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Hiking: a tonic for body and soul

Walking is good for the body, but hiking is good for the body - and the soul.

That's what the Colley Senior Complex hikers believe.

&uot;It's wonderful to get out in nature and breathe the fresh air,&uot; said Nuri Abdur-Rahman. &uot;Hiking is good for you in so many ways.&uot;

Because hiking is good for the body and soul, Mary Ann Casey, director of the Colley Senior Complex, wanted to offer hiking as program at the center.

&uot;The emphasis of the hiking program would be health, the outdoors and the beautiful world around us,&uot; Casey said. &uot;All we needed was a facilitator.&uot;

Casey didn't have to look long.

William Scarborough, a Troy State University student majoring in human services, was looking for a place to intern and he found the perfect place.

&uot;William agreed to be our facilitator and we organized the hiking group about a month ago,&uot; Casey said. &uot;The hikers meet at the center each Wednesday morning at 9 o'clock and William has a great hike planned for them.&uot;

The hikers aren't trailblazers. They look for trails that are well marked and ones that provide them with a panoramic view of Mother Nature.

They have hiked the Ellis Bush farm, the TSU arboretum and Billy and Jean Gibson's farm trails.

They were off again Wednesday on the three-mile &uot;Gibson&uot; trail that winds through some of the most beautiful countryside in Pike County.

&uot;Not many people would believe that there are places this beautiful in Pike County,&uot; Dianne Flowers said. &uot;You would only expect this kind of scenery in the mountains.&uot;

With the trees winter-bare, the hikers could see for miles.

Deep ravines were inviting but the hikers said they have not reached that level of fitness - yet.

&uot;If we got down there, we couldn't get back up,&uot; Annette Tustin, said laughing.

For the hikers, a brisk morning walk gives the body a wakeup call and gives them energy for the rest of the day.

Everyone agreed that they feel much better and more refreshed after the hikes.

&uot;We are researching hiking trails in our area and some outside the area,&uot; Scarborough said. &uot;We are planning an all-day hike and everyone is looking forward to that. We're not sure where we'll go, but it will be somewhere there is beautiful scenery. We all enjoy that.&uot;

Until then, the hikers want to go on a hike that is long enough for them to stop and have lunch.

&uot;Every time we go hiking, we get hungry,&uot; they said laughing.

All the hikers agreed that they are having too much fun not to share it with others.

&uot;We invite anyone who is interested in joining the hiking group to stop by the center or call 808-8500,&uot; Casey said. &uot;Those who want to hike need to be in good physical condition, so the hikes will be enjoyable.&uot;