Nude Hiking on the Naturist Living Show

| January 7, 2015 | 4 Comments

Nude Hiking Interview with Richard Foley and Info on Nude Hiking in the U.S.

Here is one of three episodes Stephane published last month for the Naturist Living Show. Normally he publishes an episode each month, but he fell behind over the summer months.

Episode 73 is all about nude hiking. Stéphane interviewed Richard Foley, founder of the Naktiv Nook nudist social network and author of the book, Naked Hiking. The book is a compilation of essays from various naturists and nude hikers, including Mark Storey and Steven Gough.

Foley lives in Germany and has been hiking naked for the last 10 years. Germany is where the naturist movement started, and it’s still one of the most nude-friendly countries in the world. So it should come as no surprise that Foley and his friends almost never run into trouble while hiking naked in the wilderness. He says that encounters with clothed hikers are usually positive.

nude hiking naked richard foley naturist living show podcast YNA

nude hiking

For others interested in free hiking, as it’s often called, Foley also offers some common-sense advice addressing issues like chafing and bra support. For one thing, it would be unwise to attempt hiking completely naked with no shoes or socks, unless you’re an experienced barefooter. Of course other accessories are useful, such as a hat and sunglasses.

Since we don’t have an article specifically about nude hiking in the U.S., I thought I’d give a short overview with a few recommended places and tips. Here in the U.S., our free hiking activities are more inhibited by nudity laws. But there are places and states where it’s legal, such as Vermont.

You can legally hike naked and skinny dip in the wilderness of Vermont. And I mean wilderness. Strolling naked through a town or location with crowds of dressed people is not recommended and may have legal repercussions. At Vermont’s most well-known skinny dipping spot, The Ledges, a small part of the trail is designated for nude hiking with signs. However for longer hikes in VT, it’s better to seek out more secluded wilderness elsewhere. At the Ledges, please respect the designated clothing-optional area and don’t walk around naked outside of its borders.

the ledges encounter nude sunbathers sign vermont nude hiking swimming YNA

The sign at The Ledges hiking trail indicating the start of the official nude area.

California is another state with gorgeous national parks that permit free hiking, such as Angeles National Forest. Our YNA Southern California group has done many nude hiking trips to Deep Creek Hot Springs, which is clothing-optional. (Note that public nudity is not legal in all of California, just in certain parks and recreation areas.)

There are a few other places where it’s legal, but trails are limited. Many nudist resorts and clubs have hiking trails on their property. Most are flat or not very strenuous and take 20 – 60 minutes to complete. At some clubs, it’s just a nice walk through nature, more so than a “hike” per se.

The Mohonk Preserve in New Paltz, NY, has a short trail where you can hike naked before you reach their sanctioned skinny dipping area.

Other than that, you’re left with going out into the woods in places where park rangers won’t find you. Believe it or not, this is how many people try out and enjoy naturism for the first time. It’s often free or cheap to go into the woods or into a recreational park, you can connect with nature as nature intended, even go camping or skinny dipping at the same time, and there are no hassles to get in.

For those who don’t live near a club or beach, this can be their only option for going naked in the outdoors. There are many isolated areas of forest in northern states where it’s unlikely that you’ll see any other human beings at all. It doesn’t really matter if you’re naked when there’s no one else around to care. The animals certainly don’t. ;)

Even when you do encounter other people while hiking, you may be surprised to find that many people don’t care that you’re naked. But it’s still a good idea to bring some sort of cover-up just in case, even if you’re only hiking on nudist resort property. You don’t want to be one of those nudies who gets lost, wanders off the property and ends up in someone’s backyard without a stitch of clothing!

If you get caught hiking naked where it’s illegal, please note that there can be serious repercussions beyond just paying a fine. In some states, you can go to jail and be charged as a sex offender. Take precautions and read up on local nudity laws before you venture out Naked and Afraid style.

Hear the full interview with Foley on the podcast and see relevant links below. In addition to nude hiking, Stéphane also briefly talks about an old movie clip from a nudist beauty pageant (something we will discuss further in an upcoming post). In my segment, we talk about AANR and Bill Schroer.

Show links:

Or stream the episode via the Naturist Living Show website.

Readers, what’s your experience with naked hiking? Do you know of other places where it’s legal in the U.S.? Please share in the comments!

Nude Hiking and Richard Foley on the Naturist Living Show Young Naturists & Nudists America

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Category: Social Nudity Blogs, Nudity Laws, Nudism and Naturism, Naked Outdoors Nature, Naturist Living Show Podcast, Nudist Blogs

About the Author ()

Author of Felicity's Blog. Co-founder of Young Naturists America. 3rd-generation nudie. Avid reader. Feminist. 70% vegan, 30% vegetarian. When I'm not busy eating, I'm writing about naturism, censorship, topfree equality, body image and other fun topics. I like feedback, so plz leave a comment when you've got something to say!
  • cc50

    j238 On the other hand, there seems to be some evidence that the wearing of bras contribute to the potential of breast cancer . Something about the restriction of lymph nodes or such.

  • j238

    Have to question the study saying bras don’t prevent breasts from sagging.
    I had one girlfriend who was something of a free spirit and never wore a bra.  At the age of 30, the sagging was pretty obvious.
    I believe a study using different measurements would confirm this.

  • JohnAP

    I’m in a naturist hiking group that’s based in the northeastern USA, which was formed following some chance meetings at past Eastern Naturist Gatherings, with additions since then. As you might expect, the activities tend to be in Vermont, but we’ve visited trails and beaches (walking, not just sitting!) in Massachusetts, New York and Florida too.  We don’t have an online presence, but some of us are on Dennis Kirkpatrick’s forum on Google:!forum/naturists

    I’ve swum nude in Walden Pond (the way Thoreau did!) and so has at least one of the others in our group–he went and joined the early-morning swimmers and said they were OK with it. But I was chicken and made sure I wasn’t seen.

    There’s a hiking group based in San Diego called the Camping Bares, and another in Seattle, the SLUGS (cute name–Sun Lovers Under Gray Skies). And there was a naturist canoe club in New Jersey, the Paddling Bares, but they seem to have become inactive. So there are a few people out there walking the natural way.

    One of our members went on Rich Foley’s Naked European Walking Tour a few years ago, and he repeated it last year along with two more of us, including myself. It was a most excellent week, and it really showed what naturist hiking could be. Naked people up in the Alpine snow! Last year’s tour involved over 30 people from a dozen countries in a large rented house, but apparently this year Rich plans to split the group between campers/backpackers and another section staying indoors and doing day hikes. Here’s what it looked like:

    I’ve been on some outings in the past with a British group, the Singles Outdoor Club, who are very welcoming to visitors. And while we were on the NEWT last year, we met one of the officers of a French “randonue” group, the Association Pour Naturisme En Liberte or APNEL. He doesn’t speak English, so it was an opportunity to try remembering that high-school French! And we saw pictures from some of the German naturists, showing their walks too. There are evidently naturist hikers in quite a few places.

    Here are a few pictures from “Swimmin’ Holes of Western Massachusetts”:

    And just because it’s winter, must we be stuck indoors?

  • livefyrebob

    Several years ago I asked a ranger at Walden Pond in Concord, Mass., if there were clothing optional areas along the shore of the pond.  She replied that the main beach was clothed.  She also said something to the effect that what rangers did not see at other parts of the shore could not be cited.