There's little more restorative than going on a hike.
Escaping from the hustle and flow, and enjoying the peaceful serenity of nature, and taking in all the beauty around you.
But every now and then, hikers may stumble across something a bit unsettling, even scary.
Making them want to return to civilization all the sooner.
Redditor purple_loves_bread was eager to hear about the creepiest discoveries made by experienced hikers while on the trail, leading them to ask:
"Hikers of Reddit, what's the weirdest/scariest thing you've found/seen during a hike?"
How did it even get there?
"A dolphin skeleton 50 meters from the water on a trail in Costa Rica."- argenntinosaurus
An unwanted visitor
"On a backpacking trip in the Sierra Mountains in California, my buddy forgot to put his toothpaste in the bear bag, which is a bag you put all food and aromatic items in to hang from a tree branch at night so the bears won't eat it."
"At about 2 a.m., we hear him yelling and get up to find a huge black bear on top of him in his tent trying to get at the toothpaste."
"The rest of us had to bang pans and throw rocks to get the bear to leave him alone."- The_Spyrebbc one bear GIF by BBCGiphy
Literal grave robbers
"Hiking in Vermont."
"Saw a bright red shirt hanging in a tree off the trail, so I went to check it out."
"Saw a couple of freshly dug graves and a few really old headstones."
"Reported it - turns out it was someone stealing headstones from a local graveyard and relocating them."
"Don't know if they were stealing the bodies, too."- GravityoftheMoon
Improper hiking attire
"Me, my old roommate and a friend went hiking into the woods in Tennessee."
'We were going along minding our own business, then we came up on a stream."
"On the other side of the stream, getting ready to cross, was a group of about 5 or 6 dudes only wearing socks and shoes."
"Naked bros hiking in the woods."
"I'm all about being in your birthday suit or whatever, but it was weird seeing it for the first time and apparently its a thing."- BungJovi
Witness to a massacre
"I stumbled on a poaching dump when I was 14."
"I used to hike trails near our home, way out in the woods."
"I'd explore, and then have to find my way back without a compass."
"I went really far one day, probably 2-3 miles through these old logging trails."
"I started smelling something terrible."
"There was a rocky outcrop right before a steep cliff."
"At the bottom of the cliff, there was a massive pile of dead deer, most were decapitated."
"Some were fawns."
"Had to have been 20-30 of them at varying states of decay."
"The stench was mind-alteringly bad."
"When I thought I had seen enough, I heard 4-wheelers and decided to hide."
"Two poachers in camo rolled up and tossed two more deer carcasses on the pile."
"They smoked, talked, and then left after about 10 minutes."
"I was probably 15 feet from them the entire time, hiding under a hemlock tree."
"I did not recognize either of them, and I knew absolutely everyone on that entire side of town, it was only 15-20 houses in a 5 mile stretch."
"I ran home and told my parents."
"They didn't believe me."
"Plus, they didn't know I was running off to those trails, so I got in huge trouble for that."
"I mentioned it to our neighbor who was big into hunting, he seemed very concerned and brought it up to the game warden."
"They investigated it, found the dump site, but never caught anybody."
"I am 100% certain it was not my neighbor." - User Deleted
Up close and personal with nature's beasts
"Mountain lion came very close to me."
"It didn't seem aggressive but it was curious."
"After a few minutes of us staring at each other and me pissing my pants he finally lost interest and disappeared into the forest while I got the f*ck out of there."- -MultiF0rmsMOUNTAIN LION cougar GIFGiphy
An underground operation
"I've seen mountain lions, I've seen bears."
"The scariest thing I've seen was an elaborate grow operation in Northern CA."
"I crested a hill and walked 20 yards into this valley when I realized there were irrigated pot plants for as far as the eye could see."
"Reservoirs, hoses, camouflaged netting."
"My friend and I noped out of there as fast we could, both expecting to be shot on our way back to our car."- Zmirzlina
Not so itsy-bitsy...
"Hiking early morning in Hawaii and my stomach notifies me that it’s time to go #2 ."
"I find a porta potty near the trailhead and jump in to do my business."
"Once complete, I flipped my headlamp on to find the toilet paper, but instead find a huge, 5” in diameter, banana spider hanging out in the corner of the porta potty."
'Trying not to spook it I slowly reached for the 1-ply."
"As I do, my headlamp shines on this monster and it proceeds to FREAK TF OUT!!! "
"It runs in circles for a bit, both of us losing our minds at this point, and ends up between my legs inside of my underwear!!!"
"I’m at a complete loss for what to do, but eventually begin wiggling back and forth in an attempt to get this spider to remove itself."
"That didn’t work at all! Instead of exiting the premises, this MFer runs up my leg."
"This is the point where I give up and storm out of the porta potty yelling and screaming, pants around my ankles."
"No clue what happened to that spider, but it disappeared in a flash…just like my dignity."- Kamala__2024Spider Web Halloween GIFGiphy
"This was lower Escambia county in the early 2000's, more likely some rich hippie wanting to get back to nature."- driver_dylan
Major disaster averted
"I was on the 8th grade D.C trip."
