I used to think that the meaning of hike is ‘climb’ but to a lower altitude. I mean you climb a mountain but you hike a slope or hill. So whenever friends invited me ‘Let’s go for a hike’, I’d cringe and I’d show the look that said ‘Go find somebody else!’. Reason being I really don’t like climbing, I hate it – mountains, hills, stairs.
It was many years later that I realized I was wrong. The true meaning of the word ‘to hike’ according to Merriem Webster is : (a) to walk a long distance especially for pleasure or exercise (b) to travel by any means (c) to traverse
Yes – as simple as that – a hike means a pleasurable walk.
So now, whenever friends tell me, ‘Let’s hike around the lake’ or ‘Let’s take a hike in the desert’ or ‘You want to go hiking at ……..?” I know I will never say to them ‘Go take a hike!’
(Other meanings associated with hike is ‘to suddenly increase the cost, amount, or level of something, to pull or lift something, such as yourself or part of your clothing, with a quick movement)