I don't stretch much, before or after a hike. My wife stretches before, during, and after a hike. Then again, she may be suffering from tendonitis caused by stretching hear Achilles's tendon too much. My knee hurts because I'm old.
I discovered many years ago that whether or not I stretch when I return to my car after a hike, after an hour's drive I am painfully stiff when I arrive home!
Yeah, same for me. I’ve tried stretching and not stretching over the years and have not found it to make any noticeable difference. I too am painfully stiff after more than 30 minutes of the drive home.
I do not think you have to necessarily stretch, but it helps to start hiking slowly, and then do a "cool down" at the end of the day. Once you have camp set up, moving around often helps. As for driving home, I stop a lot and walk around. I really do this more to stay awake!
I do not get stiff unless I exceed what I normally do. Occasionally I will hike 20-25 miles out the last day, camp at the trailhead, and then I AM stiff in the morning! That said, as a tradition, I purposely do a 3-5 day killer backpack early season and suffer greatly. I probably should tone that down as I get older.