when you’re hiking in the woods, do you notice the trail you’re walking on?
does the trail have stone staircases? they are so much nicer to climb than a steep slope and will stand the test of time.
are there many roots and rocks to climb over or is the trail smooth and hard? depending on where you are, you’ll feel a wide variety of textures beneath your feet. my favorite trails have a smooth, hard tread that make it easy to walk. many trails in new england are covered in rocks and roots, though, because there may be no easy way to get to that hard surface beneath layers and layers of decomposing leaves and organic matter.
do you have a clear path without branches hitting your face? chances are, volunteers took the time to trim them. sometimes it’s easy to find evidence of this when the trail workers have left nubs or stems behind (nubs are my pet peeve, but they’re better than getting whacked in the face!).
are there blazes on the trees showing you where to go? someone hand-painted these, too. they should be close enough where you can see the next blaze in your line of sight when you are standing next to one.
do you see cool natural features and views on your hike? a granite summit, a glacial erratic, a neat hollow tree… someone chose to put the trail there so you would go by those things.