5 Reasons Why You Should Hike in Winter

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5 Reasons Why You Should Hike in Winter

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I’m working with Emerald® Nuts today to bring a new adventure to my winter fitness and snacking routine.  Thank you for supporting Running in a Skirt!

Think outside the box when it comes to winter activities! Here are 5 reasons why you should give hiking in winter a shot.

5 Reasons Why You Should Hike in Winter

Hi friends!

I’m the first to admit that I avoid cold weather and winter like the plague.  I’m much more likely to run on the treadmill than put on layers and conquer the cold and I tend to limit my outdoor activities this time of year.  I’m a total wuss- I know! I think it’s the former Florida girl in me that still prefers warmer weather.

I’m hoping to shake up my normal patterns this year.  Even though I’ll probably still do my cold runs on the treadmill, one goal I have is to go on at least one winter hike (hopefully more!)  Luckily Asheville weather is variable enough that I can usually find a weekend in the upper 40’s or 50’s to go.  I’ve even gotten really lucky, like this past weekend and found weather in the low 60’s .

So here are 5 reasons you should be bold and go on a hike this winter!

5 Reasons Why You Should Hike In Winter

The trails look completely different without the foliage.

It’s fascinating to go on a trail you’ve seen in spring, summer and fall and see how different it looks in the winter.

Bearwallow Mountain-193-32

Trees that are lush and green, look stark and scary this time of year.  The lack of vegetation allows you to focus on other parts of nature like rock formations or the stark blue sky.

Bearwallow Mountain-189-29
You can embrace the mild winter days.

Feeling cooped up all winter is not fun.  Hiking is a great way to embrace those mild winter days and get fresh air.

Clear winter days also bring the most beautiful clear blue skies.  There is often haze in the summer that can limit your views.  You get the best long range views in the off season.

Bearwallow Mountain-181-27

Frozen waterfalls.

If you can go on a mild day, after a long cold snap, you can see all sorts of gorgeous ice.  From frozen waterfalls to icicles, viewing the chilly parts of nature is nothing short of beautiful.

Bearwallow Mountain-9-6

Once you get moving, it’s not that bad.

Yes. It’s cold.  But if you can get past those first few minutes and start moving you will warm up quickly.  Hiking an uphill like this will quickly warm you up and make you forget it’s winter.  You’ll most likely start losing layers quick!

Bearwallow Mountain-5-4

Brings adventure to winter.

I love finding adventure and doing something new.  Hiking is a great free way to bring adventure to your life.

Bearwallow Mountain-184-28

Another way I bring adventure to my life and hikes is trying new Emerald Cashews in some pretty awesome new flavors: Dill Pickle, Jalapeno, Sriracha and Salt & Pepper.

Emerald Cashews in 4 BOLD new flavors.

My favorite is Sriracha with spicy red chili, garlic and a hint of vinegar.

Emerald Cashews in 4 BOLD new flavors.

Followed closely by the classic salt and pepper, which really brings out the natural flavor of this very nutty nut.

Emerald Cashews in 4 BOLD new flavors.

Emerald Cashews bring bold adventure to your life and snacks!  They really nailed these new flavors and I love taking them hiking with me.  They are an easy, nutty snack to pack that is high in flavor and energy.

Emerald Cashews in 4 BOLD new flavors.

I’m also a fan of their 100 calorie snack packs.  They are perfect packing size for a hike.

Emerald Cashews in 4 BOLD new flavors.

There is nothing boring about a winter hike or the new flavors of Emerald Cashews!

Note on safety.

I’m challenging you to get active this winter too with the bold move of a winter hike.  Be smart about it though!  Don’t pick the coldest day of the year.  Choose a mild sunny afternoon, with no chance of rain, snow or excessive wind.  Leave early enough so you will not finish in the dark.

Safety is even more critical this time of year.  Bring lots of layers, food and water with you.  Make sure to wear appropriate footwear. Be extra cautious about the weather and know the temperature drops about 4 degrees for every thousand feet of elevation you gain.  Again, don’t go if there is a chance for inclement weather including strong winds or precipitation and know the weather can change rapidly in the winter.  Go with a partner and make sure you tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.

