The perfect hike, for me, is a loop. That way you don’t have to turn around and retrace your steps. You’re seeing new things the whole time.
It’s sunny, but not hot. There’s no one else on the trail. You see wildlife. You see some things you wouldn’t see if you were in your house.
And there’s a beautiful view that you can stare at while you have a picnic.
That last bit is the most important part, actually. As long as you’ve got that, you’re good.
Hiking should always involve a picnic and/or wine. It should not involve running. Some people may want to do more strenuous hikes than I can do, but if it’s not about actually being in nature then it’s not a hike!