I have read and researched....read and researched....and still uncertain...need advice so here are some facts
-58 and haven't ridden a bike in years....very active though...walk, kayak, garden, etc
-have limited budget...just retired...so 500 or below...less better to see if I will stick with the riding
-where I will be riding...trails on our property that are dirt, get muddy, covered with leaves, some roots, etc...then gravel or dirt roads...rural area so few if any paved. Also state parks that have same type of paths, trails
-5' 6'...140 lbs...short legs...longer body (maybe too much info)
I am leaning toward a mountain bike because I am afraid that a hybrid would not do well on the paths, trails but I don't know...that's the problem...need advice first on which type...then some good beginner, budget bikes. I am aware that a budget bike may not last as long but have to start somewhere and like my other hobbies...if I stick with it, then I upgrade later. Also, Craigslist is great if you know what to look for but I don't have any idea if the bike would be good, used, etc...in other words I could really get stuck...and also live at least 45 minutes from the "city" where the deals would be and would have to have someone to go along for safety reasons so thinking of bike shops. I have probably provided too much information but thought the more the better if someone could advise would be great Thanks!