It was my first real visit to the New Hampshire seacoast and I couldn’t wait to get out on the beach. I was ready with sunglasses and sunscreen. But mother nature had something else in mind. The forecast? Rain, rain, rain…
Although it wouldn’t be the lazy beach towel and a book weekend I had originally envisioned, there was still plenty to see and do, and hiking was on the top of my list. I decided to visit beautiful Odiorne Point State Park in Rye, New Hampshire. With miles of hiking trails that traverse diverse habitats from salt marshes to tidal beaches, upland meadows, and woods, not to mention a few historical sites and monuments, the park is a real gem. And I was going to see it all in the rain.
Have you ever been on a rain hike?
Why hiking in the rain is awesome:
- It’s quiet. You might have the whole trail to yourself. And parking is definitely easy to find.
- The ambiance. Whether your enjoying a gentle refreshing shower, braving a downpour, or finding your way through a creeping mist, it’s a neat time to be outdoors.
- Less bugs. Who doesn’t like leaving behind those smelly, oily sprays?
- The wildlife. There are lots of creatures that like getting wet , and many more that are happy to take advantage of a quiet day, too.
- Great shots. Cloudy weather diffuses and softens the light for the camera. And moody clouds add drama to a picture. Of course, it’s important to keep the camera dry!
If you usually stay indoors on days like this you’re really missing out! And if you’re looking for a way to try some rain hiking, summer is a great time to start. It’s much easier to prepare for wet weather when the temperatures are warm. Here are a few things to keep in mind…
Top 8 tips for an enjoyable summer rain hike:
- Select waterproof outerwear with good ventilation (pit zips!). Or, if you want to get wet, moisture-wicking fabrics are a good choice. Avoid jeans and cottons that become heavy when wet and take a long time to dry.
- Choose shoes that will keep your feet dry! They should also have good grip in slippery conditions.
- Keep your valuables (and your trail map!) in ziplocks or trashbags.
- Bring a change of clothes and keep a towel in the car. Riding home in wet clothes is no fun.
- Pick the right trails. Areas with slippery rocks or steep slopes, or places that are prone to flash flooding, are not good choices in wet weather.
- Stay hydrated. Sometimes it’s easy to forget to drink water when it’s everywhere.
- Be mindful of the forecast and prepare properly. Avoid severe storms.
- Bring a friend. It’s more enjoyable and safer.
Visiting Odiorne on such a still day was amazing. I won’t forget how peaceful it was to listen to the waves and the rain as I walked along the misty shore.
New Hampshire is really beautiful in all weather. No sun, no problem!
Come back next Thursday to see me try rain paddleboarding!