Hiking is about more than just exercise. (Though, it’s great for that too.)
It’s about escape.
It’s about basking in nature and conquering terrains we don’t find in our civilized world.
And hiking quotes tend to reflect that. The soul-lifting nature of hiking itself.
The draw to the wild. The healing powers of wandering nowhere just to wander nowhere.
While hiking may be a retreat and a pleasure for those who love it, though, there is no denying it’s also a challenge.
Those hills can be steep and those obstacles many.
So, if you need some encouragement to strap on the old hiking boots and head for the trails, these quotes should help put the spirit of the wild in you.
Inspirational Hiking Quotes
Many hiking quotes are about the restorative powers of time spent in nature, and how it carries through to daily life.
These are some:
- A walk in nature walks the soul back home. – Mary Davis
2. I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than trees. – Henry David Thoreau
3. Hiking is not escapism; it’s realism. The people who choose to spend time outdoors are not running away from anything; we are returning to where we belong. – Jennifer Pharr Davis
4. I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. – John Burroughs
5. It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B. It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way. – Cheryl Strayed, (from Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
6. All that is required of you is a willingness to trudge. There is no point in hurrying because you are not actually going anywhere. However far or long you trod you are always in the same place – in the woods. It’s where you were yesterday, where you will be tomorrow. – Bill Bryson (from A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
7. If you face the rest of your life with the spirit you show on the trail, it will have no choice but to yield the same kind of memories and dreams. – Adrienne Hall (from A Journey North: One Woman’s Story of Hiking the Appalachian Trail)
8. In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks. – John Muir
9. I love going out of my way, beyond what I know, and finding my way back a few extra miles, by another trail, with a compass that argues with the map. – Rebecca Solnit (from A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
10. You need mountains, long staircases don’t make good hikers. – Amit Kalantri
11. Seeing life at a pace at which you can actually observe nuance, the speed of stepping, the beautiful inspiring texture of “plain” reality becomes visible—God smiling in the detail. – Aspen Matis (from Your Blue Is Not My Blue: A Missing Person Memoir)
12. In wilderness (wherever you find it), there’s always a risk, but the physical challenge is the least part of it. Out on the trail, I find myself longing for an unsettling beauty, for a power I cannot control, for a wonder beyond my grasp. I can’t begin to name the mystery that sings in the corners of an Ozark night. But I can be crazy in love with it, scribbling, in turn, whatever I’m able to mumble about the experience.” – Belden C. Lane (from The Great Conversation: Nature and the Care of the Soul)
13. Happiness and hiking go hand in hand or foot in boot. – Diane Spicer
14. The world reveals itself to those who travel on foot. – Werner Herzog
15. There is always an adventure waiting in the woods. – Katelyn S. Bolds
Funny Hiking Quotes
These are hiking quotes with a little humor tossed in.
16. To hike is to complain. – Dean Johnston
17. Never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost, and you see a path. By all means, you should follow that. – Ellen DeGeneres
18. Trails are like that: you’re floating along in a Shakespearean Arden paradise and expect to see nymphs and flute boys, then suddenly you’re struggling in a hot broiling sun of hell in dust and nettles and poison oak…just like life. – Jack Kerouac (from The Dharma Bums)
19. Hiking is the only slightly less ugly stepsister of running. – Lindy Hughes (from It Never Stays in Vegas)
20. Fact: Hiking is actually just walking, only on dirt or rocks or other uneven surfaces. Or walking where an animal larger than you can kill and eat you. – Brendon Leonard (from Semi-Rad)
21. I found that starting to hike was like pulling off a plaster: better to do it quickly and not hang about. – Bex Band (from Three Stripes South)
22. My most memorable hikes can be classified as ‘Shortcuts that Backfired’. – Edward Abbey (from The Journey Home: Some Words in Defense of the American West)
23. Hiking—much like drinking—is something that sounds more fun to the uninitiated than it actually is. – Mindy McGinnis
24. The trails held a million places for those beady-eyed death noodles to hide. – Shaun David Hutchinson (from At the Edge of the Universe)
Best Hiking Quotes
Since best is subjective, we’ve chosen some of our favorite simple hiking quotes, which we like for their power and simplicity.
25. To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles. – Mary Davis
26. Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
27. Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking. You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits. – Cindy Ross
28. May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. – Edward Abbey
29. Hiking’s not for everyone. Notice the wilderness is mostly empty. – Sonja Yoerg (from The Middle of Somewhere)
30. Carry as little as possible, but choose that little with care. – Earl Shaffer
Want more yuks with your hiking content? Check out Hiking Puns To Give You LOLs On The Trail.
Just getting started with hiking? Check out our beginners guide – Getting Started with Hiking (Beginners Hiking Guide).