ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Warmer weather typically brings out an array of people who are venturing outside to hike the mountains of Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

According to the manager of Walkabout Outfitter in downtown Roanoke, Rayna Christman, we could see even more hikers lacing up their boots to hit area trails this year than we did last year.

“I think a lot of people started hiking and biking for the first time in their lives potentially while things were closed down during the pandemic,” said Christman.

She says the trails are likely going to be as busy as ever as the Roanoke Valley is known for its many hiking opportunities.

“I personally decided to move here because of the bountiful hiking trails. I’m from very flat Ohio,” Christman told WFXR News.

Since trails are expected to be busy this year, avid hikers say there are things to keep in mind.

“Issues that come with more people on trails is you’ll have degradation of the trails, so you’ll want to walk in the middle so your footsteps are only impacting a minimal amount of the trail,” said Christman.

She says this can also help with keeping yourself safe from any animals lurking in the brush and that a big part of hiking is to leave no trace of your existence on the trail by picking up trash and leaving nature the way you found it.

Avid hiker Brandon Hostetler has been hiking for three years and has even hiked 23 miles in two days. He mentioned common hiking courtesies will be important with increased trail traffic.

“If people are walking up the trail and you’re coming down, you want to stop for the people that are coming up, let them pass because their natural momentum is going forward, so you’ll let them pass and you’ll continue walking down,” Hostetler said.

Hikers should make sure they are equipped with a first-aid kit, along with plenty of water and a way to purify it if you need to drink it from an outside source.

In addition, hikers should never go on their trek alone. Bring a buddy and a GPS tracking device with you — just in case of an emergency.

VisitRoanokeVA.com says there are over 700 miles of hiking trails in the Roanoke Valley alone, so there is plenty of trail space to go around.