What to expect from hiking in Madrid?
If Madrid is known for something, it is for its popular spots, such as Puerta del Sol or Gran Vía. But, if you are not from the neighborhood, you should know that this community hides beautiful places worthy of being known in multiple ways: hiking is one of them.
A priori, hiking could be a simple activity, if we compare it with bungee jumping, for example. However, each route is unique, each day you can meet different people and engage in conversations of different topics, and the more you practice it, the more you get attached to it.
In Madrid, the options for hiking are very varied. But for us to know these options is easier, we can arrange them into four types of routes or different paths.
In the first place, we can choose to go to the different protected areas of Madrid's geography . Thus, we will find routes that cross the National Park of the Sierra de Guadarrama or the Regional Parks of the Cuenca Alta del Manzanares, the Southeast and the Guadarrama.
Second, we have a very interesting option: routes that follow the cattle trails , known as "Routes Discover your canyons". This will be a golden opportunity to know the paths through which livestock traditionally passed (and still today, although to a lesser extent). You can learn the history and learn to value a little more the culture of Madrid. There are around 1650 cattle trails that exist!
In third place, you can practice hiking as a way to reach a specific destination and with a clearly marked intention: birdwatching . In case it sounds like Chinese, that word means 'bird watching', and it's a practice that is gaining strength in recent years. So, in addition to water and something to nibble, take a pair of binoculars because spotting a bird in mid-flight is an impressive experience.
In addition, and fourth, you have other options for routes: trails approved by the FEDME (GR, PR, SL), paths that pass through greenways (old railway networks), natural roads or routes of each municipality.
Here are some examples, so you can start to investigate: Schmid Road, route of approximately 6 km from the port of Navacerrada to Cercedilla; Path of the Cascades of Purgatory (El Paular), with about 12 km of waterfalls, with lots of vegetation and incredible views. Finally, another of the options you have is the Ecological Path of the Port of Canencia, with about 7 km passable and highly recommended to do it during the fall.
If you still have doubts, wait and read some reasons why hiking in Madrid.