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Which is correct and why?

Let's go hiking at the park.

or

Let's go hike at the park.

On the second example (hike), should that actually be let's go to hike at the park?

Also works for things like: skate/skating, bike/biking...

(I'm not sure if this is a duplicate because I'm not exactly sure what I should be searching for...?)

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This involves the catenation of verbs (once you've sorted out the preposition if necessary).

We go / are going / went hiking

is a standard, accepted construction; come / go + -ing form. Quite a few other verbs catenate with the -ing form also.

And placing this after "Let's" poses no problems:

Let's go shopping / dancing / fishing / hiking.

But the other construction is not so easy to evaluate, being of the form verb + bare infinitive.

Here is found:

Catenative Verbs Followed by Bare Infinitive

Christophorsen and Sandred (1970:149) hold that there are few CVs followed by this type of complement. Among these CVs are: (1) help, (2) some verbs that may be combined with the BI of another verb in certain set phrases such as hear say, make believe, make do, (3) a number of combinations with the verb let such as let go [= release], let fly, let drop, etc., (4) some petrified phrases followed by BI such as had rather, had sooner, had better, etc. Consider the following examples: 2.77 I helped tidy up the room. 2.78 He let fly a string of abuse. 2.79 I heard say that he is back. 2.80 You had better go now. ...

In this pattern, only the verb help, and the petrified phrases can combine freely with the other verbs. Combinations such as let fly, make do, hear tell, hear say are virtually a closed set. They are fixed phrases or idioms (Palmer, 1974:160); (Chalker, 1984:149).

However, the bare infinitive is used, [p 48] especially in the US, in catenations with the verb go (but only in the infinitive):

Go fly a kite!

Go take a hike! (BrE would usually have 'Go and take a hike!')

Let's go take a ride.

Let's go hike the Palos Trail System.

Let's go hike in the Appalachians.

*He went take a ride.

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A native speaker would say neither, because in this context the preposition needed is not at but in. Your sentence would normally occur as Let’s go for a hike in the park. However, in the UK at least, parks, unless you mean national parks, are not places where you go for a hike. In a city park, you go for a walk.

  • Agreed Barrie. The same is true in the US. Although a national park is not required for a hike, typically the verb hiking is used to describe the act of walking on a "hiking trail" (usually in hilly or mountainous terrain.) – Lumberjack Oct 25 '13 at 18:38
  • It depends on the park— even in those in the middle of big cities. Visiting Rock Creek Park, Griffith Park, or Balboa Park may not exactly be a trek on the Muir Trail, but would certainly be more of a hike than a stroll or a jog. – choster Oct 25 '13 at 19:00
  • It sounds like we are all in agreement that hiking carries a certain connotation that is not implicit in all forms of walking. – Lumberjack Oct 25 '13 at 19:11

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