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Fall in one of the best times of year to hike. From St. Mark's Summit to Quarry Rock, autumn is an excellent time to tackle the trails. Crowds have dwindled, as though hikers, not unlike our local bears, have begun an early hibernation. The air is fresh and crisp and as the days are quickly becoming shorter time outside is precious. The sound of crunching leaves under your boots will serve as a reminder that winter is just around the corner. Fall is for hiking!

In this area, we are blessed with some of the best hiking in the province, perhaps in the country. Mountains, lakes, rivers and alpine meadows are all a short distance away. However, don't let the closeness create a false sense of security. You want to be accustomed to dealing with the seasons and changing weather conditions. Skilled hikers with proper gear and clothing learn to embrace the often erratic weather fall can bring. However, some casual walkers are often ill-prepared. Remember, mountain weather can and will change often and quickly. Your sunny stroll can soon become a cold wet slog, and a potentially dangerous situation. Planning and preparation is your best safety bet. Consider packing a little extra caution into your backpack and ensure you are carrying the essentials.

The 10 essentails are: Flashlight or headlamp; Whistle/signalling device; Fire starter; Extra clothes; Pocketknife; Tarp/shelter; Water and snacks; First aid kit; Compass, map and GPS; Fully charged cell phone.

No matter what motivates you to enjoy a fall hike, dress in layers, log your trip plan, double check your backpack is loaded with the essentails and adventure smart!

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