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
I’ve created a series of tabs on the website under this page on the menu bar that will take you to a directory of hiking guides for each county! Hiking guides are exactly what they sound like, a post that contains all the instructions you need to feel comfortable heading out for a hike in that location for the first time! Info on maps, fees, accessibility, terrain, bathrooms, routes, and more! Plus pics and insights from me on my experience at that location. Everything is geared towards the beginning hiker.
Let me know in the comments if you have a hike you’d like to see documented or ideas for information to include in the guides that would be useful for you in planning a hike!
See ya on the trails, my friends!