Last updated: 11:30 AM ET, Mon November 21 2016

How to #OptOutside This Thanksgiving

Features & Advice | Janeen Christoff | November 21, 2016

How to #OptOutside This Thanksgiving

 PHOTO: Get outside and explore this Thanksgiving. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock) 

For those looking for something else to do other than shop till they drop (or are dropped by another angry shopper) on Black Friday, REI’s #OptOutside campaign is becoming a trend. 

Last year, consumer cooperative and outdoor retailer REI announced they would be closed on Black Friday — an almost unheard-of retail no-no.

Instead, they started a movement to get people out of shops, and actually using their purchased outdoor gear, and it worked. Many people shared their outdoor experiences on social media and kept sharing throughout the year. REI and other retailers are at it again — remaining closed on Black Friday and encouraging people to explore outdoors. 

If you want to get in on the fun, here are a few ways to get outside and explore. 

Tennessee Parks offer several hikes for different abilities on Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving, for those who want to get outside rather than fighting off the masses shopping indoors. 

There are 56 parks to choose from all around the state. At the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, for example, hikers can join Ranger Britton for a three-mile hike to learn about the Cherokee Indian Removal and enjoy a hot cider. 

The Turkey Waddle Hike in Jack London Park in Glen Ellen, Calif., is a four-mile guided stroll through ancient redwoods with a tour of Wolf House Ruins, Jack London’s dream home that tragically burned to the ground, and more. Admission is $10. 

  READ MORE: AAA Projects Most Thanksgiving Travelers in Nearly a Decade 

In New York City's Staten Island borough, the 13th Annual After Thanksgiving Hike will take place at the Greenbelt Nature Center in Blood Root Valley. The 2.5-mile hike will also include a tour through LaTourette house and is a free event. 

For those spending Thanksgiving in Southern California, give Malibu’s Backbone Trail a try, hiking from Kanan to Zuma Ridge in the Santa Monica Mountains. The trail winds around along a ridge and a fire road with stunning views of the mountains and the water for about 2.5 miles. 

In Washington’s Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, there’s a Winter Scramble up the eight-mile Dickerman Mountain trail. This is a more strenuous course for experienced alpine scramblers and requires registration, but will definitely burn off all that turkey. 

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