Hiking is one of those activities that has faded in and out of my life since I was a little boy. I can distinctly remember being very young (no more than 5 yrs. old) and looking forward to running through the woods at the South Mountain Reservation (Millburn, NJ in case you're wondering) with my sisters when we went on family walks. Those experiences were probably the peak of my excitement in life when it came to hiking -- until somewhat recently.
For me, the motivation to get outside and explore is borne of a hunger for stunning and otherwise unavailable visuals. Whatever peoples motivations are -- I applaud them. From a photographers' perspective -- it's always worth it. Below is a very small selection of the visual payoffs I've experienced in the last year.