Settling in for a cozy weekend? These six longform articles will inspire you to explore more, go farther, and take epic chances.

Take A Hike: Seven Stories About Heading Outdoors

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Photo by Galen Crout on Unsplash

“I want to prove to myself that my soft, pale, weird body can do hard things. I want to rise to the occasion of living.”

This short essay is a gateway to seven more essays about hiking, the outdoors, and being a woman in the outdoors.

Finally Seeing the Forest Through the Trees

“Fantastically tall trees were all I could see stretching ahead of me, and to my left and right. No more than a few minutes in it became clear that a vast wilderness was indeed hidden away right there, just beyond the road lined with wild raspberries where I jogged every morning.”

Follow Maura Kelly as she finds peace and purpose in her long walks in the trees. Her essay details life in the city alongside life in a circa-1700 cabin in the woods.

Going It Alone

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Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash

“Nature is a place I’ve always belonged.”

When Rahawa Haile decided to thru-hike the AT, she knew she’d face opposition and the constant reminder that she’s a minority in the wilderness. She speaks about her experience eloquently as she raises questions about being a black woman alone on the trail.

Lost in Backcountry Corsica

“I had sat there convulsing with the cold, but as my body temperature gradually returned to its normal level, so too did some lucidity gradually return to my thoughts: I wasn’t going to die tonight.”

Talk about a sufferfest. What starts as three men hiking to an incredible arch near Capu Tafunatu quickly turns into an all-out disaster. Cairns disappear, weather turns, and they raise the question of their own survival as the night ticks on. Read the full story here

Walking Off Heartbreak on America’s New Sacred Trail

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Photo by Austin Ban on Unsplash

“I actually think I’ll finish this pilgrimage a happier person than when I started.”

Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan turned towards the newly designated Sacred Trail in Montana after a divorce left her shaken. Wilderness had always been her greatest therapy and this circumstance was no different. Follow her journey in brief here.

The Craggy Coast With a Dark Past

“There was an intimacy between the ocean and forest here; I could hear it in the distant rumble of waves harmonising with the rustling branches, lulling me into a peaceful state as I walked.”

Britany Robinson sets out on the 3.8-mile section, Amanda’s Trail, of the Oregon Coast Trail to remember a woman whose journey was not as pleasant as her own. Historical and enticing, this piece draws readers into the jagged and beautiful Oregon Coast.

There’s no time like the present to take that trip you’ve been been dreaming of or embarking on a thru-hike. Where will your next adventure take you?