Twitter and Beyond

Join Emerald today for the #CashewCraze Twitter Party at 9:00 AM PST / 12:00 PM EST.  If you miss that, go boldly go where no other snack nut has gone before: Like Emerald Cashews on Facebook, follow on Twitter and Instagram, and visit them at online.

Need some hiking suggestions in Western North Carolina?  Try my hiking page! You can always reach individual hiking ideas through the drop down menu on the top left side of my site.

Thanks for stopping by today!  Come back tomorrow for a fun twist on kale salad.

This post is sponsored by Emerald®.  As always all opinions are my own and I only write about products I use and love.  Thank you for supporting Running in a Skirt.

I’m linking this post with Jill Conyers for Fitness Friday, Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday and Annmarie for Wild Workout Wednesday.

Your turn!

Go HERE and tell me which flavor you’d like to try!

By | 2017-08-15T14:04:03-04:00 February 3rd, 2016|Fitness, Healthy Living Tips, Hiking, Motivation/ Inspiration|73 Comments


  1. Runaway Bridal Planner February 29, 2016 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Your so lucky you can do this in the winter!
    We can hike here in the winter, but snow shoes are a must! That is one thing I haven’t done this winter yet, and I’ve missed it!
    When I used to live in Southern Utah we did a lot of winter hiking and your right, you really do get to view things from a different perspective, it’s great!

    • JulieWunder March 5, 2016 at 8:56 am - Reply

      Our weather really varies in winter and out mountains vary in elevation so you can usually pick a mild day and find a good snow-free spot! We’ve got periods where they are all covered, but then it melts again 🙂

  2. Andi February 19, 2016 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    I really, really hate the heat so I prefer to hike in the fall and winter. Also it is usually less crowded!

  3. Lori @ TheHealthMinded.com February 10, 2016 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    Love hiking and love those winter skies!! Great point about it getting dark earlier and being mindful of that, Julie.

  4. Farrah February 8, 2016 at 12:05 am - Reply

    I’m definitely with you there! It’s cold and a lot more slippery, but ah, it’s so pretty and different! There are several places I’d like to visit in every season just to see what it looks like!

    P.S. I want those sriracha cashews. <3

  5. Kristen February 7, 2016 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    I love winter hiking! Winter is my favorite season (which is a big reason I moved to Alaska – joke’s on me that it’s not really as cold or snowy as I thought it would be!) and I love getting outside each weekend to enjoy it!

    • JulieWunder February 8, 2016 at 8:12 am - Reply

      Haha! That is kind of crazy! I bet you’ve had some great adventures though!

  6. Autumn @AutumnPTW February 6, 2016 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    I agree, hiking in the winter is different and wonderful in its own way. I did more of it last year, I need to add it to my to-do list this year…not so much! I will be on the look out for those cashews!

  7. jill conyers February 6, 2016 at 4:17 am - Reply

    We hike year around [almost]. Nuts are one of the best foods ever.

  8. Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me February 5, 2016 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    I’ve recently fallen in love with hiking, so as I’m reading this, I keep nodding my head YES. I’m so glad you love hiking too!!! Loved this post. 🙂

    • JulieWunder February 6, 2016 at 10:58 am - Reply

      Thank you! It is such a fun way to spend a day.

  9. KJ | Om Nom Herbivore February 5, 2016 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Great post!! Another great reason is that the trails are WAY less crowded!! In Utah the trails are so packed in the summer its like walking in a line at times but in the winter only the avid hikers are out. Its soo nice!!

  10. Kristina February 4, 2016 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    I’d love a nice hike/walk in the winter with my boys on a day it isn’t too cold. Even though it isn’t green and flowery it is still beautiful looking at nature. Great tips! I’d love to give this a try.

    • JulieWunder February 6, 2016 at 10:57 am - Reply

      I agree! I think you notice things you don’t see otherwise.

