JOPLIN, Mo. — With the weather getting warmer and sunnier, the trails will be getting more hikers and it’s important to be safe while enjoying nature.

Get yourself familiar with the area you are going to hike whether it’s local or out of town, it’s important to get a map and make a plan with what trails you want to go to.

Give the park office a call before your hike, visit the official national park service site, or stop by the office before you leave the trailhead.

Always make sure you have a back pack filled with plenty of water, a flashlight, bug spray, and a first aid kit.

Lauren Copple, Wildcat Naturals Program Coordinator, says, “We have just seen a boom in our parking lots being full, we are seeing people out on the trail and it’s great we maintain them cause we want you to use them we want you to come out and love wildcat as much as we do.”

She says to also stay on the trail, have proper hiking shoes and gear, and be aware of wild critters and animals around the area.