"We drove out to a rural historical town in Pennsylvania for the day."
"We had a buddy system going, and honestly they didn’t really care where u went as long as u made it back on time."
"While everyone else was walking around and shopping at souvenir shops, me and by best friend decided to go on a hike into the woods nearby, which i later learned was part of the Appalachian trail."
'I was a little on edge about it, since there’s a lot of bears in the area, and we were completely alone."
"About two to three miles in we both kept noticing noises, nothing too out of the ordinary, sticks breaking, leaves rustling etc, but what really made us stop in out tracks was the sound of a man’s voice coming from the trees."
"The trees were completely overgrown and you would have to go seriously out of your way to even try to go in them."
"We just stood there, nervously looking around."
"We jumped when a man approached us from behind asked what was wrong, I constantly checked behind us to make sure we weren’t being followed and I never saw him while we were walking."
"I said that we just heard a noise and got startled."
"He then proceeded to ask us why we were out there, and that it was dangerous."
"I explained we were out here for school etc."
"We knew this wasn’t a chaperone, because they all wear blue, but what was strange was that he wasn’t wearing any hiking gear, not even a water bottle or backpack."
"Mid-explaining why we were out here my friend just tightly grabs my arm and doesn’t say anything."
"I knew something was wrong."
"The man takes another step towards us and my friend just grabs my arm and yanks it, we sprinted for at least a mile before we were far enough."
"I caught my breath and asked her wtf happened."
"She was on the verge of tears at this point and told me that that man’s voice we heard in the trees, was watching us from the trees making gestures to the man talking to us."
"When we got back to camp we told her mom, who was a chaperone, and also a deputy what happened."
"It was reported, and turns out both of them were part of a sex trafficking ring, and the man talking to us was carrying a knife."
"It’s scary to think what could’ve happened that if we didn’t run when we did."- -i_d_k_·
Did he ever find it?
"Me and a group of about 9 other guys were hiking in Isle Royale leaving camp for the morning to hike up the Greenstone Ridge."
"We came across a guy who had long hair, was barefoot, had one croc and a plastic bag in his left hand, and a Pepsi bottle in the right."
"He looked hungover and didn’t respond to any greetings."
"He had no pack and was at least 20+ miles from any ranger station."
"After hiking for several hours that day while on the Greenstone Ridge, underneath a tree overlooking a beautiful view of the isle southern side."
"Underneath the tree angled like a shrine was the other croc."- Greatfulgrey
Waving through a window...
"Here’s the true story."
"This happened to me when I was 17 years old, 12 years ago."
"I was on a week long Scout trip at a place called Big South Fork up in the Cumberland region on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line."
"We spent the first half of the week backpacking up in the hills, and the second half was spent taking it easy at base camp.'
'This happened our last day in the trail.'
"We had finished eating breakfast and we were ready to break camp and head out."
"Our campsite was at a place called the Litten-Slaven farm."
'We camped in a patch of woods in a little valley where they had once had a cattle pasture."
"At the top of the valley was a small shed, a spring-fed pond, and the old farmhouse."
"It wasn't a big house."
"It was a wooden house, with two rooms on the first floor and a loft on the second floor.'
"I would have loved to go inside and check it out, but nobody was allowed inside so it would be easier to preserve."
"Anyway, after breakfast I realized that I had left my walking stick up at the top of the hill by the old house."
"I went back to get it, and my friend, Chris, went with me."
"Rule #1: always take a buddy."
" We hiked up the hill and I got my stick."
"Then we made the hike back down to camp."
'We were halfway across the pasture when something told me to look back."
"I looked behind me and saw someone in the upstairs window waving at me."
"It looked like a woman dressed in white, but I glanced so quick it was hard to make out the details."
"I turned to Chris and plainly said, 'There's someone in the farm house'.”
"What follows is my thought process that occurred in the space of about half a second."
"There's someone in the farm house."
"There's nobody else here."
'Nobody is even allowed in the farm house."
"There's someone in the farmhouse."
“'There's someone in the farmhouse!' I screamed."
"I took off running as fast as I could."
"Chris had no idea what was going on and ran with me."
"We didn't stop until we got back to camp."
"I told the others what I had seen."
“'You should have gone in', said our scoutmaster, Chris’s dad, 'She probably had breakfast ready'.”- Jaustinduke
Predators are everywhere
"When we were about 11,10, and 9; my brothers, some friends and I, in Arkansas, we would spend a lot of time in the woods."
"About an hour away from any road, we had this cool tree house with a swing that was a set of handlebars tied to a rope."
"This swing was 30 feet in the air."
"Very dangerous... Anyway."
"One day, hiking to the tree house, we stumbled across this guy."
"He did not look homeless, but did look scruffy."
"He tried to convince us to hang out with him, saying he had porn and booze."
"We noped out of there."
"The guy was later arrested for molesting at least one kid."- redfeather1
Everyone needs an escape to the great outdoors every now and again.
Even though one never knows what lies in store, or what they may find.
Making the feeling of coming home all the more comforting.
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