Fall and winter are the perfect time for outside activities in the desert. While our counterparts are shoveling snow, desert fitness buffs will be hiking, biking and going on nature walks in our near-perfect weather.

The City of La Quinta is the desert’s fitness destination. Packed full of hiking trails, bike paths and meandering walkways for all ages and fitness levels, La Quinta ranked No. 5 of the top 45 hiking locations in the west by Sunset Magazine. The city has blossomed into a healthy eating/active living town that continues to find new and unique activities for its residents and tourists.

The city has invested in miles of hiking/walking/biking paths to ensure residents and tourists alike can venture outdoors, commune with nature, and step up their personal fitness in safe, beautiful surroundings. They have also created partnerships with the Stewards of the Nature Preserve, Phillip Ferranti, and Landmark Golf Management to offer diverse healthy options that interest all age groups and fitness levels.

As La Quinta is surrounded by interesting outcroppings of jagged low mountains, many hikers flock here just to explore the uniqueness of the terrain. Trails are all well-marked and hiking maps are available on the City’s website. Guided hikes are also popular for those who may be a bit timid to trek alone and are offered on a regular basis with Philip Ferranti, a local hiker/nature lover and author of 140 Great Hikes in and Near Palm Springs.

Those going solo may find it fun to bring Fido along; La Quinta’s Cove Trail Network, marked in white on the hiking trails map, is on-leash dog-friendly. Hikes range from a little over two miles to a little over seven, so you can pick and choose what level/length is best suited for you. As an added benefit, many trails start/end near Old Town La Quinta, complete with dog-friendly restaurants, a coffee house and bike rentals.

Free nature walks, sponsored by The Stewards of the Bear Creek Nature Preserve, are offered regularly and combine education and a close-up look at the untouched desert flora and fauna. Through partnership with the Stewards, the City has worked toward protecting this desert habitat and has been placing identification plaques next to various indigenous vegetation to ensure that the desert’s natural beauty is not forgotten.

One of La Quinta’s unique healthy offerings is the “Walk the Rock” program at the City’s public golf course, SilverRock Resort. In partnership with Landmark Golf Management, golfers who are willing to tote their own golf clubs and ditch the golf carts will get in a great walk with low rates in the late afternoon. Nestled among the mountains, SilverRock is a breathtaking venue, complete with bighorn sheep sightings and the All American Canal cutting through the undulating greens.

The health and wellness of its residents and guests is a high priority to the City of La Quinta as illustrated by its new Wellness Center, complete with a state-of-the-art fitness center (a great way to get in shape for hiking!).

So get out and enjoy the beautiful fall/winter weather in La Quinta!

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