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Hiking | Favorite Places | Personal Post

Hiking is one of my favorite outdoor activities, so when I was struggling to figure out what to write for today's post, I thought it would be a great idea to highlight my favorite hiking spots!

As is evident by my wildlife artwork and conservation business initiative, nature, wilderness, + wildlife are really important to me personally and now professionally. My passion for the outdoors started as little more than a desire to get out of the house. I enjoyed playing sports outside as a kid, running around, feeling the sun on my face, etc. As my artwork progressed throughout the years, I focused more and more on animals and landscapes. Then I started taking hiking more seriously - venturing to different places and challenging myself with the activity. When I decided to make my passion for art and photography a real business, it didn't take long before I also felt drawn to include my love of nature and desire to make a difference for the creatures and lands that inspire my work. Now, a large part of what I do each day focuses on educating myself about important conservation + wildlife issues. Using that knowledge, I strive to educate you all and, in turn, shape my work.

I digress...back to hiking. Hiking is great exercise, especially when you spend the whole day out on the trails! I also find it very peaceful and even spiritual and that is why I often hike solo. (Please, if you also hike alone, be sure to have first aid supplies, a map, food + water, other emergency supplies, and tell someone where you're going! Here's a great place to start to find the essentials.) I have been to several state and regional parks in Minnesota and Wisconsin and I've been fortunate enough to hike in the Rockies, Black Hills, and Badlands. Here are some of my favorite hikes to date:

Rocky Mountain National Park

At the top of Flattop Mountain (12,324 ft) - this was an incredibly difficult but very rewarding trek taken with my brother, sister, and brother-in-law!

View from the Old Fall River Road

At the very tip top of Hallett Peak (12,713 ft) - that's my little brother!

Wisconsin Hike | Hartmann Creek State Park, Waupaca WI

A really great day hike - yes, even in the winter!

Minnesota Hikes | Minnehaha Falls/Fort Snelling State Park + Afton State Park

There are a lot of option in MN, but you certainly don't have to go far from the Twin Cities to find a great day hike!

(Just some random guys who walked into the shot!)

There is a really great trail that connects Minnehaha Falls (a popular Twin Cities destination) to Fort Snelling State Park, traveling along the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers.

Afton State Park isn't just for skiing and snowboarding, it offers a lot of great trails during the summer too! Hiking alone is great, but going with friends is fun too!

I'm always looking for challenging and different hikes, so if you have a great one you've done, please let me know! I'd love to have an overwhelming list of places to visit!

As always, thank you for stopping by today!

Have a great Thursday!

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