Hiking Poems

These are original PineTreePoet hiking poems. They were all written on my favorite trails locally in North Carolina, and abroad in various state and national parks. Some were written on shady single track with a heavy pack, and others crossing small streams only a few minutes from civilization. Please share this list of hiking poems with your adventurous, outdoorsy, sunshine-loving, all-day-hiking friends & family.

A hiking trip is my favorite kind of work trip. Dirt trails, high up in mountains, is where I do my best work. I’m lucky to share that work with you below.

Enjoy! (And let me know your favorite in the comments)


Wear hiking boots

to my funeral

and then take the smiles

my life left upon you

into the mountains

to live forever.


Paperclips hold things together

like our taxes and wills.

But trees

hold something else together

the dirt beneath our feet

with their roots

and our all-day-hiking thrills


I’m hiking up

a cold mountain ridge

I smell the pine of the season

and I close my eyes

for a moment

that cannot be described.

When I open them again

I am at my desk

and I see I left the window open.


I just can’t relate

if you don’t love the color green.

With how much of a forest

is that same color

it seems an odd thing.


The sign said:


but I couldn’t help

dropping on the trail

a few of my worries and anxieties.


I started taking less pictures

because I imagined all the trees

stressed about how they looked

and all the rocks

wondering if I’d tag them.


Friends want me to visit

but I’d almost always rather

go hiking.


My neighbor asked

where I spent my weekends

and I told her among the pines

I said I couldn’t bear

long grocery store lines.



with a good pair of hiking boots

are more trustworthy.


Trailhead signs

point us where we need to go

they warn us of bears and coyotes

of water sources they let us know.

But they can’t take our pictures

they’re only wood and steel

if they could just capture those


soon-to-be-hikers can only feel.


I might be doing


in these woods

but I bet the universe


and never to be understood

looks upon your busy ‘something’

the same as my busy ‘nothing’


Hard times

are coming your way and mine

but my hard times

I hope

are too much snow

on the trail

and too few pictures

taken on my phone.


The forest closed around me

and I lost my trampling way

but then I felt

in its environing

it was begging me to stay.


Heavy pack

crunchy snack

steep switchback

little mountain shack


Red pine needles

trampled smooth underfoot

the forest swells

with earthen pride.

My eyes fall down

then climb a big green tree

they move from stream to stone

to moss

and follow a buzzing bee

the red and green, yellow and blue

all hold hands and sway

a dance so ancient and distant

ordained from the first day.

All day long

they hold each other tight

and I, an alien hiker

with my pack and poles and boots

smile with all my mortal might.


Let’s stop up here

and unpack

our worries.


Teachers like to ask us

what we wish to become

but I’m afraid such questions

likely leave you quite dumb

and deaf to adventure’s beckoning.

So look them in the eye and say

“Wherever the pines grow

and freest birds do fly

even without money

I’d gladly go to die.”


Stopping for pizza

after hiking

is almost as good

as the hiking itself.



She thought she hadn’t read

any poetry lately

but she looked around

the trail she was hiking

and saw Creation’s perfect verse



I met someone on the trail.

He said good morning.


I’ve written many mountain poems in Grayson Highlands State Park. Tap here for my favorite Grayson Highlands photos.


Every trail I’ve walked

is a book page I’ve turned past

sewing a great literary sail

not without curiosity’s mast.


I keep my trail shoes too long

but I can’t just throw them away

they’ve got the dirt and scuffs

those dirty maps

of all the places

I need to revisit


I always keep a map

of my favorite trails

in my bag

just in case I get lost

among all these people

and their material hurry.


Let’s rouse

the great spirit

of adventure

so weakened these days

by smooth roads

and soft beds.


I found a dollar in the forest

perhaps someone paid

for their fresh air therapy.


We’re quite good

at climbing social ladders

and tax brackets

but we walk into a wood

and can’t climb a tree

or summit a boulder

lest we scrape a spoiled knee


I hike to work

pretending cars are big friendly bears

and people are cheery birds.

It helps with the smog and the bustle

and the whole not hiking thing.


You know

if you don’t do a couple good hikes

every year

your life

isn’t all it could be.


I wish less people

hiked my favorite trails

but I wish more people

deeply appreciated forests.

*sighs happily*


If you want to see

someone at their best

take them hiking

somewhere far away.


The rugged trail said to me

follow me

deeper and deeper

into your own soul.


Stillness is the playground

of Earth’s wildest things.

Shop trucker hats with our partner, Wicked Trail


Flowers in the mountains

have a particular way

of making me smile

at the ground.


We’re all born

tree huggers

some of us

only forget.

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