Part of the enjoyment of hiking or nature walking is checking for signs of the local wildlife. If you look carefully – or sometimes, it will be fairly obvious – you can see signs of what animals have been in the area.
Usually the largest animals I spot while hiking here in New Jersey tend to be other humans. But in most of the parks and hiking areas around here, you’ll spot some deer, lots of birds, lots of squirrels and chipmunks, a few snakes, and maybe a fox or a black bear.
A couple of times, I’ve come out to my car in the morning to head off to work, and noticed some distinct, muddy footprints, about the size of a cat’s but with very different toes, on my car’s hood. The raccoons have been by again, I say to myself.