Start slow. A short, local hike is best for beginners. Gradually work up to trails with hills or uneven terrain.
Bring a buddy. It’s best not to hike alone at first, especially on unfamiliar or remote trails. A partner or group can help you navigate and assist if you get hurt. So before you go out grab your buddy and your hiking sticks first. As your skill level improves, you’ll feel more comfortable going solo.
Know before you go. Familiarize yourself with the trail map. Check the weather and dress and pack accordingly. If storms are a possibility, rethink your plan.
Use common sense. Follow marked paths and trails. Avoid contact with questionable plants and animals.
Get into a groove. On the days you can’t make it to the trails, power-walk on a hilly terrain while carrying various degrees of weight in a backpack -- it will keep your hiking skills and fitness level on track.