In the upcoming film “Wild,” Reese Witherspoon straps on hiking boots to portray Cheryl Strayed, a woman who traversed over 1,000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail to find herself. It’s a break from the rom-com darling’s characteristic roles but, according to hiking experts, getting back to nature is really the best way to find yourself.

Fortunately for wilderness junkies and nature novices around the country, there are plenty of ways to experience the outdoors.

“People think you have to go to Yellowstone to really find a great hiking experience but I’ve hiked all over the U.S. and there are beautiful trails everywhere,” Craig Romano, an avid hiker who has penned nine wilderness guidebooks, told “There are a lot of resources available, even for people just starting out.”

For less experienced hikers, Romano recommends joining a local hiking association or club to get acquainted with the territory and start off with professionals. Having a map or updated guidebook is always essential. Even if you’re familiar with a certain region of the country, hiking in unfamiliar terrain can be dangerous.

“One area where a lot of people get in trouble is not knowing the area. You might be a great runner in a city park but in challenging terrain or difficult climate, the weather can change so rapidly it may get dangerous,” said Romano.

“If you’re new to an area, stick to the well-maintained, clearly marked, popular trails and heed any park ranger warnings.”

Though the getting-back-to-nature storyline may seem cliché by now, Romano maintains that there is a lot of truth to the inner peace that hiking can bring. He thinks movies like “Wild” can encourage a deeper appreciation for wildlife from people who ordinarily wouldn’t think twice about going into nature.

“I love breathing in the fresh air and having the time to really soul search…There’s a lot of truth to that,” he says. “You get into this zen state when you’re out exploring the trails and you notice things that usually seem mundane.”

So if you’re looking to reconnect with nature—and with yourself—consider taking a hike on one of these fabulous North American trails.