1. The Boy Scouts – These little trouble makers look like the kids from Stand by Me. Maybe they have no business being on the trail, but chances are their parents aren’t far behind. Update: The picture below is actually of cub scouts, not boy scouts. We apologize for any confusion.
2. The Awkward Couple – Are they brother and sister? Are they married? Did they just meet in the parking lot? Let these questions swirl while you bypass them with a friendly wave.
3. The Crazy College Kids – They tend to roam in large packs and participate in questionable and potentially even illegal activities. Aside from those attributes, they’re also the most friendly and welcoming.
4. The Mysterious Lady + Cute Puppy – Much like some mystical apparition, she glides across the leafy ground and acknowledges you just enough to make you wonder if she actually did. Then a baby dog pokes his head from her carrier, and you wonder if she even knows it’s there. You start to say something, and just like that, she’s gone.
5. The Hardcore Hikers – Much like that mysterious lady, they appear out of nowhere and immediately leave you in the dust. However, during your five-second encounter, they make you feel completely inferior on every level—from your clothes, to your hiking gear, to your floundering athletic ability.
6. The Drunk Guy – Yep, that’s the Hoff. This guy really knows how to have a good time, sing, and eat a burger. Come on! I couldn’t resist throwing him in here… Who knows, maybeo you’ll see him up the trail one passed out. One can only hope.
7. The Prison Escapee – Nobody knows if he just busted out of jail in Shawshank fashion. But you’re on the trail alone with him now. Best to buck up, break into a cold sweat, say “hello” and an even faster “goodbye.”
8. The Sweet Older Couple – Proof that you can be active at any age. Older hikers inspire the younger, out-of-breath chaps to strive for a life of health and fitness.
9. The Out-of-Shape Dude – As he shuffles along the pathway, you cross your fingers and hope he doesn’t straight up collapse in front of you. Hurry up and pass him unless he is in really bad shape. If that’s the case, just offer the poor guy some water.
10. The Slow-Walking Family – They take up the entire trail and they don’t move out of the way even if they see you quickly approaching. The nerve!
11. The Benchwarmers – The harder the trail, the less likely it will be lined with cozy benches. For these folks, it’s like lazy moths to a couch-shaped flame.