Most days, you’ll find me hiking on a Cheyenne Mountain area trail, either on my own or with my family. It’s an important part of my routine and something around which I plan my day.

Hiking adds so much to my life. I can’t imagine living in a place that didn’t have easy access to trails.

Hiking gives me quiet time in nature to reflect and unwind from whatever life has going on.

It provides sparks of inspiration and creativity in the form of solutions to problems and new ideas for my business and life.

It moves my body as it was designed to move — over varied terrain and conditions — and it keeps me strong and moving well.

It offers me a sense of wonder and joy as I watch birds hunt for wild edible foods and notice new plants popping up and flowers bursting, seemingly overnight.

It connects me to my family and to friends and neighbors I see as we share the trail.

It serves as much-needed playtime as I hop on rocks and over streams, climb trees and race my son down the trail.

Finally, hiking gives me new perspective on life, on today, on this moment.

Recently completed and in-progress trails in the Stratton Open Space, North Cheyenne Cañon Park and Strawberry Hill have added to this perspective and helped me to appreciate the magic of experiencing a new trail.

Hiking on a new trail lights me up. Everything is new — the view, the setting the trail creates, the feeling of the trail beneath my legs and feet. I’m instantly awake, aware of and appreciative of my surroundings.

There’s nothing like this fresh perspective to remind me to stop planning or reviewing in my head and instead to soak up what’s in front of me.

If you’d like to experience the novel perspective that a new trail provides, check out the re-routes of the Chamberlain Trail and Gold Camp Path in the Stratton Open Space. Or stroll down the new wheelchair accessible Starsmore Nature Trail along North Cheyenne Creek behind the Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center in North Cheyenne Cañon Park. Or, hike up the rolling new section of the Chamberlain Trail in Strawberry Hill, just east of South Cheyenne Cañon.

I’m looking forward to slowing down in the moment as I explore more trails in the coming weeks — two new trails near Helen Hunt Falls in North Cheyenne Cañon Park and the Dixon Trail to the top of Cheyenne Mountain in Cheyenne Mountain State Park.

I hope you’ll join me and refresh your perspective while you hike a new trail. Even better, come out for a trail clean-up or maintenance day. I suspect it will also give you new perspective and appreciation for our amazing Cheyenne Mountain area trails.

Joanna Zaremba is a mom and wife, a nature lover, a writer, and a movement and mindfulness teacher. She has lived in the Cheyenne Cañon neighborhood for seven years. She can be reached at hello@joannazaremba.com.

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