Did you catch yesterday’s podcast episode? In it Rebecca and Crystal visited with Ambassador Jacquelyn about joining an all women’s hiking group. Jacquelyn talks about it further in this blog post.

One of the amazing benefits of being part of Hike Like a Woman is having access to female hiking groups throughout the United States and New Zealand.  In 2017 I wanted to start my own hiking group. I started looking into how to create one.  The task of developing one proved too much for me to do on my own. Then I started looking for female hiking groups in my area.  I could not find one. There were a couple fitness walking groups, but nothing that showcased the trails in my area. I live in Southern New Hampshire, home to Mt. Monadnock the second most climbed mountain in the world. I could not believe that I could not find a hiking group.

After much searching I came across Hike Like a Woman. They are an organization that focused on getting women of all ages, sizes and abilities outside on the trail. They had some hiking groups, but nothing in my area. The good news was they were looking for Ambassadors. I thought to myself that this organization fits my beliefs, I would love to be part of them. Even though I have a lot of experience being in the outdoors, I did not have any professional experience and I did not know what it meant to be an ambassador, so I was not hopeful that I was going in be chosen.

Much to my surprise in June 2017 I was chosen to be an ambassador.  I was so excited to be part of this amazing group.  Most of all I was excited to be able to start my own hiking group.  In September 2017 I lead my first group hike. I had 11 ladies show up, most of them co-workers I had persuaded to join me, but I also had a couple ladies that I did not know. We did a short two mile after work hike and it felt great. It was great for me to get out after work and connect with ladies on the trail and it was nice these ladies were thankful I had started the group.

Living in Southern New Hampshire we experience various types of weather from heat and humidity to snow, ice and below zero temperatures.  We have done hikes in all forms of weather as long as others want to join me and it is safe to be outside.  We have done short after work hikes, we have done five to six miles on the weekends. The Hike Like a Women Hiking Groups really are geared towards all abilities of hiking and we try to make our hikes a good mixture of different hiking abilities.

To date I have lead over 40 groups hikes.  I have met some amazing woman who seem truly grateful for the opportunity to get outside with other like minded women.  In discussion with my group members about why the group is important their comment were.

Mom’s looking to get out for a couple hours on the trail.

Not feel comfortable hiking by themselves either due to navigational difficulties, safety concerns or fear of getting hurt.
They want to hike with someone, but do not have anyone to hike with. They do not know where to go to hike.

The group has allowed me to explore new trails in my area, continue to expand my passion to be outside and share my joy with others.

Below are some statements from other group leaders about the experience with their hiking groups.

“My hiking group is new, but just a few short months it has turned into a time that I count on. Over the last 16 months my life has been turned upside down with a separation, and upcoming divorce, and it has been a period of introspection and a time to reevaluate my life. This hiking group represents a new start, my monthly therapy and a time for me to invest in myself. I love talking to the ladies that join us each month because they all have different stories and so much to share. I hope that they leave our hikes feeling refreshed and energized because I get this from each of them.” Francis Vaughn Hike Like a Woman Raleigh

HLAW Central Florida is a group of women from all walks of life, getting together to have fun! I’ve had the opportunity to hike with some really amazing women, and I have learned so much from each one of them. Every hike someone shares a lesson with us whether it’s telling us about a native plant, history of the trail, or just life lessons in general. I always feel a New since of appreciation for this group every time I hike with these women. I’m a misfit in a group of loving and accepting women that have made me a better person today!” ~ Crystal Osborn

Hike Like a Woman has 14 hiking groups throughout the United States and one in New Zealand.  If you are looking for a group in your area check out our list of Hiking Groups. All groups are manage through Facebook.  In order to be accepted into the groups you will need to answer the questions upon asking for approval. Please make sure you read the group guidelines once excepted in the group.  If there is not a hiking group in your area check out our Hike Like a Woman Find a Hike Partner Facebook Page to try to connect with someone in your area to hike with.

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