HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST HIKE FOR YOUR ABILITY

 

So, you’re ready to start hiking with the Wilmington Trail Club!  What a great idea.  Now comes the hard part…deciding which hike to try first.  We have lots of possibilities from short and casual pace to long and fast.  Some of the hikes are on paved surfaces; some on difficult, rocky trails with steep hills and stream crossings that don’t include bridges.  Here are the available categories:

Sunday HikingThese hikes are 4 to 7 miles, at a casual to moderate pace. The start time varies, and the leader can choose whether it is in the morning or afternoon.  Typically, during colder months these events start at 1 pm and start in the morning when it is likely to be very hot, but leaders can choose whatever time works for them.  Sunday hikers are a mixed group and tend to pick and choose what hikes they would like to go on.

Tuesday HikingThese hikes are 5 to 7 miles at a brisk average pace of 3.0 – 3.1 MPH. They start at 9:00 AM and do not include a lunch stop.

Wednesday Midweek Hiking: These hikes are 8 to 10 miles at a moderate to brisk average pace of 2.7 – 3.0 MPH.  Starting time is 9 AM, unless otherwise indicated, and a lunch stop is included.

Wednesday Miler Hiking: These hikes are 11-15 miles at a brisk 3.0 – 3.5 MPH pace, in local parks, with a lunch break.  9:00 AM start unless otherwise indicated.

Wednesday Evening Hiking: These hikes are 3 to 5 miles, at a casual to moderate pace. Starting time is 6:30 PM for all hikes.  April through October hikes are every Wednesday.  November through March hikes shift to 2 hikes per month.  Bringing a flashlight is recommended. All are welcome to gather for dinner after the hike.

Thursday HikingThese hikes are 4 to 5 miles, at a casual pace. Starting time is 10 AM, unless otherwise indicated.  Driving distances vary significantly. All are welcome to gather for lunch after the hike.

Saturday Short HikingThese hikes are 4 to 7 miles, at a casual to moderate pace. The start time varies, and the leader can choose whether it is in the morning or afternoon.  Typically, during colder months these events start at 1 pm and start in the morning when it is likely to be very hot, but leaders can choose whatever time works for them.  Short on Saturday hikers are a mixed group and tend to pick and choose what hikes they would like to go on.

Saturday Medium Hiking: These hikes are 8 to 10 miles at a moderate to brisk average pace of 2.7 – 3.0 MPH.  Starting time is 9 AM, unless otherwise indicated, and a lunch stop is included.  If not posted in advance, impromptu hikes will most likely occur if a leader steps forward.

Saturday Long Hiking: These hikes are 10 to 15 miles and up and are at a brisk average pace of 3.0 – 4.0. When the hike involves significant driving distance there may be an alternative long local hike.

 

Once you’ve chosen a hike that seems to work for you, it would be a good idea to contact the leader to chat about what to expect.  You should let them know what experience you have and why you chose their hike so they can help you determine if you will be comfortable completing it.  If they seem to be trying to discourage you, it’s probably because they don’t feel it’s a good fit, but don’t want to tell you that you shouldn’t come.  You will have a more enjoyable time if you try something a little below your ability for your first hike.  Then you can work your way up as far as you desire.  We want you to have a good, safe experience hiking with the Wilmington Trail Club.  Enjoy your hike!

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