Great Outdoors: Women in Duluth Take a Hike
Women Hike Duluth unite women to get active.
DULUTH, Minn.- As the weather warms up, trails fill up with hikers and walkers.
Women Hike Duluth is a group making sure Northland women can get out, get active, and stay safe.
“People stopped us on the trail and asked us what we were marching for, it looked more like a women’s march than a women’s hike,” said the group’s founder, Sandi Larson.
It may look more like a march than a comfortable hike.
“I think it’s a great support system in our parks to have people with similar mindsets, similar backgrounds, similar interests in the outdoors, being able to recreate together,” Megan Lidd, recreation specialist with the City of Duluth, said.
But these women are marching for fitness, which often gets pushed aside in their busy lives.
“Women just don’t take time for themselves to get outdoors to do things like this,” said Larson. “So we wanted to have an easy way for women to get together and be outdoors.”
The group formed last summer, after a request from Mayor Emily Larson.
“The mayor wanted more programming in our parks and one of the great things that came out of that was getting women involved with our park system, and doing hikes on a regular basis,” Lidd said.
It blossomed into a group strong in numbers.
“It’s been anywhere from 40–125 women on any given hike,” said Larson.
“When they asked me to do this I, my thought process was ‘if I get 10–20 women that’ll be awesome.”
Hikes happen monthly, providing a stress-free way to get some exercise.
“We try to choose trails that are easy, we go out for an hour and we just make it as accessible as possible so that it’s not intimidating for women to get out and hike,” Larson said.
Organizers hope the group allows enough women to feel safe enough to try new things in the Great Outdoors.
“It’s a great opportunity that if you for some reason are uncomfortable going out by yourself,” said Lidd. “Or who’s going to be there, we’re all in it together, and we all get to go out and enjoy as one big group.”
Working towards wellness, one step at a time.
“Just a couple of minutes ago a woman was telling me that she always means to get out hiking,” Larson said.
“But she loves it that we do this because she puts this on her calendar and it’s a date that she knows: I’m doing it that day.”