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To city folks like me that have never been in the woods, surrounded by kilometers of massive trees and mosquitoes, this is for you. Buckle up for this one because I, a girl that belongs to the metropolitan, WENT ON A HIKE! And let me tell you, I enjoyed it! This is the story of how I became appreciative of the outdoors after a so-called "chill" (or as I would call it, "intimidating") hike.

My bold adventure began right after I revealed to my very outdoorsy friends that I had never hiked a mountain. At this time I was a sophomore, so they were bewildered after such a confession. For many Dartmouth students, having gone hiking in New Hampshire at least once is like a universal experience. But for someone that grew up next to a mall and the closest thing I had to a mountain was the 2-minute uphill walk to my high school's sports center, hiking just felt otherworldly.


My friends quickly suggested that we should try to hike Gile mountain, a "short-and-sweet walk," they said. Their encouraging words reassured me, and so I decided to embark on this journey with them.

Full disclosure: In the beginning, I struggled! My body felt like an old sack of potatoes as I tried catching up to my friends who were practically sprinting during our upward stroll. I quickly found myself out of breath, but my friends were understanding and we slowed down. Most of the trail was made up of stone steps, which were great for extra support because I am not used to walking on dirt or big rocks.


My favorite part of the hike was the big fire tower at the end of the trail. It is about 7 stories high, and once you reach the top you get the most amazing view ever! I could spot the Dartmouth Skiway (where Dartmouth students ski in the winter), the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge (a Dartmouth-owned lodge in the middle of the woods known for its delicious dinners), and the college! The tower is an amazing place for taking pictures with your friends and admiring nature.

The walk down the trail was beautiful; we could see separate sun rays shine through the tree paths. 


Overall, my first hike was a great experience. I am grateful that Dartmouth is surrounded by so much nature that you can find a place in it that you can enjoy! There are definitely steeper mountains for the more advanced hikers, but you can always find places to rejoice as a beginner!

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