Hiking and Creativity

So how do hiking and creativity go together? Allow me to set the stage, and I will explain.
Last weekend my family and I made our sixth trip to Guntersville State Park in Northeast Alabama. Here, they hold a multiple weekend event called Eagle Awareness Weekends. Eagles are rare in the southeast, so it’s a treat to see them in their natural setting and to learn more about them. They are beautiful birds and very majestic, one of the crowns of God’s creation.

Between eagle lectures and eagle watching, I stole away to do some hiking. Guntersville Park is a beautiful place and the lodge sits on a tall ridge that overlooks the Tennessee River. Trails wind and wrap all around the park. Some are short and some are longer, some moderate and some strenuous. Walking these leafy paths really got my heart to pumping. Hiking has an undeniable affect on my health, well-being, and my thinking.

It seems like when I go hiking my mind opens up. Creativity starts to flow again. Ideas seem to fall from the sky. And so I wondered why this is the case. The more I thought about it, the more my thoughts centered on this simple phrase: change it up.

Hiking offers many ways to change things up. I get to see new scenery, beautiful vistas, new wildlife, different terrain, different plants and trees. This weekend I saw eagles which I don’t normally see day to day. I traveled to a park down a highway I use maybe once a year. I slept in a room that smelled different and looked much different than my bedroom at home. I visited restaurants that aren’t in my town.

So I think you get my point. If you’re stuck in a rut and the inspiration spigot has been turned off, do something to change it up. Maybe take a trip, drive a different way to work, listen to a different radio station and music, hike a new trail, visit a new park or museum, read a book you wouldn’t normally read. There are many ways to get ideas flowing again.

How about you? How do you get out of a rut and open the creative floodgates?