’ve heard many a cross country skier complain the trails are too hard to ski and with hill names like “Stairway to Heaven” and “Asthma Hill”, to only name a couple, I’m can sympathize. For a hiker, they are sublime. It is a well attended park but taking the difficult trail, marked by a jagged black line, will bring solitude and only a rare crossed path.
This winter they will start making snow for the trails. I am an avid snow shoe hiker and even though hiking is not allowed on the groomed trails, there is plenty of trail left for me to run around in a tizzy of snow filled joy.
I hope this helps you plan a much needed cleanse for your all around being. We all need this more often than we give ourselves. Take someone you love or head out alone for some quiet contemplation, both will help yourself and those in your life. When we are good to ourselves we are good to others too.
When we are in the woods, we are in good company.
Thank you for stopping by.