How to Start a Hiking Group (Part 4: Leading a Group Hike)

We’ve had so much fun the past few weeks talking about hiking groups, how to start them, how to find people to hike with and how to plan a group hike.

Today we’re talking about leading and organizing group hikes.

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Here are a few things to think about when planning and leading a group hike.

4 Weeks Before the Hike

No Later than 1 Week Before the Hike

72 Hours Before the Hike

  • Look at the forecast.
  • Do a recon of the trail.
  • Put out any last minute information/change the trail location/carpool or parking information.

24 Hours Before the Hike

  • Look at the list of who’s going to be there.
  • Memorize names of people who have RSVP’d.
  • Double check packing list.

Day of the Hike

  • Arrive at the trailhead 15 minutes prior to meet-up time to greet group members as they arrive.
  • Once everyone has arrived brief the group members about the trail, where it leads, any planned stops, identify someone to take lead and some to bring up the back of the group.
  • Identify group members who have first aid kits and are trained in first aid and ensure that everyone has essential items in their pack.
  • Identify group members who have brought bear spray.
  • During the hike keep accountability of everyone. Know where they are and ensure that group members let you know if they leave the group to head back early, or hike on their own.

No Later than 24 Hours After the Hike

  • Post photos.
  • Thank group members for coming.
  • Ask them what can be done to make the next hike better and where they’d like to go next.
  • Announce next hike.
  • Do an internal assessment, what did I do well as a group leader and what can I do better next time?

We’ve really only scratched the surface when it comes to planning, organizing and leading group hikes. Over the past few days I’ve received a few emails with more questions. So, tune in next week because I’ll answer all of those questions and more.

What tips do you have for leading group hikes?

*Note: There is risk and liability involved with starting a hiking group. It’s a good idea to consult with a good attorney for information on liability, waivers etc. *

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User Comments

  1. Thank you for all the information in this series. I’m a hiker in Central Florida, and I’m considering turning my blog/website into a Military Veteran oriented hiking group. Your posts have given me a lot to think about before I begin the process. Thanks again, and Happy Hiking!

  2. Pingback: How to Start a Hiking Group (part 3 Planning a Group Hike) -Just Trails

  3. Pingback: Hiking with Friends: Join a Meetup -

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