Snap It Outdoors: Trail Kindness

I had a great hike without the family this morning. I’ve had a weekend off to recharge and catch up on work. I headed out for an early morning hike before staring at a computer for the rest of the day. It was busy because we’re in the season where the trails are hard and frozen first thing, but get muddy and messy by mid-morning. Everyone was desperate to get their Sunday foothills experiences in before lunch, and as a result, the trails were full.

Boise is a fantastic, friendly city. Everyone I passed said ‘hi’ and smiled. I watched this group on Chickadee Ridge – a biker, and a group of adults with dogs, some on and some off leash. The trail etiquette is clear; bikers always dismount for other users. These dog walkers saw the biker ready to come down the fun part, and moved to the side, yelling for him to keep going.

I find that most people use the trails in Boise in more than one way. They’re hikers, but also bikers. They walk their dogs, but they also love trail running. As a result, when you can move to the side and let a biker have their fun, most do.  I love modeling these small social kindnesses to the kids. With a bit of thought and very little impact on their dog walk, these people gave something to this biker; fun, and a good feeling of sharing trails with others who understand how he’s experiencing it. It even rubbed off on me, watching from Red Fox trail below!

This is why I love this city and love raising my kids here, with others who enjoy and appreciate the outdoors as much as us. This year the mayor is initiating a Boise Kind project, and to me, that feels like a great fit for this kind, passionate city and it’s people. This year the boys and I are going to work on acts of kindness, in particular on the trails and while we are outdoors. These can be as simple as smiling and saying hello to another trail user, letting a biker enjoy the downhill, or picking up trash if we find it. I want them to look for the small acts they can do to help others out, and see others doing the same. I want that consideration for others to become reflexive in them, so as adults it is something they’ll continue even without thinking. And while we’re being kind to others, is it so much of a stretch to consider being kind to our land, our environment, and our natural spaces?

What acts of kindness can you do on the trails this week?

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