In our post on water, as part of the Ten Essentials, we mentioned keeping an extra supply at the trailhead, and we took for granted that you knew what a trailhead is. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary dates the word to 1948 and defines it simply as “the point at which a trail begins.”

Aside from the hiking that our family so enjoys, a trailhead may also indicate an access point intended for bicycles, horses, or off-road vehicles according to Wikipedia. It is likely to be adjacent to a parking area, and may have restrooms and a kiosk with maps, sign posts and informational brochures. In our experience, some trailheads will also have a drop box for collection of usage fees via the “honor system.” Some trailheads are simply a sign, with the trail name, alongside a road.

More than this, though, the trailhead is where your adventures into the wilderness begin, and end. Often appearing like a small slot into which you might slide into a forest, prairie, or wetlands, you sometimes feel like the Pevensie children slipping through C. S. Lewis’ wardrobe into a fantastical world, leaving behind the concerns and turmoils of your life back in civilization. Admittedly, our outings are never quite as exciting as the Pevensies’ journeys to Narnia.

The weekend has started, so we encourage you to go out and find a trailhead close to you. If you don’t know where to find one, National Geographic’s partner AllTrails offers a fairly comprehensive searchable listing of trails for a variety of outdoor activities.

If you’d like to tell us about your favorite trailhead, or resources for finding one, we’d like to hear about it in the comments.