WJ Hiking Club explores local nature


Photo Courtesy Hannah Moore

Seniors Arya Gupta and Saanvi Shashikiran hike on the Cabin John trail. “I love getting to spend time with my friends while also enjoying fresh air outdoors,” Gupta said.

Autumn leaves swirl around senior Saanvi Shashikiran as she hikes through slanted rocks and golden brown trees. Hiking club is currently planning upcoming hikes, promoting their club through Instagram and enjoying nature together.

Hiking club members are working to create a schedule for fall hikes. They are researching to find the best hikes, ones that are easily accessible, beginner level and have the best views.

“We usually cater to beginners because we’re all beginners, but we’re trying to build up stamina and have fun doing it,” vice president Shashikiran said.

The club’s leadership believes fall and spring are the best times for hiking, because it’s not too cold and not too hot, so they hold frequent hikes for the months of October and November. They’re aiming to get in at least two hikes per month.

“As a relatively new club, we’re trying to build up the number of hikes we’re doing. Fall is the perfect time to hike, so we’re trying to take advantage of that,” senior vice president Leah Stievater said.

Their officers have also created a new Instagram page to promote the club and make it more visible. They post information about hikes, meetings coming up and pictures from hikes. They are trying to expand their reach to gain members so more people can enjoy hiking with them.

“I think our hiking club Instagram is a great way to spread the word about our hikes,” Shashikiran said.

They also are using Google Classroom to spread the word. They post about upcoming events, weather, what to bring and locations of hikes.

“Staying up to date with the Google Classroom is the best way for members to stay informed about our future activities,” Stievater said.

They like to hike a different path or at a different time each time to make it more fun and interesting. New trails give them the chance to explore places they normally wouldn’t and appreciate nature in new surroundings.

“We like switching up the hikes each week because it makes the club more engaging for both old and new members,” Shashikiran said.

The idea to create hiking club was sparked through some friends’ interest in getting outside. Making a club for hiking would provide them the opportunity to socialize, destress and exercise with friends. It also would give them a chance to meet new people.

“I love getting exercise in the great outdoors and having the opportunity to enjoy nature,” senior club member Jennifer Shea said.