In this space, I wanted to gather resources for beginning hikers who live in Southeast Wisconsin to help others get started on their journey.
When I first started hiking, I had NO idea what I was doing but I loved it! I had lofty goals of section hiking the entire Ice Age Trail and eventually going off to thru-hike some other Big Trail. But I was complacent and unmotivated. I joined several hiking groups, hoping that they would provide more structure for me and keep me motivated. While I love those groups now, it was a struggle at the time. I was still very shy and socially awkward (let’s be real, I still am, I just fake it better!). I would often sign up to go and then the morning of I would get so anxious that I would do a no-show and then feel extremely guilty and ashamed for doing that to the organizer and being such a wimp. When I did go, I often felt like the outcast. People were always talking about the latest gear they bought or vacation they took, none of which I could afford. Or I struggled to keep up or go the distance, as I was new to the hobby and overweight.
I pushed through, how I still don’t know, and am now confident in these groups. But, I remember what it felt like to be new and awkward and alone. So I started my own hiking group based out of Milwaukee that was geared towards TRUE beginners. The majority of my hikes are within the city limits, on paved or grassy trails and are 1-3 miles. I do longer hikes too, but I try to space those out. My goal is to help women feel as safe and reassured as possible while they learn to push themselves and get out of their comfort zone. The group is called N.O.W. (Normalizing Outdoor Women) Milwaukee and can be found on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NOWmilwaukee
To that end, this section of my blog will contain detailed hiking trips in Southeast Wisconsin that will help anyone, no matter their skill or experience level, get out on a trail near home and start adventuring! They will include maps, photos, commentary on terrain, options for different difficulties/lengths and links to outside resources and official websites.
Comment below if you’ve got a spot you would love to see me document!