  11. Heather @Fit n Cookies February 4, 2016 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    I love going for walks in the winter. I don’t know why but everything seems so much more beautiful in the winter. I sweat the air seems fresher ad so much more exciting.

  12. Eileen February 4, 2016 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    I love to hike in winter. I have a beautiful nature preserve so close to my house that I love to hike in all year

  13. Emily February 4, 2016 at 11:27 am - Reply

    I completely agree that hiking during the winter is an AWESOME way to get great views and focus on other parts of God’s creation like the rock formations, sparkly snow, and even looking at dead trees can be kind of amazing, thinking of how they leaf out and look completely different in the summer time. And safety should ALWAYS be paramount! 🙂

    • JulieWunder February 4, 2016 at 2:15 pm - Reply

      So true! God made some really pretty things 🙂

  14. Summer February 4, 2016 at 11:05 am - Reply

    The Emerald Cashews look interesting ♥


  15. Jessica @ MarvelousGloom February 4, 2016 at 10:53 am - Reply

    I love hiking in the winter! It is very quiet since far less people venture out than during other seasons, and I enjoy the peace. I like being able to draw or photograph the trees for future sketches. I love how creepy they look!

    • JulieWunder February 4, 2016 at 2:14 pm - Reply

      They are so creepy cool! Perfect subject for photos!

  16. Becki S February 4, 2016 at 10:40 am - Reply

    I should definitely give hiking another chance, maybe Winter hiking could be me thing! I don’t really like all the bugs and such in the summer but those shouldn’t be an issue right now!

    • JulieWunder February 4, 2016 at 2:14 pm - Reply

      You are the second person to mention bugs! I really should have put that on my list– haha!

  17. Jess @hellotofit February 4, 2016 at 10:10 am - Reply

    For me it’s easy to assume that hiking in the spring is “better”, but you are SO right! Different foliage, different views. Great post!

  18. Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories February 4, 2016 at 10:04 am - Reply

    I have been obsessed with trail mix and nuts since going gluten and dairy free. It’s my go to snack. Excited to see some spicy cashews, not sure if I should try Sriracha or Jalapeno first! Hiking in Asheville is the best, we went to Dupont State Forest over the summer and it was magnificent. I’ve never seen frozen waterfalls, you don’t need to twist my arm to go back to Asheville, one of my favorite places in NC!

  19. Alisa @ Go Dairy Free February 3, 2016 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    I am so with you! Now I just have to convince my husband it isn’t too cold outside. Those nuts look awesome, too – I’ll have to keep an eye out.

  20. Rachel February 3, 2016 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    The weather has been mild this winter for a hike. There are a few parks near my house that would be fun to explore in the winter.

  21. Vera Sweeney February 3, 2016 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    We are working as a family to be more active in general and one of our favorite thing to do is to hike. These are great tips, I have not seen these Emerald nuts before!

    • JulieWunder February 4, 2016 at 9:42 am - Reply

      They are yummy! And I’m a big fan of these new flavors.

  22. Laura @ This Runner's Recipes February 3, 2016 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    Oh, great post! I wrote something similar back in January, because I LOVE winter hiking. I live in Seattle, so it’s fun to go into the mountains and hike in the snow. The mountains are crowded here in the summer, so winter offers both beautiful scenery and less crowded trails.

    • JulieWunder February 4, 2016 at 9:41 am - Reply

      So great! I’ve heard such nice things about Seattle. 2 of my good friends moved there and are always showing pictures pictures of gorgeous hikes.

  23. Maria @closetohome February 3, 2016 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    I imagine he scenery is great but the lack of crowds is another reason to hike in the winter.

    • JulieWunder February 4, 2016 at 9:10 am - Reply

      That’s another great reason! I should add it to my list.

  24. Mary Beth Jackson February 3, 2016 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    I so enjoyed my hike in Wisconsin back in December, you can’t beat the views! And the animals 🙂 We eat tons of those nuts, salt and pepper ones are my fav!

