Once a week my local hiking group meets to meander our way down our local trails.
It’s part of my weekly routine.
It’s something that I look forward to every single week.
But a few years ago this hiking group didn’t exist.
You see, I was new to Laramie, Wyoming. I had just left my career and moved here with my husband. The transition was rough, the first year in this town I didn’t know any other work-from-home or stay-at-home Moms.
No one said “hi” to me at storytime at the library.
No one said “hi” to me when I was at the park playing with my kids.
My husband and I rarely saw other young families out on the trails hiking, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.
In the winter, Laramie totally shut down with Moms staying indoors with their children until the snow stopped falling and wind stopped blowing.
It was weird, for a young college town.
It was a lonely time for me too.
I had 2 little boys less than 2 years apart I needed the friendship of other women.
One day I just got tired of not having any local friends.
So I sat down with a notebook and started envisioning what kind of women I wanted to be friends with.
The only thing I decided was that I wanted friends who saw nature as a place to grow friendships.
What happened was the birth of the Little Laramie Hikers.
A group that I started as an excuse to make friends and get outdoors. That little group has blossomed into something amazing for me, my children and my community.
A few months ago I was thinking about the evolution of the Little Laramie Hikers.
We started as a meetup page, then we switched over to a National hiking group but quickly decided that the local flavor of the group was lost when we joined that group, so we went back to our own group. There were some growing pains as we grew and developed. But now this group is so much more to a lot of people than just a hiking group.
Fast forward to a few months ago.
Our amazing Hike Like A Woman community has been growing at an insane pace since we started our Ambassador program last summer, and that means that my email inbox is constantly overflowing with questions.
My most commonly asked question (besides how to become a HLAW Ambassador) is always a question about finding a local group or someone to hike with.
When I talked to my team about this they instantly thought that we should form HLAW chapters, or local hiking groups or something that would connect our readers together outside of our online community.
But I had cold feet.
My experience moving the Little Laramie Hikers over to a National hiking group and then back to our original group had kinda left a bitter taste in my mouth for such things. But at the same time, I knew that I needed to provide you (our amazing readers) exactly what you wanted….access to hiking groups.
So I thought about it for a few weeks.
I talked to a lot of people.
I asked around.
Finally, our team worked out a solution that I was happy with.
We call it Hike Like A Woman locals and it’s time to tell you what it’s all about.
Hike Like A Woman Locals is a place where you can come to find a hiking group in your area led by a woman from our Ambassador or Contributor teams. This is important to me because I trust the women on these teams, we’ve been working together closely and I know that they will represent Hike Like A Woman on each hike by being kind, communicating effectively, and welcoming everyone who joins them into the HLAW family.
Each hiking group will be different. I want the group to take on the personality of the group leader and the flavor of the local community. I don’t want them to be bogged down with rules but free to act independently when it comes to scheduling, planning, and leading hikes.
It’s important to me that these groups are led by volunteers and are free, when you join a hike you won’t have to pay a membership fee…you might need to buy a parking permit or volunteer to chip in for gas if you’re carpooling to and from a trailhead but there’s no formal membership or dues process.
Right now we have 10 groups ready to roll and led by a few amazing members of our team. They are:
- Hike Like A Woman Alaska led by Jamie.
- Hike Like A Woman Arizona led by Jennifer.
- Hike Like A Woman Arkansas led by Mara.
- Hike Like A Woman East Tennessee by Amy.
- Hike Like A Woman Northern Colorado led by Amanda.
- Hike Like A Woman of The Great Smoky Mountains led by Lucy.
- Hike Like A Woman Mid-Atlantic States led by Tina & Mo.
- Hike Like A Woman St. Louis led by Emily.
- Hike Like A Woman Southern Utah led by April.
- Hike Like A Woman Southeastern Wyoming led by me.
Now, I realize that not everyone lives or hikes in these places and we don’t want to leave you. So we’ve formed a meetup group where you can find someone to hike with from our community. This is a page where you can just post a hike and see if anyone would like to join you.
We’ll see YOU on a hike, my friends!