San Luis Obispo is renowned for its historic mission church, chic downtown, and warm beaches that make it a prime destination for tourists around the globe. But one of the hidden secrets of SLO that visitors rarely get to experience is the pristine hiking opportunities around the county. From Montana De Oro state park to the monarch butterfly fields of Pismo Beach, SLO is teeming with natural beauty. San Luis Obispo High School senior Lindsey Macleod has taken notice, and made it her mission to get her peers off their phones and out exploring nature. Expressions sat down with Macleod to ask her a few questions about her Instagram campaign #100ReasonsToGoOutside.
Expressions: What exactly is #100ReasonsToGoOutside, and what prompted you to start it?
Senior Lindsey Macleod: #100ReasonsToGoOutside is an Instagram promotion campaigning for getting outside in the SLO community. The posts feature different locations for active and fun things to do in the County. They include captions and location tags on where specifically the spot can be found along with ideas of fun things to do at that location.
Expressions: What is the coolest place you’ve ever been?
Macleod: The coolest place I’ve gone to since starting this account was rock climbing down to a lagoon in Thailand. I got to swim in the lagoon’s salt water and was able to experience a tropical rain storm while climbing down bamboo ladders.
Expressions: What number are you currently on, and where is your next trip planned?
Macleod: Currently I am on number 58 of my top 100 things to do outside. My last post was today. I am actually leaving to go to Yosemite for the weekend and am hoping to feature Glacier Point which has an overlooking cliff area of Yosemite Valley.
Expressions: Have you gotten any support from other students at SLOHS on your campaign?
Macleod: Yes, students comment on my posts and let me know when they enjoy the picture I’ve posted. I’ve had lots of SLOHS students asking me questions about specifics of the location of the places and about the shots I took while I was there. This account has allowed me to connect with a variety of students on our campus that I would have never talked to without the account.
Expressions: What advice do you have for students who don’t have much experience hiking and camping, but would like to start?
Macleod: I’d say the most entry level hikes in San Luis Obispo are Islay Hill, the Buchon Trail in Montana De Oro, and Terrace Hill. If you want to start getting outside I’d say to start with going to the beach or taking one of these hikes. Just make sure to bring enough water and sunscreen if you’re not used to be outside.
Expressions: What hobbies other than hiking do you have?
Macleod: I am into rock climbing, running, going to the gym, playing, yoga, taking photos, and beach volleyball.
Expressions: If you could recommend one hike in SLO County to a friend, where would you suggest?
Macleod: Personally, I always suggest that people hike Reservoir Canyon because the hike has so much to offer. It has two different trailheads, one is behind the high school and the other is off of the highway right past Cal Poly. The first trailhead gives you a great workout, with its steep incline, and has a unique tower at the top that overlooks SLO. The latter side runs by trees and a creek with a swing that comes up next to the trail right before you summit.