    • JulieWunder February 4, 2016 at 9:10 am - Reply

      That was beautiful! It’s a cool time of year, if you keep an open mind.

  25. [email protected] February 3, 2016 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    I’ve only been hiking during the winter a few times, but I love it. It’s such a nice change from the spring and summer hiking; plus, there are no bugs. ?

    • JulieWunder February 4, 2016 at 9:09 am - Reply

      Truth!! Should put that at the top of the list!

  26. Dani @ Dani California Cooks February 3, 2016 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    Whenever I am home in Santa Monica my parents take me on the most wonderful hikes…can’t say it’s like “winter” there at all because we can hike year round! It’s such a nice way to get exercise in.

    • JulieWunder February 4, 2016 at 9:08 am - Reply

      I totally agree! Hiking is such a great workout that doesn’t actually feel like one.

  27. April February 3, 2016 at 10:43 am - Reply

    I very much miss the cold weather. I am from Michigan and am in Florida now. I have a hard time wanting to go walking/jogging in the summer because of the heat. You have some beautiful pictures from your winter hike. Winter in my opinion is so clean and crisp and you captured that beautifully! Emerald almonds are my favorite energy boost snack!

    • JulieWunder February 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm - Reply

      I grew up in Florida and it never bothered me when I lived there, but now if I go back I can’t run in the summer either! I’d have to get used to it again! Thanks for stopping by!

  28. This is why I run outside in the winter! There is beauty in every season. Altho it is certainly more gorgeous where you live…those mountain views are spectacular!

  29. Annmarie February 3, 2016 at 9:38 am - Reply

    I live a few hours from the Adirondacks and they are a beautiful place to explore in the winter! Those sriracha cashews would be sure to warm me up on a cold hike too- YUM!

    • JulieWunder February 3, 2016 at 9:50 am - Reply

      Totally! I’d love to explore the Adirondacks!

  30. Nicole @ Fitful Focus February 3, 2016 at 9:37 am - Reply

    I love winter hikes. I don’t get the opportunity to do them often, but when I do, I find them more peaceful than summer hikes. Everything is just so still and calm. Those cashews sound amazing, too!

    • JulieWunder February 3, 2016 at 9:49 am - Reply

      Totally! Such a good point. The cashews are kind of awesome!

  31. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy February 3, 2016 at 9:26 am - Reply

    I would happily go hiking at all times of the year if there were places to do it round here. I wish we had these flavour cashews as well, they sound amazing.

    • JulieWunder February 3, 2016 at 9:48 am - Reply

      They should be in most stores now! Yes, I am so lucky to have so many options nearby.

  32. Heather Johnson February 3, 2016 at 9:00 am - Reply

    I love going outside during all the seasons. Hiking in winter is great because I usually do not have to worry about bugs!

  33. Susie @ SuzLyfe February 3, 2016 at 8:16 am - Reply

    I love Emerald nuts and I love the outdoors! Too bad the only hikes that are close to me are to the store and back 😀

    • JulieWunder February 3, 2016 at 9:47 am - Reply

      Yes! You are kind of limited. You’d love these nuts!

  34. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets February 3, 2016 at 8:14 am - Reply

    I’ve never gone on a winter hike and I’m thinking that needs to change this year! It’s so beautiful this time of year, and I love your photos of the trees.

    • JulieWunder February 3, 2016 at 9:46 am - Reply

      Thanks Janelle! It’s totally worth the effort.

  35. We don’t live close enough to go hiking that often but I’d love to go again in the spring. Hello siracha nuts 🙂

  36. Dan Steadman February 3, 2016 at 7:53 am - Reply

    we love hiking all year round, just right now be careful as a lot of trails are still recovering from snow/rain…a lot of good trails in the Upstate of SC…if I tried them, I’d go salt and pepper

    • JulieWunder February 3, 2016 at 9:45 am - Reply

      Yes! Very good point– they can get very mushy after a good melted snow.

  37. Blane Sherer February 3, 2016 at 6:35 am - Reply

    Yes, There is beauty outdoors in winter.

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